The most common iOS 14 problems, and how to fix them

Compared with the trauma unleashed with the debut of iOS 13 around this time last year, the release of Apple’s newest updated operating system for iPhone — iOS 14 — was idyllic. Not that there haven’t been a ton of new features, but the rollout was orderly for most users, with a minimal number of complaints about the usual issues that plague new releases.

Since the release on September 16, people have been busy customizing their home screens and taking advantage of the new App Library, enjoying videos and FaceTime calls while using other apps, setting up new default apps to their liking, and much more.

Apple’s security page details 11 patches included in this update, including fixes for Safari and Siri. Except for a few minor bugs, iOS 14 was a stable iOS launch, delivering a mostly elegant experience. That said, it is not perfect, and a few issues have cropped up that you may be grappling with. We have a look at them here and lay out what you can do about them.

Problem: Google Authenticator not working

One issue we’ve had after updating to iOS 14.2 was that the Google Authenticator app stopped loading up as normal. You’d tap its icon, the app would begin to load for a split second, but then it would quickly revert to the Home screen. This is potentially a very serious bug, given the necessity of using two-factor authentication to log into personal accounts. However, there is one very quick fix we used to resolve the issue.


  • Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Authenticator. Tap Offload App, which will remove the app from your iPhone while keeping all of its data (don’t worry, your 2FA codes won’t be lost). Next, tap Reinstall. Good as new!

Problem: Not receiving text message notifications

Users updating to iOS 14 have found that they don’t receive sound notifications for text message, and they the notification banner doesn’t appear at all when their iPhone is locked. Users posting to the Apple website have indicated that this may have been intentional on Apple’s part, although this seems unlikely. Either way, the problem is certainly frustrating if you’re the kind of person who likes to respond promptly to messages. Here are some potential fixes.

Possible solutions

  • Upgrade to iOS 14.3. The latest update to iOS 14 was released on December 14, and it does include a fix for a bug affecting the delivery of MMS messages, so it should hopefully resolve the issue.
  • Always close the Messages app after using it (i.e. don’t leave it open). Swipe up from the bottom of the touchscreen (or double-tap the Home button) and then swipe up on the Messages app to force close it.

Problem: Installing the iOS 14 update

Many iPhone users were champing at the bit to download the new operating system as soon as it was available. But … not so fast. Many folks found they had to wait from hours to even a day or two for the initial release of iOS 14 to download and install to their phone. Like most major OS updates, iOS 14 is huge and very much in demand.

Possible solutions

  • First, chill out. The update eventually reached almost every phone that’s compatible with the new update — it just took some time.
  • If you’re still waiting, you might want to clear out some space from your phone and offload apps, photos, and videos you no longer need to store on your handset.
  • Also, make sure your phone is fully charged or be prepared to plug it into a power source for the download. If you’re still having issues, try rebooting your phone just to clear out the cobwebs.

Problem: Battery drain

Battery drain is a perpetual issue after the installation of a new mobile OS. That’s because the new system has a lot to integrate and catch up on before the battery will start functioning normally again.  Not surprisingly, it is a complaint that’s out there for iOS 14.

Possible solutions

  • Again, chill out for at least 48 hours after installing the new update, and keep the battery charged so that your phone adapts properly to the new OS. Not only is your phone integrating the new system and re-indexing your data, but your installed apps are also adapting to a new environment, and even updating their own systems to better operate with iOS 14. All of that takes time and power.
  • Before you update, check to see whether your critical apps are compatible with iOS 14 by checking their download page on the App Store or the latest version date. Non-optimized apps could cause a variety of problems, like crashing — or not.
  • Double-check your battery health via Settings > Battery > Battery Health, which will tell you the level of charge your phone can hold. If you don’t like what you see, you can take steps to improve your battery life, including adjusting screen brightness or app background use. If a certain app consistently eats up your battery, you may want to make further adjustments or remove it.

Problem: Default app reset

One reported glitch involves one of the new features, causing iOS 14 to reset the default browser and email client back to Safari and Mail after you power down and then restart. That means you have to reset the defaults to your preferred apps all over again.

Possible solutions

  • Download the newly available iOS 14.0.1 to solve the default browser app bug on restart. It’s been reported that some apps can’t open URLs if Safari is not the default browser, so it’s worth keeping an eye on whether that happens to you.

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