The trickiest iPhone 8 problems, and advice on how to fix them

Smartphones are complex devices designed to make our lives easier, but sometimes they end up causing frustration instead. We’re impressed by the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus, but they’re not perfect. While Apple’s devices are generally well made and smooth-running, things can — and do — go wrong from time to time. We’ve gathered together some notable issues with the latest iPhone 8 Plus and common iPhone 8 problems here, along with advice on how you might deal with them.

Problem: Battery drains quickly

We use our iPhones so much that battery life can be a problem, but in the Apple support forum, some people have been complaining about unusual, rapid battery drain. We found that our iPhone 8 drains quite quickly when playing AR games, but generally the battery life is pretty good. If you’re suffering with an iPhone 8 battery that drains quickly, here’s what to try:

Possible fixes:

  • Take a look at our guide on how to save battery life for a host of handy tips.
  • If those tips don’t work for you, then it’s probably worth trying a factory reset. Make sure you back up first, but after wiping your iPhone, consider setting it up as new — don’t restore your backup — and test to see if the battery problem returns. If it doesn’t, then it’s possible that something in your old settings or an app you had installed was causing the issue.
  • If you do still have battery issues after a factory reset and without restoring your backup, then it could be a hardware fault and you’re going to want to take it in to Apple for further testing.

Issue: Swelling battery

You may have seen some reports about iPhone 8 Plus batteries swelling up and causing the screen to detach from the body of the device. The first report, picked up by TNW seems to have centered on an iPhone 8 Plus in Taiwan, but MacRumors has since reported a few more similar incidents in Japan, Canada, and Greece. It’s not clear how widespread the issue is, but it appears to be a relatively rare occurrence.

Solution:

  • Apple is investigating this, but if you encounter a similar problem there’s really only one course of action: Contact Apple and get a replacement handset.

Problem: Crackling earpiece

Several iPhone 8 and 8 Plus owners have been complaining about a crackling earpiece during calls. A repetitive, intermittent static sound or distortion makes it difficult to hear properly during normal calls and FaceTime calls. The problem has popped up on the Apple support forum, on Reddit, and elsewhere.

Potential solutions:

  • Wait for a software update. Apple has acknowledged this issue and told The Verge, “We are aware of the issue which is affecting customers in a small number of cases. Our team is at work on a fix, which will be included in an upcoming software release.”
  • Reportedly it is fixed in the iOS 11.1 developer beta. If you have a developer account, you can try it out via the Download New Betas tab after signing in at developer.apple.com.
  • It’s possible there’s a separate, but similar hardware problem to do with touching the earpiece, according to this Reddit post. If that’s your issue, then you may need to contact Apple about a replacement handset.

Glitch: App Store keeps refreshing

If you load up the App Store and find that it just repeatedly refreshes every few seconds, then you are not alone. We encountered this problem on our iPhone 8 review unit, but it has been reported elsewhere and it doesn’t seem to be confined to Apple’s latest devices.

Potential solutions:

  • A simple restart was enough to get our iPhone 8 back on track. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button and slide to power off. Then press the Sleep/Wake button to turn your iPhone back on. We haven’t seen this issue return.
  • Some people had success by signing out of their account and back in again. Go to Settings and tap on your name at the top, then iTunes & App Store > Apple ID and choose Sign out. Tap Sign In and enter your details to sign back in and then try the App Store again.

Issue: Screen unresponsive or frozen

There have been a few reports on the Apple forums about the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus becoming unresponsive and freezing on the lock screen or the home screen. Unusually, in a few of these cases, some of the hardware buttons and certain gestures still work, but everything else is frozen.

Potential solutions:

  1. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button and then slide to power off, assuming it works. Press the Sleep/Wake button to turn it back on again.
  2. The force restart method has changed for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. You must press and quickly release the Volume Up button, then press and quickly release the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple logo.
  3. If the problem returns after a restart, then backup anything precious and try wiping your iPhone, then restoring your backup. Check out how to factory reset an iPhone for full instructions.
  4. If you’ve tried a factory reset and then restored your backup and the problem returns, then it could be something in your backup that’s causing it. Try factory resetting your iPhone 8 and set it up as a new device, then test to see if the problem is gone.
  5. Still no joy? It’s time to contact Apple or head into an Apple Store and ask about a repair or replacement.

Problem: Overheating

If you find that your iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus is getting very warm, or even hot, to the touch, then there’s generally no reason to panic. We found that our iPhone 8 got very hot when playing AR games, but it can also get warm when you’re first setting it up, restoring a backup, or using GPS and a game simultaneously, like with Pokémon Go. If it gets too hot, the iPhone 8 is designed to disable certain features, like the flash, display a temperature warning on screen, and shut itself off.

Potential solutions:

  • The obvious thing to do is take a break from using it until it cools down.
  • If you can go to a cooler environment, then do so. Leaving your iPhone 8 on the dash in your car on a hot day, for example, could cause a problem.
  • If you have an iPhone 8 case or cover, then consider removing it to allow the heat to dissipate faster.
  • Try turning off any functions you aren’t using. For example, go to Settings > Privacy and toggle Location Services off.
  • If you’re in an area with poor signal, then it may be worth swiping up to open the Control Center and tapping the Cellular Data icon to turn it off. Just remember to turn it on again later.
  • Hold down the Sleep/Wake button and then slide to power off. Press the Sleep/Wake button to turn it back on again.
  • The most likely culprit for overheating is a specific app or game, so pay attention to what is running when it happens and consider uninstalling anything problematic.
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