How to fix iPhone screen not responding to touch

Your iPhone touchscreen can stop working due to hardware issues or temporary software glitches. If your iPhone screen is not responding to touch, doesn’t light up, is partially unresponsive, or has suddenly frozen, this tutorial will help fix the problem. It applies to all iPhone models, including iPhone 6, SE, 8, X, XR, 11, 12, and 13.

iPhone touch screen not working

General problems with iPhone touchscreen

These are some of the most common problems and symptoms related to your iPhone touchscreen:

  • iPhone screen not responding to touch
  • iPhone screen unresponsive, and nothing happens even if you press a physical button
  • iPhone screen stopped working suddenly even though it was fine a few minutes ago
  • Bottom of iPhone screen not working
  • Top half of iPhone screen not working
  • iPhone screen responds intermittently (irregularly)
  • iPhone screen responds even when you don’t touch it
  • You touch somewhere, but the screen registers the input somewhere else
iPhone plugged into charging

Reasons why iPhone touchscreen has stopped responding

These are the main reasons for an iPhone touchscreen not working.

Temporary software issues

Your iPhone screen may not respond to touch due to software glitches that it picked up during regular use. Thankfully this isn’t a big issue and can be fixed easily by restarting your device.

iPhone is hanging

Apple’s A-series iPhone processors are excellent. But due to too many intensive apps or simultaneously running several things, your iPhone may hang. This can lead to an iPhone screen unresponsive to touch.

iPhone is too hot or cold

Are you in an extreme temperature (too hot or cold)? If yes, your iPhone and its touchscreen can temporarily stop working. Turn off your iPhone and let it cool down (or warm-up) to a normal temperature.

Problem with a specific app

Sometimes your iPhone screen may work everywhere except one or a few particular apps. This is most likely due to that faulty app and not your iPhone.

Water, sweat, and oil

When your iPhone’s screen is wet due to water, sweat, or body oils, it’ll not respond properly, take random inputs, and appear to touch at some place else on the screen where you didn’t intend to.

Poor screen protector

A poor screen protector can negatively affect your iPhone’s screen, due to which it won’t respond to touch. Check out our roundup of the best screen protectors you can buy.

Bad iPhone case

Some badly designed cases can cling tightly and press the four edges of the iPhone screen. Due to this, the entire iPhone screen stops working. It’s also possible that just the bottom or the top half of the screen is not working due to these poor cases.

Faulty power outlet

I have lived outside my home, in a hostel, since I was six years old (school, college, then job). As a result, I travel frequently. For several years, I have noticed that your iPhone (and Android phone) touchscreen may not work correctly while plugged into charging outlets of some train compartment, public wall socket, airplane seat, and such. It can even happen with poor-quality power banks.

When you try to use the touchscreen, things on the iPhone screen will shake, flash and appear erratic. If you touch to enter your iPhone passcode, it might open the Notification Center or bring up something else.

Unsupported connected accessories

A connected external storage device, mouse, or accessory can cause touchscreen problems on iPhone and iPad.

You dropped your iPhone

Finally, dropping your iPhone is one of the most likely reasons for it not responding to touch or completely going black.

iPhone falling down which makes the touch screen unresponsive

How to fix iPhone not responding to touch

Now you know several reasons why touchscreen problems can happen. And going by these reasons, you might have already figured out a few solutions. But to make it easier, here is a list of things you should do.

Force restart

If your iPhone’s touchscreen isn’t working due to software issues, simply force restart, and it should fix the problem.

Note: You can also turn it off the normal way (by dragging the power off slider to the right) if the top part of your iPhone screen is working or it works with some care (like after pressing the top right portion of the screen).

Clean your iPhone

Take a soft dry cloth and gently clean your iPhone screen. Make sure water, sweat, oils, dirt, etc., are no longer on display. If you recently dropped your old iPhone in water, turn it off immediately and leave it untouched for the next few hours.

Let your iPhone cool down

The best way to allow your iPhone to reach a comfortable operating temperature is to turn it off. In case you can’t do that, lock the device and don’t use it for a while. Once the screen becomes responsive again, close power-hungry apps like Maps and Camera (if they were open). Next, turn off your iPhone and after waiting for at least a minute, turn it back on.

Note: Your iPhone may heat up significantly with wireless chargers and fast chargers.

Temperature comfort zone for Apple devices

Remove from charging and use a different charger, power outlet, or power bank

If the iPhone screen is not responding to touch with a particular third-party charging adapter, use a different one. Before that, you should also try another wall outlet with that same charger. In case you’re using a power bank, unplug your iPhone from it and use a charging adapter.

Remove extra accessories

Unplug any external device you have connected to your iPhone’s Lightning port or iPad’s Lightning or USB-C connector. After that, try using the touchscreen. If it works, that means the fault was caused due to the external device.

Update the apps

When your iPhone touchscreen doesn’t respond in a particular app, it can be because of a bug in that app. To fix this, update it from the App Store. You can also contact the app developer to inform them of the issue.

Note: Some video apps have a lock button that prevents unnecessary touches on the screen. Did you enable and forget about it!

Update to latest iOS version

Your iPhone touchscreen may behave erratically due to software bugs. The easy and reliable way to solve this is by updating your iPhone to the latest available version of iOS. Go to iPhone Settings > General > Software Update > Download and Install.

Remove case and screen protector

It can happen that your iPhone screen was working fine with the screen guard you are using, but suddenly it has stopped being responsive. Remove the screen protector, and then try using the iPhone. Similarly, remove the case if it touches the edge of the iPhone display and exerts pressure on it.

iPhone cases
Source: Unsplash

Reset all settings to defaults

Is your iPhone screen partially working? If yes, before moving to factory reset (which is a big step), try resetting all iPhone settings and see if it fixes the issue or not.

Factory reset your iPhone

Finally, if nothing helps, your only option (before physical device inspection at Apple Store) is to erase the iPhone and set it up again.

Related: Creating an iPhone backup is important before erasing it

Contact Apple Support

The above solutions should have fixed your iPhone’s non-responsive touchscreen if it was due to software or faulty accessories. But if you’re reading up to this point, it indicates the problem is significant and still unsolved.

In most severe drop cases, you’ll have to contact Apple Support or an authorized service center to get the issue resolved. No other solution can fix the hardware problem like a cracked or internally destroyed touchscreen.

Note: Your iPhone screen may not work after a drop, even if there are no visible cracks on the exterior part. My iPhone 6s Plus dropped from my bed on the hard floor a few years back. I picked it up in the morning and continued using it. Everything seemed normal. The same day I went to record a 10-minute video with the Camera app. Suddenly, the iPhone screen went blank in the middle of the video recording. It refused to turn on. I immediately rushed to a nearby authorized service center. They concluded that the screen was damaged.

Replace your iPhone screen yourself

In November 2021, Apple announced its Self Service Repair program. If your iPhone 12 or later touchscreen isn’t working, Apple will sell you genuine replacement parts and even offer free guides to repair your device. You can also find reliable tutorials on sites like iFixit or see YouTube videos from guys like Louis Rossmann and Hugh Jeffreys.

If you have expertise and experience in repairing devices, you can try self-repairing your iPhone touchscreen. For most people, I would recommend taking it to a service center though.

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