How to fix volume button not working on iPhone

Your iPhone volume buttons can stop working due to minor software bugs, major hardware problems, or things like dirt and poorly designed cases. This tutorial offers seven solutions to fix non-working or stuck iPhone volume buttons. We’ll also show you how to change volume levels or take screenshots even if the physical buttons are broken or otherwise not working.

iPhone kept on table showing its volume buttons

Uses of iPhone volume buttons

You can use the physical iPhone volume buttons to:

All the above actions are hindered if the volume buttons are stuck or not working.

Check if iPhone volume buttons are working or not

You can’t disable or enable volume buttons on your iPhone. If someone tells you that you can disable the volume buttons, that’s not true.

When you go to iPhone Settings > Sounds & Haptics, you see an option called Change with Buttons.

Change with Buttons in iPhone sound settings

Here’s what happens when Change with Buttons is turned off, and you press the volume buttons:

  • If media (like a song or video) is playing on your iPhone in any app, pressing the volume buttons increases or decreases this playback volume.
  • When media isn’t playing, pressing the volume buttons still changes the media volume level.

Here’s what happens when Change with Buttons is turned on, and you press the volume buttons:

  • If media (like a song or video) is playing on your iPhone in any app, pressing the volume buttons increases or decreases this playback sound.
  • When media isn’t playing, pressing the volume buttons changes your ringer and alerts tone level. This means it increases or decreases your ringtone, notifications tone, alarm, and other alerts volume levels.

Change with Buttons has no other use. It doesn’t enable or disable the volume buttons. If you’re someone who fidgets a lot with their iPhone, you can turn it off so that you don’t accidentally decrease the ringtone, notifications, and alarm tones.

Now, to test, open any music app, YouTube, or something similar. You can also play a video or audio in Safari. While it’s playing, press the volume buttons one by one and see if it works or not. If volume buttons don’t work, please follow the fixes below.

7 Solutions to fix iPhone volume buttons not working

1. Restart your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone is the quickest way to fix the iPhone volume button issue if it was caused due to a software problem.

Here’s how to restart your iPhone to fix the non-working volume button:

  • On iPhone with a front Home button, press the right side button and drag the slider to the right. After waiting for a minute, press the power button again to turn on your iPhone.
  • iPhones with Face ID require you to press the right side button and one of the volume buttons to show the power off screen. Since the volume buttons aren’t working, go to iPhone Settings > General > Shut Down and drag the power off slider to the right. Wait for a minute before powering on your device.

Related: How to force restart your iPhone or iPad (Try force restarting if a normal restart doesn’t fix the issue.)

2. Clean the iPhone volume buttons

Dirt stuck around the volume buttons may cause it to fail. As a result, the volume buttons won’t work or click when pressed.

If your iPhone volume buttons are stuck or not clicking, use a dry cloth or soft brush to clean the area around them.

3. Remove the case

A poorly designed iPhone case can cause the volume buttons to malfunction. As a result, it might be stuck, fail to click, or even trigger unnecessarily with a light press! If you’re facing these problems, it may be due to the case or dirt between the case and the iPhone volume buttons. Remove the case and try using the volume buttons.

4. Update your iPhone

Before moving to the remaining solutions, give this one a shot. Go to Settings > General > Software Update and make sure you’re running the latest version of iOS.

5. Reset all settings

Resetting all settings can fix most problems that arise due to significant software issues. Doing so won’t delete personal data like music, photos, apps, etc. It’ll only reset all changed or added settings to the default.

6. Erase and set up your iPhone again

Finally, erase your iPhone and set it up again if the problem continues. When volume buttons aren’t working due to software bugs, this is the last thing you can do from your end.

Related:

7. Get your iPhone inspected and repaired

The iPhone volume buttons may stop working if you dropped it on a hard surface. Plus, we can’t rule out the possibility of a manufacturing defect in a new iPhone or failed volume buttons due to prolonged use on an older model. Take it to an Apple Store or an authorized service center where they can inspect the device. You may need to pay for repairs, so be prepared.

Check out: Apple offering the chance for some customers to buy AppleCare+ beyond initial sign-up window

Do volume buttons work sometimes?

In some cases, the volume button may not always work except in a few rare circumstances. To test this, if you have a case installed on your iPhone, remove it. Next, try pressing the volume button at different points with varying degrees of pressure. If you can get it to work, that means there is a hardware problem, and you will have to get it repaired. But for the time being, you can try using it with the same tactics or use one of the methods below.

How to change volume and take screenshots even if iPhone volume buttons aren’t working

The primary purpose of iPhone volume buttons is to adjust the volume level and take screenshots (on Face ID models). If the physical volume buttons aren’t working on your iPhone, here’s how you can change volume and take screenshots:

1. Use the volume slider in the Control Center

Open Control Center and drag the volume slider up or down.

Follow these steps to open Control Center on your iPhone:

  • On iPhone with Face ID, swipe down from the top right corner of the screen.
  • On iPhone with a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
iPhone Control Center volume slider

2. Use the in-app volume controls

Some media apps like Music and VLC have a volume slider on the Now Playing screen. You can use that to adjust the volume of the media you are listening to. Apps like YouTube and Spotify don’t. In these cases, use the volume slider in Control Center.

Tip: Say music is playing in an app (Spotify) that doesn’t have volume controls. Open the iOS Music or Podcasts apps and go to its Now Playing screen. Don’t play anything here. Just drag their volume slider and it will change the volume for whatever is playing in the other app (Spotify in this case).

Music app's volume slider

3. Use the Lock Screen volume slider

When media is playing, you’ll see it on the Lock Screen. Drag the volume slider to set it at the desired level.

Volume Slider on the iPhone Lock Screen

4. Ask Siri

Invoke Siri on your iPhone and ask it something like “Change volume to 75%” or “Increase/Decrease the volume.” You can also ask Siri to take a screenshot.

5. Use your Apple Watch to change iPhone volume

When a song is playing on your iPhone, do the following:

  1. Wake your connected Apple Watch and tap the tiny Now Playing button from the top of the watch face. You can also find it in the app bubble.
  2. You’ll see a tiny iPhone icon and the word “iPhone” next to it at the top right. This signifies the music is playing from your iPhone. If it says “Watch,” that means songs synced to Apple Watch or streamed from it are playing. Rotate the Digital Crown to increase or decrease the iPhone volume.
Change iPhone volume using your Apple Watch

6. Use the volume buttons on connected earphones

You can press the volume up and down buttons on the Apple EarPods remote or supported third-party wired earphones. Rotate the Digital Crown to change the volume on AirPods Max. Several third-party wireless headphones also have on-device volume controls.

Remotely control iPhone camera using EarPods

Related: How to reverse Digital Crown volume controls on your AirPods Max headphones

7. Use AssistiveTouch to add virtual volume and screenshot buttons

AssistiveTouch is an accessibility feature that adds a virtual floating button on your iPhone screen. You can single tap, double-tap, and long-press this button to perform various tasks.

Here’s how to change volume and take screenshots even if iPhone volume buttons are not working:

  1. Open Settings and tap Accessibility.
  2. Tap Touch.
  3. Tap AssistiveTouch.
  4. Enable the toggle for AssistiveTouch. You’ll see a button appear on your screen.
  5. Under Custom Actions, you should see Open Menu next to Single-Tap. If not, select Single-Tap, Double-Tap, or Long Press and set it to Open Menu.
  6. Depending on your setting, tap, double-tap, or long-press the virtual AssistiveTouch button > Device > Volume Up or Volume Down. To take a screenshot, tap More > Screenshot.
Volume Up and Down in iPhone AssistiveTouch

Note: Under Custom Actions, you can tap Single-Tap, Double-Tap, or Long Press and set them to Volume Down or Volume Up. However, this choice may not be the best for most. Additionally, you can tap Customize Top Level Menu and add the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons on the first page of the AssistiveTouch menu.

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