What to do if an app won’t open on iPhone or iPad

Apps tend to run well on iPhones and iPads, due to the stable nature of the system software.

But you will still encounter the weird app that refuses to work properly. Rarely, the problem can be severe enough to prevent it from opening completely. Several reasons—such as errors, glitches, and conflicting settings—usually cause it.

If an app won’t open on your iPhone or iPad, or it crashes immediately, the fixes and suggestions below should help you get the app up and running again.

Force quit the app and try again

When an app won’t open continuously or hangs after a few seconds, you’ll need to delete the app from your iPhone or iPad’s memory before relaunching it. In most cases that will allow the app to load without problems.

Start by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to open the App Switcher. If you use an iPhone with Touch ID, double-click Home instead. Then, drag the problematic app up and off the screen to force quit it.

Drag gesture

Follow up by reopening the app from the Home screen or the App Gallery on your iPhone or iPad.

Restart iPhone or iPad

Your next action will be to restart your iPhone or iPad. It is a surefire way to deal with random glitches that prevent apps from opening.

Go Setting and press Shared > Turn off. Track by sliding Power icon on the right to turn off the device.

Slide to power off

Wait for 30 seconds, then press and hold Edge on your iPhone or iPad to start backing it up.

Force Restart iPhone or iPad

If your iPhone or iPad appears unresponsive after trying to open an app, you’ll need to restart the device. You can try relaunching the app afterwards.

Depending on the device model, perform the appropriate button presses to activate the force restart.

iPhone 8 Series and newer | iPad does not have a Home button

Quickly press and release Volume up press and release button Turn down the volume and press and hold the . button Edge until you see the Apple logo.

Apple logo

Only iPhone 7 Series

Press and hold both Turn down the volume and Edge until you see the Apple logo.

iPhone 6 Series or later | iPad with Home button

Press and hold both Home and Edge until you see the Apple logo.

Update app

If the app still won’t open on your iPhone or iPad, you may have a major software-related bug. Updating it should fix that.

Start by going to the App Store. Then search for the app and press Update to bring it to the latest version.

App update button

You can also check out the release notes (below What’s new of the app’s App Store page) to verify if a recent update resolved the issue.

If you don’t see a Update next to the app, continue with the fixes.

Update iOS and iPadOS

The latest updates for iOS and iPadOS come with fixes that can address the underlying issues behind a glitching app.

It’s important to update if you’re using a relatively new iterative new system software release — for example, iOS 14.0 or iPadOS 14.0 — because of rampant bugs and glitches.

Open Setting app and go to Shared > Software updates. If you see a new update, tap Download and install to apply it.

Software updates

Updating the system software is also the only way to update native apps like Mail, Safari, and Reminders.

Reset or Clear Cache through Settings app

The Settings app on your iPhone or iPad may contain options to reset an app or clear its cache. For example, if Netflix doesn’t open, go to Setting > Netflix and activate Reset to revert all Netflix settings to default.

Reset conversion

If an app refuses to open due to conflicting settings or an outdated cache, that can help fix the problem.

Offload or delete the app and reinstall it

Downloading an app and reinstalling it can also help fix persistent problems caused by corrupted settings. Start by going to Setting > Shared > iPhone Memory. Then tap on the problematic app and select Offloading apps.

App offload button

Follow by restarting your iPhone or iPad. Then, tap the app’s icon on the Home screen to reinstall it.

If that fails, try deleting and reinstalling the app. However, that will also delete any locally downloaded data associated with the app — i.e. offline videos in Netflix.

Troubleshooting Internet connection

Apps like Discord and Netflix may fail to open or crash if they have trouble connecting to the Internet. In that case, here are some things you can do:

Server-side crash check

Server-side issues can also prevent an application from communicating with the internet and prevent it from opening. In that case, you have to wait until the server comes back online. A quick Google search will show the server status for an app or service.

Reset settings on your iPhone or iPad

If none of the above fixes worked, try resetting the settings on your iPhone or iPad. That should solve the problems caused by the broken configuration.

Start by going to Setting > Shared > Reset. Then tap Reset Network Settings to revert all network related settings to their defaults. You will then have to manually reconnect to the Wi-Fi network.

Network Settings Reset Button

If resetting network settings does not help, you must reset all system related settings to their defaults. To do that, visit Setting > Shared > Reset and press Reset all settings.

You must reconfigure your network, privacy, accessibility, and other settings after the reset procedure.

Contact the app developer

Some apps may still refuse to open, especially if it hasn’t received any updates for a while. Your best bet is to notify the app developer about the problem. You can do that by going to the app’s App Store page and selecting Application Support right to buy. Alternatively, you can contact the developer via email or social media.

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