Sensitive iPhone Touch Screens

By Carol Finch

Troubleshoot an iPhone that responds to gestures before you touch the screen or that acts erratically to basic touches.

Apple doesn't provide a way to change the sensitivity on iPhone screens, but you can troubleshoot screens that behave erratically. Problems with oversensitive screens may be caused by screen protectors, cases and charging accessories. Sometimes, the screen develops problems that disappear after a restart or reset.

Tip

Before troubleshooting, think about when the screen stopped working correctly. In some cases, a screen responds too sensitively for no reason; in others, problem starts after a change to the device. For example, if you recently replaced the screen, it may not be installed or connected correctly. If you recently dropped the iPhone or got it wet, it may have internal damage. If you can't fix the screen, you may have an underlying software or hardware problem.

Check Screen Protectors and Cases

Screen protectors may affect the responsiveness of an iPhone's screen or its sensors. For example, if the protector blocks the proximity sensor, the screen may behave erratically when you make or receive calls. Usually, this sensor puts the screen in standby mode to prevent it from responding to touch during calls. If a protector blocks the sensor, the screen may assume that you're making gestures when you hold the iPhone to your ear. If you've applied a new protector film recently, remove it, clean the screen and see if this solves the problem.

Tight-fitting iPhone cases can cause sensitivity by putting pressure on the iPhone and its screen. Remove the iPhone from its case. If the screen responds normally, use a different type of case.

Troubleshoot Charging Accessories

If the iPhone's screen acts normally most of the time but becomes too sensitive when it's charging, the problem may lie with the USB cable or adapter. Screens may behave erratically during a charge or may be fine until the iPhone is fully charged and still plugged in. Unplug the iPhone. If it works normally, a charging accessory may be the root of the problem.

Use a spare or borrowed cable or plug to charge the iPhone to see if the problem persists. Alternatively, switch charging method. If you're currently charging by USB port, charge on a power outlet, or vice versa.

Tip

If you're using third-party accessories, switch to the original Apple cable or plug that came with the iPhone. Third-party products are not always compatible with all models of iPhone. You don't have to use Apple charging accessories, but it's a good idea to use products that Apple certifies as Made for iPhone to avoid compatibility problems.

Restart and Reset the iPhone

You may be able to cure a sensitive screen with a restart or reset. These fixes solve temporary and minor problems by clearing the iPhone's system when you shut it down and reboot it. Try to restart the device first. If this doesn't work or if the screen behaves so oddly you can't swipe to shut it down, reset it.

  • To restart the iPhone, press the Sleep/Wake button and hold it down until you see the power slider on the screen. Swipe to the right to shut down the iPhone. When it turns off, press the Sleep/Wake button again. Release the button when you see the Apple logo and wait for the device to start up.
  • To reset the device, press the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously, holding them down until the Apple logo appears on the screen. Release the buttons and wait for the iPhone to restart.

Tip

If you can't fix a sensitive screen, contact Apple Support.