iOS 13 problems: how to fix issues in iOS 13.4.1

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Apple’s iOS 13 update introduced plenty of long-awaited features, but along with Dark Mode and other improvements comes the inevitable iOS 13 problems, bugs and other issues that spring up alongside big software changes.

Some of these are iOS 13 bugs are minorly annoying, while others seriously interrupt features or even parts of the user interface. If you’ve run into problems, chances are someone else has, too - and we’ll try to list each and every one.

We'll list every issue we can find, along with workarounds in the meantime while Apple works on a fix. Sometimes, these bugs are small enough that Apple waits until a future version of iOS 13 to solve; but sometimes they’re so disruptive that the company rushes out a new version exclusively dedicated to patching out that problem.

iOS 13.4.1, the latest, fixes several issues like the Camera app showing a black screen after launch, a few Safari bugs with incorrect CAPTCHA and Dark Mode functionality, and several Mail issues with message order and crashes. If you're experiencing any of these issues that might have already been solved, the process to update to a later version of iOS is simple: head to Settings > General > Software Update.

Read on for what we’ve found - and if you have been experiencing an issue that hasn’t been fixed, keep checking back for updates about workarounds and possible fixes.

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FaceID won't recognize face while mask is on

This issue hasn't been fixed yet – but Apple is developing a workaround. At least, there's a fix in the developer beta version of iOS 13.5, so it's likely that it's coming soon. Sadly, this won't allow you to use FaceID while wearing a mask; instead of waiting until FaceID fails to recognized masked faces, your iPhone will just put the number grid up to let you input your PIN while it's scanning your face. That's not ideal, but at least it will eliminate the wait.

Can't FaceTime with older Apple devices

A bug was preventing folks with newer versions of iOS (and iPadOS) from making FaceTime calls with users on older versions of iOS or macOS. But upgrading to iOS 13.4.1 (or iPadOS 13.4.1) will allow folks to once again communicate with anyone running iOS 9.3.6 or older as well as OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 and older. 

Mail app misbehaving

Apple rushed out iOS 13.1 a week ahead of schedule, and one of the big fixes was for issues with its first-party Mail app. Was it messing up email counts? Leaving out sender or sendee addresses? Duplicating notifications? Or simply not downloading email? Upgrade to the latest version of iOS 13 to fix this issue.

If your issues pertain to other email apps not feeding correctly to or from the Mail app, make sure you’re using the latest versions of those apps. If you’re still not getting your mail, try fiddling with your data fetching settings in Settings > Passwords & Accounts > Fetch New Data.

Reminders not syncing

iOS 13 overhauled the cross-device Reminders, but users have reported issues like missing reminders and lists to broad syncing issues with notes and contacts. Some might be solved by upgrading to the latest version of iOS - per the system notes, several have supposedly been fixed as of iOS 13.1.2 - but other issues might be more pernicious and require some tinkering.

Apple is aware of these problems, and for the syncing issues, wrote a checklist to troubleshoot issues. It starts by ensuring all your devices are up to date - since upgraded reminders aren’t compatible with earlier versions of iOS and macOS, and you can’t share reminders with users who haven’t upgraded - and moves on to the granular: make sure your date and time settings are correct across devices, are signed into iCloud with the same Apple ID, and keep your data within limits.

Issues with third-party keyboards

iOS 13 brought a couple issues with third-party keyboards, including preventing swapping back to QuickType after using a non-Apple option. There’s also a bit more of an insidious bug which accidentally gave keyboards “full access” to external services, even if you’d set them to run without it - Apple knows about it. In all cases, upgrading to at least iOS 13.1.1 should fix all the above issues. 

iPhone failing to restore from backup

Here’s an issue fixed in iOS 13.1.1 - users were apparently prevented from restoring their iPhones from a backup. A further bug continued to show the progress bar for an iCloud Backup after successfully backing up, which was fixed in iOS 13.1.2. Upgrading should fix the issue.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.