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Fixing an Apple iPhone SE screen that is stuck, frozen, or unresponsive due to software malfunctions

Display issues like stuck, frozen, unresponsive screen as well as the so-called Touch Disease on certain iPhone models can adversely affect your overall mobile phone experience. Because no matter how posh or powerful your smartphone is, with a broken screen it is most likely useless.

Here in this post, I introduced some methods to address display issues on the #Apple iPhone SE (#iPhoneSE) smartphone, including stuck, frozen, or unresponsive screens. However, the solutions we offer are only applicable to display issues that are triggered by a software bug or apps glitches. To determine whether your iPhone screen problem is due to software malfunction or hardware damage, I encourage you to read this entire content.

Before we jump right into our troubleshooting, if you have other concerns, make sure you visit our iPhone SE troubleshooting page for we have already addressed a lot of issues reported by our readers. Find problems that are similar with yours and use the solutions we provided. If they don’t work for you or if you need further assistance, fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and tell us more about the problem.

When is it software-related?

You will know if the issue you have on your iPhone display is software-related if it occurs all of a sudden or in the middle of using your device without having it dropped or any actions that might have caused physical damage to the screen. It can also be tied to a software bug if the display starts to freeze or become unresponsive right after performing an app download or software (iOS) update download or installation.

When is it hardware-related?

It is hardware-related if the display issue starts after you got your phone dropped or exposed to water or any sorts of liquid. In the case where the screen issue is triggered by a physical or liquid damage, your best option is to take your iPhone to an authorized service center or Apple Genius for further check and screen repair.

Other Possible Causes

Other possible reasons as to why your iPhone screen will get frozen, unresponsive, or stuck would include memory issues or third-party apps that went rogue. If your iPhone is already low in memory, there is a tendency for it to experience performance issues such as lagging, apps crashing, and frozen. This can be remedied by clearing up some space on your device.

There are also some cases where users have found that the problem is on a specific application. At first they thought it is the iPhone screen that is not working but actually it’s only the program that is not responding. And issues like this can be remedied by performing a soft reset or simply by rebooting the application and the phone itself.

Recommended Workarounds and Potential Solutions

Here are a few recommended workarounds you can try on should your iPhone screen does not work, stuck, or does not respond to a touch or swipe. Again these methods are only applicable if the problem is due to software glitches or bugs.

Step 1. Reboot your iPhone.

Turning your iPhone off for a few seconds and then back on can help eliminate minor glitches on the software that are causing your device to become unresponsive. This process is also referred to as a soft reset. Just press and hold down the Sleep/Wake button until the turn off slider appears, turn off your iPhone completely, and then press the Sleep/Wake button again until the Apple logo shows up.

If the usual reboot won’t work, then you can force your iPhone to restart instead. To do so, simply hold down the circular Home button and the Sleep/Wake button simultaneously until the Apple logo shows up on the screen.

Step 2. Memory management.

If you think you already have a lot of stuff added into your iPhone system, and that you are already beginning the experience lagging or freezing symptoms, and then you might as well consider clearing up some space of your iPhone. This can be done by simply removing any unwanted contents from your device including third-party apps that are not in use, messages, and other unnecessary files. Closing all apps running in the background can also help ease your iPhone’s processes.

You can manage your iPhone storage by checking its memory storage status. Follow these steps to check the available memory of your iPhone SE:

    • Tap Settings from the Home screen.
    • Scroll to and tap General.

 

  • Scroll to and tap Storage & iCloud Usage.

 

  • Tap Manage Storage.

On the next screen, you should see details about the memory used and available memory of your device. You can also see a list of individual apps with the amount of memory space they are using up.

Step 3. Manage apps cache and data files.

If the problem occurs while using certain applications like a browser or gaming app, then most likely the problem is isolated to that application. In this case, you can try to quit the app that is not responding, and then open it again. If that won’t work, then you can uninstall and then re-install the application (if applicable).

Clearing apps caches and data can also help. There are times when certain apps got stuck, frozen or unresponsive due to corrupt caches and data. In this case, clearing the app’s cache and data will get rid of these stock erroneous files from the program.

The conventional way to clear apps cache on your iPhone is by going to Settings-> General-> Storage & iCloud Usage-> Manage Storage-> [Apps Name] -> Delete.

To be more specific, let us use Facebook app as an example. So, if you experience problems like freezing, lagging, or any other performance issues affecting your phone’s display while using certain apps like Facebook, you can clear Facebook app’s cache by going to Settings-> General-> Storage & iCloud Usage-> Manage Storage-> Facebook-> Delete. This will delete the Facebook app from your iPhone with all caches. After that, you can go to the App Store to reinstall Facebook app again. This is the only way for you to clear Facebook cache because Apple does not offer another option to do it so you need to uninstall the app itself. This might be an annoying process for some users though.

If this option is not available on your device, try these steps:

 

  • Go to Settings-> General-> Storage & iCloud Usage-> Manage Software.

 

  • Tap an item in Documents and Data.
  • Slide unwanted items to the left and tap Delete.
  • Tap Edit.
  • Finally, tap Delete All to remove the entire app’s data.

As an alternative way to clear apps cache on your iPhone SE, you can also use some iPhone cleaner tools to regularly clear app cache on your device. You can find any of these tools from the App Store. Just pick the best cache cleaning software for your iPhone SE.

Step 4. Master reset or Factory Reset.

If none of the aforesaid procedures worked and your iPhone display remains unresponsive, then your last resort is a master reset or factory reset. The process will erase your device completely therefore you need to back up your iPhone before you do so.

A factory reset is often helpful if the problem started to occur after installing software or iOS update for your iPhone. There is a higher chance that the display issue is triggered by an iOS bug and restoring from a backup can help fix your device. Otherwise, contact Apple Support or your carrier to escalate the problem and ask for further assistance or recommendations.

Note: Post-update issues including those affecting the device display must be reported to Apple Support for them to consider them in their priority list and so they can integrate fix patches in the next iOS update rollout.

For display issues caused by hardware damage:

Again for screens that are visibly broken, shattered, or cracked, you have to take your iPhone to an authorized technician for repair.

For Touch Disease issue, the iPhone SE should not be affected by that because its design is based significantly on the older iPhone 5S. Touch Disease is a technical term used to describe an issue on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus display that is mainly due to a flaw on the logic board design of these devices. Based on the conclusion given by independent iPhone technicians regarding this issue, the Touch IC chips on the phone’s logic board break away partially, resulting to intermittent electrical connections. Phones with Touch Disease would usually experience display symptoms like a small flickering gray bar at the top of the screen that is approximately at the height of the iOS menu bar. It usually appears to be like an old-school TV static. Sometimes, the screen may also become completely unresponsive to touches.

Other iPhone owners who have encountered this problem have resorted to a temporary fix by applying pressure to the top screen area while others by twisting the device slightly.

Engage with Us

We are here to help! Should you need our support in dealing with other issues on your iPhone or other iDevices, you may do so by filling up this form available in our iPhone Troubleshooting Page. Simply fill up the form with all the required information and then submit it to us. We would appreciate if you could provide us with all significant details including error codes, warning messages, or any other prompts you may get, as they will help us determine what has possibly gone wrong with your device and what needs to be done in order to fix it. The more information we have the easier for us to come up with more efficient solution and recommendations. You may also browse for more solutions to other iDevice issues we’ve previously addressed through dedicated contents posted in our troubleshooting pages.

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