iPhone 4S won't turn off. Reboots when I try

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Funked, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Funked, Jan 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012

    Funked macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2010
    Hey guys. So basically, I bought an iPhone 4S around a month ago and it came with iOS 5. I updated to 5.0.1 once I heard the jailbreak would support it. I thought iOS 5.0.1 would improve battery life, but it actually made it worse! I haven't jailbroken it yet by the way, I'm waiting for redsn0w to support it.

    Onto the problem. I don't turn my iPhone off much, I usually just charge it before it dies. But recently I was in a situation where I had to turn it off. After holding the power button and sliding to turn off, I noticed it just rebooted instead. No matter how many times I try, it just keeps rebooting and turning back on. It simply won't stay off! When it runs out of battery, it constantly shows the low battery screen (it's only meant to show that when the iPhone battery is dead, and you press the power button). Has anyone else heard of this problem? Do you think its hardware related or software? I'm not sure if I had this problem on iOS 5, because as I say, I rarely turn it off anyway. Thanks for reading!

    Edit: I jailbroke it with Absinthe yesterday, but still having this same reboot problem. I really don't want to do a clean restore, I want to keep my text message etc!
  2. james92se macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Same has been happening to me for about two weeks now. I haven't updated or changed anything either.
  3. 21Grams macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2010
    Same here, but with iPhone 4, jailbroken 5.0.1.
    There's nothing special I've changed since the last time I turned my phone off.
    I just read a thread which says the problem is caused by submerging the phone with water, referring that dock sensor turned to red.
    Here's the link:

    I was cleaning my iPhone a couple of days ago; and somehow accidentally i wet the dock. And I think this is it.
    There's no Apple Store near here and I don't know what to do; but this was what I know of the problem.
  4. rustyk123 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2009
    I have the same problem mine started ofter IOS 5.0.1 update. Not sure if you know that there are 2 versions of 5.0.1, there is build 9A405 and 9A406. Mine was running 9A405 just fine only a few problems that were dealable, decided to update to attempt to solve the issue and I got a whole new set of problems. Go to Settings>General>About and look at the version you are running.

    I think it is a issue with the update. I believe it thinks it is plugged in, this would change a power scheme to one that uses more power and will make it turn back on if you turn it off. I am making an appointment with the genius bar to deal with almost every apple product I own, this is bad that everything is failing at the same time, and they don't seem to care about me.

    Let me know what version you are running and if it is 9A406, it has to be the update.
  5. Funked thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2010
    I think we have different problems, my iPhone has never been submerged in water so I must have some sort of bug!

    I'm running 9A405, but the reboot issue is the only problem I have. It sounds like it could be a hardware issue, if you say you have the problem on 9A406. I should book myself in for a genius appointment too, make sure to post back here when they look at yours - let me know if/how they fix it!

    Ps. I've tried to turn it off via MobileTerminal (using the 'halt' command), but it still just reboots. Also, a hard reboot doesn't fix it either.
  6. dhbmac macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2012
    iPhone rS won't turn off

    I've started having this problem. I began noticing my battery was losing charge a lot faster than a few months ago (pre-iOS 5.0.1 update I expect). When left on over night it would be down to 20% by morning, even when left with a full charge. So I thought I'd try turning it off at night. Low and behold the next morning, it was still on. I've just tried turning off with power button, re-booting (home+power button) with no luck, still goes off then boots right back up. Has anyone taken this to the Geniuses yet?
  7. rustyk123 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2009
    I have my appointment tonight, I will keep everyone update on how this goes over.

    I am not happy at all about this purchase. I preordered day one and received it the release day. Months later, the iPhone 3Gs it was replacing the battery expanded and ruined the phone, Apple's engineering department say that is normal and said it is time to by a new phone. After this, it has been a nightmare for me with my new 4s.

    Now I will more likely get a refurbished phone that normally costs $200 from apple out of contract. I am getting ready to fight that one.
  8. normanbates macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2011
    If the devices have never been submerged here's what I would do;

    Firstly do an iTunes backup of the devices, if you have Microsoft Outlook get it to sync your contacts so you can retrieve them no matter what

    Once you have backed up do a clean install of iOS and when it has done that set it up as a new iPhone. Have a play about with it and try turning it off and on a couple of times to see how it behaves.

    Does that cure the problem? No - almost certain to be hardware, yes - restore it from your latest backup and have another play with it to see how behaves now. Does the problem come back? No - probably something went wrong the very first time it installed and fired up iOS, yes - there is a bug in your backup that is causing it and needs to be deleted off the device.

    Now if you have had to delete the backup off your device completely just do another clean install and use iTunes to resync your contacts to the phone
  9. RyanJab macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2012
    I have had this issue on my 4s a few times. Fairly easy solution:
    Connect your phone to the power cord (via computer or wall charger). Power down, and then turn it back on. Disconnect and you should be good to go.

    At first, I found it odd that this actually worked (since my 3G wouldn't entirely turn off when charging). :confused: But hey, it works. So I just keep it moving! :D
  10. rustyk123 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2009
    Ok here is my experience with an exchange for this problem. Once they came up to help me they asked me what was going on with my phone I told them the battery was draining very fast and I was no longer able to turn it off. His Response was "I am not even going to diagnose it, I am just going to exchange it." Then I asked about if it was a refurbished phone or new phone, his response was "We don't exchange for refurbished phones here."

    So I got a brand new iPhone 4s was in and out (starting from appointment time) in 10 minutes. Best service I have ever gotten from apple, but all my other experiences are from defects in manufacturing and were out of warranty, free repairs.

    Do Not use the work around or attempt the fix, it is a hardware problem, there is a problem with the dock connector, it thinks it is plugged in, so it turns itself back on to charge/backup the phone. Take it in for an exchange, while it is still a problem and under warranty.
  11. sokiyq2 macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2012
    iPhone 4s wont stay powered down

    I too have the same problem with my 4s on 5.0.1 so I followed RyanJab's advice and it works, as long as I keep it plugged in even while its off. But as soon as I unplug it... IT POWERS BACK UP!! :( I wish the closest apple store wasnt 3 hrs away!
  12. sauria, Mar 21, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    sauria macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2001
    Texas, USA
    It's the Apple Dock

    The Apple iPhone 4 dock is flimsy. I find that it is the dock that is the problem; I've tried two different docks and both have the problem (new). When the phone is plugged directly into the power cord there is no issue.

    Update: Apple Store said that this is a hardware problem. Replaced the phone. It seem that the Apple Dock is cheap and damages the iPhone 4S!
  13. sauria macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2001
    Texas, USA
    Apple Dock, phone turns back on

    Anyone know of a high quality 3rd party dock?
  14. N0k14 D14B10 macrumors newbie

    N0k14 D14B10

    Apr 26, 2012
    Firm Ware

    i don't know if maby you messed up da firmware then it could be a problem
  15. icefr05t, Jun 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012

    icefr05t macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2012
    Discovered this "unable to turn off" issue last thursday when I was doing a once in a blue moon shut down. Realised my iPhone 64GB running iOS 5.1.1 wouldn't stay switched off.

    Issue: Unable to keep iPhone switched off
    Steps to reproduce:
    1. Hold the sleep/wake button
    2. Slide to turn off
    3. Loading 'circle' to turn off
    4. Screen blacks out from shut down as per normal
    5. Wait 2-3s
    6. iPhone screen proceeds to power ON without any user input

    The only time I was able to keep it switched off was when it's plugged into a power source.

    Tried the following fixes:
    Tried hard resetting (holding both home and sleep/wake button for 10s)
    Tried cleaning the dock with a brush to remove the dust from the dock connector area
    Tried leaving the dock connector plugged in with the power supply OFF
    Tried restoring the software

    None of the above actions fixed the issue.

    Solution: Brought it to my local Apple store. Replicated the issue for the technician once. Check for water damage - None. He replaced it with another iPhone. No issues thus far.

    Note: Not being able to switch off sounds like the most minor issue ever but I think it's rather annoying. Can't imagine trying to turn it off before takeoff on an airplane and explaining to the cabin crew that my iPhone can't be switched off..
  16. sauria macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2001
    Texas, USA
    What iOS version is the new one running? Is it older than 5.1?

  17. jjbrown84 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012
    My wife dropped her white 16GB 4s dock-first into a quarter full cup of tea for just around 1 second and this displayed the same behaviour.

    A weird side effect was that if the battery ever run flat, it would instantly turn on if placed on charge, even before the 4-5% it usually takes.

    After about 2 months of searching I did the full reset to no avail, but finally I kept holding for around 30 seconds. The apple logo came on and off twice in this time before eventually nothing. Phone had fully charged over night too.

    Powered back on - phone now switches off normally. Battery seems a bit better too, but that might be my imagination.

    The phone rarely gets switched off anyway, but we find it strangely more comforting knowing it now can be switched off!

    *Fully charge phone
    *Press and hold home button and power button
    *Keep holding some more, until it powers off - mine came on 2 or 3 times before it finally gave up the fight!
    *phone should now power on and off as normal
  18. sauria macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2001
    Texas, USA

    Thanks, the behavior remains with two different docks.

  19. jjbrown84 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2012
    Hmmm, maybe the amount of time passed allowed it to clear any residue that was causing a short, and when I did my reset it was either a complete coincidence or complementary to fixing it.

    I suppose the only comfort I can offer, is that in my case, this fault was fully reversible without any physical brushing of the dock or opening up the phone. Though 2 months passed and that's a lot of metal on metal scrapes I suppose.

    Perhaps different faults have the same symptoms too.

    Don't know if its mentioned in this thread, but you could try using a cue tip/cotton bud with isopropanol to clean the dock. Just ensure u run ur phone flat first so it is off
  20. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    Same problem here. It will shut off when in the dock, but not when unplugged and as soon as I unplug it...

    The store is an hour and a half a way. Just long enough to be a major inconvenience.
  21. tingon macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2008

    The same problem as above, 4s won't turn off.
    I cleaned the power dock with toothbrush and isopropilic alchool.
    I make it with the phone on..
    Shut down ..and work first try.
    The other solutions reboot with power and home button 3 times without release don't work for me.

    I hope helps someone

  22. twil21be, Mar 30, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013

    twil21be macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2013
    problem solved

    I have dealt with the same problem described here. Could not turn off my iphone 4S, it kept restarting. I had no sound controls for youtube, music, etc. No sound for new mail, new messages. After a while, randomly, the sound came back, but the battery was depleting quickly, even had 50 percent down after one night.

    My problems started after my iphone 4s had fallen on a hard surface.

    So I read a bunch of forums and everyone that had this problem took their's iPhones to geniuses and Apple stores and received a new iPhone. But that was not applying to me because i have no warranty anymore to my 4S.

    So... i kept reading and found a topic that gave me an ideea: change the charging connector. I attached the picture of it. It's not that expensive. I even bought one charging connector, followed a tutorial on youtube and change it my self!
  23. tekboi macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2006
    well a new phone is right around the corner. So if you can hold out, wait for the 5s
  24. Ásgeirr, Apr 9, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013

    Ásgeirr macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2013
    I had the exact same problems with my iPhone 4S after having dropped it in the snow.

    At first my microphone didn't work, but a restart of the phone solved that problem.
    However, the battery depleted very quickly so I first thought the battery was the problem and actually bought a new one. It was first when I was going to replace the battery that I noticed that I couldn't turn of my iPhone - it just turned back on after a couple of seconds.

    I have just now replaced the charging dock port (and battery) using this Youtube guide:

    Took me about 30 min or so.

    I can now turn off my iPhone as usual, and it stays off until I switch it back on.
    I still don't know if my battery time has improved since I haven't fully charged it yet. I'll know this by tomorrow.

    Thank you, twil21be, for discovering the solution to this problem!

    Edit: My old charging dock port water indicator was pink, indicating that it had become wet. If that was the actual cause to the problem I'm not sure, but most likely so.

    Update: Battery dropped only 3-4% during the night. Problem officially solved!
  25. daniel27r macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2014
    Thank you so much, twil21be. A $4 charger port on eBay saved me hundreds of dollars and lots of data along with it. I appreciate it!


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