Apple iPhone 7 Camera app missing, blurry photos, out of focus, flash not working

One of the smartphone features most people would consider checking before making a final purchase is the camera. Aside from calling and texting purposes, many smartphone owners would consider using their devices as a secondary camera, which they can use whenever and wherever they wanted. The higher the camera specs, the better. This is why smartphone manufacturers are working hard to equip their new device releases with top-notch camera features. Among the leading devices to integrate the best camera features to-date is Apple’s latest flagship smartphones — the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

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The iPhone 7 sports 12 MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras with optical image stabilization among other highlighted specs. Indeed the overall camera specs of this iPhone are truly impressive. But not all iPhone 7 users have the same positive impression with its camera features. In fact, many are complaining about various camera issues they have encountered while using the iPhone 7 camera app in taking photos and recording videos.

Among the complaints being raised would include but not limited to poor image quality, blurry or out focus images, and not working camera flash. Others were having trouble finding the camera application or the camera app is missing on the Home screen. What causes these problems to occur on such a new powerful mobile device? And what must users do in order to fix these problems on their end. These questions are basically what this post is trying to address. Read on to learn more.

What can possibly cause camera problems on your iPhone 7?

There are many factors that can trigger issues to occur in mobile apps including the new iPhone’s stock camera app. Majority of the reported cases are software-related. This means that the problem lies within the iPhone system or software. There are also other issues where the camera problem is tied to a faulty hardware like a damaged camera lens from a hard drop or liquid exposure.

Listed below are common factors that can inflict problems to the iPhone 7 camera application.

Corrupt contents – downloading or saving corrupted contents into your new iPhone can likewise affect its overall functionality. For example, when you download corrupted image or video files and save them in your iPhone, there is a higher chance for these files to affect the camera especially as you attempt to open or view these files using the camera app. In most cases, the camera app can become unresponsive or crash unexpectedly.

  • Incorrect settings – responses and outputs of the camera app may vary depending on how the app settings are configured in the first place. That being said, if you configure the settings incorrectly, there is a higher chance for you to encounter errors or get undesirable outputs from the application. Just like when you failed to adjust the camera settings or missed to turn on some options. It’s possible for you not to get your expected output for these reasons.
  • Bad updates – software updates are officially rolled out by device manufacturers as their way of keeping their existing device systems optimized. Other updates also serve as bug fixes. But sometimes, software updates can also contain bugs, thus inflicting post-update issues to arise on a device. You can say that the issue you have with the iPhone 7 camera is caused by a bad update if it started after you install an iOS update in your device.
  • Memory problems – although this is not likely the case given that what you have is a new device with high storage capacity, it’s a possible trigger that you should consider especially if you’ve already installed a number of complex apps or other contents in your iPhone. Errors associated with memory issues on your iPhone are usually depicted by relevant warnings and error prompts while attempting to save new photos or videos taken with the stock camera app into your iPhone storage.
  • Faulty hardware – damaged camera lens or other relevant components on the iPhone can be the worst possible culprit. You cannot rule out this factor especially if there were previous incidents of dropping or liquid exposure on your iPhone 7. Hardware damage generally requires tech service (hardware repair) in order to get fixed. 

How to fix iPhone 7 camera problems that are software-related? 

Software-related problems with the camera app are usually resolved by performing a series of troubleshooting procedures on the user’s end. Majority of these types of problems don’t require tech service.

Here are some generic solutions and recommended workarounds you can try on:

Step 1. Restart the app.

Just like any other misbehaving apps, restarting the camera app might be able to fix the problem especially if it is just a random glitch. To do so, simple quit or exit the Camera app and then after a few seconds open the app again. It’s the same concept applied when something goes wrong with computer programs. Usually, minor app glitches are resolved by restarting the application.

To restart the stock camera app on your iPhone 7, follow these steps:

  1. Quickly press the Home key twice or double-tap the Home key to open a new window containing all your recently opened applications. These apps are in standby mode and remain in the background to help users when multitasking.
  2. Swipe left or right until you see the Camera preview screen.
  3. To close the Camera app, swipe on the app’s preview. Doing so will quit the app.
  4. After a few seconds, tap the Camera icon to open the app again.

Test the camera app and see if the problem is fixed already. If not, then try other applicable solutions.

Step 2. Reboot your iPhone 7.

Apps glitches that are not rectified by restarting the app can be dealt with be a reboot on your device. Others would call this method as a soft reset. And here’s how it’s properly done:

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider shows up on the screen.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your iPhone completely.
  3. Wait for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again for at least 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears.

If the camera app or the device itself is not responding, you can do a force restart on your iPhone instead. The process will not remove any data from your device, thus it is deemed safe. Here’s how a force restart is done on your iPhone 7:

  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Volume Down key simultaneously for about 10 seconds and then release both keys when the Apple logo appears. Your iPhone will then reboot.

After the reboot, try to open the camera app again and see if it is already working properly.

Step 3. Check memory status.

Consider doing this method especially if you are fond of downloading complex files to your iPhone. You may not have noticed but it is possible that your device is already running low in storage. Here’s how to access the internal storage menu on your iPhone 7:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Storage & iCloud Storage.
  4. Tap Manage. Doing so will let you see details on how much storage each app is using.
  5. Tap an app from the list to view more information about memory usage for the selected application.

Generally, iOS devices like the iPhone 7 are designed to automatically optimize storage by removing temporary files and caches. But a time will come for it to no longer be able to free up more space, especially when the memory gets full. At this point, you will need to do something to free up some space for your iPhone to be able to allocate new contents.

If necessary, you can free up some space of your iPhone storage by quitting all running apps in the background, deleting old or unnecessary files, and through a regular restart or reboot on your iPhone. Moving some of your important contents to other storage media is also an option to consider in this case.

Step 4. Update your iPhone to the latest iOS version available.

Camera app issues inflicted by a bug are usually resolved by installing an iOS update that contains bug fixes. Your iPhone 7 originally comes with iOS 10. Shortly after it’s official rollout, minor software updates have been rolled out by Apple not only to keep the iPhone system optimized but also to fix existing bugs affecting certain iPhone features including the camera.

If you haven’t updated your iPhone iOS yet, then you better do it now.

To check for available iOS update for your iPhone7, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. If an update is available, you will a message prompt telling so. To proceed with iOS update installation, tap Download and Install.

Whenever you’re ready, continue by following the rest of the onscreen prompts and instructions to complete the iOS update download and installation process.

Specific Camera Problems and Solutions

If ever you encounter any of the following issues, then you can try the recommended solutions and see if it’ll work the same on your end. These solutions have been proven to work by other iPhone users who have dealt with similar issues while using the stock camera app on their respective devices. Hopefully, you’ll get the same luck.

Problem 1: Camera Flash is not working

Solution: Try to test the LED flash on the Control Center of your iPhone and see if it turns on. To access the control center, swipe up from the bottom of the Home screen. Then proceed with these steps:

  1. Tap the Flashlight icon on the bottom-left corner of the control center.
  2. If the LED flash turns on after tapping on the icon, the flash is working. If it does not turn on, try to check the flash settings by tapping the black lightning icon or flash icon found on the upper-left of the screen.
  3. Select a different setting to use.

After doing all these, try to open the camera app and see if it is working fine already. 

Hint: Try not to use your iPhone in an extremely hot place. A very warm ambience can also result to the same problem while using the camera flash when taking photos or videos. You’ll likely be prompted with an alert message saying that the flash is disabled. This therefore denotes that you need to let your iPhone cool down a bit and then use the camera flash again in a not so warm environment.

Problem 2: Blurry photos or out of focus

Solution: Check the camera lens and make sure it is not clogged or covered with dust or dirt. If necessary, clean the lens using a microfiber cloth. Photos can become blurry if the camera lens is dirty or dusty.

For photos that are out of focus be sure to make necessary adjustments or center the subject before capturing. Here’s what you should do when taking a photo or recording a video in center focus:

  • Tap the object or person on the preview screen to let the camera make necessary adjustments automatically.  After doing so, you will see the screen pulse or notice that the screen briefly goes in and out of focus. The camera will automatically refocus to the center if you move too far in any direction.
  • When you see that the subject is already at the center square, tap the Capture icon.

Problem 3: Missing camera app

Solution: Try to search for the camera app using Spotlight search on your iPhone. To use Spotlight search, just type in the Camera app or other related keywords in the Spotlight search box. You will then see a list of suggested results based on the keyword you entered. Look for the Camera app from the search results.

Alternatively, you can check restrictions on your iPhone 7 and make sure that the Camera app is not restricted. Putting restrictions on the app might be a possible reason as to why the Camera app is no longer visible from the Home screen or any other folders.

  • To check restrictions on your iPhone 7, go to Settings-> General-> Restrictions-> Allow-> Camera. If necessary, remove any restrictions imposed to the Camera app.

Restart your iPhone after making necessary changes.

Problem 4: Black screen or closed lens

Solution: Make sure your finger is not blocking the lens while taking photos or videos. If it is not your finger that is blocking the lens, then the problem is likely triggered by something else like a closed lens. Here’s what you can try to deal with closed lens issue on the iPhone 7 camera:

  1. Force restart the camera app. Quit or close the app and then open it again.
  2. Reboot your iPhone.
  3. Open the camera app again after the reboot. 

You can also try switching between cameras and see if the problem occurs to both cameras. If it only occurs to one of the cameras, then it’s possible that the other camera lens (not working) is damaged. You may need to have it checked by an authorized technician.

Contact Apple Support for further assistance 

If you think you’ve tried and done every suggested workaround in this page and yet you’re still having problems with your iPhone 7 camera app, you should now consider escalating the problem to Apple Support. Give them a call and request further assistance or other recommendations. But if calling is not your choice, then you can just take your iPhone to an authorized service center for hardware check and/or repair. 

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