Got an iPhone bug that just won't go away? Try this

Sometimes, you have to go back to the beginning.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Over the past few months, I've been fielding a lot -- and I do mean a lot -- of questions and comments from Hardware 2.0 readers suffering from a variety of bugs.

Battery bugs.

Notifications bugs.

Random performance and usability issues.

What's interesting is that most people have concluded that the bug they are suffering is an Apple bug. A bug in iOS, the operating system that powers the iPhone.

That's not true. Most of the time, the bug is down to apps or settings -- or perhaps accumulated settings -- on the iPhone.

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And the problem is that when people create a backup, then wipe their iPhone, but then reload that backup back onto the iPhone the problem manages to jump back onto the hardware.

This is something that I used to see going back over a decade with the PC. People were making backups, wiping the system, then reloading that backup back onto the hardware, and then being surprised that the problem was back.

Or they'd reload the backup onto different hardware, and be really surprised that the problem had followed them.

Remember, the iPhone had been around for years, and some people have been jumping from one iPhone to a new iPhone regularly, and bringing all their data and apps with them.

The best way to diagnose an iPhone problem is as follows:

  • Make a backup. Yes, despite the fact that the backup might be suspect, you need this.
  • Wipe the iPhone by restoring it to factory settings.
  • Set the iPhone up as a new iPhone, and then test for the problem. You might need to download and install some apps, and it might take some time, but this is where you get to find out if the issue is a hardware issue, an iOS issue, or some app or setting.
  • If the problem is still there -- for example, the iPhone is burning through battery life fast -- then the problem is down to the hardware or iOS.
  • If the problem disappears, then you have a dilemma facing you. Is it time to start everything from scratch, or not?

Like I said, a dilemma.

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Cloud storage has made it easier to start from scratch because you can keep things like your photos and videos, but for some, that whole starting from scratch thing represents a lot of work.

But it also fixes a lot of problems.

And if it doesn't, you have that backup to go back to.

Does it work? Not always, but some of the time, this is the fix you've been looking for.

If you're suffering from a persistent bug, one of those that's been around for a while that iOS updates don't seem to fix, then this is a good place to go. I've seen this work well for crashes and battery bugs that have been plaguing the owner for some time.

It's not quick and easy, but it's worth a try.

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