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What to do if iPhone 8 touchscreen (digitizer) is not working [troubleshooting guide]

iPhone screens, starting with the first iPhone model, have excellent reputation throughout the years. Smartphone screens may look fragile at first but they’re actually quite highly reliable. They’re also quite hard to break. In a lot of cases, even a badly dropped iPhone may still have a working screen. The ion-strengthened glass of your iPhone 8 is no less durable than the other components. In some cases though, the screen or touchscreen (digitizer) simply stops working. If your iPhone 8 has a touchscreen issue, then perhaps this troubleshooting article may help. Keep in mind that a physically damaged screen, like a cracked screen, can’t be fixed by software tweaks. If you’ve damaged the screen after it got hit by a hard object, or if water somehow found its way inside the motherboard, don’t bother checking the workarounds below. What you need is service so don’t waste your time doing software solutions.

Before we proceed let us remind you that you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Solution #1: Soft reset your iPhone 8

Unless the main reason for your issue is physical damage, there’s a big chance that you should be able to fix your touchscreen issue by restarting your device. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Top (or Side) button until the slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to turn your device completely off.*
  3. After the device turns off, press and hold the Top (or Side) button again until you see the Apple logo.

If by restarting your iPhone 8 normally won’t work, you can simply press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

Solution #2: Check if the screen has become too dim

In some cases, users may mistake a dimmed screen with a totally non-working touchscreen. If your iPhone 8 screen has appeared dark, consider checking the brightness level under Control Center by doing the steps below:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom edge of your display.
  2. Once you’ve pulled up Control Center, drag the brightness bar up or down to adjust the brightness.

You can also try to check your screen’s brightness level under Settings. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Display & Brightness.
  3. Drag the slider to the right or left to adjust the brightness.

Keep in mind that iOS devices like your iPhone 8 uses a special light sensor to detect ambient light around you. If you are in a dark environment or surrounded by light, this sensor will automatically adjust screen brightness to allow you to see images and texts without adjusting the brightness yourself. This feature called auto-brightness  is enabled by default. You’ll notice that screen brightness will be adjusted accordingly if this feature is on.

If you want to disable auto-brightness feature, you can do that under Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations.

Solution #3: Remove screen protector

If you’re using a screen protector, consider removing it to see if it will make a difference. Some poor quality screen protectors may not allow finger touches to be recognized by the digitizer, a thin layer on top of the screen that translates touches into digital signals. Your iPhone 8 screen is designed to work without a screen protector so let it be so if it encounters problems detecting finger touches.

Solution #4: Charge using another charging cable and adapter

Some iPhone users in the past were able to fix touchscreen problems by charging their device with a working lightning cable and adapter. If you have another set of charging accessories, use it and see if makes a difference.

Solution #5: Uninstall apps

If your touchscreen stopped working coincidentally after installing an app, you should see if deleting it will fix the issue. Incompatible or poorly coded apps may interfere with the operating system, which can lead to all sorts of issues. To delete an app:

  1. Lightly touch and hold the app until it jiggles.
  2. Tap  in the upper-left corner of the app.
  3. Tap Delete.

Solution #6: Toggle 3D Touch on and off

Some iPhone users also claim to have fixed intermittent touchscreen problems by toggling 3D Touch feature. This functionality allows you to do a number of things by simply pressing the screen. For example, you can press firmly (3D Touch) on an app icon to bring up quick actions. Each app, even the pre-installed ones, has quick actions including that one that allows you to share it with others.

To toggle 3D Touch on and off, you can do the following steps:

  1. Open Settings App.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap 3D Touch.
  5. Enable 3D Touch and change the 3D Touch Sensitivity.

Solution #7: Recovery via DFU Mode

If your iPhone 8 has become unresponsive, or if its touchscreen has stopped working altogether and you can’t do anything, the last troubleshooting step that you can try is to do software recovery via DFU Mode. This is a last ditch option for desperate cases so you’ll only want to do this is all our suggestions above won’t work at all. This procedure will also delete any unsaved data you have on the phone. This procedure requires a computer with iTunes installed. Make sure that iTunes runs the latest update. To do it, follow these steps:

  1. On your computer, close all active apps.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. Turn off your iPhone. If you can’t turn it off normally, let the battery drain to 0% so the phone powers down on its own. Charge the phone for at least an hour without attempting to turn it on.
  4. Connect your iPhone to the computer via USB cable.
  5. Press and hold the Power button for at least 3 seconds.
  6. Press and hold the Volume Down button on the left side of the iPhone while continuing to hold the Power button. Be sure to hold both Power and Volume Down keys for 10 seconds. If Apple logo appears at this time, repeat steps 5 and 6. Apple logo should not show at all.
  7. Continue to hold Volume Down key for another 5 seconds. If the Plug into iTunes screen is displayed, repeat steps 5-7. Plug into iTunes screen should not show up.
  8. You’ll know that your phone is in DFU mode if the screen remains black. Your computer should then tell you that iTunes has detected an iPhone.
  9. Follow the on-screen steps in your computer to do a full recovery.

Solution #8: Contact Apple

If your iPhone’s touchscreen has stopped working after any of the items below occurred, then you should contact Apple support:

  • iPhone 8 was accidentally dropped
  • iPhone 8 was exposed to elements or water damaged (iPhone 8 is water-resistant, not water-proof)
  • screen was physically impacted or cracked
  • DFU Mode Recovery does not work

 


Engage with us

If you happen to have a problem with your own iPhone, let us know about it and we will do our best to post them and their solutions  in our upcoming articles. You can use this link to contact us for assistance. We can’t guarantee an answer to every question but rest assured that we will exhaust everything on our end to help you.

Be as detailed as possible when describing your problem to help us diagnose your issue easily. If you can include error messages, popups, attempted troubleshooting steps, and circumstances leading to the problem, that would be very helpful.

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