Last night, I was in the middle of a karaoke bar, with disco lights strobing and Taylor Swift blaring around me, and the screen on my new iPhone X froze.
On every iPhone released over the last 10 years, it’s been relatively easy to reset the phone when it crashed. You held down the home button and the power button, and eventually the screen will go black, and be replaced with Apple’s logo as it boots back up. But the iPhone X, as you may be aware, has no home button. I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do to bring it back to life.
My first thought was to keep holding down the power button. All that did was to activate Siri and have her record me getting increasingly frustrated at the phone that I couldn’t open. My next thought was reset it like some modern Android phones and hold down one of the volume buttons at the same time as the power button. This… was a bad idea.
It turns out, holding down the volume-down button and the power button activates an “Emergency SOS” function, emitting an alarming blare from the phone, which is probably quite useful if you’re in a dangerous situation. But I wasn’t: I was at karaoke.
I decided to keep holding down the buttons, as a timer counted down on the SOS function, thinking that maybe when it got to zero my phone would restart. Instead, it started calling 911. It took me a second to realize what was happening, but I think I hung up before wasting any of the New York City emergency services dispatchers’ time as the music blared at the bar.
I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do and I couldn’t Google it as the phone was still frozen. Eventually, I pulled one of my friends away from karaoke, borrowed their phone, and searched on how to reset an iPhone X, which is considerably more confusing than on any other iPhone.
So, to reset your iPhone in the likely event that it crashes at some point: Press the volume up button, then press the volume down button, then press and hold the power button.
If you’ve done this dance correctly, your phone should switch off and then back on, and hopefully you won’t mistakenly call the police.