10 annoying iPhone SE problems and how to fix them

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Problems with vibrate, iTunes sync, contact images, and more

Annoyance: iPhone SE won’t stop vibrating

A small number of iPhone SE owners have reported that their phone vibrates constantly, regardless of setting preferences. Turning off Vibration (Settings > General > Accessibility > Vibration) and performing a forced restart has not fixed the issue.

Potential solutions:

  • An app running in the background could be causing the issue. Bring up the app switcher — double-click the Home button — and swipe up to close any apps that are still running.
  • If you’re not using iOS 10.2.1, or any recent version of iOS 10, try updating your software to see if it fixes the problem.
  • You can try restoring your phone from a backup made before the vibration issue started. If the problem doesn’t occur after you restore the backup, an app or update could’ve been behind the issue.
  • Perform a factory reset and restore your phone, or set it up like a new device.
  • Reach out to Apple Support. You phone may need repairs, or a replacement headset.

Problem: iTunes won’t sync photos with iPhone SE

A few iPhone SE owners have recently run into an issue in which iTunes fails to sync photos with their iPhone. The desktop app informs users that it “cannot sync photos to the ‘iPhone SE’ because your Photos Library is not yet available. Please try again later.”

Temporary solutions:

  • Uninstalling and reinstalling iTunes has been said to work for a while. Sadly, the problem can come right back. Be sure to make a backup of your library before uninstalling the program.


  • It’s not ideal, but you can always manually add photos to your phone, just as you would music or videos.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart both your phone and your computer, then try syncing again.
  • Make sure you’re using the latest versions of iOS and iTunes.
  • This Apple Support page has a list of steps that may help.
  • While your iPhone is connected to iTunes, go to Photos > General and ensure your Photo Library is set to be your system photo library. If it isn’t, click Use as system photo library. This Apple Support page may be of some use, too, if you’re a Mac user.

Glitch: Missing contact images

Another recently reported problem is that some iPhone SE owners no longer have contact photos. These usually appear at the top of the page when you’re looking at a conversation with a contact. For many, the loss of images occurred after updating to iOS 10.2.1.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart your phone.
  • Make sure none of the images used for your contacts have been deleted by accident.
  • Try removing the contact image and re-adding it.
  • Go to Settings > Messages and toggle on Show Contact Photos.
  • If you’re using Display Zoom, the feature will automatically remove any contact images. Switch back to standard view by going to Settings > Display & Brightness. Then, scroll down to Display Zoom > View > Standard.
  • You can always try performing a factory reset, then restoring your phone from a backup.

Issue: Wi-Fi turns off when phone is locked

This is different from the typical Wi-Fi issue most people run into, in which their phone suffers from poor or nonexistent connectivity. Instead, a few people have experienced a problem that causes Wi-Fi to turn off when the SE is locked or put to sleep.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart your phone and router.
  • Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Afterward, re-connect to your Wi-Fi network.
  • One user on the iMore forums noticed they were having a similar problem when they got a new router that was using the same network password and login code to connect to their new modem. They suggested that a similar scenario could be confusing the SE. To fix the issue, they changed their aforementioned passwords and codes.
  • Try performing a factory reset.

Annoyance: Camera doesn’t preserve camera app settings

The iPhone’s camera app is capable of saving the last camera mode you used, but some users have noticed that this continues to happen, even if you’ve set the app to reset to the default camera mode (Photo) when you launch the app.

Official solution:

  • The camera app will revert to the default camera mode after about a minute. If you continue to adjust the app’s Preserve Settings during that time (Settings > Photos & Camera > Preserve Settings), it will not automatically reset.

This article was originally published on December 25, 2016, and updated on March 16 by Kyree Leary to include problems related to iTunes, the camera app, contact images, and Wi-Fi.


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