Though it’s not a major upgrade over its predecessor, the iPhone 6S is still a temptingly gorgeous smartphone. It’s considerably more powerful, and it brings 3D Touch to the party, but not everyone is having the smooth experience you’d expect from an Apple device. We’ve been collecting the top iPhone 6S problems being discussed online, and trying to find solid fixes or workarounds to help you deal with them.
Problem: Battery life is poor
A lot of people have been finding that the battery life of the iPhone 6S is disappointing. It’s a common complaint about smartphones, but there could be a reason why poor battery life is affecting some iPhone 6S owners more than others. There’s a pretty major fuss being made online about the fact that there are two possible variants of the A9 chip, one built by TSMC and one built by Samsung. According to some, the Samsung chip could result in up to an hour less battery life.
Unusually, Apple commented on this, telling TechCrunch, “With the Apple-designed A9 chip in your iPhone 6S or
“Certain manufactured lab tests which run the processors with a continuous heavy workload until the battery depletes are not representative of real-world usage, since they spend an unrealistic amount of time at the highest CPU performance state,” Apple added. “It’s a misleading way to measure real-world battery life. Our testing and customer data show the actual battery life of the iPhone 6S and
Note: Apple released iOS 9.3.3 on July 18, 2016.If the battery life of your iPhone 6S or 6S Plus is still an issue, consider holding off on the latest iOS version, as a few have said that it will result in a bigger drain of the battery.
- If you want to check which chip you have, then you can download the free app Lirium Device Info Lite and take a look at the model number at the bottom of the page. If it’s N66AP or N71AP, then you have the Samsung chip; N71mAP or N66mAP is the TSMC chip. There’s no guarantee that you’ll see a major difference if you were to return the Samsung chip and get an iPhone 6S with the TSMC chip instead, but some people will probably want to do this anyway.
- Take a look in Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage to see which apps are draining your power. Tweak the settings for major battery hogs, or consider finding a replacement and uninstalling the offending apps.
- You can also switch on Low Power Mode, which will turn off some battery-draining features, like “Hey Siri,” background app refresh, and visual effects.
- Take a look at tips for saving smartphone battery to get more general ideas.
Issue: Touch ID Home button is hot
Quite a few reports have surfaced stating that the Home button on the iPhone 6S is getting extremely hot. People have found that the Touch ID sensor is uncomfortably hot to the touch, though the rest of the device doesn’t seem to be unusually warm, and in some cases it stops working, so the screen won’t come to life when it’s pressed. This seems to be happening most often immediately after charging, but it can happen at other times.
- The majority of people report that holding the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button down together for ten seconds, until you see the Apple logo, will temporarily resolve the issue, but it can return. You might want to use something to protect your finger or thumb before holding down the Home
- If it remains unresponsive when you press the Home and Sleep/Wake button, you could try cooling it down first. Unplug it from the charger, if it’s plugged in, and leave it in a cool environment for a while, some people have put it in the fridge for ten minutes and found the reset worked after that.
- If the problem persists then you really need to contact Apple, your carrier, or your retailer and find out if you can get a replacement.
Glitch: iPhone 6S randomly turning off
A number of iPhone 6S owners have been complaining about random shutdowns. The
- Hold down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons together for ten seconds, and the iPhone should reboot. Unfortunately, the problem might return.
- It’s worth checking if there’s a problem with your settings. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings and see if that helps. You may need to enter some passwords and settings again afterwards, but it won’t delete any data.
- There’s a chance that restoring old data is what’s causing your issue. It’s far from convenient, but you could try factory resetting your iPhone, setting it up as new, and manually moving any content you want across. Don’t restore a backup, because it may be causing the issue.
- Your final option is to contact Apple to see if they can offer another solution, or to ask for a replacement.
There have been several reports about the iPhone 6S overheating in general. Any smartphone will get hot when in use for a long period of time, but if your
- The obvious thing to do is let your iPhone 6S cool down. Make sure it’s out of the sun in a cool environment, remove the case if there’s one on there, and don’t use it for a while.
- There could be an app causing a problem. Take a look under Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage to see if anything is draining a suspicious amount of power.
- It may be worth resetting your settings via Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings.
- Your final option is to try a factory reset and set your iPhone 6S up afresh.
Bug: Speaker faults and distortion
A few people are having trouble with distorted audio and volume levels. There are reports that some ringtones sound distorted when the volume is turned up, some sounds are playing much louder than they should be, and sometimes they’re being played through the wrong speakers.
- Try going to Settings > Music > EQ and take a look at the settings in there. Changing the settings or turning it off might solve your issue.
- Make sure that your apps are all fully updated, especially if you notice the distortion in a specific app, like Skype.
- It could be worth trying a factory reset and then a restore, but there’s a chance that something in the restored data is causing your issue. If the problem returns you could try setting the iPhone 6S up completely fresh to see if the audio works correctly. If it does, manually copy over any data or files you want, instead of restoring.
- There is always a chance that this is a hardware issue, in which case you’ll need to contact Apple, your carrier, or your retailer and get a replacement handset.
Issue: 3D Touch not working
One of the headline features of the iPhone 6S is 3D Touch. It enables you to press down on the screen gently or harder to get different functions in some apps. Some people have been having trouble getting it to work. Bear in mind that it only works on the new hardware: the
- Start off in Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch and make sure that it’s turned on. You can also change the sensitivity level in here and test it out on an image. Pressing down should give you a preview on Web links or in emails, and it’s called a peek. Pressing down harder should take you through to the link or into the email, and it’s known as a pop. You may find that you have to press down harder than you expect to go beyond the peek and get the pop. It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of. If it’s not working for you, try putting your iPhone 6S down on a hard surface and pressing down on it.
- You could try resetting your settings via Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. You will need to enter some settings again, but it could solve the issue.
- If you’re having trouble with a specific app, then make sure the app is up to date, and open the app at least once before you try using 3D Touch with it.
- If you are restoring from an older backup, then it could be causing your issues. It’s not ideal, but you could try setting up your iPhone 6S new with a factory reset.
Glitch: Bluetooth not working
There have been a few reports of people having trouble getting their iPhone 6S to connect to Bluetooth accessories or in-car systems. For some people, the connection can’t be established at all, or it frequently disconnects, for others it will connect, but then certain features won’t work properly.
Note: Apple released iOS 9.3.2 in May 2016. One of the main fixes was for the audio quality of Bluetooth accessories when connected to an iPhone SE, but could potentially be a solution for this particular glitch.
- You should delete all the old pairings from your car or other Bluetooth device. It might have reached a profile limit.
- Try holding down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons together until you see the Apple logo on your iPhone screen.
- Try going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings on your iPhone.
- Refer to your car or accessory manual and ensure that your car or accessory is discoverable.
- If your iPhone 6S connects, but you are having issues with specific features, then it may be worth turning off the “Hey Siri” feature via Settings > General > Siri. Some people found that worked for them.
Problem: Bad low-light photos
Some iPhone 6S owners have complained about the poor quality of low-light photos taken with the
- You’re not going to see a night and day difference, but if you tap the three yellow concentric circles at the top of the screen when you’re in the camera app, you can turn Live Photos off. Give it a try when you’re trying to capture a great shot in low-light conditions.
Issue: Wi-Fi won’t connect or drops frequently
A lot of people have had trouble with their Wi-Fi connections and the iPhone 6S or 6S Plus. If you find that you can’t connect to a Wi-Fi network, or that your connection frequently drops or slows down, then there are lots of things you can try.
- Toggle Wi-Fi/Airplane mode: You might find that it temporarily comes back if you toggle Wi-Fi off and then on again. Alternatively, you could switch on Airplane mode and then turn it off again. Swipe up from the bottom to open the Control Center and toggle these settings.
- Reboot: You’ll often find temporary success by switching the device off and on again. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button for 10 seconds or so, until you see the Apple logo. Your Wi-Fi may work again for a while.
- Set up connection as new: Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and tap on the problem network, then choose Forget this Network and tap Forget. If you go back to the Wi-Fi page, you should now be able to choose your network and set up a fresh connection.
- Reset Network Settings: Try going to Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset Network Settings. This has worked for a few people, but the problem may return.
- Turn off Wi-Fi Networking: Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and under System Services you need to toggle off Wi-Fi Networking.
- Turn off Wi-Fi Assist: It’s designed to switch you to your mobile data network when Wi-Fi is patchy, but it could be causing your problems. Go to Settings > Cellular and scroll down to toggle Wi-Fi Assist
- Toggle 2.4/5GHz: If you have a two-channel router, then try changing from 5GHz to 2.4GHz. Generally speaking 5GHz is faster, but with a shorter range. Some people report a better connection on 2.4GHz and a few find an improvement by switching the other way.
- Change router channel: You could also try changing the channel on your router. You’ll need to put your router’s IP into your browser and log in to change settings. Refer to your ISP for instructions.
- Switch DNS to Google: Some people report success after switching DNS to use Google servers. You can do this via Settings > Wi-Fi then tap the ”i” icon next to your router, scroll down to DNS and tap the numbers and enter “184.108.40.206”. You might have to restart your device for this to take effect.
- Turn off MAC Filtering on your router: It’s possible to add your iPhone 6S MAC address, but due to Apple’s MAC randomization there’s a good chance it’s going to change and refuse to connect the next time you try. The simplest solution is just to turn MAC filtering off altogether.
- Update your router firmware: You may need to check with your ISP or the router manufacturer.
- Factory Reset: It’s a drastic step with no guarantee of success, but you could try a factory reset. Here’s how to factory reset an iPhone.
Bug: GPS keeps dropping
It seems that a lot of people are suffering with GPS on the iPhone 6S not working properly. There are lots of reports that it keeps dropping the connection. There are also complaints that it sometimes fails to establish a fix, even in an open outdoors area. This appears to be a more common problem in Europe than the United States.
- A lot of people are saying that turning off LTE dramatically improves GPS performance, prompting speculation that it has something to do with the specific 4G LTE bands employed by some carriers. You can try this by going to Settings > Cellular (or Mobile) > Voice & Data and choosing 3G.
- You could try a factory reset. We think it’s unlikely to resolve this problem, but if you have to contact your carrier or Apple about this problem they’re likely to suggest it, so you could get it out of the way. Check out how to factory reset your iPhone if you want to give it a go.
- Some people report that securing a new phone resolved the issue for them, but others say the same problem cropped up. It could be a hardware issue, so if nothing else has worked, it may be worth contacting Apple or your carrier and asking about a replacement.
Glitch: Live wallpapers not working
Quite a few people are finding that they don’t have the option to choose live wallpapers on their iPhone 6S, or that they don’t animate properly.
- Make sure that you don’t have Low Power Mode turned on, because it disables live wallpapers. You’ll find it in Settings > Battery.
- Sometimes switching to a static image and then back again will get it working. Go to Settings > Wallpaper > Choose a New Wallpaper and pick an image from Stills. Now, go back in and change to the wallpaper you want in the Live.
Bug: Battery percentage gets stuck
A number of people have found that the battery icon on the iPhone 6S or 6S Plus can get stuck and stop updating. You may think you have plenty of remaining battery life, but actually the battery percentage icon is no longer accurate.
- If you restart your iPhone, that should temporarily resolve the issue. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button, drag the slider to turn off, and then press and hold Sleep/Wake to turn it on again. Alternatively, you can hold down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons together until you see the Apple logo on your iPhone screen.
- Apple has suggested that this is related to manually changing the time. Go to Settings > General > Date & Time and make sure that Set Automatically is turned on.
Problem: Apple ID Verification keeps popping up
Some iPhone 6S owners have been getting irritated because “Apple ID Verification” keeps popping up asking for their password. You should be able to tap Settings and just enter your password, but sometimes it will just keep popping up, even when you’ve done that.
- Begin with a simple restart. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and then drag the slider to turn off, then press and hold Sleep/Wake to turn it on again.
- A lot of people seem to have found success by simply going to Settings > iCloud and tapping Sign Out at the bottom. Then going back in and signing in again. If you have multiple devices signed in, then you might want to try signing out on all of them.
- You could also try going to Settings > iTunes & App Store and sign out, then sign in again.
- If that didn’t work, it’s worth resetting your settings via Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. You’ll have to put some passwords in again and set a few things up, but it won’t delete any data and it might resolve the issue.
- Make sure you have the latest software via Settings > General > Software Update.
Issue: Can’t connect to cellular network
If you’re having trouble connecting to your mobile network or picking up 4G LTE, then you’re not alone. There are various reasons why you might end up with no service, or why your connection might drop frequently.
- Start by going to Settings > Cellular (or Mobile) and make sure that Cellular Data is on and you have Enable LTE set to Voice & Data.
- Try restarting your iPhone 6S or 6S Plus. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and then drag the slider to turn off, then press and hold Sleep/Wake to turn it on again. Alternatively, you can hold down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons together until you see the Apple logo on your iPhone screen.
- You may need a carrier update. Make sure you have Wi-Fi on and you’re connected to the Internet, then go to Settings > General > About. If there is an update available, you should get a prompt. You can also look under Carrier to see what version of carrier settings you’re on.
- Try taking the SIM card out and putting it back in again. If it still doesn’t work, then try removing it and see if it works differently in another phone. It may be best to order a new SIM card.
- Make sure there are no problems with your settings by wiping them via Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. You’ll have to set up some connections and passwords again.
- Make sure that it isn’t just the coverage in your area. Can other phones on the same network get connected? You might want to check in with your carrier and find out what coverage you should expect.
- Make sure you have the latest iOS update via Settings > General > Software Update.
Problem: iPhone 6S won’t turn on
Are you worried because tapping that Sleep/Wake button is failing to bring your iPhone 6S to life? Maybe it just turned off unexpectedly and now it won’t wake up.
- Try holding down the Sleep/Wake and the Home buttons together. Hold them down until you see the Apple logo. You may have to hold them for up to 30 seconds.
- Maybe the battery is dead. Try plugging your iPhone 6S into the charger and leave it for at least half an hour before trying step one again.
- If it still doesn’t respond, then try plugging your iPhone into your computer and launching iTunes. It may recognize your iPhone and indicate that it’s in recovery mode. If so, you should try restoring it.
- If it still won’t wake, then it’s time to contact Apple or visit an Apple Store.
Glitch: Flashlight not working
If you find that your flashlight isn’t working on your iPhone 6S, then don’t worry, because it should be relatively easy to fix. Some people have found that the flashlight icon is greyed out, so it can’t be turned on, others report the flashlight turning itself off before the screen freezes.
- Double tap Home and swipe up all open apps. Then, press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button together until you see the Apple logo. This will generally fix the issue.
- Take a look in Settings > General > Accessibility and make sure LED Flash for Alerts is turned off.
- If the problem persists, then it could be an app causing it. Search through your apps for anything that uses the flash and try uninstalling it.
Bug: Tapping links in Safari causes freeze
A lot of people ran into a serious bug after updating to iOS 9.3. Tapping and long pressing hyperlinks in Safari, Mail, Messages, Notes, and other apps could cause the app to freeze, become unresponsive, or to crash.
- Double click the Home button and swipe Safari or any other problematic app up. Then, hold down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons together until you see the Apple logo. The problem may return.
- Use Google Chrome instead of Safari.
- Apple released a fix for this bug in iOS 9.3.1. Connect your iPhone to your computer and fire up iTunes, or go to Settings > General > Software Update to install it.
Issue: Touchscreen unresponsive
If you find that the touchscreen on your iPhone 6S sometimes locks up and doesn’t respond to touch at all for five to 10 seconds, then you’re definitely not alone. This is a common problem, with no obvious cause or universal fix,. However, there are some things you can try.
- Some people report success after turning ‘Hey Siri’ off. Go to Settings > General > Siri and toggle off Allow “Hey Siri”.
- Make sure that your screen isn’t dirty and try removing your case to see if it makes any difference.
- Hold down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons until you see the Apple logo on screen. The problem might come back.
- Try connecting your iPhone 6S to your computer and launching iTunes. Select your device, and under Backups, click on This computer. Then, select Encrypt iPhone backup, click on Back Up Now, and when it’s done, tap Restore iPhone. When the proces i complete, you can restore your phone from the backup you just made.
- If that didn’t work, try going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Make sure that you have backed up before you proceed. Once your iPhone is wiped, don’t restore your backup. Try testing it as a new iPhone and see if the problem persists. You’ll have to install apps, move files, and manually tweak settings, but you may decide it’s worth it if the issue is gone.
- If the problem still persists, then it’s time to contact Apple, your carrier, or your retailer and ask about a replacement handset.
Problem: AirDrop not working
You may have trouble with AirDrop from time to time. Maybe it’s not showing up in Control Center at all, perhaps the option to share with AirDrop doesn’t show when you tap share, or maybe it’s there but it doesn’t actually work when you tap it.
- If you don’t see AirDrop in Control Center, then go to Settings > General > Restrictions and make sure that AirDrop is toggled on.
- When AirDrop isn’t working, open Control Center and turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off, then press and hold the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons until you see the Apple logo. Afterward, launch the Control Center, tap AirDrop > Everyone, and try using AirDrop through the share option on your file or photo. Remember to go back and switch to Contacts Only or turn AirDrop off once you have it working again, or you could be exposing your iPhone to people you don’t know.
Glitch: iPhone won’t charge
There have been some reports of charging problems with the iPhone 6S. For some people, plugging it in has no effect and that lightning bolt doesn’t pop up next to the battery icon. This can actually happen to any model of iPhone and the troubleshooting steps are always the same.
- Start by turning it off and on again. Just hold down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons together until you see the Apple logo. This will often resolve the issue.
- If you’re using a third-party charger or cable, then switch to the one that came in the box with your iPhone 6S or look for one that’s MFi-certified.
- Still having trouble? Try plugging your charger into a different power outlet. You could also try plugging the cable into another wall charger or try it in a USB port on your computer or laptop.
- Take a close look at the charging port on your iPhone 6S and both ends of your charging cable. If there’s any dust or debris in there, you should gently blow it out, carefully use compressed air, or use an old toothbrush to clean it.
- If you haven’t already, then check your cable for signs of wear and tear. They don’t last forever. Try using an alternative cable.
- If nothing works, then it’s time to contact Apple, your carrier, or your retailer.
Problem: Unable to update software
A few people have reportedly been unable to update their iPhones to the newest version of iOS. For one reason or another, the update doesn’t work using the usual Wi-Fi or iTunes methods.
- For the iTunes method, make sure you’re using the latest version of iTunes, which is currently iTunes 12.4.2.
- If trying to update over Wi-Fi, first go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage, and choose the first Manage Storage option. Search the list on the page for an iOS update and delete it. Restart your device, then retry the update by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
- Connect your device to a PC/Mac running iTunes. While it’s connected, press and hold the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons to trigger a Force Restart, but continue to hold the buttons down after the Apple logo appears and you’ll enter the iPhone’s Recovery Mode. When given the choice to Restore or Update, choose Update and iTunes will attempt to update the device without affecting your data. After the update finishes, set up your device again. If you have a backup ready, you can restore your device during this setup process.
- If none of the above works, reach out to Apple Support, as the issue may be something you’re unable to fix on your end.
Issue: iTunes doesn’t recognize iPhone 6S
There are times when you plug in your iPhone 6S to your computer in order to update or sync it through iTunes, but the program simply refuses to recognize the device. Fortunately, there are a few things you can to try to fix the situation.
- Of course, the easiest thing to do is make sure that the iPhone is turned on and completely plugged in.
- Additionally, make sure you’re using the newest version of iTunes, as well as the most updated software for Mac and Windows.
- Restart your computer and attempt to reconnect the device to iTunes.
- Use a different USB port or USB cable.
- In the event that you’re met with a Trust this Computer alert, you must unlock your iPhone and tap Trust. Seeing this prompt means you may have to reset your lockdown folder, the instructions for which you can follow here.
- If none of the above works, contact Apple Support.
Problem: Unable to send messages to non-iPhones
For one reason or another, some users are unable to send messages to their contacts who don’t use iOS devices. The problem occurs more frequently with group messages and when trying to send messages over Wi-Fi.
- It should go without saying, but check to see if you’re running the latest version of iOS 9.
- Check for a carrier update by going to Settings > General > About. If an update is available, you’ll be prompted to install it.
- If your main issue is sending messages over Wi-FI, make sure Wi-Fi Calling is enabled by going to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling and toggling it on.
- If the issue is group messages, check the MMS Messaging settings under Settings > Messages and toggle MMS Messaging. If you don’t see that option, contact your carrier.
- Check your blocked contacts list by going to Settings > Messages > Blocked. One or multiple contacts may have been added accidentally. Have your contacts in the group conversation do the same.
- Delete the current group conversation by opening messages, finding the right conversation to delete, then swipe left to delete it. Start a new conversation by opening messages, tapping the write icon at the top right of the screen, and then entering the phone numbers/email addresses of your contacts. Write a new message, then Send.
- If one or multiple contacts have recently changed from an iPhone to a non-iPhone, have them double check to see if they have Deregistered iMessage. Otherwise, they won’t be able to receive SMS or text messages from iPhone users.
- If the problem persists, contact Apple Support.
Annoyance: Can’t download apps from the App Store
A small number of iPhone 6S owners have run into a pretty annoying problem that’s keeping them from downloading and installing applications from the App Store. Some say the circle informing them that the download is in progress spins continuously, while others are told the app can’t be downloaded at that particular time.
- Turn the device completely off (press and hold the Sleep/Wake button, then swipe to power off), then turn it on again and retry the App Store.
- If the download is an update for an app already installed, try deleting the app and downloading it again.
- If the App Store is open, press the Home button twice to bring up the app switcher, then swipe up on the App Store screen to close. Head to Settings > iTunes & App Store and tap on your Apple ID, then Sign Out. Either turn the phone off and on again, or press and hold the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons to perform a Force Restart. After the phone has been turned back on, sign back into the iTunes Store and try the download again.
- Check your restrictions by going to Settings > General > Restrictions. If already enabled, make sure the toggles for the iTunes Store, Installing Apps, Deleting Apps, and In-App Purchases options are set to be allowed. Try the App Store download once again.
Problem: Apple Music no longer syncing
After updating to iOS 9.3.3, some users have noticed that their music no longer syncs to their device. Instead, they’re left with empty playlists.
- Sign out and back into your Apple ID. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Stores, then tap your Apple ID and tap Sign Out. Follow these same steps to sign back in. Note: This will remove music you have downloaded for offline listening, meaning you’ll have to download those songs to your phone again.
- If the above doesn’t work, you can try turning on iCloud Music Library. First open the Music app, then tap the profile icon in the top left and sign in with the Apple ID and password you used for Apple Music. Go to Settings > Music and toggle iCloud Music Library on. If it’s already on, toggle it off, then on again. If you already have music on your device, you’ll be asked to either Merge or Replace the music. Merge will add the songs currently on your device to your library. Replace will replace the music on your device with your Apple Music library.
Article originally published October 9, 2015, and updated on July 21, 2016 by Kyree Leary to include five additional tips.
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