If your phone freezes up, here’s how you force it to restart (all brands)

Leonard Sengere Avatar
A guy holding a phone

I still have a Galaxy Note 3, a phone from 2013, which is now a decade ago if you can believe it. I love that phone but using it now is a pain. Especially when I try using it after fiddling with an iPhone 14. However, there is one thing about that old Note 3 that I wish we still had – the removable battery.

Modern phones have done away with the removable battery. It is rare to see a phone with one, even in the midrange and budget phone categories. The brilliant TECNO Camon 20 we reviewed recently does not have one.

I always had a spare battery when I used the Note 3. I could swap it out and have a fully charged battery in less than 10 seconds. Yeah, I know that super-fast charging is getting ridiculous, Xiaomi is working on 300W charging that tops a phone up 4 minutes and 55 seconds but it still can’t hold a candle to a 10-second battery swap.

The benefits of a removable battery went beyond the swap. Phones do occasionally freeze up and in the day of the removable battery we knew to just pull it out and stick it back in and we were back in business. That’s gone now.

I realised not all of us know how to deal with a frozen phone in this era of the non-removable battery. I believe we don’t know because phones are more stable and freeze up less often today than they did a decade ago.

Here’s how you force a restart on your phone. Note that ‘soft reboot’ ‘soft reset’ and ‘force reboot’ all refer to the same thing – the ‘force restart’ when we are talking about phones. It might not be accurate to use those terms technically bit that’s how they are used by normal people out there.

What is different is a hard reset. That one is a factory reset of your phone which will wipe your phone’s apps and data and restore it to its factory setting. It will be as if you never used it. We don’t want that.

Here’s how you force restart your phone:

Apple iPhone

If your iPhone isn’t responding try forcing it to restart this way:

  1. Press and quickly release the volume up button
  2. Press and quickly release the volume down button
  3. Press and hold the side button (Sleep/Wake button)
  4. When the Apple logo appears, release the side button

The above method works for most iPhones, everything from the iPhone 8 to the 14.

On the iPhone 7 you:

  1. Press and hold both the volume down button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time
  2. When the Apple logo appears, release both buttons.

On the iPhone 6s or iPhone SE (1st generation) you:

  1. Press and hold both the home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time
  2. When the Apple logo appears, release both buttons.

Google Pixel

There are two different methods depending on the model you have:

On Pixel 5a and earlier: Press your phone’s Power button for about 30 seconds or until you see the Google logo

On Pixel 6 and later: Press and hold the Power and Volume up buttons until you see the Google logo


It is pretty simple to force restarts on Huawei devices. However, Huawei gives two methods for how to force one:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for 10 to 15 seconds
  2. When you feel a vibration and see the Huawei logo, release the button

Method number two goes like this:

  1. Press and hold the Power and Volume buttons (volume up button or volume down button) simultaneously (expect to hold for 10 seconds or longer)
  2. When you feel a vibration and see the Huawei logo, release the button

Itel, TECNO and Infinix

You will remember that these 3 brands are sisters. They do share a lot on the software side and forcing a restart on them is really easy:

  1. Press and keep holding the Power button (it may be for 10 to 15 seconds or more)
  2. When you feel a vibration and see an itel, TECNO or Infinix logo, release the button

Samsung Galaxy

It’s pretty much been the same way for years now, even on the Note 3 I talked about you could do the following to force restart your device without resorting to pulling batteries out:

  • Press and hold both the Power button and the Volume down button at the same time for more than 7 seconds
  • When the Samsung logo appears, release both buttons


Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Press and keep holding the Power button (it may be for 10 to 15 seconds or more)
  2. You may feel a vibration but keep holding until you see the Mi logo, then release the button

Other phones

For those with phones from less popular brands, you could always try holding the power button for a long time. It works on Huawei, itel, TECNO, Infinix, some Pixels and Xiaomi phones. Chances are high that it will work on yours too.

If not that then try the Power + Volume button method. You could try Power + Volume down first and hold them for at least 30 seconds. If nothing happens, then try Power + Volume up.

You could always search online for how to force restart your phone. Do remember what we talked about above, steer clear of a hard reset, it is a different thing.

If you know how to force restart a brand we didn’t talk about, please do share in the comments section below.

Also read:

WiFi randomly disconnects on your laptop? – here’s how to resolve the problem

I Lost My Chats & Contacts Switching Phones, Avoid That Pain By Doing This



  1. Anonymous

    Totally unrelated but what is the use of an accelerometer in smartphones

    1. Leonard Sengere

      Auto-rotation, Game controls (like when you have to tilt your phone to avoid obstacles), Motion-sensing (used by apps like Health apps t count steps and the like)

    2. The Upside-down

      It’s how your phone knows
      – its orientation, ie if it’s being held in portrait or landscape
      – if it’s dropping (if you have a fancy retractable camera, it will know to tuck it in)
      – if it has been picked up or touched (so it can prime things like facial recognition or activate stuff like glance modes for the display
      – if it should be muted (in some phones, you can activate do not disturb just by putting it face down on a flat surface)

      It’s also used as a control input for stuff like gesture control eg chop or twist to turn on torch, 360 videos, vr and augmented reality overlays.

      These are just some basic examples, but basically, it allows the phone to know its rough position in space, and that data can then be applied to whatever a developer can code.

  2. King Todza

    Zvichimboitirweyi zvekufreezer izvozvo? Hatidi mafone anofreezer, period!!!

  3. Fanny

    It’s not like you are the one who makes your phone freeze but maybe u may install a harmful app without knowing and it makes your mobile phone freeze, then you apply those skills above depending which phone u are using.l don’t know if u catch some points.

  4. shawn yougesh

    we are trying but its not working on itel P37