The Most Common iOS 14 Problems and How to Fix Them

The Most Common iOS 14 Problems and How to Fix Them

Every new version of iOS comes with a bunch of bugs and issues, some bigger than others, and iOS 14 is no different. Apple will iron out many of these problems with subsequent software updates, but it’s useful to know whether the issues you’re seeing on your own phone are known bugs in iOS 14 — and to learn about some of the workarounds and fixes you can try.

Troubleshooting isn’t always an exact science, so bear in mind that some detective work might be required to figure out what’s going wrong with your own particular iPhone or iPad. It’s possible that something other than iOS 14 is to blame for the problems you’re encountering, but we should be able to help you figure it out one way or the other.

Poor battery life

Low Power Mode can help you through your battery life woes. (Screenshot: iOS)
Low Power Mode can help you through your battery life woes. (Screenshot: iOS)

iOS 14 has caused battery drain problems for numerous users, with iPhones reportedly lasting nowhere near as long with Apple’s latest mobile operating system installed. It’s been mentioned in connection with every iOS 14 release, but it seems that the iOS 14.2 rollout in particular has cause battery life to take a hit.

Battery life isn’t specifically mentioned in the release notes for iOS 14.3, and it looks as though the issue remains — at least for some users — going off widespread complaints on social media. Apple hasn’t anything officially acknowledged it yet.

But the company did provide some technical support earlier in the iOS 14 release cycle for those with both an iPhone and an Apple Watch, recommending a full backup and reset (instructions here and here) of both devices to solve battery drain issues. Unfortunately, aside from the usual battery-saving tricks, a full reset is just about all you can try while you wait for a software update to (hopefully) address the issue.

No notifications

Problems with message notifications on iOS 14 have been reported. (Screenshot: iOS)
Problems with message notifications on iOS 14 have been reported. (Screenshot: iOS)

One of the more common (and frustrating) problems reported by iPhone owners running iOS 14 is that the Messages app doesn’t show notifications as it should. Alerts don’t appear on the lock screen and red badges don’t appear on the app icon in some cases, which is in addition to a separate problem that caused SMS messages to be delayed.

This is a bug that Apple has acknowledged and has claimed to have fixed with the iOS 14.3 update, according to the release’s notes. If you’ve noticed this happening on your own device, then the first troubleshooting step to try is updating to OS 14.3.

If you’re still not getting alerts for Messages like you should be, then there’s no specific workaround to try besides the basic fixes: Double-checking your notification settings, rebooting your handset, and if nothing else works, resetting it and starting again from scratch (making sure it’s fully backed up first).

Choosing new default apps

iOS 14 lets you set your default email client. (Screenshot: iOS)
iOS 14 lets you set your default email client. (Screenshot: iOS)

iOS 14 rather quietly introduced the ability to set apps other than Apple Mail and Apple Safari as your default email client and web browser, respectively — the only problem being that iOS would very quickly forget which alternatives you’d selected, and revert back to the Apple defaults after a restart.

This is a problem that Apple has addressed and says is fixed, as per the iOS 14.0.1 update that was pushed out not long after iOS 14 itself. If you haven’t updated to the latest version of iOS for whatever reason, then this should be enough to make your default email and web choices stick.

If you’re still not sure how to configure this new feature, you need to go to Settings and then pick the email app or web browser of your choice from the long list of apps. You should then see a Default Mail App or a Default Browser App option, which you can use to make your chosen app the default choice.

Losing wifi connections

Wifi drop-outs is one problem that's been linked to iOS 14. (Screenshot: iOS)
Wifi drop-outs is one problem that’s been linked to iOS 14. (Screenshot: iOS)

Wifi and cellular connection problems always crop up alongside a new iOS release, and iOS 14 has been no different — it must be something about the application of a brand new software layer that confuses your phone (or the networks that it’s connecting to), often resulting in dropped or unstable connections.

In the case of iOS 14, one of the most widely reported problems has been issues with dropped wifi connections. According to numerous users, iPhones tend to lose their connections to wireless internet and then refuse to reestablish the link, which causes problems for just about everything you could want to do on a smartphone.

This is a bug which Apple has identified and applied a fix for — it should have rolled out to your phone with iOS 14.0.1, which “fixes an issue that could prevent your iPhone from connecting to Wi-Fi networks,” according to the release notes. If you’re still having issues after the update, then you’ll have to try the standard troubleshooting techniques for attempting to solve an internet connection problem.

Specific app problems

Certain YouTube features are exclusive to Premium subscribers. (Screenshot: iOS)
Certain YouTube features are exclusive to Premium subscribers. (Screenshot: iOS)

There are always one or two apps that don’t work properly with a new iOS release: Developers have to work hard to get their software to work with Apple’s updated operating system, and sometimes bugs do slip through the cracks. If this happens to you, watch out for updates to apps — or even ask the developers directly about them.

YouTube is a case in point when it comes to iOS 14: Picture-in-picture mode didn’t work, then did work, then didn’t work again. At the time of writing, it’ll only function properly if you’re a YouTube Premium subscriber (a previous workaround of running YouTube inside Safari has since been blocked).

It’s the same with 4K playback from the YouTube app: It’s only going to work if you’re a paying subscriber. Other apps on your phone may have similar restrictions, so if you’re experiencing bugginess or something isn’t quite working in one particular app, focus your troubleshooting efforts on that app in particular.

Other issues

Apple will keep you informed about iOS updates. (Screenshot: Apple)
Apple will keep you informed about iOS updates. (Screenshot: Apple)

There are likely more issues than the ones we’ve covered above, but these are the ones that have been most widely reported. It’s worth keeping an eye on Apple’s official iOS 14 updates page, because the company will list the bug fixes being applied to iOS as well as the new features that are being added.

Problems that have already been addressed since the first iOS 14 release include issues with sending emails, displaying widgets, using Family Sharing, receiving incoming calls, wireless charging, the camera viewfinder, headphone audio levels, an unresponsive lockscreen, and more, so if you’re having issues with any of the above, updating to the latest version if iOS 14 is worth a shot.

If you’re experiencing an issue that we haven’t covered here, then some research on the web should bring up matches with anyone else who’s having the same difficulties (try and be as specific as you can in your search). Good starting points are the Apple subreddit on Reddit and the iPhone discussion forums on the Apple site. Or tell us your problem below — maybe intrepid Gizmodo readers can help solve it.