Although the iPhone has become an incredibly popular device in the cellular industry, the complex technology and software coordination required between Apple and the wireless carriers have seemed to leave many iPhone owners with technical issues.
While hardware problems (bad button clicks, not charging) often require professional solutions because of the iPhone's almost-impossible-to-open design, software issues have a variety of possible troubleshooting techniques, before you pull out big-gun tech support.
These steps are a great tool to solving issues including screen freezing, voicemail malfunctions, music playback problems, and synching.
You can take these six easy steps before you begin looking for serious help from Experts Exchange or other support providers.
Before you do anything, make sure your iPhone software is up-to-date with the latest release from iTunes -- UNLESS you have 'jailbroken' your phone, in which case updating the software can cause it to have even bigger problems.
After each of these steps, test your phone to see if your issue has been resolved.
The troubleshooting steps include the six 'R's.
Recharging your phone entirely will ensure that your trouble isn't originating from battery power deficiencies.
While any power source that indicates your iPhone is charging works to some extent, some ways of charging are more powerful than others.
Plug your iPhone into a high power source, like your computer or an AC outlet (the outlet on your wall). Most likely, the way that you already charge your iPhone will be fine, but you want to avoid charging your phone through devices like the Apple Keyboard, which does not give as strong of a charge.
If you are having problems charging your iPhone from a computer, plug it directly into a wall. The electrical current is stronger and is sometimes required if your phone battery is completely drained. Once your iPhone has a considerable charge from the wall, it should begin accepting charges from your computer.
Do not use (or attempt to use) FireWire to charge. iPhones do not charge with FireWire (unlike older iPods).
If your iPhone will not charge, leave it plugged in for the rest of the steps. If it is charged, and holds a charge, you do not need to leave it plugged in.
Restart your iPhone by turning it completely off, and then turning the phone on again.
To do this, hold down the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider shows up on the top of the screen. Slide the slider and turn off the phone.
Once the phone is off, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button to turn it on again.
* The Sleep/Wake button is the button on the top right edge of your iPhone.
Resetting your iPhone requires it to shut off completely, removing all power from the device, and restart again. Simply turning your phone off and on does not accomplish this.
You will not lose your data in a reset.
In order to reset, hold down your Wake/Sleep button AND the Home button for at least 10 seconds. IGNORE the power off slider and continue to hold both buttons until the phone goes black and the Apple Logo appears.
The phone will turn on by itself.
* The Home button is the round button at the bottom of your screen space. It's the button you use to return to your application navigation page.
4. Remove Content
Try removing content that may be corrupting the usability of the phone. Remove content by physically connecting the phone to iTunes using USB, and take items off using the Sync settings.
5. Reset Settings
Tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings
This will restore all settings back to the original form. This will NOT delete your content or data.
Back up the information from your phone onto iTunes.
There are two ways to do a Restore.
A basic Restore will wipe your phone and essentially return it to the way it was when it was first purchased. You can restore your phone in iTunes on the main iPhone page. Following the restore, you can put your content back on your phone again.
A Restore From Backup will put all of your content from your backup onto the phone again as part of the Restore. To do this, hold down the OPTION button while you click restore, and choose the backup you wish to use. (ALT for PC keyboards) The backup "iPhone" will be the most recent one.
Choosing: A restore from backup is obviously the most convenient, as it gives you your phone the way you left it. But, sometimes it is the data that is corrupting the iPhone (probably an app). If a restore from backup does not work, try restoring to factory settings, seeing if the problem is solved, and adding content back on in chunks.
These six steps will not solve every problem. They are very unlikely to solve hardware issues or service provider issues -- but they are something that you can conveniently do yourself. Should these strategies not work, I recommend taking your iPhone to your nearest Apple Authorized Repair Technician.