How to fix 95 percent of iOS app crashes

Game won't run? New app dumping you back to the Home screen after you sign in? Before you write a bad review, try this quick fix. It almost always works.

To reboot (i.e. reset) your iDevice, hold down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons for about 10 seconds.
To reboot (i.e. reset) your iDevice, hold down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons for about 10 seconds. Screenshot by Rick Broida

iOS isn't perfect. There, I said it. This will become evident to anyone who's ever tried to figure out Notification Center or organize contacts into groups.

And I guarantee that at some point or another, you've installed a shiny new app, only to have it crash on you, either the moment you ran it or maybe a few minutes in.

Indeed, the App Store is packed to the gills with user reviews like these:

"Crashes about a minute into the game."

"App wouldn't load. Zero stars!"

"Won't run on my iPad 2--crashes right after I tap the icon."

So what's going on here? Bad programming? In some cases, yes. Some apps are just plain buggy. But if you install a new one and immediately have problems getting it to run, there's an easy fix:

Reset your iPhone. Or iPad. Or iPod Touch.

The harsh reality is that sometimes, just like with Windows (there, I said it), iDevices need to be rebooted. Whenever I encounter a flaky, crash-prone app (particularly one that's new to my device), I reboot, and presto: problem solved.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but before you write a negative review and/or delete the app in disgust, at least give it a try. My estimate is that it'll work 95 percent of the time.

Don't know how to reset your iDevice? First, let's clarify our terms. A "restart" is when you power off the unit and then turn it back on again. That's done by holding the Sleep/Wake button (the one on top) for several seconds until you see the red slider, then sliding it.

This doesn't meet my definition of rebooting, but it may well solve your app problem. However, I recommend a full-on "reset," which is performed by holding down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously for about 10 seconds. First you'll see the aforementioned red slider; just keep holding the buttons. Then the screen will go blank; keep holding the buttons until you see the Apple logo. Then let 'em go.

That's a reset--or, if you prefer my terminology, a reboot. (Read Apple's official how-to if you want to learn more.)

Leave a comment letting me know if this solved your app-crash problem. Or if it didn't.

 

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