iPhone 12 Pro Max

As more buttons disappear, we’re left to figure out how to do routine tasks like shut off our phone. We show you how to shut down the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12.


James Martin/CNET

Apple doesn’t do it often, but with major design changes to the iPhone, the role each button plays is altered. For example, holding in the side button on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 doesn’t prompt you to turn off your iPhone. Instead, it triggers Siri, which awaits your question or command a split-second later. I’ve received countless emails and DMs on Twitter asking for instructions detailing how to turn off the latest crop of iPhones. 

The key is to remember that you have to use a combination of buttons to turn off your phone now. And if you can’t remember the order of which buttons to press and when, there’s a software button buried in the settings app that turns off your phone. 

Below I’ll walk you through the mysterious button combination to turn your iPhone off, another button combo that will restart a problematic iPhone and, finally, where you can find the software button to turn it off. 


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Power off your iPhone 11 or iPhone 12

Alright, so here’s what you need to do to get the power menu to show up. On your iPhone 11 or iPhone 12, you’ll need to press and hold the volume down button and the side button at the same time. It won’t take long — just a second or two. You’ll feel a haptic vibration and then see the power slider on the top of your screen, as well as a Medical ID and an Emergency SOS slider near the bottom. 

Slide the power switch from left to right and your phone will power off. To turn it back on, press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo on the screen. 

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See that button? It doesn’t do what you’d think it does. 


Angela Lang/CNET

Force restart a struggling iPhone 11 or iPhone 12

If your phone is running slow or is frozen and you can’t get the power menu to show up, you can initiate a hard restart by using a button sequence Apple introduced with the iPhone X.

Start by pressing and releasing the volume up button, then press and release the volume down button. Finally, press and hold the side button. A new power menu will show up, forgoing all of the medical and emergency info. But instead of sliding the switch, keep holding the side button until you see the Apple logo appear on your phone. 

Don’t worry, a hard restart to your phone doesn’t erase any data or information. But it does, more often than not, fix whatever issue you’re experiencing. 

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You don’t have to memorize the button combo. You can turn off your phone in the Settings app.


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Power down your phone using the Settings app

If you just can’t commit the button combination to memory, maybe this will be easier. Open the Settings app and go to General and scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen. There, you’ll find a button labeled Shut Down. Tap it and slide the power off toggle to turn your phone off.

That wasn’t too bad, was it? To be honest, I rarely turn my phone off. Instead, I mostly use a hard restart to power my phone off the back on automatically. Since it’s my number one troubleshooting method and no data is lost, it can’t hurt.

If you’re looking for more iPhone tips and tricks, we have plenty. Check out the top features we’ve found in iOS 14.6, as well as some hidden features you just can’t pass up. If you’re looking for a way to make your iPhone more personal, here’s how to create your own app icons, and of course we have a look at some of the new features coming to iOS 15 this fall.


https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-turn-off-iphone-12-heres-the-mysterious-button-combination/