How to turn off iPhone 12? Here’s the mysterious button combination

As extra buttons disappear, we’re left to determine how to do routine duties like shut off our cellphone. We present you ways to shut down the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12.

James Martin/CNET

Apple does not do it usually, however with main design modifications to the iPhone, the position every button performs is altered. For instance, holding in the facet button on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 does not immediate you to turn off your iPhone. Instead, it triggers Siri, which awaits your query or command a split-second later. I’ve obtained numerous emails and DMs on Twitter asking for directions detailing how to turn off the newest crop of iPhones. 

The secret is to keep in mind that you’ve to use a combination of buttons to turn off your cellphone now. And if you cannot keep in mind the order of which buttons to press and when, there is a software program button buried in the settings app that turns off your cellphone. 

Below I’ll stroll you thru the mysterious button combination to turn your iPhone off, one other button combo that may restart a problematic iPhone and, lastly, the place yow will discover the software program 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. 


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. 


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.

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