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How to: Fix iPhone applications close immediately after opening them

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Broken Pencil

Image: Chris Sharp / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Wife’s iPhone suffered another issue this past week – she seems to experience far more problems than myself and I can’t help but wonder if she’s got a faulty iPhone.  This aside, thankfully I was able to fix her iPhone which meant a trip to the Genius bar wasn’t necessary.  As always, I’m sharing the details of how I went about it in a hope that it may help others.

When any installed application was opened, the application would immediately self close and the iPhone springboard be displayed.  Any stock applications such as Calculator, SMS, Phone etc continued to work – the self closing issue only applied to applications that had been downloaded and installed via iTunes.

I attempted a number of things to get a resolution:

– hard rebooting the iPhone
– running iTunes on the iPhone and attempting to update applications
– installing new applications from iTunes (on the iPhone)
– logging out from iTunes and back in again (on the iPhone)

None of these worked for us.  What did though was staggeringly simple.

On my wife’s PC:

– opened iTunes
– visited the App Store
– downloaded a free application (doesn’t matter what)
– connected iPhone to PC
– performed sync

The application was installed on the iPhone by the PC’s iTunes.  Once it had done so, everything worked again on the iPhone.  You don’t need to keep the application you downloaded, you can simply delete it again.

On another occasion I had a similar issue with my Wife’s iPhone; however the symptoms were slightly different.  When we connected her iPhone to the PC, it no longer identified it properly.  Her iPhone is called, “Gina’s iPhone”.  iTunes on the PC displayed the phone as if it were new showing, “iPhone”.  Despite disconnecting / reconnecting and rebooting the iPhone several times I was unable to resolve this and ended up completely resetting her iPhone and reloading an older backup.

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