The most common iPhone X problems, and how to fix them

Find out how to fix dropped calls, Face ID fails, and more on the iPhone X

iphone x notch
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The iPhone X is completely different from any of its predecessors. It was the first iPhone to boast a stunning OLED screen, as well as the first to do away the iconic home button.

But like any smartphone, there are always a few issues that crop up. We’ve compiled a list of iPhone X problems, after scouring through support threads and forums, and we also have fixes and workarounds to make sure your new iPhone keeps working perfectly.

Issue: Dropped calls

We’ve seen a few people complain about the iPhone X dropping calls in the Apple support forum. This is one of those issues that has a lot of potential causes, including your network and location. Nevertheless, there are some things you can try to reduce or eradicate dropped calls.

Workarounds:

  • Some people seem to have encountered call issues with VoLTE, so you can always try turning it off. Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Enable 4G, and switch to Data only to see if it makes any difference.

Possible fixes:

  • It’s definitely worth trying a simple restart to reset your iPhone X by turning it off and on again or force restarting it.
  • There might be an issue with your network settings. Try going to Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset Network Settings, then test again.
  • Take a look in Settings > General > About and wait for a few seconds to see if you get the option to update via a popup entitled Carrier Settings Update. If you do, then tap Update.
  • If you’re still having issues, then contact your carrier and ask them for advice.

Glitch: Search in Settings not working

There have been a couple of threads in the Apple support forum about people having trouble with searching Settings. The Search option at the top of Settings is just blank and doesn’t return any results. Luckily, it’s easy to fix:

Possible fixes:

  • Go to Settings > General > Language and change your language to something different, for example, if your language is currently set to English (US), then switch to English (UK). Now force close the Settings app and then open it up again and switch back to your original language.
  • If that didn’t help then go to Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset All Settings. Just bear in mind that you’ll have to re-enter some details after this, such as Wi-Fi network logins.

Problems: Won’t charge, charging slowly, or wireless charging not working

Quite a few people have been having trouble with iPhone X charging. Threads at the Apple support forum describe the iPhone X refusing to charge at all, slow charging, or wireless charging not working properly.

Possible fixes:

  • You want to make sure that the fault doesn’t lie with your charging cable, charger, or charging pad, so start by testing it with another device, or test your iPhone X with a different charger.
  • If you have a case on your iPhone X, remove it and test again to ensure that the case isn’t interfering with charging in some way.
  • Try resetting your iPhone X by turning it off and on again or force restarting it. This can at least temporarily resolve charging issues.
  • If the problem persists, then contact Apple support. You may need a new charging port or some other hardware fix.

Issue: GPS not working properly

It seems as though people have been complaining about the GPS in the iPhone X for quite a while. There are multiple threads at the Apple support forums about GPS struggling to get an accurate fix, drifting around, or just not working.

Possible fixes:

  • Start in Settings > Privacy > Location Services and make sure that it’s toggled on and that any apps, like Google Maps, that require access to location data have it.
  • Open up the App Store and check in the Update section to make sure that any apps you’ve been having issues with are fully up to date.
  • Check in Settings > General > Software Update and make sure you have the latest iOS update.
  • Try toggling Airplane mode on and off again. You can do it via the airplane icon in Control Center or by going to Settings > Airplane Mode.
  • Go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Reset Location and Privacy.
  • If nothing so far has worked, then you could try a factory reset. Just make sure that you back up first.
  • It’s time to contact Apple support or head into an Apple Store; there’s a slim chance that you have a hardware problem.

Problem: Touchscreen not responding or ghost touches

A few iPhone X owners have been suffering from a touchscreen glitch that seems to result in the screen reacting without being touched and sometimes in the screen not responding to touch properly. There are several threads at the Apple support forum about these issues, and Apple has acknowledged that some iPhone X displays “may experience touch issues due to a component that might fail on the display module.”

Solution:

  • Contact Apple support or head into an Apple Store and you should be able to get this issue fixed for free. If you’ve already paid to get it fixed, you might even be able to claim a refund.

Glitch: Face ID not working properly

People have quickly gotten used to unlocking their iPhones with their faces, but it seems that Face ID has not been performing perfectly for everyone. Posts in the iMore forum and the MacRumors forum describe an increasingly erratic Face ID which inexplicably fails some of the time. This issue may crop up after a software update.

Workarounds:

  • Make sure your environment is well-lit and don’t wear shades.
  • Consider going into Settings > Face ID & Passcode and toggle Require Attention for Face ID off. But be aware that this makes it less secure.

Potential fixes:

  • Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and tap Reset Face ID. Work through the steps to set it up again.
  • Look in Settings > General > Software Update and make sure you have the latest update.
  • If nothing has worked, then take your iPhone X into an Apple Store or to an authorized service provider and ask for a repair or replacement. Apparently, Apple has some testing procedures in place for this problem and it might require a rear camera repair.

Issue: Screen freezing

We’ve seen a few reports at the Apple forums and the MacRumors forum about the iPhone X screen refusing to turn back on, refusing to turn off, or freezing up intermittently. There are a few possible causes of this.

Potential fixes:

  • The first thing to try for a problem like this is a force restart. 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. Unfortunately, this might only be a temporary fix.
  • For a more permanent fix, it might be worth trying a factory reset, just make sure you back up first.
  • If there’s any visible damage, or you suspect physical damage from a drop or bump could be the cause, then contact Apple and take your iPhone into an Apple Store or authorized repair shop for a repair.

Problem: Screen burn-in

Shortly after the release of the iPhone X, Apple put out a statement about the OLED display used in the phone. The company noted that over time, “image persistence” or “burn-in” could appear. Burn-in occurs when a static image is left on the screen for a long time and gets burned into the display permanently. For example, if you leave your iPhone X screen on for quite a while sitting on the home screen, the icon of an app may get burned into the screen, so much so that you can see its faint outline when watching a video.

Apple is being proactive here and warning users that burn-in could occur on the iPhone X in the future, as OLED screens are often prone to the problem, but it’s not likely to happen to most people.

Workarounds:

  • Apple recommends you reduce the brightness on your phone. To reduce the brightness on your iPhone X, pull down on the right side of your screen to open the Control Center and adjust the brightness slider.
  • Turn on Auto-Lock. Since static images are much more likely to cause burn-in, you’ll want to make sure that your screen will turn off when you’re not using the phone. To turn on Screen-Lock, go to Settings > Displays & Brightness > Auto-Lock.  Set your display to turn off after 30 or 60 seconds of inactivity.

Problem: iPhone X not working in cold temperatures

A number of users on Reddit have reported that the iPhone X stops working when they are in cold temperatures. The problem typically only lasts a few seconds, though some users have experienced a longer freeze-up. Luckily, Apple is aware of the problem and is working on a software update that should address the issue.

Workaround:

  • Users report that locking and unlocking the screen will fix the problem.

Issue: Green line appearing on screen

Apple Insider reports a small number of iPhone X users see a persistent green line on the left or right side of the screen. People who have experienced the issue say the line does not appear when you first turn on the phone, but after using it. Samsung, the manufacturer of the iPhone X display, had a similar problem with the Samsung Galaxy S7, leading people to believe this may be a hardware problem.

Solution:

  •  Apple is aware of the issue and is currently replacing affected units. The company is also gathering data from the damaged devices to determine the source of the problem. If you have an affected unit, take the phone to an Apple Store or contact them by phone at 1-800–694–7466, or online here.

Problem: Crackling speakers at high volume

Posts in the Apple forums, on Reddit, and in the MacRumors forum describe a crackling noise when iPhone X speakers are at a high volume. The problem seems to be limited to a small number of phones and continues after the unit is replaced. A similar problem on the iPhone 8 was attributed to a software issue and a patch was released to address the problem. It’s unclear whether the iPhone X problem is a software or hardware issue at this point, but Apple is currently looking into it.

Workarounds:

  • Do not use speakers at a high volume.
  • Use the EarPods included in your iPhone kit or other external earbuds.
  • Take a look in Settings > General > Software Update as Apple has made changes that are supposed to cater for this issue, though some owners suggest that all Apple has done is reduce the maximum volume.
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