iPhone 12 screen not responding

iPhone 12 Screen Not Responding (Try This Fix FIRST!)

If you have the iPhone 12 or 12 Pro and the screen is frozen or unresponsive, don’t panic. There are 7 fairly easy steps you can follow to get your iPhone functioning properly again.

iPhone 12 Screen Not Responding

If you discover your iPhone 12 screen not responding, remove the screen protector and case, and restart the device. If the issue persists, perform a force restart by pressing and quickly releasing the volume up button, followed by volume down. Then, hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.

Force restarting the iPhone will solve this issue for most users. Let’s review each of these steps, including some additional fixes you can try, in detail from start to finish.

I highly recommend you follow these steps in the exact order outlined below.

We will start with the more common simple fixes, followed by less common more involved troubleshooting options.

Step 1: Remove Case And Screen Protector

The very first thing to do is remove your iPhone case and screen protector.

It is not uncommon for a screen protector or cell phone case to cause faulty contact with the screen or a side button.

Often times this is occurring without you ever realizing it. So go ahead and fully remove your screen protector, take your iPhone 12 out of its case, and give the screen a good cleaning.

Remove iPhone screen protector

When you do so, if the iPhone immediately becomes responsive, you have discovered the source of the problem. Consider reapplying a new screen protector and swapping out your iPhone case.

If the screen remains unresponsive to touch, attempt to perform a standard iPhone restart as a next step.

Step 2: Restart iPhone

To perform a standard iPhone restart, first press and hold down the volume down button (left side) and the side button (right side) simultaneously.

Then, slide the power button at the top of the screen from left to right to power off your phone.

Restart iPhone 12

After waiting about 30 seconds, turn your iPhone back on by pressing and holding the side button (right side) until you see the Apple logo.

Many users will discover that despite attempting to restart their device, their iPhone remains unresponsive and will not power down. Or worse, they discover their iPhone keeps restarting over and over again.

If this is the case, performing a force restart almost always does the trick.

Step 3: Force Restart iPhone

Force restarting your iPhone will quite literally force your device to turn itself off, even when it is completely frozen.

How to force restart your iPhone:

  1. First, press and then quickly release the volume up button.
  2. Then, press and quickly release the volume down button.
  3. Next, press and hold the side button.
  4. Once the Apple logo appears, release the side button.

While this is a fairly simple procedure, a common mistake users make is releasing the side button too early.

It can take up to 10 seconds for the Apple logo to appear. Even when the screen turns completely black, be sure to continue to hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.

When your device has fully restarted, if the issue has resolved, it is likely an iOS software bug was the culprit.

Step 4: Update iOS Software

If a broader iOS software bug is in fact the cause, it is likely this issue will reoccur in the future.

Software updates typically offer iOS performance improvements and bug fixes. These updates can even help prevent other longer term issues like iPhone overheating, amongst others.

For this reason, it is important to ensure you are operating on the latest iOS software version that is available.

To download the latest iOS software update available:

  1. First, select the Settings application from your home screen.
  2. Next, select General.
  3. Then, select Software Update.
  4. On this screen you will see if there are any recent software updates available. If there is one, select Download and Install.

Once the update is complete, allow your iPhone to fully restart before use.

Step 5: Turn On Touch Accommodations

Some users will find that their iPhone screen constantly switches back and forth between being responsive and unresponsive.

If you are experiencing this, try adjusting your Touch Accommodations settings to change how your screen will respond to touches.

This fix works for the vast majority of iPhone users!

To adjust your Touch Accommodations settings:

  1. First, select the Settings application.
  2. Next, select Accessibility.
  3. Then, navigate to Touch.
  4. In Touch, select Touch Accommodations.
  5. Lastly, turn Touch Accommodations ON, select Use initial Touch Location under the Tap Assistance section and select 0.10 seconds under the Tap Assistance Gesture delay section.
iPhone Touch Accommodations settings

Once these settings have been adjusted, go ahead and try using your iPhone again.

If the issue persists, try turning on Ignore Repeat in the Touch Accommodations section. You can also try turning on Swipe Gestures.

It is important to try turning on one of these settings at a time and then testing your phone so that you can determine if the adjustment is effective.

Step 6: Reset All Settings

At this point you have completed the first 5 steps above, but your iPhone is still going in and out of periods of unresponsiveness.

If this is the case, it is very likely a deeper software issue is causing the problem and I therefore recommend you reset all settings.

Something to be aware of is that when you reset all settings, everything in the settings application will return to factory default. You will need to re-enter your WiFi passwords, reconnect your bluetooth devices, etc.

That said, this step is a magic bullet for the vast majority of iPhone 12 issues and is absolutely worth the effort.

How to reset all settings:

  1. First, select the Settings application.
  2. Next, locate and select General.
  3. Then, scroll all the way to the bottom and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
    Transfer or reset iPhone
  4. Lastly, select Reset at the very bottom of the screen.
    Reset iPhone

Your iPhone will now go through the process of shutting down and resetting. Once you are back up and running, your device should be fully functional.

Step 7: DFU Restore

As always, the final nuclear option is to Device Firmware Update (DFU) restore your iPhone.

DFU restore erases everything on your iPhone. Make sure to fully backup your iPhone before you begin!

Time and time again, I observe iPhone users under the impression that if they are having difficulties with their device, they can bring it into the local Apple store and they will get a replacement.

In reality, the Apple technician will almost always first try to reset all settings, followed by a DFU restore as a final measure.

So if truly nothing else is working, my feeling has always been you might as well try this at home first before making a trip to the Apple store.

To perform a DFU restore, follow each of the steps in the video below carefully.


Encountering your iPhone 12 not responding to touch can be extremely frustrating. Fortunately there 7 proven troubleshoot steps you can try to get you device functioning properly again.

iPhone 12 Screen Not Responding – Top 7 Fixes

  1. Remove case and screen protector
  2. Restart iPhone
  3. Force restart iPhone
  4. Update iOS software
  5. Turn on Touch Accommodations
  6. Reset all settings
  7. DFU restore

If you’ve tried all of these fixes, and yet your screen remains unresponsive, it is likely you are dealing with a hardware issue. You can try contacting Apple customer service at 1-800-275-2273 or visit the Apple Support page.

You can also use your iPhone’s serial number to review your Apple warranty status and eligibility to purchase additional AppleCare coverage.

If these troubleshooting steps helped solved your problem, or if you fixed the issue some other way, let me know in the comments section below!

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