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Your iPhone Ghost Touch Problems Solved: 11 Easy Fixes

Last Updated: October 5, 2023 References Tested

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Nicole Levine, MFA . Nicole Levine is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. She has more than 20 years of experience creating technical documentation and leading support teams at major web hosting and software companies. Nicole also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University and teaches composition, fiction-writing, and zine-making at various institutions. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. The wikiHow Tech Team also followed the article's instructions and verified that they work. This article has been viewed 222,323 times. Learn more...

Does your iPhone's screen seem to have a mind of its own? If apps are opening on their own or your icons are moving erratically as if a ghost is touching your screen, you're not alone—especially if you're using an iPhone X or iPhone 11, as both models are known to have issues with defective display modules. Fortunately, most ghost touch problems are easy to fix. This wikiHow article will teach you 11 easy ways to fix ghost touch on any iPhone.

Restart your iPhone.

Image titled Exit Dfu Mode on iPhone 8 Step 7

Disconnect third-party charger and accessories.

Image titled Charge Your iPhone without a Charging Block Step 1

  • If you determine the problem is related to a charging cable, you may also want to try plugging the charger into a different outlet or device, such as using your computer instead of a wall outlet. This can help you rule out grounding problems with problematic wall outlets, extension cords, and power strips.

Clean your screen.

Image titled Clean Your Phone Screen Step 3

  • Turn your iPhone off while cleaning to avoid opening apps and sending accidental messages.
  • For sticky or grimy substances, you could lightly dampen the cloth with a small amount of distilled water before gently wiping the screen.

Remove or replace your screen protector.

Image titled Get Air Bubbles Out of a Glass Screen Protector Step 1

  • You can remove the screen protector by hand, using a credit card, or by lifting it with duct tape. Applying low heat to the screen protector before you attempt to remove it will help loosen the adhesive.

Try a different iPhone case.

Image titled Clean a Silicone Phone Case Step 1

Check your Accessibility settings.

Image titled Fix Ghost Touch on iPhone Step 6

  • Open your iPhone's Settings and tap Accessibility .
  • Tap Touch .
  • If "AssistiveTouch" is enabled, your iPhone will behave differently when you touch the screen or perform custom gestures. To turn off this feature, tap AssistiveTouch and toggle off the switch.
  • If "Touch Accommodations" is enabled, your iPhone might be ignoring repeated taps or requiring you hold the screen much longer to record the tap. To turn this feature off, tap Touch Accommodations and toggle off the switch.
  • If "Back Tap" is enabled, your iPhone will register double or triple taps on the back side of the phone to perform certain actions, such as opening apps, changing the volume, or activating Siri. To turn this off, tap Back Tap and select None for both Double and Triple Tap.
  • Tap Haptic Touch to see whether the touch duration (the time you must hold your finger to the phone to register a long tap) is too fast or slow.

Update to the latest version of iOS.

Image titled Fix Ghost Touch on iPhone Step 7

Update apps in the App Store.

Image titled Fix Ghost Touch on iPhone Step 8

Reset your iPhone's settings.

Image titled Fix Ghost Touch on iPhone Step 9

Do a factory reset.

Image titled Fix Ghost Touch on iPhone Step 10

  • Before doing a factory reset, back up your iPhone so you don't lose any important data.

Contact Apple if the problem persists.

Image titled Fix Ghost Touch on iPhone Step 11

  • iPhone X: Apple is aware of ghost touch issues on this model and will replace the defective display for free for three years after purchase. [9] X Research source
  • iPhone 11: If your screen is not responding to your touch and was manufactured between November 2019 and May 2020, Apple will replace your defective display for free. [10] X Research source To see if your iPhone 11 qualifies for free screen replacement, visit https://support.apple.com/iphone-11-display-module-replacement-program and enter your serial number into the field.

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Hard Reset an iPhone

  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201406
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207123
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205269
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202180
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/guide/iphone/return-iphone-settings-to-their-defaults-iphea1c2fe48/ios
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201274
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/iphone/repair/express-replacement
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/iphone-x-display-module-replacement-program
  • ↑ https://support.apple.com/iphone-11-display-module-replacement-program

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10 Ways to fix ghost touch on iPhone

Ghost figure in a Black iPhone screen with Orange gradient background

Ghost touch is when your iPhone screen starts functioning on its own. Although touchscreen displays have completely changed the way we use phones, they come with drawbacks.

Before we delve deeper into the solutions to fix the ghost touch issue on iPhone, let’s first understand what it is and which devices have experienced the same.

What is ghost touch on iPhone?

Which iphones are affected by ghost touch, how to get rid of ghost touch on your iphone.

As the name suggests, ghost touch is when the screen seems to react to non-existing touches, and the application starts functioning without you doing anything. Ghost touches are bothersome and may necessitate having your iPhone repaired by Apple. However, before attempting some quick fixes, you must first understand what causes ghost touch on iPhones.

Causes of ghost touch on iPhone

  • Replacing or removing the touch screen during repair

Usually, if touch screens have been changed or removed during repairs, you might experience issues with screen sensitivity and ghost touch. 

  • Manufacturing defects

Ghost touch can occasionally result from a manufacturing error. Back office and supply chain implications, industrial automation, data analytics, and other areas of the manufacturing/logistics departments might be responsible for such faults. Programming errors can even sabotage the entire software processing. Therefore, the program installation gone wrong might be to blame. 

  • Hardware problems

Ghost touch might also be caused by a hardware issue. To check for hardware issues on your iPhone, launch Settings → select Privacy & Security (iOS 16) or Privacy (iOS 15 or earlier) → Analytics & Improvements → Analytics Data . There could be a list of error logs there. 

Steps to check for error logs on an iPhone

  • Software issues

A glitch in the software, such as the iOS 16 upgrade, is a frequent cause of ghost touch. If there is a flaw in the update, it can influence how sensitive the screen is, and you might get an extremely annoying ghost touch. 

In November 2018, Apple acknowledged that some iPhone X models had touchscreen problems. Even though that’s an old issue, some users of iOS 16 on iPhone X have brought it up in 2022 as well. Apple hasn’t publicly acknowledged the iPhone ghost touch issue, but investigations and internet complaints have proven that other models have also been impacted. Below is a list of the models rumored to have this screen glitch: 

  • iPhone 5 
  • iPhone 6 
  • iPhone 7 
  • iPhone 8 
  • iPhone XS 
  • iPhone XR 
  • iPhone 11 
  • iPhone 12  
  • iPhone 13  

Note: Ghost Touch can occasionally be experienced on any iPhone.

Here are 10 simple solutions that help you stop ghost touch on your iPhone. Let’s get started!

1. Check Accessibility settings on your iPhone

Accessibility settings may have an impact on the touch of your iPhone. You may have unintentionally activated Touch Accommodation, Assistive Touch, Back Tap , or even a function that recognizes taps on your phone’s back. To adjust these settings:

  • Open Settings → Accessibility → Touch.
  • Now, toggle off/on these four options as per your liking: Assistive Touch, Touch Accommodations, Back Tap, or Haptic Touch.

Steps highlighted for opening Accessibility touch settings on an iPhone with iOS 16

2. Restart your iPhone

You may always try restarting your smartphone if you have problems with the iPhone screen glitch. As rebooting always updates your devices, it also fixes any ghost screen issues that may have been caused by applications. Follow the steps mentioned in our detailed guide to restart your iPhone . 

3. Stop using third-party accessories

Some third-party charging cables, headphone jack adapters, battery charging cases, and other accessories might cause odd screen motions. If you only experience ghost touch while a physical peripheral is attached, it is most likely the accessory that is to blame. So, it is recommended to use accessories certified by Apple and check if the problem resolves. 

4. Clean your screen

You may think it’s only a silly step, but you have no idea how effective this one could be. To start cleaning the screen on your iPhone, make sure all external peripherals are unplugged. Now, wipe the screen with a soft cloth. Lint-free cloths and screen cleaning sprays are preferred.  

5. Update to the latest iOS

Your iPhone may face compatibility issues if you’re using an older version of iOS. Your existing iOS may have some bugs that may lead to phantom touch issues on your iPhone. To rectify the iPhone glitch screen, you may update iOS to the latest version using the steps mentioned in our detailed guide.

6. Update apps in App Store

iPhone’s ghost touch issue might be caused by out-of-date applications. It would be best if you upgraded the out-of-date apps on the Apple Store to correct them. You may have a few applications waiting for updates if automatic updates are not enabled. Read the following article for detailed information about how to update an app on iPhone .

7. Remove or replace your iPhone’s screen protector

Screen protectors are very thin sheets of glass or plastic that are used to shield the iPhone’s screen from damage. While they are often advantageous, they occasionally may interfere with your touchscreen’s functionality. Be careful not to scratch your iPhone’s screen when removing the screen protector from your phone. 

8. Reset iPhone Setting s

If you feel like the ghost touch issue is because of the settings you’ve customized recently, then you can always revert back to your iPhone’s default settings. To reset your settings back to default, you need to follow the following steps:

  • Launch Settings → General .
  • Go to Transfer or Reset iPhone → Reset → Reset All Settings .  

Steps showing how to factory reset an iPhone

9. Do a factory reset

This is the last resort if your iPhone continues to have ghost touch errors. You can attempt factory resetting your iPhone to fix the glitch screen issue. I advise backing up your iPhone before continuing because this step will erase the device’s data. Please go through our guide on how to factory reset your iPhone and iPad for detailed steps.

10. Contact Apple Support

Well, if none of the aforementioned measures work for you, there’s always Apple Support. You might be able to get your screen changed for free, depending on your iPhone model and warranty. To obtain assistance, you can get in touch with Apple Support directly or go to a nearby Apple Store or authorized Apple Service Provider. 

Note: If you own an iPhone X or an iPhone 11 that’s manufactured between November 2019 and May 2020, then Apple will replace your iPhone’s screen for free.

Winding up…

Please let us know in the comment section if you experience any other issues with your device. I’ll make it a point to respond as soon as possible. Don’t forget to read the other articles as well. Below is a list of a few topics that might interest you.

  • Fun Halloween wallpapers for iPhone
  • Best touchscreen gloves for iPhone and iPad
  • iPhone touch screen not working? 8 Quick fixes

Readers like you help support iGeeksBlog. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.  Read more .

iphone with ghost touch

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First steps, buggy software.

iPhone Ghost Touch

iPhone Ghost Touch .css-85r32f{transition-property:var(--chakra-transition-property-common);transition-duration:var(--chakra-transition-duration-fast);transition-timing-function:var(--chakra-transition-easing-ease-out);cursor:pointer;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;outline:2px solid transparent;outline-offset:2px;color:inherit;display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;place-items:center start;padding-left:var(--chakra-space-2);min-width:var(--chakra-sizes-7);}.css-85r32f:hover,.css-85r32f[data-hover]{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-85r32f:focus-visible,.css-85r32f[data-focus-visible]{box-shadow:var(--chakra-shadows-outline);} .css-oy56l9{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;height:55%;max-height:var(--chakra-sizes-4);color:var(--chakra-colors-gray-500);opacity:0;-webkit-transition:opacity 0.1s ease-in-out;transition:opacity 0.1s ease-in-out;}

Touch screens are arguably the most important way we interact with our smartphones. When it is working erratically or inputting touch on its own, it can be more irritating than not working at all. Although it seems like your phone has a mind of its own, it’s not possessed—the touch screen is simply on the fritz.

Before we get into fixes, there are a few known issues related to touch in iPhones. If you have an iPhone 11, check your eligibility for an Apple Service Program. iPhone X has a similar program . Finally, iPhone 6 Plus is subject to well documented board issues affecting touch. If none of those apply to you, here are some basics to get you started

  • If you are concerned about your data, perform a backup! Touch screen malfunction is a common cause for the dreaded "iPhone Is Disabled" message that occurs when an incorrect passcode is entered. You may not even realize it is constantly entering the wrong passcode until it's too late.
  • Perform a force restart . This could clear any minor software hiccups.
  • Clean and dry the screen, as well as your hands. Modern touch screens are reliant on your skin’s natural electrically conductive properties. If the screen, or your hands have substances on them that change these characteristics, your touch screen may behave erratically or not work at all.
  • Remove any screen protectors or cases. They may impede proper electrical interactivity with the display.

Any software which contains errors can cause an iPhone to act unpredictably. It can cause the phone to think an area is constantly being touched.

  • See if touch works properly on the home screen. Ask Siri to “Go to the home screen,” if necessary.
  • If touch on the home screen works, open the App Switcher and close the app(s) where the issue occurred.
  • Reopen the affected app and try to recreate the issue. If it reoccurs, check the App Store for updates and install them. Uninstall and reinstall the app if no updates are present.
  • If the home screen is also behaving unpredictably, this is more likely a hardware issue, but you can update your phone to be certain.
  • To rule out software entirely, be sure you have a current backup, and restore your phone using the recovery mode method . This will delete all data on the phone. Set the device up without restoring any of your data to test. This will ensure no third party apps are responsible.

How to Put an iPhone Into Recovery Mode

You may need to use recovery mode to restore your device in the following situations:

  • You forgot your passcode or your phone is disabled.
  • Your screen is stuck on the Apple logo for several minutes with no progress bar.
  • Your phone is bootlooping.

Note: If you forgot your passcode, you will have to erase the device.

Although most display failures seem obvious, even without visible damage, the display may not work properly due to something amiss internally.

Block Image

  • Look closely at your phone for signs of damage. Minor cracks in the screen or bends in the housing are often responsible for touch problems. Changing your viewing angle helps to catch small hairline cracks. Note: Even if damage has been present for some time, a small shift in an existing crack could affect functionality.
  • Use a touch screen tester. Download one from the App Store—many free ones are available. Open it up and leave your phone unlocked on a table. Don't touch it for a few minutes. See if any input is detected.
  • Check internal cables for tears or other damage. Have a look at the iFixit Display Replacement Guide for your iPhone to determine which cables are related to screen function. In older phones, there may even be a cable dedicated to touch.
  • Recently replaced your screen? The new display may be faulty. Third party replacements are of variable quality. Issues with touch functionality are rampant in low grade parts. Contact the shop which performed the replacement or the vendor you bought the display from and ask about warranty.
  • If you find damage, or software fixes have not made a difference, replace the display. Parts and tools to do this can be found at the iFixit Store .

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How to Fix Ghost Touch on an iPhone: 9 Potential Fixes to Try

Does your iPhone perform actions on its own? You might have the “ghost touch” issue. Here are several possible fixes for it.

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 little 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 occasion, affect any iPhone.

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

1. 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 cleaning glasses. You should lightly dampen this cloth with water. Finally, start cleaning 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.

2. 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 and 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.

3. Remove Your iPhone’s Case

Another possible cause of 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 case got twisted after dropping their iPhone. As such, it really is worth trying to remove the hard case if your iPhone has one.

4. 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, since it’s possible that clearing your iPhone’s temporary memory by restarting it could fix any glitch that is causing the the screen to play up.

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

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

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

  • Hold the Top (or Side) button , until the slide to power off slider appears.
  • After shutdown, hold the Top (or Side) button until the Apple logo appears.

5. 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 on an iPhone 8 or later, do the following:

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button .
  • Press and quickly release the Volume Down button .
  • Hold the Side button .
  • Release the Side button when the Apple logo appears.

To force restart an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, the steps are:

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

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

  • Hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button .

6. 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:

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

7. 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:

  • Scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset .
  • Press Erase All Content and Settings .
  • 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.

8. 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.

9. 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 ghost touch on your iPhone. For example, some owners have mentioned that improper display assembly or touchscreen seating can cause the issue.

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 turn to Apple Support , which is 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.

Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.

iphone xr ghost touch

Recently after updating to IOS 16.4 my iphone xr has been having frequent ghost touches. These make the phone almost unusable and seem to get worse the longer i leave my phone on. This first happened for 3 days then it went back to normal however is now doing it again. Apple support ran a check on my phone and said the software is running all good however I doubt it is to do with the hardware as no damage has been done to the phone, and I have seen posts about others who have had this issue after updating their phones software.

Posted on Apr 3, 2023 1:36 PM


hummer ~ 80% is not healthy and is to be expected after years of use and charging cycles. 80% is also the level at which Apple recommends replacing the battery. So have the weak, aging battery replaced and see if the ghost touches disappear:

iPhone Battery & Power Repair

About genuine iPhone batteries

Repair Provider Verification

(Articles found by searching Apple's Knowledge Base .)

Posted on Apr 4, 2023 7:46 AM

Similar questions

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Apr 4, 2023 1:28 AM in response to hummer02

Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch, then tap Haptic Touch or 3D & Haptic Touch. Choose the touch duration—Fast or Slow. On an iPhone with 3D Touch, you can also choose the pressure needed—Light, Medium, or Firm.

Adjust how iPhone responds to your touch - Apple Support (IN)

Apr 4, 2023 1:35 AM in response to hummer02

hummer ~ Does your iPhone XR still have its original battery?

And what's the Maximum Capacity % here?...

Settings > Battery > Battery Health & Charging

Apr 4, 2023 7:28 AM in response to Alancito

Yes it uses the original battery and the Maximum Capacity is now 80%

Apr 4, 2023 7:46 AM in response to hummer02

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10 Best Ways to Fix Ghost Touch On iPhone

The iPhone was one of the first devices to introduce multi-touch capabilities to the masses. More than 15 years later, all our smartphones use multitouch displays, albeit with several improvements. While large touchscreen displays have revolutionized the way we use phones, they are accompanied by some issues.

how to fix ghost touch on iPhone

Whether it’s the iPhone screen dimming automatically or the touch screen not working, display issues are common. Another such issue that’s quite infamous is ghost touch on iPhone. If random areas on your iPhone’s screen are registering touches or you’re unable to tap in the right places, you’re probably facing this issue. Fret not, as here’s how to fix ghost touch on iPhone in a few simple ways.

What Is Ghost Touch On iPhone?

The ghost touch issue is exactly what it sounds like. It happens when random areas of your screen register touch or things start moving by themselves on your Home Screen. It almost creates an illusion that someone else is touching your iPhone screen, hence the name ghost touch.

how to fix ghost touch on iPhone

If you’ve experienced an app getting launched by itself on your iPhone without you tapping on it, or if random characters automatically appear in your sentence while you’re typing, it is referred to as ghost touch. Ghost touch hinders the experience of using your iPhone normally so it’s best to fix it as soon as possible.

There are several factors causing ghost touch on iPhone like voltage fluctuation, a capacitive surface coming in contact with the screen, grounding issues, etc. It’s generally due to a hardware malfunction and can rarely be caused by something like a virus. In all, it just feels like your iPhone is acting weird.

Which iPhones Are Affected by It?

Ghost touch issues can plague just about any smartphone with a touchscreen display out there. So, you may face the problem on any iPhone regardless of which model it is. However, some iPhone models are known to have widespread ghost touch issues. The iPhone X, for example, had ghost touch issues which Apple later addressed with a free replacement program .

iPhone X

Several posts on Apple’s forums show that users with the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 have also faced ghost touch problems. The simple inference from this is that the issue is not isolated to a particular model or variant. Regardless of which iPhone you have, you may experience ghost touches that can be solved by following the instructions below.

How to Stop Ghost Touch On iPhone

Here are some simple solutions that you can try at home to get rid of the ghost touch on your iPhone before heading to Apple for a repair or replacement.

1. Don’t Use the iPhone While Charging

As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons for ghost touch can be voltage fluctuations. If your wall outlet or charging adapter has some sort of voltage fluctuations, it can trigger ghost touches and cause your iPhone screen to glitch.

iPhone charging

So, it’s best to let your iPhone charge when it’s resting and use it once you’ve disconnected it from the charger.

2. Clean the Screen to Get Rid of Dirt

If your iPhone’s screen is dirty or if it has patches of dust on it, there’s a possibility that those dust particles are getting registered as taps on the screen. In that case, you will observe a random part of the screen moving on its own.

iPhone screen dirty

Take a microfiber cloth and some rubbing alcohol and clean your iPhone display thoroughly. Ensure there is no dust, dirt, or debris before you use your iPhone. It’s also important to make sure that your fingers are clean before using your iPhone again.

3. Wipe off Any Water on the Phone’s Screen or Body

Since water is conductive, it can mimic a touch input on the screen. Thus, causing ghost touches. This is why it’s not advisable to use your iPhone when you’re out in the rain.

iPhone in water

Wipe off any drops of water from the iPhone’s screen and body and ensure it’s dry. Dry your hands too before attempting to use the iPhone once again.

4. Remove the Screen Protector

A lot of times, a poor-quality screen protector may interfere with the proper functioning of the touchscreen on the iPhone. Remove any screen protector you’re using and check if the ghost touch persists.

5. Disconnect Any External Accessory Connected to the iPhone

After the removal of the headphone jack, the only way to connect your wired pair of headphones to the iPhone is to use a lightning to 3.5mm adapter. If you have connected any external accessory to your iPhone via the lighting port, it could be causing the iPhone display to glitch.

iPhone accessorry

This is because any external accessory draws voltage via the lighting port so there could be some fluctuations if the device isn’t properly connected. Unplug it and check if the ghost touch issue is solved.

6. Remove Any Case You’re Using

There are two reasons why your phone case should be causing the ghost touch on your iPhone. The first one is that some portions of the case on the front might be touching the display causing it to misbehave. The second reason is that there can be some grounding issues with the phone that you cannot identify with a case on.

iPhone thick case

For example, the iPhone 12 mini initially had some sort of grounding issue due to which it had ghost touch problems. Until Apple rolled out an update to fix it, the solution was to use the phone without a case since touching the metallic portions of the phone would ground it, thus, eliminating the issue. So, try removing the case from your iPhone to see if it helps.

7. Force Restart the iPhone

For all you know, it could be a software issue that’s causing ghost touches on your iPhone. Try force restarting your iPhone to see if it fixes the problem.

For iPhone 6s or lower:

Press and hold the Home button and the Power button at the same time. Release them when you see the Apple logo on the screen.

For iPhone 7:

Press and hold the Volume down key and the Power button. Release them when you see the Apple logo on the screen.

For iPhone 8 and higher:

Press and release the Volume up key, press and release the Volume down key, and then press and hold the Side/Power button till you see the Apple logo on the screen.

8. Update Your iPhone to the Latest Version of iOS

If there’s a problem with the software, does the iPhone ghost touch go away on its own? Well, no. The iOS version on your iPhone could have some bugs, leading to phantom touch issues. Update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS to fix any potential bugs. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1:  Open the Settings app on your iPhone and select General.

General settings

Step 2:  Tap on Software Update.

Software update

Step 3:  If a new update is available for your iPhone, it’ll appear on that screen. Tap ‘Download and Install’ and wait for the installation to complete.

Install update

9. Replace the Cracked Display

A shattered display is one of the primary causes of ghost touch on iPhones. So, does replacing the iPhone screen fix ghost touch? Absolutely! If you dropped your iPhone and cracked its display, it’s best to go to a certified technician to fix it.

cracked iPhone

Take your phone to Apple where you can get it repaired or replaced.

10. Factory Reset the iPhone

This is the final solution if nothing else works. If your iPhone continues to face ghost touch issues even after following all the above steps, it’s time to reset it to factory settings and set it up from scratch to see if that fixes the problem. Note that this step will wipe all your data, so it’s best to take a backup of your iPhone  before proceeding further. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1:  Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on General.

Step 2:  Scroll to the bottom and select ‘Transfer or Reset iPhone.’

Transfer or reset iPhone

Step 3:  Tap on ‘Erase All Content and Settings.’

factory reset

Step 4:  Then, tap on Continue.

erase iPhone

Step 5:  Enter your passcode followed by the password to your Apple ID and your iPhone. This will reset your device.

enter passcode

Drive the Ghost Away

It can be annoying to use an iPhone with ghost touch issues. Frequent typos, random app launches, and the contents of the screen are all over the place. Just follow all the instructions carefully and you should be able to fix the ghost touch issue and have an enjoyable experience while using your iPhone.

Last updated on 29 August, 2022

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

iphone with ghost touch


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Sumukh has been simplifying tech for the masses and helping consumers pick the right gadgets with his in-depth insights and reviews. He decided to hide his engineering degree in the closet to pursue his passion for writing. Over the past 5 years, he has contributed with guides, reviews, and detailed opinions to notable publications like TechPP and XDA-Developers. When not jamming his fingers on thoccy mechanical keyboards, Sumukh is busy convincing people how VR Gaming is the next best thing after sliced bread.

IOS 16 UI Lag and Ghost Touch

Please is there any fix or workaround to this? After updating to iOS 16 these problems started to happen on my iPhone XR. I can't use the phone and need it ASAP!

It was working perfectly before the update.

i have iphone x and since i have updated the phone to ios 16 and then ios 16.02 and i could not use the phone at all due to the problems in touch screen and the ghost touch that prohibited me to conduct any activity on the phone and even it sends emails and call people instead of me ! now i moved to an old iphone model with an old ios model till you get this problem fixed appreciate your prompt support

What the heck Apple I literally have the same issue with everyone laggy ghost touches , it starts calling people randomly I have an iPhone 11 and it’s been with me just for 5 months when I update to 16.01 this is what happened!!!!

iphone with ghost touch

Same thing happening to me

iphone with ghost touch

i got same problem in my iphone x

Workaround: Settings > Touch > Accessibility > Touch Accommodation (Turn on Touch Accommodation) > Scroll down and Select “Initial Touch Location” >> Scroll down >> Swipe Gestures (Turn on Swipe Gestures) >> Select “Standard”.

However, even by doing this, it still affects the multi finger function and unable to do activities that requires it. (MOBA/FPS games, Garage band, etc..)


iphone with ghost touch

I too tried this. But it doesn’t help much. I still have issue for iPhoneX. this started happening when I moved from ios16 to ios16.1 update. Ghost touch issue. My YouTube app screen zooms in automatically , video gets forwarded , another applications open without me touching once I unlock screen. It is very irritating. no news heard from Apple as well if any software fix been planned to release? Or no news about this critical bug as well.

Hey, same problem over here had latest iOS 15. Was thinking why not update? It worked fine before the update IPhone Xr and had to try the new features. What ever

Tried to reboot it, even factory store, restart and let it have a rest and so on. But still the screen is delayed after touching feels like a ghost has taken over. Has a lot of storage left so it can’t be that’s it’s over used of space

None of the solution above worked Hopes Apple fix this bug regretting updating and have been getting support hopefully they maybe help me solve it.

Yeah me too, 3 days a go i updated to ios 16.0 but my phone got Ghost Touch and Lagging. That makes me spend so much time for restore

has anyone managed to solve?

i have iPhone XR max and it’s clicking things on its own after the update as well. It’s annoying especially when you’re watching YouTube and it spams the skip ahead button. Anyway apple this seems to be a problem with the iPhone XS series so please look into this and fix it

Same problem

I am facing the same problem on my iphone Xs ever since the IOS 16 update. I even tried factory data reset but nothing seems to be working. Its barely usable. the way i was able to reset my phone by using two fingers at once for this ghost touch issue. Im just hoping that IOS 16.1 will fix the issue.

Still happening in 16.0.2, and now we can't roll back to iOS 15 because apple have decided to stop signing 15.6, so now I have a pretty stone in my pocket. Cheers, I hope you enjoy the support nightmare.

I updated the phone today my iPhone XR and the problem is still there is worst even with touch assist.

Same problem on my iPhone Xs, it works normal in the morning when i first start using it and it later stops working properly. It ghost touches everywhere and if I’m doing something the only way to continue is if i turn it of and then back on again. Which helps for a mere 10 seconds until i need to do the same thing again. Yesterday it started calling and texting people randomly when im on WhatsApp or any other app that has those features.

iphone with ghost touch

Exactly the same as on my iPhone XS. I don't know how to solve this anymore. I upgraded to 16.0.2, where I naively thought it would improve. Didn't help

Same here with an iPhone XS. The newest update didn’t fix it sadly..

I am facing the problems (gost touch and also upper part of screen touch isn’t working) on my iPhone 12 pro ever since the IOS 16 update. Its barely usable. 16.0.2 doesn’t help me either. Regretting that I updated 😞

After updating to IOS 16.0.2 my “app switcher bar” hardly works and sometimes the screen doesn’t work except assistive touch on my iphone XS

Same here, iPhone XS Max, aftermarket screen with iOS 16, restored to 15.7, scared update now.

My 12 pro max is almost useless. I practically have to dictate with a mic just to type anything on my phone. Hopefully the issue will be fixed soon. It takes twice as long to type or dictate a message, email or open/close app.


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