Stop panicking! Your iPod/iPhone problem issue is likely easy to deal with–the problem is the troubleshooting. That can be confusing.
Your device may turn off by itself, stay on but give you nothing but a black screen, or both. Pressing the home button repeatedly accomplishes nothing. You have to hold down the home button and the power button to reset the device and then all your apps reappear.
The first thing you should do is call Apple customer support. In the U.S., phone support is available until 9 p.m. In addition to helping you troubleshoot what’s causing your device to crash, Apple customer service reps can tell you how to run diagnostics. They’ll get a diagnostic report and they’ll be able to tell you if your device has a hardware problem. Unless you’ve dropped it or gotten it wet, it probably doesn’t.
Your rep may tell you that some of your apps are using up all the available app memory. Almost inevitably, the problematic apps will be the ones you use constantly, like Instagram, Facebook, and Google. The temporary fix for that is to delete the apps, wait 20-30 minutes, and reinstall them.
BEFORE you delete any apps, back up your device. And while you’re on the phone with the Apple customer service rep, ask them how to copy your photos to your computer so that they’ll be in a folder you can easily access.
After you back up your device, MAKE SURE that you know the passwords for all the apps you’re going to delete. If you don’t know them, recover or reset them. Now you can delete the apps.
It takes time for your device to completely delete all the app information. 30 minutes is long enough to wait. Then you can reinstall the apps and sign in to your accounts again.
Now, remember that I said this is a temporary fix, because those apps are going to keep causing your device to crash periodically. Even if they’re up to date. Even if your OS is up to date. You’re probably going to have to repeat the delete/reinstall periodically because those apps are just memory-sucking monsters.
You should also close all the open pages in Safari and all the apps you’ve used that are running in the background. Press the home button twice to see what’s running in the background, and swipe up on each app to close it.
Another thing to consider when troubleshooting are your lock screen and home screen images. I noticed that mine–an image I found online–kept disappearing so I changed it. Sometimes the device just doesn’t like the size of the image or the type of file. It may have something to do with using an iOS device with a PC.
The most important things to remember are:
Back up your device regularly
Software problems may be persistent aggravations even if you restore the device
If you’re lucky enough to live near an Apple store, by all means take your device in and let someone at the Genius Bar look it over.
Stop panicking. There’s a fix.