How to fix an iPhone touchscreen that is not working, unresponsive

This post will help you fix your iPhone touchscreen that is not working or unresponsive. For as long as you haven’t dropped your phone or got it wet before the symptoms instigate, you’ll have a higher chance of getting it fixed. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone touchscreen is not responding or not working.

Many factors can cause your iPhone touchscreen to stop working or become unresponsive. And that may be from within the phone’s software or hardware components. Unresponsive displays are often occurring among other symptoms of memory problems on early devices but may also affect some new devices when triggered by bad apps and damaged system files. This post highlights some highly effective solutions to this same issue on an iPhone.

Eliminating tangible causes of unresponsive iPhone touchscreen

Before troubleshooting, make sure that the iPhone screen is free from dust and dirt. In short, it has to be totally screen. If the screen is covered with dust and dirt, there is a higher chance for the display’s touch sensor to fail to recognize your finger/touch. So you must keep it clear and clean. Aside from the screen, also make sure that your fingers are also clean and not wet or oily. If necessary, wipe them dry before touching the phone’s screen again.

Also try to determine whether or not the problem is only isolated to an app like when the touchscreen only becomes unresponsive or stops working when using a specific application. In that case, something must be done to fix the app otherwise, delete it. Another important thing that you should look into is the current memory status of your iPhone. Unresponsiveness or frozen display is among the common signs of performance issues in mobile devices that are often tied to insufficient memory. Hence, you should consider heading to your iPhone Settings-> General-> iPhone Storage menu and then see if the available memory is ample enough to allocate new apps and processes. If your iPhone’s memory is running low, then that’s when you should consider deleting old and unused contents from the system.

You may begin to troubleshoot your device if the symptom continues even after complying with the aforesaid requisites.

First solution: Reboot/Forced Restart.

The very first recommended solution to software-related symptoms including random screen freezes is to reboot the system. Since your iPhone touchscreen is not responding, you will need to carry out a forced restart instead of the usual reboot/soft reset. If you’re using iPhone 8, 8 Plus or later iPhones, here’s what you should do then:

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button.
  2. Then press and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Side button and then release it when the Apple logo appears.

In iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, a forced restart is done this way:

  • Press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power (Sleep/Wake) button simultaneously and then release both buttons with the Apple logo appears.

For older versions from iPhone 6 below, here’s what you should do to force it to restart:

  • Press and hold both the Power (Sleep/Wake) button and the Home button for a few seconds and then release both buttons when the Apple logo is displayed on the screen.

If your iPhone touchscreen is responding again after performing a forced restart/reboot, then you may have to consider performing these subsequent procedures to get rid of the triggers. If it isn’t the hardware, then something within the software aspect must be the culprit. In order to prevent the problem from coming back, you must eliminate the trigger. Among the common variables are bad apps, malwares and bugs, corrupt data or broken files. Performing the following procedures can help clear out these factors and thereby halts the symptom from recurring.

1. Update your apps and iPhone software to the latest version. Apps that are acting up are usually the main triggers. Note that everything in your iPhone system is interconnected and so if one of the system components isn’t working, other features and system functions are also likely to get affected. This is usually the case if your iPhone touchscreen suddenly stops working while using a certain app. That app must have been glitching and therefore unstable. And when that app crashes or freezes, the iPhone’s display touchscreen also becomes stuck and therefore not responding to touches. An effective solution to this is to update your apps. Like iOS, apps also receive periodic updates pushed by their respective developers. These updates contain new enhanced features as well as bug fixes.

To check for and install app updates on your iPhone, just refer to these steps:

  • Open the App Store, to get started.
  • Navigate to the bottom part of the screen then tap on Updates. Doing so will show up a new screen containing the list of apps with pending updates.
  • Tap the Update button next to the name of the app to update individual applications. If multiple app updates are available, tap the Update All button instead.

Once you’re finished installing all pending app updates, reboot/soft reset your iPhone to apply the recent software changes.

2. Remove/delete any suspicious files and messages. If your iPhone screen suddenly becomes unresponsive or frozen after downloading a file such as photos, videos, or email attachments, then that file must be the culprit. Try to locate that file, delete it and then see if that fixes the problem. If the symptom started to occur while tapping on an embedded link in SMS or MMS messages, then that link likely contained some sort of bug that destabilized or ruined the phone’s normal operations.

3. Uninstall old and unnecessary apps. Aside from bad links and corrupt files, old and obsolete apps must also be removed. Aside from freeing up memory space, deleting obsolete apps also clears out adverse symptoms caused by those apps.

  • To delete/uninstall apps from your iPhone, simply head over to the Home screen then touch and hold on the app icon for a few seconds or until the icons wiggle. Then tap on the X found on the upper-left side of the app that you want to remove. If prompted, tap Delete to confirm action.
  • Alternatively, you can access your phone storage by heading to Settings-> General-> iPhone Storage menu.

Once you’ve reached this menu, locate and select the app that you wish to delete. Then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to finish uninstalling the application from your iPhone.

4. Reset all settings on your iPhone. System settings that were messed up by an update or manual customizations are also among the possible reasons as to why your iPhone touchscreen stops working or becomes unresponsive. To rule this out, reset all settings on your iPhone so that all customized settings and invalid configurations are eliminated. After the reset, your phone settings are restored to their original values.

  • To reset all settings on your iPhone, just go to Settings-> General-> Reset menu, then select the option to Reset all settings. You will then be prompted to enter the passcode for your iPhone. Just enter the correct passcode to continue. Then tap Reset settings to confirm.

Your iPhone should restart itself when the reset is finished and then loads the default options. This therefore requires you to re-enable individual features that are disabled by default in order to use them again on your phone.

After enabling necessary features, use your device as you normally do and then see if the problem recurs or not.

5. Erase your iPhone (if necessary). Performing a master reset or erasing the iPhone is usually the last option to get rid of stubborn symptoms. It’s possible that complex system errors are present on the phone. In that case, erasing the iPhone and restoring its factory defaults could be the best way to obliterate these errors. But also note that while this process often yields positive outcome, it can also cause permanent data loss as all your downloaded apps and saved data on the internal memory are likewise deleted in the process. To prevent this from happening, back up all your substantial files to iCloud or iTunes drive beforehand. Once you have secured the backup, proceed with these steps:

  • Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  • Select General.
  • Scroll down and then tap on Reset.
  • Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  • If prompted, enter your device passcode.
  • Then tap the option to confirm that you want to erase your iPhone.

After the reset, your phone should reboot automatically and then loads up its factory default settings. To use your phone again, you will need to set it up first. To do this, simply follow the startup wizard to set up your iPhone as new.

Try that and see if the problem is gone. More often than not, software-related issues even the ones inflicted by tough bugs are resolved and obliterated by a master reset or factory reset. Hopefully, you would end up having positive results.

Again, you can only perform the above procedures if your iPhone resprings and works properly again after a forced restart. If the touchscreen remains unresponsive or not working after a forced restart, then your next option would be to perform iOS restore. Just refer to the subsequent procedures to learn what to do next.

Second solution: Restore your iPhone in iTunes.

If your iPhone’s touchscreen is still not working after a forced restart, performing iOS restore would be necessary. Some system errors are tough enough to withstand the initial procedures including a factory reset. To deal with such burden, you may opt to carry out a recovery mode restore on your iPhone or put your iPhone in a DFU state so any major system damage or data corruption can be rectified through iTunes. You may refer to the following steps, if you wish to proceed with these system restores.

1. Recovery Mode restore

This puts your device in a recovery state allowing iTunes to access the operating system even when the touchscreen is not working or unresponsive. To get started, you will need to secure a computer either Windows or Mac with the latest version of iTunes software installed. Then connect your iPhone to the computer using the supplied USB/Lightning cable. Once connected, enter recovery mode with these steps:

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  • Next, press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  • Then, press and hold the Side/Power button until you see the Connect to iTunes screen. This means that your iPhone has entered recovery mode.
  • When you see the option to Update or Restore, select Update if you want to restore without deleting files.
  • To restore your iPhone from a previous iOS backup, click the option to Restore then follow the onscreen instructions to select the backup that you want to restore from.

Do not disconnect your iPhone from the computer until iTunes tells you to do so. Otherwise, you might end up having a totally corrupted and dysfunctional iOS.

2. DFU Mode restore

If a recovery mode restore doesn’t yield positive result and your iPhone touchscreen is still not working or not responding to touch inputs, then this is where DFU mode restore can be applied. When your iPhone enters a DFU state, it’s still possible for iTunes to access and sync with iOS even if the bootloader isn’t activated. Hence, there’s a higher chance for iTunes to repair any damaged system component that caused the touch screen to stop working.

But before you do, make sure that your phone didn’t obtain some sort of physical or liquid damage. Performing a DFU mode restore on a liquid damaged iPhone could brick the phone. If that happens, you would no longer be able to use your device. If you’re certain that your iPhone is free from hardware damage and that you’re willing to take the risks, then you may proceed. To get started, connect your iPhone to the computer via USB/Lightning cable. Once it’s connected, continue with these steps to put your device in a DFU or Device Firmware Update mode:

  • Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then quickly press and release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side/Power button until the screen turns completely black.
  • As soon as the screen turns goes black, press and hold the Volume Down button while you keep holding the Side/Power button.
  • After 5 seconds, release the Side/Power button but continue to hold the Volume Down button until your iPhone shows up in iTunes on your computer.
  • When your iPhone appears in iTunes and prompts you to restore your device, you can release the Volume button.
  • Then follow the onscreen commands to begin repairing and restoring your phone’s operating system in DFU mode through iTunes.

Just wait for iTunes to finish restoring and repairing the damage system components and then see if the problem is indeed resolved.

You may have to consider using third-party iOS repair software if iTunes failed to fix your iPhone touchscreen that is not working. There are actually a lot of reliable alternative tools you can use whenever you run out of options. Just select the most trusted and effective software that’s compatible with your iPhone and works with the current iOS platform your device is running on.

Is your iPhone touchscreen still not working or unresponsive?

If none of the given procedures is able to rectify the issue and your iPhone touchscreen remains unresponsive or not working, then that’s when iPhone repair or service is needed. You can take your device to the nearest Apple-authorized service center in your place and have it scrutinized by an iPhone technician. If hardware damage is present, then that’s when service is needed.

Alternatively, you can contact your iPhone provider/carrier for further recommendations. If your device is still covered by Apple warranty, then you should avail for warranty instead.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!