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Is your iPhone camera not working? Here's how to fix it

Work your way through these steps to get your camera moving again.
By

Published onFebruary 21, 2024

There’s no need to panic if your iPhone camera is not working. It is either a software issue or a hardware issue, and there are various possibilities you can methodically work through to isolate and solve the problem. Having a panic attack is not one of those possibilities! Scroll down below to start trying out different possible solutions. You may strike lucky and get it working again after the first try.

The suggestions below should work for modern iPhone models, including the iPhone 15 series.

QUICK ANSWER

If your iPhone camera is not working, start working through the usual suspects, such as restarting the camera app, updating iOS, restarting your iPhone, etc. More extreme measures include resetting iPhone settings, factory resetting the whole phone, checking for hardware issues, and contacting Apple Support.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Restart your iPhone

apple iphone 15 power button
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

First things first. To give yourself a clean slate on which to troubleshoot, restart your iPhone.

With the modern versions of iPhones, restart the device by simultaneously holding the volume down button and the power button. When the slide to power off option appears on-screen, swipe right. Wait 15 to 20 seconds before restarting.

Ensure your cameras are clean

Cleaning phone with cotton swab 2

Are your iPhone camera lenses clean? If they’re not, the dirt and grime on them could interrupt the regular operation of your front and rear cameras. To clean your iPhone front and rear lenses, you can use a microfiber cloth and a specialized screen cleaner. We’d also suggest a cotton bud to reach the corners of your camera lens.

Try to access the camera using another app

A user adjusts the FaceTime settings on their iPhone.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Here’s a simple but often overlooked troubleshooting step. Your iPhone will grant access to its camera to apps that require it, like Zoom, Snapchat, or Instagram. Alternatively, if you don’t use any social media apps, fire up FaceTime.

If you can use the iPhone camera through a third-party app or FaceTime, this suggests that the iPhone camera app itself is the issue.

Switch between the front and rear cameras

iphone switch front rear camera

Once your phone boots, give the camera system another try. If your iPhone front or rear cameras are not working, it’s possible that the app has not loaded properly. One of the ways to unblock any bottlenecks is to flip between the front camera and back camera and back again. This will hopefully help to get things moving.

The icon to press to flip between cameras is the two circular arrows next to the shutter button. Tap it a few times and see if the screen improves.

Restart the camera app

close iphone camera app

If switching between cameras doesn’t work, force closing and restarting the camera app is your next step. This is extremely easy to do. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen until you see smaller versions of your open apps. Then swipe up on the camera app window. This will close down the camera. To open the camera app again, tap the camera icon on your home screen.

Turn off VoiceOver

The next step is to see whether VoiceOver is on. VoiceOver is an accessibility feature in iOS, and it may sometimes interfere with the running of your camera. So you need to disable VoiceOver and see if that makes a difference. Go to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver. Toggle off VoiceOver if it’s on.

Update iOS

Is the camera still refusing to cooperate? Then check to see if you are running the latest version of iOS. Go to Settings > General > Software Update. If an update is waiting, download and install it.

Reset all iPhone settings

If you’ve got this far with no luck, it might be time to start resetting things. The easiest reset option is to reset all the settings. This does not wipe your content, such as your photos and music. It merely resets your network settings, location and privacy settings, etc.

To do this, open Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone, then select Reset All Settings.

Factory reset the iPhone

Nobody wants things to get this far, as erasing the entire phone and returning to factory settings is a major pain in the rear. You have to make sure you have a viable backup and then sit and wait for the phone to do its thing. But if the previous tips haven’t worked to get your iPhone camera working again, you likely have no choice.

To reset your iPhone, select Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone, then tap Erase all Content and Settings. Follow the steps to wipe your device.

Contact Apple Support

iPhone Apple Support

If all of the above hasn’t worked, then it is likely time to contact Apple Support. You will most likely have a hardware issue that can only be fixed by Apple. If you still have a valid warranty on your phone, you may even be able to get the phone replaced if the camera problem is not fixable.


FAQs

Likely because the camera app hasn’t loaded properly. Shut down the camera app and restart it. Or switch between the front and rear cameras to smooth things out.

Yes, you can use an Apple Watch to take the picture for you. You can also buy a Bluetooth remote control for only a few dollars.

From a privacy perspective, you should cover up your iPhone camera. Here is one example of an iPhone privacy case.

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