5 tips to fix an unresponsive iPhone screen | Cult of Mac

5 tips to fix an unresponsive iPhone screen

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5 tips to fix an unresponsive iPhone screen
Is your iPhone screen acting up? Here's how to fix it.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you’ve been having problems with your iPhone or iPad screen not acting quite as responsive as usual, don’t panic: You can try out plenty of quick and easy tricks before heading to your closest Genius Bar.

Get five tips for fixing an unresponsive iPhone screen in our how-to video:

Clean your iPhone or ipad screen

Let’s be honest: Our iPhones are always by our sides. This means dirt and gunk collects on the screen and could end up interfering with our devices’ performance.

Take a close look at your screen. Does it look oily? Is anything else on there that might be preventing the screen from working properly? If so, give it a good clean with a decent screen wipe or soft cloth. If it’s especially dirty, you might need to dampen the cloth with water. Just make sure not to soak the screen unless you’ve got the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus (they’re waterproof).

Delete and reinstall apps

If your screen isn’t responding within a particular app but seems fine when you exit it, the problem could lie with that app rather than the screen itself. First, check for updates for the app. You could be experiencing a bug known to the developers — and they might have fixed it. If no update is available, simply delete the app and reinstall it from the App Store.

Perform a hard reboot

Sometimes all your phone needs is a reboot to fix an unresponsive screen. If your screen is completely frozen, I recommend doing a hard reboot, which is kind of like shutting down a computer by pulling the plug out of the wall. If you’re using an iPhone 6s or older, simultaneously hold down the Home button and the power button until you see the Apple logo. If you’re using an iPhone 7, without a physical Home button, simultaneously hold the volume down button and the sleep/wake button until the phone reboots.

Free up space on your device

Like a Mac or PC, if your iPhone or iPad is getting low on storage space the device can get laggy. Other problems will likely occur, including your screen seizing up. Check the amount of storage available by going to Settings > General > Storage and iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. If you’ve got less than a few hundred MB available, this could be the root cause of your unresponsive screen.

You can free up storage in several ways: Delete apps, back up photos, check the cache for apps like Facebook or Instagram, etc. Luckily, iOS 11 will bring new features that free up space on your iDevices.

iPhone screen still unresponsive? Do a full restore.

Finally, if none of these steps have worked, and your phone isn’t damaged from a drop, you might need to do a full restore. Make sure to back up your iOS device through iCloud or iTunes first. Then wipe the phone and restore from the backup you made previously.

Hopefully, these tips will solve any unresponsive screen problems you encounter. For more how-to videos like the one above, make sure to subscribe to the Cult of Mac YouTube channel.