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Why Your iPhone 14 Pro Max Is Frozen and Won’t Turn Off

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple’s latest and biggest flagship smartphone, yet it hasn’t been without its problems. Following its launch in September 2022, many users have reported that it often freezes after they perform certain tasks, leaving them unable to turn the phone off or do anything else with it. For a device that costs upwards of 1,000 dollars, euros or pounds, this isn’t particularly acceptable, and even after numerous software updates since September the problem still occurs for some users.

Fortunately, there are a variety of quick fixes owners can try when their iPhone 14 Pro Max freezes and won’t respond. This article runs through and unpacks them all, helping users to force restart their devices and get them working again. Just as importantly, it also explains why the iPhone 14 Pro Max freezes under certain circumstances, providing owners with tips on how to avoid repeats of the same problem in the future.

Why Is My iPhone 14 Pro Max Frozen? Key Takeaways and Solutions

Why Is My iPhone 14 Pro Max Frozen?

Source: Unsplash/Thujey Ngetup

Here’s a quick rundown of everything you can try when your iPhone 14 Pro Max is frozen and its touchscreen doesn’t work. It also covers the main situations that tend to result in freezing.

●    Data Transfer causes freezing in most cases: one of the most common reasons for freezing is a bug in how the iPhone 14 Pro Max handles transferring data from an older phone during setup. This can be avoid by choosing not to transfer from an older iPhone, and picking one of the other options instead.

●    Force restart the device: this enables you to turn off the iPhone at the hardware level, without having to use its touchscreen. On the iPhone 14 Pro Max, you can perform a force restart by pressing and quickly releasing the Volume Up button, the Volume Down button and then by holding the Side button. Keep the Side button held until the Apple logo appears.

●    Misapplied screen protectors and dirty touchscreens: in isolated cases, screen protectors can interfere with how your iPhone’s touchscreen operates, particularly if misapplied. Try removing your device’s protector if it has one, and give its screen a wipe with a microfiber cloth.

●    Defective Lightning accessories: faulty cables or accessories can cause the iPhone 14 Pro Max to freeze, so it’s often worth disconnecting them from its Lightning port to see if that helps.

●    Software bug: Apple acknowledged an iPhone 14 freezing bug in an internal memo circulated soon after the series’ launch. Given that freezing results from a software issue, users should therefore update their iPhone, by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

●    Hardware defect: in rare instances, an iPhone 14 Pro Max freezes because of an internal hardware issue. This means you should take your phone to your nearest Apple Store, or alternatively look for an Apple-certified repair shop.

●    Use Recovery Mode to update or restore the iPhone: if a force restart doesn’t get your iPhone 14 Pro Max working again, you can try connecting it to your computer in order to update or restore it. Once you’ve connected it (using the appropriate cable), find it on Finder or iTunes and then press the Volume Up button and then the Volume Down button, before holding the Side button until the phone enters Recovery Mode. From there, choose Update (if you haven’t updated recently) or Restore (if you have updated and also have a backup of your iPhone).

The above is a brief outline of the situations in which the iPhone 14 Pro Max tends to freeze, as well as of the steps you can take to get it working again. However, in the sections below we’ll explore some of the reasons for freezing in more detail, as well as the potential solutions you can try.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Freezing During Data Transfer

Data transfer appears to be one of the chief causes of the iPhone 14 Pro Max freezing, as acknowledged in the internal Apple memo mentioned above. This is likely because of a minor bug in the software that the phone comes preinstalled with. For this reason, you can avoid the problem by choosing not to transfer apps and data from an old iPhone when setting up the 14 Pro Max for the first time. 

When setting up your iPhone 14 Pro Max for the first time, you will come to a screen with the heading, Apps & Data. Do not tap Transfer Directly from iPhone. Instead, tap Restore from iCloud Backup or Restore from Mac or PC, assuming you have a recent backup on either iCloud or your computer. 

If you don’t have a recent backup, tap Don’t Transfer Apps & Data, which will result in you setting up your new iPhone 14 Pro Max without transferring apps and data from your older model. You can easily download the apps you once had by visiting the App Store, and assuming that you’re signed into the same iCloud account, you will be able to download apps you previously paid for without paying again.

Once you’ve set up your 14 Pro Max (without the data transfer), update it to the newest available iOS, assuming a new version is available. Again, this can be done by going to Settings > General > Software Update. This should reduce the chances of the device unexpectedly freezing later on.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Freezes When Using Apps: Update Software

iPhone 14 Pro Max Freezes When Using Apps: Update Software

Source: Unsplash/Szabo Viktor

It’s possible that, even if you choose not to transfer data from an older iPhone, your iPhone 14 Pro Max may occasionally freeze when using certain apps, such as Messages, Camera, Mail or something else (e.g. a third-party app). Again, this is because of a software bug, meaning that the best way to remedy this problem is to update your device’s software. This can be achieved in one of two ways, depending on what your iPhone will let you do.

If your iPhone is frozen, force restart it by pressing Volume Up, Volume Down and then by holding the Side button. Once it restarts, you can update by going to Settings > General > Software Update. If a new version of iOS is available, tap Download and Install.

However, if you can’t perform a force restart to unfreeze your iPhone 14 Pro Max (e.g. it freezes when booting up), then you’ll have to connect it to your PC or Mac and try restarting it in Recovery Mode. This can be done by taking the following steps:

1.    Connect your iPhone 14 Pro Max to its Lightning cable and then connect the cable to your computer.

2.    If you’re using a PC -- or a Mac with macOS Mojave or earlier -- open iTunes. If you’re using a Mac that runs macOS Catalina or later, open Finder.

3.    Click on the icon representing your iPhone on either iTunes or Finder.

4.    Next, press and quickly release the Volume Up button, press and quickly release the Volume Down button, and then press and hold the Side button. Keep the Side button held until the Recovery Mode screen appears on your iPhone, and until you see a window on your computer that gives you the option to either update or restore your iPhone.

5.    Click Update.

Third-Party App Freezing

It’s also possible that a third-party app may cause your iPhone 14 Pro Max to freeze, especially if this app contains bugs. This can be remedied by checking if there’s an update for the app:

1.    Open the App Store on your iPhone.

2.    Tap your profile picture in the top-right corner.

3.    Scroll down to see if an update is available for the app that keeps freezing.

4.    If one is available, tap Update.

If no update is available, or if you’ve already recently updated the app that’s causing problems, you may want to consider removing it from your iPhone. This can be done by tapping and holding on its icon until you see the option to Remove App.

iPhone Case or Screen Protector Stopping Touchscreen from Working

iPhone Case or Screen Protector Stopping Touchscreen from Working

Source: Unsplash/Gentcreate Photography

Your iPhone 14 Pro Max can often freeze because of a misapplied screen protector or case, which can interfere with how its touchscreen works. When either too thick or not properly applied, screen protectors can reduce the touch capacitance of the iPhone’s display. It can therefore seem like your phone has frozen, even if there’s nothing actually wrong with either its hardware or software.

Accordingly, try removing your iPhone’s screen protector and/or case, if you have either. If you find that it continues working again as normal and doesn’t have any further issues with freezing, you should probably think about using your iPhone without a case or protector, or at least trying a new (potentially thinner) protector.

Also, while you have your iPhone 14 Pro Max’s protector removed, try wiping the device’s screen with a fine microfiber cloth. This can clear any dust or particles that could potentially be weakening the display’s capacitance.

Faulty Cables and Accessories Causing iPhone 14 Pro Max to Freeze

Defective or faulty Lightning accessories can often cause your iPhone 14 Pro Max to freeze. This is because they don’t communicate properly with your phone, which in turn can affect how its operating system and/or touchscreen works. Because of this, anyone with an iPhone 14 Pro Max that freezes should try removing any Lightning accessories, with Apple itself recommending such a step in the event of unresponsive displays.

If your iPhone begins working again as normal after disconnecting any Lightning accessories, try using a different cable and/or accessory in the future. 

Factory Reset When All Else Fails

It’s certainly a last resort, but performing a factory reset on your iPhone 14 Pro Max can help it resolve freezing issues. There are two ways of doing this, depending on how much you can do with your device.

If your iPhone is freezing only intermittently, you can perform a factory reset by going to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase All Content and Settings.

It almost goes without saying that you should backup your iPhone prior to performing a factory reset. This can be done by going to Settings  > [Your Apple ID] > iCloud > iCloud Backup, before connecting your iPhone to a power source and Wi-Fi. Alternatively, you can backup by connecting your iPhone to your computer, and by using Finder on Macs and iTunes on Windows PCs.

However, if your iPhone 14 Pro Max is completely frozen, you will need to connect it to your computer and boot it up in Recovery Mode (as mentioned above). In this case, instead of choosing Update at the end of the process, you need to click Restore.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Has Hardware Issue: Contact Apple

iPhone 14 Pro Max Has Hardware Issue

Source: Unsplash/Joel Rohland

In rare cases, a hardware issue can be the reason why your iPhone 14 Pro Max freezes. Either the touchscreen itself is faulty, or the connection between the display and the iPhone’s processors has an issue. In such cases, no amount of updating, disconnecting accessories or resetting can help you solve your freezing problems. This means your only option is to get in touch with Apple and have your iPhone 14 Pro Max repaired or replaced. 

If you’ve purchased your iPhone recently, there’s a very good chance that Apple will replace it for you, free of charge. If not, you may need to pay for repairs, at least if the device is outside of its warranty (which usually lasts one year). You can also choose to take the device to an Apple-certified repair store, who may offer cheaper rates and quicker turnaround times.


When your iPhone 14 Pro Max freezes and its touchscreen stops responding, the first thing to do is perform a force restart. This circumvents the device’s software and switches it off at the hardware level, so it’s perfect for rebooting it again if a bug is causing it to freeze.

If your iPhone continues to become unresponsive after a force restart, you can next try a sequence of different potential solutions. This begins with a software update and moves on to a factory reset, before ending with a repair or replacement.

However, users shouldn’t need to go this far, since the freezing issue is, in most cases, a software problem. Which means that installing the latest version of iOS should be all you need to do to have your iPhone 14 Pro Max running like clockwork again.


Is the iPhone 14 Pro Max faulty?

While there have been reports in the media of issues with the iPhone 14 Pro Max, there’s no reliable evidence to indicate that the phone is more error-prone or faultier than previous models. As such, taking the steps outlined above should be enough to resolve freezing problems in the majority of cases.

How long should an iPhone 14 Pro Max last?

Apple has a long and reputable track record of supporting their iPhones with updates for several years. For instance, its latest operating system -- iOS 16 -- is compatible with the iPhone X and iPhone 8, both of which were released back in 2017. This means that you should expect the iPhone 14 Pro Max to last until 2028, even if its battery life may decline slightly over time.

Is iPhone 14 Pro Max repairable?

Yes, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is repairable. However, repairs and replacements should be carried out by Apple, by Apple-certified shops or trustworthy local repair shops. Never try to open and repair your iPhone yourself, as this will void any warranty and could result in irreparable damage to the device.



Author: Simon Chandler 

Twitter: @_simonchandler_ | LinkedIn: Simon Chandler

Simon Chandler is a journalist based in London, UK. He covers technology and finance, contributing to such titles as ForbesBusiness Insider, InsideBitcoinsDigital Trends,, and CryptoVantage. He has also contributed to Lifewire, Wired, TechCrunch, TechRadar, Make Use of, the Daily Dot, the Verge, Cointelegraph,, the New Internationalist, MuckRackTech Target, Bandcamp, the Sun, and numerous others.

He specializes in mobile technology covering smartphones, tablets, wearables, and games. Beyond consumer gadgets, his main interest is in how tech is changing the way we live and who we are, for better and for worse.


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