How to Fix Ghost Touch on an iPhone?

How to fix a ghost touch on an iPhone? Ghost touch is when your iPhone screen moves or starts tapping buttons on its own. The screen seems to react to nonexistent touches, which means apps open and start doing stuff without you actually touching anything. Unsurprisingly, such strange actions can be more than a bit annoying.

However, while ghost touch sometimes requires you to take your iPhone to Apple for a repair, you can try a number of quick fixes for free. These range from cleaning the iPhone’s touchscreen to performing a factory reset.

Which iPhones Are Affected by Ghost Touch?

Ghost touch problems most commonly affect the iPhone X. In November 2018, Apple admitted that it had found some issues affecting the iPhone X’s touchscreen. It also announced that it would provide free repairs to affected customers.

However, reports and complaints online have shown that the iPhone ghost touch issue also happens on other models. Affected iPhones include not only the iPhone XS and XR, but also older models like the iPhone 8, 7, 6, and 5 as well as newer models like the iPhone 11, 12, or 13. In other words, ghost touch is something that can, on rare occasions, affect any iPhone.

Whatever model you’ve got, here’s how to fix ghost touch on your iPhone.

How to Fix Ghost Touch on an iPhone?

Clean the Touchscreen

It may sound simple, but cleaning your iPhone’s touchscreen can be an effective defense against ghost touch. By doing this, you will clear away any debris or dust that was causing your iPhone to think you’re touching the screen.

To clean your iPhone’s touchscreen, you should first turn it off and unplug any cables. Next, you should find a soft and clean cloth, such as a lint-free cloth for wiping glasses. You need to dampen this cloth with water. Finally, start wiping the touchscreen by wiping gently but firmly from one end to the other.

While wiping, make sure you don’t get moisture into any openings.

Also, Apple recommends that you don’t use window or household cleaners, or cleaners containing abrasives or hydrogen peroxide. You could erode the oil-resistant coating Apple put on your iPhone screen if you do so.

Take Off Your Screen Protector

Screen protectors are thin layers of glass or plastic that you can attach to the iPhone’s touchscreen to protect it from scratching or cracking. While they’re often useful, they can disrupt how the touchscreen operates. You should therefore try removing any screen protector since doing so could easily fix ghost touch problems.

You should remove your iPhone’s screen protector very carefully and slowly. Start at one corner, and then gradually peel the protector off the iPhone’s screen. If the protector has been cracked or damaged at all, it might be safer to take your phone to a suitably qualified repair shop (or to Apple) to ensure you don’t cut yourself on the cracked glass.

You should also consider contacting the manufacturer of the screen protector. This manufacturer might be better placed to recommend the best method for removing the protector. In addition, they may be able to refund you if the screen protector caused your iPhone’s ghost touch problems.

Don’t forget to clean the screen again after removing any screen protectors.

Remove Your iPhone’s Case

Another possible cause of a ghost touch on an iPhone is a slightly twisted screen. If your iPhone has such a screen, you might be able to solve the problem by removing any hard case you’re using. Occasionally, it can be this hard case that twists the screen, so removing it can fix the issue.

In online forums, some iPhone users have noted that their hard cases got twisted after dropping their iPhones. As such, it really is worth trying to remove the hard case if your iPhone has one.

Restart Your iPhone

It’s always a good idea to restart your iPhone whenever it has a problem. This also applies to ghost touch issues. This is because it’s possible that clearing your iPhone’s temporary memory by restarting it could fix any glitch that is causing the screen to play up.

To restart an iPhone that doesn’t have a Home button, do the following:

  1. Hold the Side button and either the Volume button until the slide to power off slider appears.
  2. Swipe the power-off slider to the right.
  3. After shutdown, hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.

To restart an iPhone with a Home button, take these steps:

  1. Hold the Top (or Side) button, until the slide to power off slider appears.
  2. Swipe the power-off slider to the right.
  3. After shutdown, hold the Top (or Side) button until the Apple logo appears.

Force Restart Your iPhone

Similar to restarting your iPhone but noticeably more drastic, you could force restart your iPhone. You can do this if your iPhone’s ghost touch problem is so severe that you can’t even turn it off properly. That’s because a force restart works even when your iPhone doesn’t.

To force restart an iPhone 8 or later, do the following:

  1. Press and hold the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and hold the Down button.
  3. Press the Side button.
  4. Release the Side button when the Apple logo appears.

To force restart an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, follow these steps:

  1. Hold the Volume Down button and the Sleep/Wake button.
  2. Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

To force restart an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus or earlier, you should do this:

  1. Hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button.
  2. Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

Update iOS

If ghost touch is still a problem, you should update your iPhone. This is worth doing because ghost touch might have been caused by a software bug that Apple has fixed in a recent update.

You need to do the following to update your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Press Software Update.
  4. Tap Download and Install or Install (if you’ve already downloaded the update).

Perform a Factory Reset

If restarts and software updates don’t stop your iPhone’s ghost touch problem, you should perform a factory reset on your iPhone. This is a good way of removing any underlying software issues that might cause ghost touch.

You should back up your iPhone before performing a factory reset because this will wipe all your data.

To reset your iPhone, you should do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset.
  4. Press Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. Tap Continue and enter your iPhone passcode.

After you’ve performed the factory reset, you’ll have to go through the setup process again. This is where you can choose to restore your iPhone from a previously saved backup.

Reinstall iOS Using Recovery Mode

If a simple force restart doesn’t work for you, you can try putting your iPhone in Recovery Mode and reinstalling iOS. To put an iPhone in Recovery Mode, connect it to a computer running macOS or iTunes and follow the steps above to force restart the iPhone.

Once in Recovery Mode, your computer will show a message that says, “There is a problem with the iPhone that requires it to be updated or restored.” You should click Update (if available) or Restore.

Restoring your iPhone from Recovery Mode will wipe all your data. You should therefore back up your iPhone beforehand, if possible.

If Recovery Mode doesn’t fix your iPhone, try using DFU mode instead. This is an even deeper version of Recovery Mode that reinstalls all the firmware on your iPhone as well as the software.

Take Your iPhone to Apple

If your iPhone is still suffering from ghost touch, you should book an appointment at your nearest Apple Store for a repair. That’s because you’ve exhausted the software fixes now, so it must be a hardware issue that is causing a ghost touch on your iPhone. For example, some owners have mentioned that improper display assembly or touchscreen seating can cause issues.

You shouldn’t take your iPhone apart and try to fix such causes yourself unless you have considerable experience doing so. It’s much safer to contact Apple Support, where you can book an appointment. Attempting a DIY repair will also void any warranty you have on your iPhone.

Bad iPhone Repairs Can Cause Ghost Touch

If your iPhone needs a hardware repair to fix ghost touch, make sure you only use Apple or an Apple-authorized service provider. This is because low-quality parts or dodgy repairs can cause various problems with your iPhone screen. They could even cause ghost touch in the first place.

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