How to turn off your iPhone

Struggling to turn off your iPhone? Use our step-by-step guide to find out how it’s done.

The iPhone is a vastly popular smartphone, known world-wide for its sleek design, strong cameras and fantastic longevity thanks to Apple’s commitment to pushing major software updates to its handsets for several years after they launch.

Apple’s smartphone does a lot of things very well, but it’s not immune to a few foibles (ever tried to take a screenshot on an iPhone?) – one of them being the slightly clunky way to switch your iPhone off.

Gone are the days of simply just pressing the power button on the side of the handset – oh no, there’s a little bit more to this mundane action these days.

An iPhone SE being held in one hand showing the power off screen.Credit:
It’s easy to turn off an iPhone… once you know how.

The good news is we can assist you, with this handy guide on why it’s a good idea to turn off or restart your iPhone every now and then, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to perform both actions.

So whether you’re rocking an iPhone 6S from 2015, or 2022’s iPhone 14, you’ll be covered here.


Why do I need to turn my iPhone off?

You don’t need to turn your iPhone off regularly – if you wish to, that’s fine, but the longevity of the device is unlikely to be extended with frequent shutdowns.

However, it certainly doesn’t hurt to power down your device every now and then – we’re talking a couple of times a year. Allowing you iPhone’s battery to go completely flat, and then giving it a good recharge, will help it better predict the battery percentage in the long-run (although if your usage varies widely, it may still struggle to give you a thoroughly accurate reading).

Step 1: Button press

Hold down two buttons

You don’t need to unlock your iPhone to turn it off. Hold down the power button (the single button on the right side of the handset) together with either the volume up or volume down button (the two buttons on the left side of the phone). You’ll need to keep the power button and one of the volume buttons pressed for around a second.

Step 2: Pick an option

There are three options to choose

The phone will vibrate, and the screen will change to signify you can release the buttons, so do just that. On-screen you’ll be presented with three options; ‘slide to power off’, ‘Medical ID’ and ‘Emergency SOS’. If you have accidentally triggered this action, tap ‘cancel’ at the bottom of the display.

Step 3: Turn off

Slide to power off

You want the option at the top of the screen – ‘slide to power off’ – to turn off your iPhone. Simply just follow the instruction you’re being given, place your finger on the circular power button icon on the left side of this bar, and slide your finger to right. Release your finger and your iPhone will turn off. You phone can take up to 30 seconds to fully switch off.


How to turn on your iPhone

At some point, you will want to switch your iPhone back on, and thankfully this is a much easier process than turning it off.

All you need to do is hold down the power button on the right side of the handset for two to three seconds, until a white Apple logo appears on-screen. Release the button when you see the Apple logo and your iPhone will start-up.

John McCann

Written by John McCann he/him


John McCann is the Editor-in-Chief of Tech for Saga Exceptional. John has been a technology journalist for more than a decade, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He’s interviewed CEOs from some of the world’s biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4.

He’s reported on pretty much every area of consumer technology, from laptops, tablets, smartwatches and smartphones to smart speakers, video doorbells, vacuum cleaners, electric cars, headphones and more. During his time in journalism, John has written for TechRadar, T3, What Laptop, Windows 8 magazine and Gizmodo UK, and he’s appeared in the Evening Standard and Metro newspapers.

Outside of work, John is a passionate Watford FC and Green Bay Packers fan, enjoys a Sunday afternoon watching the F1, loves a top quality burger or pizza for dinner and is addicted to travel. He’s also a Guinness World Record Holder and appeared in the Olympic Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 games, dressed as one of The Beatles from the Sgt. Pepper’s album cover. He’s even got the pictures to prove it!

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