Apple iPhone SE Camera Problems: Flash not working, blurry photos, out of focus, random app crashes, camera app missing [Troubleshooting Guide]

One of the key features smartphone users would check out before procuring a new mobile device is the camera. Apparently, mobile phones are now being utilized by many people as a primary replacement camera for capturing photos and recording videos on the go. This is one reason as to why people would over-react when their phone’s camera suddenly misbehaves.

Apple iPhone SE camera issues 9394690

Among the most common issues affecting mobile camera app would include but not limited to the flash that is not working, blurry or out of focus photos, random app freezes or crashes, and a missing camera app. These issues are also among those that were raised by many owners of the Apple iPhone SE, particularly with the stock camera app.

If you happen to be among those who are plagued with the same problems on the same iPhone’s camera app, then this content might be able to help you out. Read on to learn why these problems occur and what should be done in order to fix them.

Now, before we proceed with our troubleshooting, if you have other concerns with your new iPhone SE, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already published some guides and tutorials. You may also contact us by completing our iPhone issues questionnaire. This is a free consultation servicer we offer and all we need is information about the problem. So please give us that so that we can help you better.

Possible causes of camera problems on the iPhone SE 

Majority of the problems raised by iPhone SE owners on the phone’s stock camera were software-related. This means that the problem lies within the software components. The good thing about software-related problems in mobile devices is the fact that they can be resolved by end-users without a technician’s aide. Hardware-related issues however are a different story. For camera problems that are caused by a faulty hardware component, particularly those parts within the iPhone’s camera,  a tech service is more likely needed either for repair or component replacement.

Software-related issues with the camera application are usually caused by corrupt contents, bad updates, misconfigured camera options, as well as memory problems like insufficient memory.

  • Corrupted files can include bad contents downloaded from online sources and saved in your iPhone’s storage. These can include corrupted photos, videos, or other types of erroneous files. When these files are saved in to your iPhone’s system, there is a higher chance for any existing apps or the device itself to become affected and become unstable or dysfunctional. Among the pertinent symptoms would include random crashes, lags, and unresponsiveness of the app or the iPhone itself.
  • Misconfigured or incorrect settings can also be the one to blame in some cases. When some settings within the camera app are not configured correctly, certain functionalities or camera outputs might not be the same as what you expected. For example, setting a wrong camera mode or failure adjust the appropriate camera settings or options can likewise end up having an undesirable output in both photos or videos taken using the iPhone’s stock camera.
  • Bad software updates are also among the potential culprits. Lots of iPhone owners have been raising various complaints and device issues, which instigated after installing a software (iOS) update. Needless to say, camera issues are tagged among other post-update issues transpiring on Apple’s special edition iPhone. This kind of problems are usually resolved by installing an official fix patch which comes in a form of minor iOS updates released by Apple to address any issues found on the current software implementation.
  • Memory issues or insufficient memory can also affect the camera app’s overall functionality especially when it comes to storing photos and videos captured using the app. With insufficient memory space, you won’t be able to store new photos or videos on your device. Photos and videos are considered as multimedia contents, which usually come in bigger file size. And the bigger the file size is, the more memory space it requires to allocate. If your iPhone is already low on storage, then you are likely to get memory error when saving new photos or videos. Usually, users are prompted with a memory error in this case. So if you happen to see a relevant message prompt, then you need to manage your iPhone’s internal storage first so you can save more photos and videos afterwards.
  • Hardware damage can possibly be the culprit especially if there were prior incidents of dropping or liquid exposure, which eventually damaged the camera or other relevant components. If you suspect that your iPhone’s camera is damaged, then you should consider taking a trip to the nearest Apple Genius bar in your place.

Recommended Solutions to Specific Problems with the iPhone SE Camera

Listed below are specific problems with the iPhone camera along with the recommended solutions. Try to see if yours is similar to any of these problems then follow the given solutions.  

iPhone SE Camera Problem on No Flash or Flash Not Working

If the flash is not working, try to test the LED flash on the Control Center and see if it turns on. If it does, then it means that the flash is working. Here’s how you do it:


  • Swipe up from the bottom of your Home screen to open the Control Center.
  • Tap the Flashlight icon on the bottom-left corner of the control center.
  • 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.
  • Select a different setting to use.


Test the camera app again to see if it’s working now.

Note: Using the iPhone in a very warm environment can also lead to issues using the camera flash. Typically, you’ll see an alert prompt telling that the flash is disabled. In this case, all you need to do is let your iPhone cool down for a few minutes. Once it cools down, try to use the camera again.

iPhone SE Camera Problem on Blurry photos, Out of Focus, poor quality videos and photos

The first thing you need to do in this case is to check the lens of the camera and make sure they’re clean. Photos can get blurry or have dark spots with dirt or dust covering the camera lens. When cleaning the camera lens, use a microfiber cloth.

Photos that are out of focus might simply need a little adjustments or repositioning of the camera when taking a photo or video.


  • Try to 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.


Note: Only start taking a photo or recording a video when the subject is at the center focus.

iPhone SE Camera app missing

This can possibly happen especially if other people have access to your iPhone. Other users can make changes to your iPhone settings, or re-configure apps options as they would prefer. Therefore it is also possible for them to move the camera app to other locations. The app can also become invisible when restricted. If this is the case, here are the things you can try:

  • Use Spotlight search – try to search for the camera app by typing in “Camera app” or other related keywords in the Spotlight search bar.
  • Verify restrictions – to check and make sure the app is not restricted on your iPhone, go to Settings-> General-> Restrictions-> Allow-> Camera. Remove any restrictions assigned to the app.

 After doing so, restart your iPhone and see if the Camera app is already visible from its usual location afterwards.

iPhone SE camera problem on black screen or closed lens

The camera viewfinder screen can appear black if it’s covered or blocked. For example, your finger might have blocked the lens while attempting to take a photo or record a video. Other than that, the issue is on closed lens. If you are sure that nothing is blocking the camera lens and yet you’re still seeing a black screen or closed lens, then here’s what you can do:


  • Force restart the camera app. Quit the app and then open it again.
  • Reboot your iPhone.
  • Open the camera app again after the reboot.


Or you can also try switching between the front and rear cameras. If the black screen occurs only in one of the cameras, it means that something is wrong with that camera and thus needs to be diagnosed further by an authorized technician.

Potential Solutions and Recommended workarounds to deal with camera problems on your iPhone SE 

Highlighted in the lower section of this page are generic solutions, which should serve as general troubleshooting guide for you or any iPhone SE owners who would opt to try fixing the camera problem(s) they’re experiencing on their end. You too may refer to these steps, when needed. Again, these methods only work if the problem you are dealing with is software-related. If you’ve positively identified the underlying cause, then you can jump straight to the method which you think best applicable to your condition. Otherwise, you would have to try all applicable methods until the problem is resolved.



  • Be sure to test your camera app after completing each step so as to determine whether the problem has already been fixed. Proceed to the next method, if necessary.


Method 1: Restart the Camera app.

Random issues happen to any application including the iPhone’s stock camera app. If this should be the case on your end, restarting the application might be able to rectify it. By restarting here simply denotes quitting the app and then open it again. This trick usually works with minor software glitches as the main cause. The same method is applied to computer programs that have gone rogue due to minor glitches.

Symptoms like lagging, freezing, or not responding app are usually rectified by this method. So you might as well consider trying this on your end to see if it works. Just close the Camera app then re-open after a few seconds.

For starters, 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.

Now, try to observe and see if the problem is gone. If not, continue to the next method.

Method 2: Reboot (soft reset) your iPhone SE.

Minor software glitches that are not rectified by an app restart can be dealt with by a soft reset or simply rebooting the iPhone. A reboot usually eliminates random issues caused by minor glitches on the application.

Here’s how to perform a soft reset on your iPhone SE:


  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.



Alternatively, you can force your iPhone to restart, especially if the camera app is not responding or your iPhone is freezing and not responding to touches. A force restart will not erase any data on your device, thus it is considered a safe process.


  • To force restart your iPhone SE, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and Home key simultaneously for a few seconds until the Apple logo appears.  Your iPhone will now reboot.


After the reboot, try to open the camera app and see if it is now working fine. If not, proceed to the next applicable method you want to try.

Method 3: Check and ensure your iPhone SE has sufficient memory space.

If necessary, manage your iPhone’s memory so as to free up more space to allocated new contents including photos and videos taken using the phone’s camera app. The memory is likely to blame if symptoms would include lags, random crashes, and sluggish performance on the app. In most cases, users are prompted with insufficient memory prompt or pertinent alert message. To check memory status and manage your iPhone’s internal storage, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Storage & iCloud Storage.
  4. Tap Manage to view how much storage each app on your iPhone is using.
  5. To view more information about memory usage for each app, simply tap an App from the list.



By default, iOS devices are designed to automatically optimize storage by removing temporary files and clearing caches. If your device gets full and the iOS is no longer able to free up more space, this is when you’ll get to see an alert message telling that your iPhone’s memory is almost full and that you need to free up space for new contents.

There are many ways to free up space on your iPhone’s memory. And these are the things you can do on your end:

  • Quit all apps running in the background (standby mode). To do so, double tap the Home key or quickly press the key twice. Doing so will open the apps previews. Swipe up on each app’s preview to close the app. If necessary, view more apps preview by swiping right or left then swipe on the app’s preview to close it.
  • Delete old files. Files or contents that are no longer used or needed must be deleted to free up space on your iPhone storage. These include photos, videos, audio files, messages and other unnecessary contents that are still saved in your device. If deleting is not an option for you, then you can move these files to other storage media instead.
  • Restart your iPhone. Restarting is also one way to clear your iPhone’s memory. This is one of the reasons as to why it is recommended to restart your device more often especially after extensive use of complex apps.

 Try to use the camera app afterwards and see if there are any improvements.

Method 4: Update iOS.

Software updates are released periodically for device optimization or fixing bugs. Post-update issues that occur after major iOS implementation are usually fixed by a follow-up update. That being said, if the problem(s) you encounter with the camera app started after installing a major update to your iPhone iOS, then that update is likely to blame. In this case, check new available update for your device and install (if there’s any). Here’s how:

  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.
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process.

If none of the aforesaid methods is able to fix the problem and that the stock camera app on your iPhone SE is still not working, then you may temporarily resort to using a third-party camera application for taking photos or videos.

Contact Apple Support or your carrier for other options

Since you’ve done everything on your end, tried every possible means to fix the problem but to no avail, you should now consider contacting your carrier or Apple Support, escalate the problem and ask for other options or recommendations. If calling is not your preference, then you may take your iPhone SE to a service center instead. It’s possible that a defective component is causing the stock camera to malfunction.

Connect with us

Visit our troubleshooting page to view more solutions to other iPhone problems we have addressed in our prior posts. If you wish to reach our iOS support team for further assistance, then you may do so by filling up this form with all the required information. Be sure to provide us with the significant details of the issue that you need help with so we would be able to give you the best possible solutions and recommendations to try on.

Leave a Comment