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.
The fix for me was to repeatedly press the side key until the emergency call option came up and then I was able to slide the power off. I don’t think I did the volume up and volume down. Once it powered off and I restarted, the touch screen is working.
We buy the iPhone because it’s iOS, sadly the hardware components are too fragile.
My iPhone doesn’t respond to touch?
If you’ve tried the steps in this article and your iPhone still won’t respond to touch, get in touch with Apple support. There may be a hardware problem.
I have an iPhone 11. It just hit 2 years old. No cracks or breaks in the touch screen or the glass back. My phone has been heating a lot which usually means the battery is going and the iPhone is at the end of its life since Apple is dog shit. My phone had been working all day then literally out of the blue, my screen was entirely unresponsive. It was during my workday so it’s not like I was even using my phone, nor have I dropped it recently at all. I took it out of my pocket… Read more »
My phone is 100 percent 😭 gonna have to wait so long
Was at the pool & there was a spill
After multiple restart ( by itself) it finally got up
After few hours of using it and thinking everything is finally ok, one side the screen isn’t responding to touch anymore
Sounds like water damage to me. Check out our other article on how to address iPhone water damage to see if that fixes the issue for you.
So I dropped mine a few days ago and after I dropped it still worked and it barely got craked, a few days after I dropped it I went to get on my phone and it wouldn’t let me touch anything. 🙁 this is REALLY not ok and I tried hard reset and it still didn’t work. PLEASE HELP ME!!
It’s certainly possible the drop partially dislodged or damaged an internal component, and now that damage is affecting your iPhone. I’d reach out to Apple support about it.
The hard reset worked perfectly! Old 4s screen would not respond, all good, thank you!
The MacGyver Solution worked for me! Thanks!
My phone fell and there is a big crack in the middle. The bottom half of my iPhone 10 doesn’t work now. Any suggestions? Should I fix it or get a new one?
My phone was in my bag and I dropped my bag rather hard. My phone ended up with not a single crack but I can’t touch the screen, it’s an XS.
Your solution by pressing down on the logic board actually worked for me as well. Thank you!
Same as well with me i was so hopeless and thought this was the end for my ip xsmax… Thank you !!!
Is there a solution for a screen not displaying anything anymore? I see some back light turning on when I push the Sleep / Wake button, But that’s all. I feel the Touch ID is working, but then I don’t get anything displayed. My iPhone SE 2020 dropped out of my pocket and landed flat on it’s screen on the ground.
Hello, AvdM! It’s possible that your iPhone retained some hardware damage from the drop. If that’s the case, I’d suggest reaching out to Apple Support directly to find out what your repair options might be.
If you’re interested in trying a few more home repairs before heading to the Apple Store, here’s a link to an article we published about what to do if your iPhone SE’s screen is black: https://www.upphone.com/fix/iphone/display/iphone-se-black-screen-heres-the-fix/
Hope this helps!
Your solution by pressing down on the logic board actually worked which was very surprising.
My iPhone 7 suddenly went white then the screen was unresponsive until now. Did the hard restart but it did not work. What should I do?
hi valerie, you saved my day today as my phone didnt respond to touch screen
Hello, I have an XS max. My digitizer was malfunctioning the other day where the screen would move slower. There were black lines and light changes in my screen, it would happen randomly until now my screen is completely black. However, I can still touch and interact with the screen as I can still hear my clicks if I were to type in the passcode. I’ve tried hard resetting to no avail. At this point, I’m wondering if I should just go get the screen and digitizer replaced or if it is worth it to take apart the and see… Read more »
I have an iPhone 7. I tried all the instructions for it and it doesn’t work. Apparently, half the screen works but the top doesn’t.
Also interested in an answer to this as I have the same issue where just the top of the screen is not responding to touch but the bottom half is still working.
i have the exact same issue
I have an iPhone XR and I dropped it. Normally, to turn it onto my lock screen I just have to tap it then use Face ID or put in the password. Its’s not working and only turns on by the side button. Any advise on how to fix this?
I have a 1st Gen iPhone SE – I tried the hard reset, and now I can’t enter my password. Is there a workaround for that?
Hi! I have an iPhone XR. I dropped it and the left part of the screen won’t work when I touch it. Some letters on the keyboard on the left side won’t work but the right side of the screen is working fine. Any advise on what it can be or what I can do?
Hi Ken! I’m sorry to hear about your screen issues! Since your iPhone stopped working when you dropped it, it’s almost certainly a hardware problem causing the malfunction. I’d suggest reaching out to Apple’s support team directly to try to get the issue diagnosed. For hardware problems like this, they’re really the only safe option for reliable repairs. Best of luck!
I have an iPhone 6 Plus and my screen is unresponsive. I can’t turn my phone off by sliding the power off because it won’t respond to my touch. I tried to force reset it with the Home and Power button but it didn’t change anything. Only 4 numbers work for my password, and the rest don’t do anything when I press them.
Were you able to fix it? I have a similar problem.
That’s exactly what is happening to mine, what did you do?
My iPhone 12 won’t do any of these. I cannot touch the screen at all.
Mine as well. I have my iPhone 7 here and can’t touch at all.
I fell and shattered the bottom right corner and now I can’t touch the top of phone. I can see it but it won’t respond to touch. What do I do? I can’t power my phone off please help.
My iPhone 7 out of nowhere stopped responding properly. The bottom half works, but no luck with the top. When I try to click them, the screen starts going fuzzy and faint lines come up. This is odd, as it hasn’t been dropped in a few weeks. I was using it scrolling through Facebook and it was fine one minute and not the next.
My 6S screen stopped working intermittently after I had the screen replaced because it had an oily looking spot. I decided to replace it with an 11 Pro. Now I am getting the same thing again after only a couple of days. Seems like iPhones are allergic to me. Can you help?
My phone out of nowhere stopped responding. I tried opening apps, they aren’t opening. I tried shutting the phone by holding the two buttons but even that didn’t work. What should I do. Please help, it is an iPhone XR.
This is happening to me right now! How did you end up fixing it?
My husband’s iPhone 6’s screen suddenly became unresponsive for no obvious reason. Cleaning didn’t help. But the hard reset you gave as default – power button plus home button – fixed it. Thanks!
I’m glad to hear it Barbara, thanks for reading!
I just got my iPhone and have never dropped it I tried what the article says and it still hasn’t worked any advice??
Hi Ash, if your iPhone is brand new and already causing you problems, I’d suggest reaching out to the store you who sold you it and let them know. You might need to exchange it for a replacement. Best of luck!
Thank you!!!! The up down hold on side thing helped!
I have an I-phone 7 and my touch screen was not working at all, I did the hard reset and it worked perfectly! Thank you to whoever wrote this article! I really needed my phone today! ?
Thank you for the clear instructions! My son’s iphone is working again
I phone 6s touch screen won’t work. Tried hard reset didn’t work. Can’t turn off the find my phone because touch screen doesn’t work. So I am in an endless loop. Siri still works. Help
Hi Sue, I’d recommend reaching out to Apple’s Support team directly if you’re still having trouble. It sounds like this could be a hardware issue, or a serious software malfunction. Either way, Apple’s technicians should be able to diagnose the issue and give you a quote for repair costs. I’m sorry we couldn’t be of more help, best of luck!
Any tips I dropped my iPhone 7 yesterday and the top half of my touch screen is unresponsive I’ve tried resetting it but then my phone just disables for 15 minutes
Hi Samantha, sorry to hear you’ve having trouble. This sounds like a pretty serious hardware issue. I’d strongly recommend reaching out to Apple Support directly to find out about your repair options. Unfortunately, there really aren’t safe or reliable home repair options for a damaged screen. I’m sorry we couldn’t be of more help, best of luck!
Same. Did you already fix it?
Hi Samantha. I am currently experiencing the same issue with my iPhone 10. What did you end up doing for a solution?
Thank you! I updated my iOS and its working normally now. I even had my phone set to update automatically, but there was still an update waiting. Anyway, you saved my phone!
Thanks for reading, Tamara! Happy to help!
i use a x and all of a sudden my phone stop responding to. touch . i dont. know what to do pls helpppp
Does your iPhone still respond to when you press buttons? Does the side button still lock / unlock your screen? If so, you may want to try a hard reset. To do this, press and hold the side button and volume down button at the same time. Keep holding both of these buttons until the Apple logo shows up on your screen. Once you see the Apple logo, let go of both buttons and your iPhone will hopefully turn back on from there. Hope this helps!
I have the same issue but my buttons are not responding.
Hi Saraverma, I’m sorry to hear that! Here’s a link to an article we published about what to do when your iPhone is frozen: https://www.payetteforward.com/my-iphone-is-frozen-what-to-do-when-iphone-freezes/
I hope this helps!
This was a wonderful help to me , my family, my colleagues and my friends
i have an iphone 8+ and i accidentally dropped it yesterday and now only the bottom half of my phone works..any advice?!
Hi Savannah, it sounds like your iPhone has retained hardware damage from the fall. I’d recommend going straight to Apple to inquire about repairs. Trying to fix hardware issues on your own or with a third party can void your warranty and Apple may not be willing to perform the repairs you need if it’s been serviced by an unlicensed tech.
I have an old iPhone5S (A1533) and it is back to factory settings.
I am trying to resell it so I wanna make sure that whoever gets this phone can set it up. With that being said when you set up this phone you enter the passcode, then you press English, then United States, and then you press “set up manually”….and that is where it won’t go any further. The touch screen for “set up manually” won’t succeed past that point.
Eh, hello. I have tried all the methods listed, i even tried to hard reboot my phone. But my touchscreen still wont work! I can still press the volume amd power button, but the touchscreen is unresponsive nevertheless. Its a iphone 11 btw. Any tips?
If your touchscreen is working after trying those steps, you might need to attempt a DFU restore. If that doesn’t work, there is probably something wrong with your phone’s hardware that’s preventing it from working correctly. If that’s the case, you’ll need to get it repaired or replaced.
My se 2020 back arrow not working specifically in some apps like WhatsApp.it stick to one contact .can’t go back to connect with other contact. Some times it happens in Facebook also.this never dropped.please help me
Thanks, the MacGyver solution was so helpful! My phone has not worked well for 4.5 months, but now it does!
Thanks so much for the advice, it worked ?
got my iphone 7 to work. thank you! thank you!
I have a problem with pmy Iphone 6s. Now I have iOS 14.4.2 version software. About 5 upsdate before the phone get this problem after a update version instalation. when I call someone the phone blocks the touch scren. I still can make the call but to end the call i have to press the lateral button, because nothing on the touchscren works when I have a call active. It also happens with Whatapp I can only ear the voice messages if I connect ear phones, otherwise is to low to ear.
OMG THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU I CAN TELL YOU HOW HAPPY AM IM SO GLAD THIS WORKED I WOULDN’VE DIED IF I DIDN’T SEE THIS THANK YOUUUUU
i went to replace my broken screen on iPhone 7, with a non OEM part and the screen now works but after a few hours becomes unresponsive to touch requiring a hard reset that restores its touch functionality for a little while before needing another hard reset. The store replaced the screen once already but the problem persists. What could this be, considering I did not have the issue before screen replacement, even with the previous broken screen?
my iphone is not touhing and i dont know what to do so please help
Hi. I did the DFU restore and my iphone is still unresponsive to touch. What to do now?
If you completed a DFU restore successfully and your iPhone still won’t respond to touch, there is a deeper hardware problem with the device and you’ll need to get it repaired or replaced. Reach out to Apple and see if they’ll offer you a replacement. If your device is older than an iPhone 8, I strongly suggest you check out your upgrade options so that you can get the latest hardware and software support!
When my phone refused to shut down, I plugged it in to my desktop with iTunes running and the power button depressed. That seemed to shake something loose because my phone made a ping sound. I then unplugged it from the computer and could do a normal shutdown. All seems well now.
It helped me a little there’s a relief from the inside of me reading those tips might be not the full solution but it did help a lot
When buggie software causes me to lose touch screen control altogether – can’t swipe anything or turn off. A consistent works-every-time fix for me has been to hit the sleep/wake button to sleep it, then again to wake it and all is well. iPhone 6.
where is the sleep button?
It’s the power button! It used to be called the Sleep / Wake button, and now it’s called the Side button.