It’s natural to feel frustrated when your iPhone touch screen is not working. You use your iPhone for everything, from making calls to scrolling through pictures — but don’t let your “touch screen troubles” get you down. In this article, I’ll explains why the touch screen on your iPhone is not working, how to fix the problems that can be fixed at home, and recommend some great repair options, if it comes to that.
There are a lot of reasons why your iPhone touch screen might stop working. Thankfully, there are also a lot of ways to fix those problems.
Why Is My iPhone Touch Screen Not Responding?
The first thing we need to do is figure out why your iPhone touch screen is not responding to touch. Usually, the problem is caused when the physical part of your iPhone’s display that processes touch (called the digitizer) stops working correctly or when your iPhone’s software stops “talking” to the hardware the way it should. In other words, it could be a hardware or a software problem, and I’ll help you with both in this article.
Troubleshooting iPhone software problems typically doesn’t cost anything. It’s also easier than prying off your screen with suction cups (please don’t do this). For this reason, we’ll start with the software fixes and move on to fixing the physical problems if you have to.
A note about drops and spills: If you’ve recently dropped your iPhone, odds are a hardware problem is to blame for your touch screen trouble — but not always. Slow apps and problems that come and go are usually caused by software problems.
One last thing to keep in mind is that a screen protector can cause touch screen issue with your iPhone. Try removing your iPhone’s screen protector if you’re having problems with the touch screen.
If your touch screen works sometimes, keep reading. If it doesn’t work at all, skip to the section below called When Your iPhone Doesn’t Respond To Touch At All.
A Quick Word On iPhone Touch Disease
iPhone touch disease refers to a series of problems that primarily affect the iPhone 6 Plus. These problems include a gray, flickering bar at the top of the display and issues with iPhone gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom and Reachability.
There’s some debate over what causes iPhone touch disease. Apple claims it’s a result of “being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device.” They’re aware of the problem and have a specific repair program if you’re experiencing this issue with your iPhone. iFixIt opened up the iPhone 6 Plus and discovered what they call a “design defect.”
Regardless of what’s really causing the problem, you can take your iPhone into Apple and get it fixed for a $149 service fee.
Software Problems and Your iPhone Touch Screen
A problem with the software that tells your iPhone how to act can cause your touch screen to stop working. It may help to reset troublesome software if your iPhone touch screen is not working.
Does The Touch Screen Stop Working When You Use A Specific App?
If your iPhone touch screen stops working when you use a specific app, there may be a problem with that app, not your iPhone. First, check to see if an update is available for the app.
Open App Store and tap on your account icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Scroll down to see a list of available app updates. If there’s an update for the app causing the problem, tap Update to its right.
If updating the app doesn’t fix the problem, try deleting and reinstalling it. The app will get a completely fresh start once it has been reinstalled.
Press and hold on the app’s icon until the menu opens. Tap Remove App -> Delete App -> Delete to uninstall the app on your iPhone.
To reinstall the app, open App Store and tap on the Search tab in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Type in the name of the app, then tap the Install button to its right. Since it’s an app you’ve previously downloaded, the button will look like a cloud with an arrow pointing down.
If your iPhone touch screen is not working after you’ve reinstalled the app, send a message to the app developer. They may have a fix for the problem or be working on a solution already.
How Do I Send a Message to the App Developer?
- Open App Store.
- Tap Search at the bottom of the screen and search for the app.
- Tap the app icon to open details about the app.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap Developer Website. The developer’s website will load.
- Look for a contact form or email address on the developer’s website. It shouldn’t be hard to find it the developer is worth their salt. Remember that good developers appreciate it when you let them know about problems with their apps!
Update Your iPhone
It’s rare, but occasionally iPhone software updates can cause touch screen issues. The most recent documented case of this happening was Apple’s iOS 11.3 update. The problem was quickly fixed by a subsequent Apple update.
Open Settings and tap General -> Software Update. Tap Download and Install if an iOS update is available on your iPhone.
When Your iPhone Doesn’t Respond To Touch At All
Touch screen problems that happen in multiple applications or when you don’t have an app open may be caused by problems with the iPhone’s software. A good first troubleshooting step is to power your iPhone off and back on again, but it’s hard to do that when your touch screen doesn’t work! Instead, we’ll need to do a hard reset. Here’s how:
If your iPhone won’t turn off in the normal way — or if turning your iPhone off and back on again doesn’t solve the problem — try a hard reset. A hard reset abruptly restarts your iPhone, stopping all of its background processes.
To hard reset an iPhone 6s or older, hold the power and Home button simultaneously. Keep holding both buttons until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears.
On an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, press and hold the power button and volume down button together for several seconds until the you see the Apple logo appear on the display.
To hard reset an iPhone 8 or newer model, press and release the volume up button, then press and release the volume down button, then press and hold the side button until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears on the center of the display.
My iPhone Touch Screen Still Isn’t Working!
Is your iPhone touch screen still giving you problems? It might be time to try restoring your iPhone to its original settings. Before you do this, be sure to back up your iPhone. You can do this by plugging your iPhone into a computer and running iTunes (PCs and Macs running macOS Mojave 10.14 or older) or Finder (Macs running macOS Catalina 10.15 or newer). You also have the option to back up your iPhone to iCloud.
I recommend performing a DFU (device firmware update) restore. This type of restore is a bit more thorough than a traditional iPhone restore. To do this, you’ll need your iPhone, a cable to plug it into the computer, and the most recent version of iTunes or Finder.
Putting your iPhone into DFU mode can be a little tricky. For a simple step-by-step walkthrough, check out our article that explains exactly how to put your iPhone into DFU mode. When you’re done, come back here.
When Your Touch Screen Hardware Is To Blame
If you’ve dropped your iPhone recently, you may have damaged the screen. A cracked display is one of the most obvious signs of a damaged screen and can cause all sorts of issues with the touch screen.
A drop can also loosen or damage the delicate under-layers of your iPhone touch screen. What you see and put your hands on is just one part of the touch screen. Underneath, there’s an LCD screen that creates the images you see.
The LCD screen and digitizer both connect to your iPhone’s logic board — that’s the computer that makes your iPhone work. Dropping your iPhone can loosen the cords that connect the LCD screen and digitizer to the logic board. That loose connection can make your iPhone touch screen stop working.
The MacGyver Solution
When iPhones get dropped, the tiny cables that connect to your iPhone’s logic board can become dislodged just enough for the touch screen to stop working, even if there’s no physical damage. It’s a longshot, but you may be able to fix your iPhone’s touch screen by pressing down on the part of the display where the cables connect to the logic board.
Warning: Be careful! If you press down too hard, you could crack the display — but this may be one of those “nothing left to lose” situations, and it has worked for me before.
Options for Fixing a Broken iPhone Touch Screen
If your iPhone touch screen is not working because it’s completely broken, you could order a kit and try to swap out the parts yourself, but I wouldn’t recommend it. If something goes wrong and you’ve replaced any part of your iPhone with a non-Apple part, the Genius Bar won’t even look at your iPhone, and you’ll be on the hook for a brand new iPhone at full retail price.
The Genius Bar does a great job with broken displays, but they charge a premium for their service. Make sure to schedule an appointment first if you decide to visit the Apple Store.
Once the damaged pieces are replaced, your iPhone touch screen should work like new. If it doesn’t, the software is probably to blame.
Purchasing a new iPhone is another good option. Screen repairs on their own typically aren’t too expensive. However, if multiple components broke when you dropped your iPhone, they’ll all have to be replaced. Your simple screen repair could turn into something much more expensive.
Investing that money in a new smartphone might be the more cost-effective solution. Check out the UpPhone cell phone comparison tool to find a great deal on a brand new phone.
Back In Touch With Your iPhone
Your iPhone touch screen is a complex and fascinating piece of technology. I hope this article has helped you if you iPhone touch screen is not working, and I’d love to know which solution worked for you in the comments section below.
just did a hard reset. Thx. Worked like a charm. Didnt know there was such a thing
The same thing happened to my phone and I found putting a small bull dog clip at the top of the phone made it work noramlly again! If i remove it, it doesn’t work but this is a quick fix and have had no probems with it!
Putting pressure on the upper right quadrant worked sort of, but had to fiddle with it for a couple of weeks. Then it quit working altogether. So we removed the glass and used a forefinger to press on the black pieces of the main phone body, pressing them down toward the back of the iphone. Success! Glass works as good as new! It is helpful to use the Youtube tutorials on how to remove the glass — we just had to lift up the bottom part (by the home button), which comes off first, then reach up to press on… Read more »
Tried the McGuyver method and now I have vertical lines running down the right side of my screen…any suggestions?
Hi, I dropped my iphone and tried pressing the logic board but it still is not working and is typing random things/opening apps. Help!!
Thanks so much. I was trying to do a hard reset and it wouldn’t work …. I didn’t know that they had changed the hard reset method on the iPhone 7. Magic happened, and everything is fine now. Your article saved me a trip to the Genius Bar.
Had the SAME EXACT problem/issue Charles M below had. Proceeded to do the same exact thing Charles M did (that you suggested) to resolve the matter and wouldn’t you know it…..Problem solved! Thanks a million!!!!!!!
Thank you soooo much, that really helped!!! Dropped my phone recently and it had to have the screen replaced. I have had nothing but problems since the new screen went on. But pressing over the logic board area got it working for me.
Thank you MacGuyer for helping to repair my cell phone’s digitizer, by pressing directly over the logic board connections, and LO!, it worked and saved me a $50 quote at a reputable store in Ocoee, Fl.
You are amazing at your knowlegable and easy to understand explanations for solving challenges in the technological world. It was very much appreciated.
Hard reset solved it for me.. Thanks for the info…
thanks for help
I just read your article. I’ve had several issues with my 4 Mo old iPhone 7 plus. 1st) issue: my phone can be sitting on the table & nobody best it. Then my husband is asking why I’m calling him? We are in the same house. It will just randomly call ppl I’ve call that day. All on its own 2nd) issue: I set up touch screen ID. It is now not responding. It’s been about 2 Mo working. Ty
dropped my phone & screen isn’t cracked but not working. Just wondering if there’s anything other than these steps to do to fix it (because i already tried these steps and it didn’t work) before I go and get it fixed?
I used the MacGyver solution and it worked! You are my new hero, thanks so much!
The problem is, if you’re locked out of your phone and cannot enter the passcode then performing backups is impossible and so you risk massive data loss. 🙁
OMG I cannot THANK YOU enough!!!! I tried your final option of pushing the screen in the location where the cabels connects to the logic board!! Thank you!!
If the touch screen does not function the user cannot backup as stated above because iTunes will ask the user to repond to questions on the iphone …impossible.
Tried to do the DFU restore and it looked like it was working but iTunes is saying I need to respond on my iPhone to continue. Can’t do it since the touch screen isn’t working. Thoughts?
Just pushed on the logic board and it’s working so much better now! Thank you!
thanks for the hard reset tip
Thanks! Worked for iPhone7 which had fallen down a week before.
My touch screen was working at times and not working at others but if I jolted it a little it would work so I thought something was loose. Tried your macgyver solution and it’s working now. Thank you!
please help im in dispare (i dont know how to spell that <<)
umm…. can you help me please? i don’t know what to do anymore. because of my hungry cat, running around to get my attention, she knocked over my iPhone 5 and now when i turn it on, there are weird lights on the screen. i can’t interact with the screen. haha lucky me because right before that “accident” it ran out of battery ._. so basically i charged it up and i can’t unlock it (even with the computer on iTunes) because i have to enter my code. sooo…. I’m stuck and i can’t save all my precious photos (who… Read more »
iphone 5c was dropped then the touch did not work a hard rest was done and nothing screen and digitizer was replaced and still nothing…took phone for repair they said was unfixable….i dont understand…plugged into a computer to itunes and still nothing please help
My iphone touch screen is not working properly if a connect it to charger and works fine if i remove it. I haven’t dropped my phone and it is just 1 month with my new SE. Plz suggesg me what to do.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!! Yours is the first article I found that could actually help me! You saved my sanity this morning!
please badly needed our help. i dont know exactly what had happen to my iphoe 6s that suddenly i cannot access on it. it is freeze only in the screen and if i touch anything like pushing the home buttons its talking. like if i entered my passcode, every number i am going to touch, my phone (like siri) will say it. like i press the home button then it will say “home button” i press for the passcode “it will say my entire passcode” but its not registering. how could i fix it in such this way? i trid… Read more »
Thx – you’re a LIFE saver.
OH MY GOD THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU GUYS SAVED ME!!!! I JUST GOT THE IPHONE 7 AND IT WAS THE LOGIC BOARD. THANKS!
I attended phone call and after that the screen went all black.. tried a lot to switch it on but didn’t work.. Went through your blog, did Hard reset, it worked. Thank you so very much..
Thanks! Seems very thorough advice but if you get prompted to enter the PIN number to unlock your phone before it will speak to itunes, what can you do?
The MCGYVER SOLUTION saved me. Thank you so much for sharing this article!
Dropped my iphone 6 with no visible damage, only frozen screen. McGyver did help!!!
Many thanks to you
Hard reset worked after I dropped it and screen wouldn’t work normally. Thanks so much!
thanks. hard shut down worked! panic over…
you are a genious!! press down on the top right of it and it was fixed!!
I can’t believe it, but the MacGuyver method worked for me! I tried everything else, and just decided to say hell with it. I pushed exactly where it said to push, top right corner, and it instantly worked. But next question: This seems like an extreme fix, do you suggest that I should bring it in to the Apple Store anyway to get checked now?
MY iphone 6 plus connot touch..sometimes okey..sometimes doesnt working at all??i dont know what wrong with my screen..anybody know whats wrong??
mine is STILL not working, i literally just dropped it and my touchscreen isnt working anymore on SPECIFIC places!
my phone is not working it has a disises and the touch screen is not working.
Thank you Thank you. Easy to follow your instructions..Worked like a charm
Dropped my phone, touchscreen didn’t work at all anymore and NOW IT DOES thanks to the McGyver solution-thank you!
Thank you. Helped me re boot after a frozen screen
I had fixed my broken screen of iPhone 6 plus from non apple authorized dealer. after a month or two, I experienced touch screen issues. I did droped few times. with that dealers recommendations, I changed a strong elevated phone cover that protects the screen even after a multiple drops. Now, the phone behaves very wiered. at times, it either does not respond or the screen automatically touches random places and opens apps, calls, clicks photos and does a tons of activities on apps on the page. During this time, my intended touch on the screen does not work at… Read more »
I dropped my Iphone plus and shattered my screen, took it to a dealer who replaced it. I dropped again but didn’t cause any damage but my screen wouln’t respond. I massaged the spot by the logic board and to my surprise that fixed it. You are the bomb!
Thank u so much was about to visit screen repair shop with frozen screen!! Your ‘hard reset’ advice has done the trick a million thank u’s panic over now!! I’m so very grateful
my i-phone 6s plus screen cracked and I replaced it by a “non apple authorized dealer” that’s the term apple customer care said. They told me to go to Best Buy because they are authorized to fix i-phones but i’m sceptical about if that would fix my phone and at $149.00 thats pretty steep. I have been doing the pressing on the phone thing but that usually doesn’t work and i find my fingers hurting just using it that way to open apps or even use my phone. Hopefully today my phone will get back on track after my trip… Read more »
Had frozen screen. Followed your guidance. Hard reset necessary but all working now.
JUST WANTED TO SAY THANKS !!!
[…] Pro tip: If you see the “slide to power off” wording on your screen, but your screen won’t respond, try some of the tricks from my article about what to do when your iPhone touch screen isn’t working. […]