iPhone apps won’t open or close? How to fix

Despite being one of the best mobile software systems in the world, iOS usually has its fair share of issues. For instance, there are cases where the iPhone won’t turn off or open apps. This limits your use of the device that leads to many inconveniences and frustrations.

In this article, we’ll look at this issue in detail and list a few troubleshooting solutions to help you out. First, the three main reasons why your apps keep crashing are:

  • Outdated firmware
  • Incompatibility
  • Damage to the applications

Now, let’s get into the troubleshooting solutions that will get your iPhone apps working normally.

What to do if apps are not opening on iPhone

Follow these troubleshooting tips:

1. Restart your iPhone

Force restarting your iPhone helps to solve a lot of software glitches. Here is how to go about it:

For iPhone 8 and later versions:

  • Quickly press the volume up button and release it
  • Quickly press the volume down button and release it
  • Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo on your screen
  • Check to see if the apps are working

For iPhone 7 and 7 plus:

  • Press and hold the side button and the volume down button at the same time until you see the Apple logo
  • Check the apps to see if they work

For iPhone 6s Plus and earlier models:

  • Press and hold the side button and the home button simultaneously until you see the Apple logo
  • Go to the home screen and try to open the app(s)

2. Force close the app(s)

Force quitting the app could also fix the app crashing problem as it forces the app to start again from the beginning. To do so, follow the guide below for different iPhone models.

For iPhone 11 or later:

  • Swipe the screen from the bottom and pause when you get to the middle
  • Swipe right or left to find the app that you want to force close
  • Then swipe the app up to close

For iPhone 8 and earlier:

  • Press the Home button twice.
  • You’ll see the apps that were opened recently.
  • Look for the app(s) that you want to force close and swipe them up.
  • Go back and try to open the app

iPhone apps not opening

3. Update the latest iOS

Since many of the app problems result from the iOS system, you should try and get the latest version with new bug fixes.

Here are the steps to follow to check the updates.

  • Go to “Settings”
  • Open “General”
  • Scroll and tap on “Check for updates”
  • If there is an update it will be shown on the screen
  • Tap on “Download and Install”
  • The update will start downloading immediately
  • Wait for it to finish then restart and check if the apps are okay

If the problem started just after an update, here’s a guide to fix it.

4. Free up memory space

Lack of memory could be another reason your iPhone apps open and close immediately. Free up some space so that the apps can even create cache and temp files. Follow the steps below.

  • Open “Settings”
  • Go to “General/Usage”
  • Look for “Manage Storage”
  • You’ll see a breakdown of the used and available space, plus all the apps and their storage use
  • Delete all the apps that you don’t use. Especially those that use extra space

5. Check the app store

Using an old version of an application could be the reason it keeps crashing. So, go to the App Store, look for a new update of the app, and download it.

  • Open the “App Store”
  • Click on “Version History” to see the app’s last update
  • If there is a new update download and install it immediately

Unfortunately, if there are no updates and the app’s version isn’t compatible with the iOS version, there is nothing you can do apart from contacting the app developer.

6. Delete and reinstall the app

When apps won’t open on your iPhone, delete and reinstall them to solve the problem. This is as simple as:

  • Go to “Home Screen”
  • Find the app you want to delete
  • Press and hold it for some seconds
  • The App icons will start to wobble
  • Press the “X” mark on top of the icon to delete the app
  • Next, head to “‘App Store”
  • Tap on the “Search” button
  • Type in the app you want to install

7. Reset network settings

If your apps won’t open because the network settings have been messed with then you need to reset to be sure. Follow the guide below:

  • Open “Settings” on your iPhone
  • Tap on “General”
  • Select “Reset”
  • Tap on “Reset Network Settings”
  • Enter your passcode
  • Tap on “Reset Network Settings” again to confirm
  • Restart your device then check if the app(s) work

8. Reset all settings

Lastly, resetting all your settings could get your apps to work normally. It’s as simple as:

  • Open “Settings”
  • Go to “General” then “Transfer/Reset iPhone”
  • Tap on “Reset”
  • Next, tap on “Reset all Settings”
  • Enter your iPhone’s passcode to confirm
  • Tap on “Reset all Settings” again
  • Give the iPhone time to reset and reboot
  • Go back and try to open the apps to see if the issue has been solved


Hopefully, one of these troubleshooting solutions helps to fix your apps crashing problem. But, if none of them was successful then you should consider talking to Apple support or the app developer. Better still, if you had bought the app but don’t want it anymore, request a refund.