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How to fix the iPhone 8 Plus camera autofocus that is not working as intended? [Troubleshooting Guide]

Earlier this month, Apple has rolled out a minor firmware update (iOS 11.2.1) addressing prior complaints raised by some users of iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus regarding an issue on the camera’s autofocus feature that is not working as intended. The update contains the official fix patch as the problem is thought to be caused by some bugs within the iOS 11.2 firmware update.

According to prior reports, the iPhone’s camera is not able to get in focus as the camera lenses just go back and forth indefinitely. Some affected users who have resorted to downgrading to iOS 11.1.2 found some luck while others were not. While Apple has already released the official fix, others who still haven’t got the update file available on their device settings menu can resort to a few helpful workarounds as temporary remedy.

Here in this post, I have mapped out some possible solutions to a similar issue with the camera app on a particular iOS device, which is the iPhone 8 Plus. Keep reading to find out what options you may have if ever you too are affected by this same problem and still have no access to the recently rolled out fix patch.

Drop by our iPhone 8 Plus troubleshooting page if you have other issues with your phone as we’ve already addressed the most common problems. If you need more help, fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

Suggested workarounds to deal with camera autofocus problem on iPhone 8 Plus

While the main issue has been tied to a previously released firmware update to iOS, it doesn’t denote that you just have to wait until a new update containing the fix patch is released. There are a few helpful workarounds that you can try while waiting for the official fix to become available to you. You may consider giving any of them a try whenever you’re all set to do so.

Before you start doing any of the following procedures, care to check and confirm if a new firmware update is available for your iPhone 8 Plus.

  • To do so, head over to  Settings-> General-> About menu on your iPhone. You will see an update notification if a new firmware is available.

Should there be any available update for your device, backup your data then follow the onscreen instructions to continue with the update download and installation. Once the update has been successfully installed try to check the camera app features, particularly autofocus are already working properly as intended.

Meanwhile, if there is still no update available and that you badly needed a fix for your iPhone camera’s autofocus feature to work as it should, then consider the following options as potential solutions. Other people were able to find luck from performing these methods so you might as well give them a shot.

Don’t forget to check the camera app after completing each method to determine whether or not the problem has been resolved. Try the next possible solutions and applicable workarounds if necessary.

Tap the iPhone

This workaround has been able to help many people who have had troubles with the iPhone camera that won’t focus with or without installing a new firmware update on their iOS device. If you haven’t already, then you might as well give it a try. Simply tap the upper part of the iPhone or its rear camera lens with your palm several times. If you’ve already done this but to no avail, then consider the next option(s), which you think applicable.

Remove iPhone case/magnetic lens

If ever you are using any iPhone case, especially non-Apple cases then try to remove the case. Test to see if the camera autofocus works as intended without putting any case on your iPhone. Some third-party cases may not actually fit with your iPhone and in some ways triggers the rear camera to become unstable.

If you are using any magnetic lens, also try removing them and use the iPhone camera autofocus without them on. Cleaning the camera lens from dirt can also help.

Press and hold the camera button

Another temporary solution that might help is by pressing and holding the camera button on your iPhone.

If you haven’t already, press and hold the camera button and wait until the camera is focused. When you see that the picture becomes clear, that’s when you will release the button.

Lock the Auto Focus

Your iPhone’s camera app integrates a number of interesting features and options including autofocus and auto exposure lock.  These features can help deal with camera issues particularly with autofocus. To use them, simply open the camera app then tap on the object that you want to focus for a few seconds until you see the small yellow AE/AF Lock box. Doing so will keep the object to stay focus even if the iPhone is moving around.

Force Camera app to quit then soft reset your iPhone 8 Plus

If this problem suddenly occurs without installing an update, then it’s probably just a random glitch transpiring on the camera app. To rectify the glitch, you can force the app to quit, restart your iPhone, then open the camera app again.

  • To force the camera app to close, press the Home button twice to launch the App Switcher containing the apps running in the background. Swipe up on the camera app’s preview to close it.

You can also close all apps running in the background to eliminate the possibility that any of these apps is causing conflict. When the apps are closed, restart your iPhone 8 Plus the usual way by pressing and holding the Side/Power button until the Power off slider appears. Drag the slider to power off  your iPhone completely. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

Once your iPhone boots up completely, launch the Camera app then test to see if autofocus is already working properly.

Other options to consider

If none of the prior workarounds is able to fix the problem and your iPhone 8 Plus camera autofocus is still not working properly, then you may proceed with these last options. Just be sure to backup your iPhone data before you start doing any of these procedures for safekeeping.

Master reset/Factory reset

As the name implies, this method will wipe or erase your iPhone completely and then restores its factory defaults. Any bug that might have inflicted troubles with the camera app, including autofocus issues can likewise be eradicated in the process. Again don’t forget to backup all your critical data beforehand. Once everything is set, you can proceed with a factory reset through your iPhone settings or use iTunes on a computer to reset your iPhone 8 Plus instead. If necessary, you may refer to a step-by-step guide on how to perform a factory reset an iPhone 8 Plus through iTunes posted on our dedicated troubleshooting page.

Restore to previous iOS backup (downgrade)

Aside from a master reset, you may also consider downgrading iOS. If the problem occurs right after installing a new iOS update, then this can likely offer a solution. However, you should only go for a system downgrade if you still have no access to a new iOS update containing that required fix patch. Should this be the only option you have at the moment make sure you have your previous iOS version ready before you instigate downgrading.

Seek More Help

Contact Apple Support or your device carrier for further assistance and recommendations if none of the aforementioned workarounds is able to offer a resolution. However, if you suspect that the camera problem you are currently dealing with is somehow inflicted by physical or liquid damage on the device, then a tech service would be another option for  you to consider. The latter suggestion must be considered especially if there were previous instances of dropping or liquid exposure on your iPhone. The camera problem might likewise be a symptom of hardware damage present on the device.

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