25 iPhone 6S problems and how to fix them

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 iPhone 6S Plus, you are getting the most advanced smartphone chip in the world. Every chip we ship meets Apple’s highest standards for providing incredible performance and deliver great battery life, regardless of iPhone 6S capacity, color, or model.”

“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 iPhone 6S Plus, even taking into account variable component differences, vary within just 2-3 percent of each other.”

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.

Potential solutions:

  • 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.

Potential solutions:

  • 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 iPhone 6S seems to be turning itself off randomly, and doesn’t respond to a simple Sleep/Wake button press.

Potential solutions:

  • 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.

Problem: Overheating

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 iPhone 6S is getting really hot without an obvious cause, then you could have a problem. There are lots of reports online about trouble with the camera as a result of the overheating, but they all seem to stem from one Reddit user who reported getting the message “Flash is Disabled. The iPhone needs to cool down before you can use the flash.” The camera issue is probably not widespread, but general overheating reports are.

Potential solutions:

  • 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.

Potential solutions:

  • 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 iPhone 6S or the iPhone 6S Plus, and it’s not enabled for all apps.

Potential solutions:

  • 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.

Potential solutions:

  • 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 iPhone 6S camera. Since the Live Photos feature is turned on by default, and it records a short video either side of your shot, albeit at a low frame rate, there may be some impact on the quality of your stills.

Potential solution:

  • 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.

Workarounds:

  • 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.

Potential solutions:

  • 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 “8.8.8.8”. 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.

Workaround:

  • 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.

Potential solutions:

  • 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.
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