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The most common iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max problems, and how to fix them

Apple's iOS 12.0.1 update fixes the iPhone XS' charging problems

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are the best Apple phones to date. They boast nice and big OLED displays, Apple’s A12 Bionic processor, plenty of storage, great cameras, and lots more. They’re not, however, perfect.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of people are experiencing no problems with their shiny, new phones, some have reported a few things that haven’t been working the way they should. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Here are the most common iPhone XS and XS Max problems and how to fix them.

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Problem: iPhone XS isn’t charging

A number of people have reported that when they plug their phone in with a Lightning cable, it doesn’t seem to charge. The issue seems to manifest itself in different ways. With some phones, the charging process fails to initiate when the phone was in sleep mode, while others started charging when the owner tapped on the screen.

Potential solution:

  • Apple has released iOS 12.0.1 for the iPhone and iPad, which it says fixes the issue completely. In other words, if your iPhone has issues with charging when plugged in, head to SettingsGeneral Software Update, and make sure you’re on the latest version of iOS. If not, after updating, the issue should be fixed.

Issue: Data and Wi-Fi speeds are slow

Some people have found that their data and Wi-Fi speeds are much slower than expected on the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, as discussed in this Apple forum post. Luckily, there’s a relatively easy fix.

Potential solution:

  • Try going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. You will have to re-enter your Wi-Fi passwords, but it’s worth it if you can get those top speeds back.
  • Apple’s iOS 12.0.1 fixes some issues with Wi-Fi, so it’s worth heading to SettingsGeneral Software Update and making sure you’re on the latest version of iOS.

Glitch: Worse reception than with previous phone

Some folks have reported that they’re getting worse reception on their new iPhone XS or XS Max than they did with a previous device. In particular, it seems as though people on Verizon are experiencing the issue. One theory suggests that Apple’s shift from Qualcomm to Intel modems is to blame. Others say it may have something to do with the antenna design of the devices.

Potential solution:

  • Right now, there’s no fix to this issue, though it’s possible Apple will release an update that will help. For now, you’re going to have to just deal with the reception issues.

Annoyance: Camera smoothing is too aggressive

This is less of a serious problem, but some people, like the ones in this Reddit thread, don’t love it. The iPhone XS is much more aggressive than previous iPhones at smoothing the skin of subjects in selfies. Unfortunately, this appears to come down to how the new camera works and the fact that Apple wants it to be more aggressive — so we don’t expect to see any real “fix” any time soon, but a software update might allow you to tone it down.


  • If you turn off Smart HDR, then you can reduce the effect in the main camera — it doesn’t impact the front-facing camera.
  • You could always try out one of the best camera apps for iPhone to see if you can tweak the results.

To avoid any problems with cracked screens or scuffed frames, take a look at the best iPhone XS cases or the best iPhone XS Max cases and get some protection.

Updated October 8, 2018: Added information on Apple’s fix of charging issues via the latest update.

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