iWork (Mac, iOS, iCloud)

In the past week or so, we have been inundated with numerous tips about an apparent issue with Apple’s iWork productivity suite running on the iPhone 5s.

Folks have been emailing us about their top-end iPhone abruptly restarting each time they’d fired up Apple’s Pages, Numbers or Keynote app.

Digging deeper, the problem raises its ugly head not just with iWork but some third-party apps as well. I’m just scatter-shooting here, but this could be due to the iPhone 5s’s A7 chip and the transition to 64-bit computing.

Sure enough, a quick hop over to Apple’s support forums revealed a thread with similar complaints where the iPhone 5s goes into a blue screen prior to respringing – hence the Blue Screen of Death moniker.

As this issue continues to persists, I though you should know about how it manifests itself and tell you about a band-aid solution. Apple of course is cleverly keeping mum on the matter and is yet to respond with a software fix for the glitch. Read on…

Reader Lindsey T. told iDB via email:

It only happens when you select to edit the documents and then do not fully back out of the document before pressing the home button. Maybe it’s just happening on a few people phones. It’s definitely something with the application and not necessarily the phone.

Another disgruntled user who took to Apple’s support forums (here and here) explained his iPhone 5s restarts after pressing the Home button to switch Pages, Keynote or Numbers. The issue manifests itself on all iOS 7 versions and only on iPhone 5s devices.

Wiping your iPhone 5s clean and restoring it as a new phone won’t help.

Check it out in a video below.

It’s disheartening, ins’t it?

Some folks experienced the issue even after they had taken their handset to Apple and received a replacement unit. This gives us reasons to speculate it’s probably a software bug, most likely a system-wide error in iOS 7.

And how do we know this?

Because a few MacRumors forum members reported resprings occurring with several different third-party apps such as ESPN, Downcast , Facebook, Nike+ and many others.

It also seems the bug is worse (i.e. reboot loop) for some users than others.

This may not matter much to you, but users who depend on Pages, Keynote and Numbers for their daily productivity are clearly being disadvantaged as this bug hinders their work.

Looks like the suggestion is to turn off iCloud document syncing and back out of the iWork document before hitting the Home button. To disable iCloud sync for iWork apps, go to Settings > iCloud > Documents & Data and set the Pages, Keynote and Numbers switches to OFF.

Backing out of the document worked for our reader Lindsey who noted that “if I do not back out then it goes to that blue screen and restarts the phone”. Amazingly enough, double clicking the Home button to invoke app switcher appears to fix the glitch for some so there are no definite rules of thumb here.

iOS 7 Beta 3 (App Store first-run, free iLife and iWork downloads)

Disabling iCloud sync helps mitigate the issue, but it’s a shame Apple hasn’t fixed this yet.

The problem is getting even more pronounced given how iOS 7 prompts (see above) users to download Apple’s previously paid for Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iPhone and iMovie applications free of charge, with new iOS device purchases.

How are those unassuming users going to feel after they have download these apps only to see them constantly crashing their brand spanking new phone.

Note that some people observed the same issue on previous iOS versions and there have been reports in the past of red screens of death on iPads as well. If you ask me, the aforementioned glitch probably has a lot to do with Pages, Numbers and Keynote running in 32-bit mode on the iPhone 5s’s 64-bit processor, especially as the problem doesn’t seem to occur on any of the older iPhones.

No matter how you look at it, teething issues are the industry norm for every major software release and iOS 7 is no exception. For example, some iPhone 5s units would not allow their owners to scan their prints in order to authorize iTunes purchases, prompting Apple to unleash the minor iOS 7.0.1 update fixing the bug.

And two weeks ago, Apple again issued another update, iOS 7.0.2, to fix another Lock screen vulnerability. If web logs are an indication, iOS 7.1 is just around the corner.

We’d love to hear from iWork users who are dealing with the blue screen of death down in the comments.

  • Kevin Guzman

    This happened to me yesterday, but not through the iWork apps, but simply while I was surfing the web and “shopping for gifts”. Happened twice in the same day.

    • TM

      iPhone 5S?

      • Kevin Guzman

        Yup! iPhone 5s.

      • Kamal Ahmad

        So it might be iWork which has the problem?

      • Kevin Guzman

        Maybe, but I don’t have iWork apps installed on my iPhone 5s. I was just surfing the web when it happened. It blew me away because I’d never seen anything like that on any of my previous iPhones before, so I was pretty terrified when I saw the blue screen.

      • kadeem kadz Dulice

        yoooo…. just reading tha freaks me the fu^k out -_-

      • Kamal Ahmad

        Hmm, guess it’s not iWork. But mostly blue screens are software issues in my experience, it should be fixed with an update.

      • Kamal Ahmad

        Just don’t try it again, too many bluescreens may cause problems.

    • Take

      Why did you put shopping for gifts in quotation marks. Is this an innuendo?

      • Kevin Guzman

        Yeah, back when iDownloadBlog posted an article about Incognito mode not working on the Google Chrome app.

    • chumawumba

      “Shopping for gifts” as in being on incognito?

      • Kevin Guzman

        That is correct!

      • chumawumba

        If you are incognito, I can sure as hell bet you’re doing something else besides “shopping for gifts.”

      • rosssimpson


      • Jonathan

        Wow nice guess, lol.

  • I think this is more of iOS 7 problem. This exact thing happened to my iPhone 5. Just once. But not this often.

    • Unlikely to be related, especially as you say it only panicked once.

  • Felipe Queiroz Drumond

    Microsoft, are you?!

  • David Soto

    Shenanigans, stay safe out there.

    • Maxim∑

      dont mock mr.schilller!

      • Guest

        Ok shiller junior…

      • xSeriouSx

        But it really is a shenanigans; he lied with his tongue that Apple will move the mobile system computing from 32 to 64 bit in one day…clearly that’s not the case, they’ve got a few compatibility bugs to fix, just like every software developer.

        http://bit ly/1bYVNBT

  • Mike

    I got a 5S 2 days after the release and it has been restarting like 3 times a day and throughout the night when im sleeping but i did a restore yesterday and so far i havent had it reboot. Hopefully i just had to restore. Really hoping its not a hardware issue.

    • not a spark

      RMA that mofo

  • jocastro

    so glad i didnt get the phone, there are alot of complaints about it, my buddy had this happen to him a couple of days ago, and all he did was swipe through his phone. a restore fixes it

  • a.no

    Just a question… I have a 5s and when I first turned it on and restored to my old phone backup, I didn’t get a prompt for downloading the iLife and iWork suites for free. Is it a bug? Is it because I used a restore??

    • Tom

      You should have set it up as a new iPhone.

  • House4life

    And I thought windows blue screen was the worst

  • David

    I think iOS 7 is somewhat a beta release. My iPhone 5S respring and crashed at least twice a day. It freezes a lot as well. I’m tired of this and hope apple release a fix soon.

    • Abdl

      How about other devices running ios 7? Why just 5s,i think it has more to do with the phone not software

      • David

        I believe it’s the software. I you have to remember that iOS 7 is in 64 bit and 32 now. Therefore iOS 7 64bit may still have bugs to be worked out. I hope it is software because I really don’t wan to have I waste time returning it.

    • Bradley Wyatt

      not beta (we already had multiple beta releases as well as GM) but i do think it as rushed and is sloppy

      • Sean Cua

        but the 64 bit version wasn’t released publicly until the 5s came out.

      • Bradley Wyatt

        Doesn’t mean beta..

      • Guest

        No, but it does mean untested by the general public (more Alpha than Beta IMO).

        Since the problem is very easy to duplicate, I am sure the Apple engineers will have a fix out soon, perhaps in 7.1

      • iOops

        No, but it does mean untested by the general public (more Alpha than Beta IMO).

      • Apple’s level of secrecy probably shouldn’t have applied here… it’s not just a new feature developers can “choose” to implement like usual, they have to be sure their apps don’t take a few bad shortcuts that are unnoticeable on 32-bit devices but crashes the app, or somehow like iWork has been, the kernel, on 64-bit. An extra few months and a simulator that actually acts like it has a 64-bit CPU (the one included with the iOS simulator apparently doesn’t implement all of the new changes) and it would have been fine for 3rd-party apps.

  • iydomngz

    my iphone had the same problem Blue screen, Apple Yesterday I replaced it

  • illK†Δ

    Happened to me after Twitter crashed for the billionth time. Luckily it was only like that for a little while then shut off.

  • Bradley Wyatt

    Android checking in .. Never have had my handset frozen or blue screened.

  • Frank Anthony

    Ha! MicroSoft witch is here on iOS.. God pass devil 😉

  • Bradley Wyatt

    is it just me or does it seem like after a new iOS update apple is always sending out multiple new updates alone with it because of problems

    • Lance Baker

      Of course. It’s brand new software.

  • ConduciveMammal

    Whilst I don’t get the BSOD, my i5s resprings on occasion when opening the multitasking tray, typically whilst playing music.

  • chumawumba

    fak u gooby

  • Ali Reza

    This happened to me last night as I did a power off on my phone. Went to blue screen and then automatically restarted phone to apple logo.

  • JRnyc

    Hey my video made it on idownloadblog. I’m the guy with score center and numbers crashing… This sucks because I use numbers on a daily basis…. i was able to get a replacement iPhone from Apple the day after launch because I thought it was a hardware issue (hadn’t seen anything online) but as soon as I got home it happened again and I realized it must be software related

  • @dongiuj

    “It just works”….

    • Apple released an OS with bugs! Impossible! Nothing ever has bugs!

      • ✘✘Aineel Nocum

        Dude, even fan boys admit that Apple has it’s own fair share of mistakes

      • Sarcasm.

    • It just `barely` works

  • n0ahcruz3

    Lol must be the 64 bit.

  • Shawn

    I sent this over twitter to both Sebastian and Jeff. How to replicate and everything last week. But nope. Ill email next time I find out something since thats all anyone checks.

    • Shawn

      Ill also give you a bit of Info. It is because Apple Apps install as Pseudo System Apps. It is an error in the backboardd handling which also handles springboard and when the app crashes it overloads backboardd and causes Springboard to crash but since backboard is still overloaded it causes a kernel panic which is the blue screen you see and pulls over the screen resembling a kernel panic on OSX.

      • Shawn

        Also it is only crashing due to 64 bit dependencies thus the 5s crash.

      • Bradley Wyatt

        Its been on devices other than 5s. And its thought to be because of the different arch.

  • Palmer Paul

    I’d imagine that all Apple apps were updated to 64-bit very soon after the 5s (and new A7 chip) was released, therefore its probably safer to assume that their is an error in the 64-bit code, rather than the 32-bit code not running properly on the 64-bit capable A7 chip.

  • Pato111

    Hella bugs on iOS 7, I’m using an iPhone 5s. Apple needs to fix a lot of bugs still!!

    • BoardDWorld

      That’s always the case, especially for a major release that was made in record time. What I like though is this Blue screen along with many other bugs will have a fix in a short time. Unlike other platforms that carry the same bugs for months/years…

      • iGOD

        Still defend your GOD after gave him your money.
        I know now that how Apple controls your brain.

  • CatheyBarrett

    my Aunty Kate got a 6 month old Nissan Sentra just by working online at home… find out here


  • Asiz Koju

    ios 7 x64 might be in beta stage and so do all other application. There are numbers of beta release for 32 bit including GM but had anyone tested x64 before its finally released along with iphone 5s.
    it seems like iphone 5s 64 bit and ios 7 64 bit are not fully compatible yet. Apple has to do alot to marry these hardware and software together.

  • Henri Parmentier

    Samsung must have build some buggy code in a SOC to screw all Apple users !!, it’s all Samsung’s fault !

  • M R

    Hmmm Interesting. Should be fixed soon.

  • M R

    iOS 7 has too many bugs. On my 4S the music controls from the control center do not work 25% of times which I resolve by restarting the phone.
    The Radio App still needs polishing and today the GPS stopped working. So had to restart.

  • mav3rick

    Even Jaibroken 6.x it do not crash this bad. Actually it do not crash at all, even Safe Modes are perfect user friendly to handle.

    Copied MS BSOD.

  • Joey

    I don’t think its an iPhone 5S problem or and iWork issue. I thinks it more of an iOS 7 issue. Especially with the 5S chip now being 64bit. iOS 7 was released to soon with to many bugs. The forums are filled with them. I myself have been plagued with the iTunes Match bug. I match an album not bought from iTunes and it will only list 1 song on my devices running iOS 7 but all show up in iTunes on my Mac as matched. If I pull out my iPad 1st Gen on iOS 5 all the songs show up. That is just one bug out of many in the new OS. Steve Jobs would have never allowed them to release such a buggy OS.

    • 4pplesauce

      steve jobs would of never let the icons be redesigned in such a clowny way either.. but hey welcome to the Cook era lol

  • 4pplesauce

    wow, from the looks of it heres what i have analyzed: Apple loves to make your fast phone slow. Why? because of money. ios7 gives the illusion of being fast with all its fancy animations, but in actuality your waiting for animations to finish. Its manipulation. They make you think like them, to get what they want.

    • xSeriouSx


  • Yunsar

    Let’s hope it can be fixed through a software update

  • knosis

    It’s still an insult for an Apple product to perform like a Microsoft product? Times haven’t changed much.

  • Ricky Bobby

    No OS is perfect. Yes, even Apple make mistakes.

    I can’t believe this is even news. Smear campaign against Apple, that’s what this is.

    • Guest

      Lol, why don’t you say the same when a little bug in Android makes the frontpage news here?

      • Ricky Bobby

        To be honest I haven’t seen any. I also don’t frequent this site. I just found this post through FB today. It only shows to prove that when Apple fails, it’s big news and people tend to share on social networks.

  • sriram varadarajulu

    the iphone 5 had a unfixable problem.. i hope it doesnt go the same it did to the iphone 5 for the 5s 🙁

  • Ghost

    Looks Like Trojan Virus Capability attack in Silent mode to iOS and only favorite 5s coz most popular ones lol

  • xSeriouSx

    http://bit ly/1bYVNBT

    The shenanigans is on you Phil Schiller…

  • Dan

    Ah… the irony

  • sadaN

    IN MY OPINION iOS 7 was Apple’s worst move.

    I hate its look, I hate how unstable it is, I hate how apps crash all the time, I hate how my 4S has been randomly rebooting all the time.

    Competition has caught up, and instead of Apple moving on, with better file management and stuff like that, they decided to take a step back by just reskining iOS ridiculously.

    Seriously, how are businessmen supposed to get their phones out of their pockets and have this gay colour palette shining out?

    Got an iPhone 5c? That would be alright to look all colourful… After all, if you got a colourful device, you probably wouldn’t mind a colourful iOS either. Other than that, who the hell wants these colours?

    People did want iOS to change, but we wanted more FEATURES, I was just fine with its interface, and I’m sure a whole bunch of people feel like this as well.

    • sadaN

      I remember when you was announced that Forstall was going to leave, and I felt very happy for it, but that’s because I expected some improvements to come along after so many years of the same thing over and over (speaking of features obviously).

      But now I realise how much of a mistake this was.


  • Schryliam

    This made me laugh
    They worked together with microsoft gor iOS 7 and they are introduced to the blue screen of dead too xD

  • iOS is turning into Windows with these blue screens :O

  • Joe Benning


  • TrekHuis

    How quick do you think can Samsung implement this in the S4 ?

  • Tim_Bisley

    Yup. Happens for me, whenever I try to close a doc in Numbers. Really poor, Apple. I’d be more forgiving if this was just happening to third-party apps but this would have been simple to test before release.

  • Ashish Chauhan

    Same like problem in my iphone 5 not 5s

  • Ashish Chauhan

    In my iphone 5 ios 7.1.1 a display just light just up to down lines and sudnly restart.

  • Tesvongpisak

    My iPhone 5s show blue screen everything I watch YouTube.