My iPhone 5 (factory unlocked) of three years (almost) started shutting off by itself since yesterday. It is completely unusable. Most of the time now, as soon as I boot it up again and unlock it, it shuts off. Other times, it stays on for a while before I run any app (stock, third-party, settings) and it shuts off. On rare occasions if I keep it in airplane mode, it stays on. Until, it shuts down later. I suspected something related to network connectivity was triggering something that was causing the phone to turn itself off. I tested by removing the SIM card altogether, but I couldn't find any particular pattern.

I have tested with the battery at > 50% and > 80%. If it is a software issue, I am assuming an iTunes restore to 9.2 should do (it's in the process).

It's running iOS 9.2. No jail-breaks. No recent physical abuses inflicted on the phone to warrant a reaction like this.

Can anybody please share any ideas on what might be the issue here?

Update: If it is plugged directly to a power adapter, it does not shut off with or without network enabled.

Update: 9.2 restore didn't help. I also experimented by leaving the phone connected to the power adapter but with the adapter not connected to any power source. It didn't shut off all night. Since then, I have been using it without it being connected to anything. The battery has drained from 100% down to 70% so far, with network/wifi and everything enabled. It hasn't shut off. This is perplexing.

  • What happens if it's plugged in? Does it still shut down?
    – Tyson
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 14:57
  • @Tyson: Thanks. It does not. I've updated the question.
    – ayaz
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 15:20

2 Answers 2


Since your phone is 3 years old and operates correctly when plugged in, it's time for battery replacement. Doesn't matter that you think the battery is at 50 or 80 percent, the battery has aged and the indicator is no longer giving you accurate information a result.

  • Another thing I've noticed is that so long as the cable is plugged to a charger, whether the power source is turned on or not, the phone does not shut off.
    – ayaz
    Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 6:12

It could very well be the battery. I'd try a DFU restore if you have solid backups of your stuff


. This restore replaces software AND firmware which is vital to the phones comms between software and hardware. Note: DO NOT RESTORE A BACKUP FROM ICLOUD OR COMPUTER. If your problem is one of the two above, you will be right back to square one again. This is a sure fire method to determine a definite hardware vs software issue.

  • Thanks. But, both an update and restore through this method did not make any difference.
    – ayaz
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 4:42
  • 1
    Sorry to hear that. At least we know its hardware. My advice would be to take advantage of a phone upgrade if possible. The battery replacement on will cost at least 60% the value of the phone. Definitely not worth it Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 4:58

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