iPhone Camera And Flashlight Not Working? Try These 12 Fixes

iPhone Camera And Flashlight Not Working

Unfortunately, there are instances where you might find that your camera or flashlight feature on your iPhone is not working correctly. This could be due to several different issues, exhibiting various symptoms depending on the root of the issue.

If you find that you are having issues taking pictures using the flash or flashlight feature on your iPhone, then this guide can help you identify your problem and provide detailed troubleshooting methods on how to solve your issue.

Why Is My Back Camera And Flashlight Not Working?

There are several different reasons that your iPhone camera and flashlight might not be working correctly. This guide will help you determine the source of your problem by listing some of the common causes of camera and flashlight issues.

1. There Is A Case Blocking The Camera and Flash

One of the most common causes of issues with the iPhone camera showing a black screen or the flashlight not emitting any visible light is that users have not considered any phone cases that might be blocking the camera’s lenses and the light from the flashlight.

Most phone cases come with a section cut out on the back to accommodate any potential cameras the phone might have. If you find that yours does not have this, or if you simply forgot that the case covered the camera, you will not be able to use your camera or flashlight till you remove the case.

2. There Is A Magnet Near The Camera

Users have reported issues with the camera and flash not working properly when in too close proximity to something emitting a magnetic field. This could include a typical magnet or battery of some form that could be causing your camera and flashlight system to malfunction.

Typically, electronics and magnets do not mix well. The complex metal internals of your devices could be damaged if exposed to too much magnetic activity. Avoiding magnets near your iPhone can help you avoid these types of issues.

3. Your Lens Is Dirty

Another common cause of camera or flashlight problems is simply a dirty lens. If your lens has become obstructed due to dirt, grime, or some other kind of residue, then you might experience issues with your camera not working correctly or the flashlight not emitting visible light.

A dirty lens can make you think that you have a problem with your camera if it causes your pictures to not come out correctly. If you wipe the lens and the problem is resolved, then you most likely just needed to clean them.

4. Finger Covering Lens

You could inadvertently be causing the issues with your camera or flashlight by having your finger over the lens when trying to use either of these features of the iPhone. This can be an easy mistake to make, depending on how you hold your phone.

This type of error in functionality is preferable to one that indicates an error with your camera or flashlight. Making sure to check that your finger is not obstructing the lens can help to cut down on your chances of this occurring.

5. Software Issue

Since the camera uses an application to access the features associated with it, as does your flashlight, any potential software malfunctions could be causing these applications to not function correctly.

Should you find that you are constantly experiencing errors in functionality involving your iPhone camera or flashlight, then this could be due to a software issue. Software issues can be avoided by keeping your phone updated with the most recent software version.

6. If Both Front and Back Cameras Are Not Working, Then It Could Be A Software Issue

A good way to determine if you are experiencing a software issue while using your iPhone camera or flashlight is to also test the front-facing camera. If you have problems getting pictures or the flash to display correctly from the front, this indicates a software issue.

Software issues can cause all sorts of different problems when using your iPhone. To avoid issues like this, you should always keep your phone updated to the most recent software version, to ensure that you are always getting the most out of your phone.

7. Your iPhone is Out of Date

As previously mentioned, software errors can be the cause of many different issues when using your iPhone. Software errors are primarily caused by using your iPhone with outdated software. If you have not been applying the period updates released for your iPhone, you are most likely encountering issues because of it.

Your iPhone has an automatic update system that notifies you of any potential updates for your phone. You are given the option to install them but keep in mind if you do not, you risk encountering errors while using your phone more frequently.

8. You Camera is Broken Or Cracked

The most unfortunate cause of iPhone camera and flashlight errors is a broken or cracked lens. If you have recently dropped your phone or it’s been crushed somehow, your camera could have gotten damaged, causing it to no longer function with the camera app correctly.

By the same token, your flashlight depends on the lenses of your camera to emit the light. If this part of your phone has been broken, or the bulb that emits the light has been damaged in some way, then you will not be able to use your flashlight until it is repaired.

iPhone Camera and Flashlight Not Working? Try These Fixes

The guide below outlines many of the known troubleshooting methods to help you fix any problems that you might be experiencing with your camera and flashlight on your iPhone. There are several different fixes you could try and this list will help you figure out which one is right for your particular issue.

1. Remove Any Cases, Accessories, or Films That Might Be Obstructing The Camera View

A black screen issue on your camera could be the result of the type of phone case you are currently using with your phone. Your phone case could also affect your flashlight’s visibility. If you are experiencing issues with your iPhone camera or flashlight, you should be sure to remove any possible obstructions of the lenses.

This is a simple fix for a common problem, as it can be easy to forget that the case is obstructing the camera lens after you have had the phone a while. Some accessories and films could also be obstructing the camera view, so be sure to address those issues as well.

2. Test The Camera By Trying To Take A Photo

If you are having a flashlight issue, it could be due to either the flashlight app malfunctioning or the lens that emits the light. To help narrow down the root of the issue, you should always check your camera’s flash capabilities after you experience problems with the flashlight app on your iPhone.

If you can use the camera app to take flash photos, then you are likely experiencing a problem with the flashlight app and should consider reinstalling or repairing the app. On the other hand, if you are not able to get the flash to work on your camera, this could indicate an issue with the light source inside your camera’s lenses.

3. Clean The Front and Back Camera Lens

Camera obstructions are most commonly caused by some type of dirt or grime build-up that covers the lens needed to function properly. This can be especially prevalent if you take a lot of outdoor photos.

Before assuming there is some type of malfunction with the camera or flashlight app, you should consider wiping the front and back cameras off to clear them of any build-up that could potentially cause black screens. This is another simple fix to a common issue.

4. Get iPhone Repaired If There Is Dirt Inside Camera Lens Or If They Are Broken

Unfortunately, if you have considerable dirt build-up inside the lens of your camera or if it has become damaged in some way, you will have to send your iPhone to be repaired by Apple.

It is not advised to attempt any repairs on your iPhone camera yourself or to get it repaired anywhere besides a licensed Apple repairman. Doing so could void your warranty, leaving you with the bill if you need additional repairs or a replacement phone.

The repair process is simple. You can open a repair ticket on Apple’s website and from there you will be directed on how to proceed depending on your particular situation. An Apple representative will likely reach out to you before sending off your device, to try and walk you through additional troubleshooting methods that you might have missed.

It can seem like a lengthy process waiting for your phone to be repaired, but if you are in warranty, it will likely not cost you anything.

5. Test The LED Flash By Trying The Flashlight in Control Center

If you are experiencing issues with the flash on your iPhone while using the camera, you should first test the flashlight to determine if the issue is with the camera application or the LED light.

You can do this by accessing the flashlight feature from the control center. If you can use the flashlight and it is functioning properly, then you likely have an issue with the camera app. On the other hand, if there is no visible light emitted from either the flashlight or the camera’s flash, then this could indicate a broken or damaged LED.

6. If the Flash Works Only Sometimes, Open the Camera App and Tap the Flash Button to Choose a Different Setting

Your camera’s flash settings can affect how often the flash is utilized. Users can sometimes be confused when the camera’s flash does not work when they intend for it to, but it could be caused by the settings that they currently have selected.

You can change how flash operates in your camera app by tapping the flash button while using the camera. You will then be able to edit the conditions for when the flash is visible. There are options there to ensure that the flash is always illuminated when using the camera app to take photos.

7. Restart Your iPhone

Like any device, it is subject to internal errors that can cause parts of it to not function correctly. If you are having problems with your camera or flashlight, as well as other issues, you could need to restart your iPhone.

Restarting your iPhone will give it the chance to consolidate any potential run-time errors that could be causing your camera and flashlight to not function correctly. A quick restart will solve most minor issues that users might experience while using the iPhone camera app or flashlight.

The process for restarting your iPhone is simple. All you have to do is hold down the top volume button, located on the left side of your phone, at the same time as the screen lock button, located on the right side of your phone. Doing this will give you the option to slide and restart your phone.

8. Force Restart iPhone

There are some instances where you will not be able to get your iPhone to respond to your request to restart. This can occur when the iPhone is bugged out or experiencing some type of critical error, causing it to freeze up.

If that is the case, you can force a restart to help you resolve the error. The process is simple. First, you must press and release the volume up button followed by the volume down button. After you have done this, press and hold the Power button until the Apple logo is visible, indicating a restart has been initiated.

If you frequently have problems that cause you to force restart your iPhone, you could be using out-of-date software. Consider checking for an update if you continue to have these issues.

9. Update Your iPhone

Your camera and flashlight both utilize applications on the iPhone to function. Because of this, you should be sure to keep your iPhone updated to ensure that all your applications function properly.

Out-of-date software can lead to bugs and glitches that cause errors when trying to use the camera or flashlight applications. If you find that you are experiencing these issues, you should check for and apply any available updates.

Your iPhone will automatically notify you of any updates available, but you will have to go and manually download and install them for them to be applied. This can lead to some missed updates, so you should check regularly to see if there are some available that you have missed.

Once the update has been applied to your phone, any potential bugs or glitches that have been patched out will take effect. Updates are released periodically, so check back often to keep your phone as up-to-date as possible.

10. Reset All Setting

If you are experiencing a multitude of different errors with functionality on your iPhone, including problems with your camera or flashlight, you could consider doing a factory reset to clear your phone of any files that could potentially be causing the problem.

Keep in mind that you will lose all of your saved data including contacts, photos and videos, and documents after completing the factory reset. A way around this is to ensure that all of the content on your phone is saved to your iCloud account. All iPhone users have access to an iCloud account.

You can start the process of factory resetting your phone by going into the settings menu on your iPhone. From there, tap into the General tab. There at the bottom, you will see the option to “transfer or reset” your phone.

11. DFU Restore iPhone

Your iPhone is dependent on the firmware to ensure that your device functions properly. If you find that you are having serious issues with the programming of your iPhone, indicated by major software issues that lead to your phone not working properly, you might consider attempting a DFU Restore on your iPhone.

A DFU, or Device Firmware Update, is the most extensive restore possible on an iPhone. It completed erases all programming data related to the core functions of your phone. If you take your phone to an Apple technician to investigate software issues, they will most likely do a DFU restore on your device to help solve the problem.

You will need iTunes installed on your computer to do this, and some have reported problems getting it to work on computers other than Macs. Once you have opened iTunes, plug your phone into your computer and let it be discovered by the iTunes application.

After your phone has been discovered, rapidly press, and release the top volume button and the bottom volume button on the left side of your phone. After you have done this, hold the side button on the right until your screen turns black.

When your screen has successfully turned black, press, and hold the bottom volume button while continuing to hold the right-side button, then count to five.

After five seconds, release the side button on the right while still holding down the bottom volume button on the left side of your phone. This should prompt your iPhone to be discovered again by iTunes or Finder.

As soon as your phone appears in either of these applications after completing these steps, your phone will have successfully been booted in DFU mode.

As previously stated, a DFU restore is a very invasive process that erases parts of your phone that are vital to function. There is a high risk of something going wrong during the process mentioned above that could potentially cause your iPhone device to be rendered unusable.

12. Contact Apple Support

If you have exhausted this list of troubleshooting methods and are still experiencing issues with your camera or flashlight on your iPhone, you should consider contacting Apple support to have them further investigate the issue.

You can open a ticket with Apple Support on their website or by calling the service number. From there, you will be able to explain your issue in detail and be put in touch with an Apple support representative who will walk you through any potential troubleshooting methods that you may have missed. They will then provide you with details regarding your issue once they have investigated it further.

You can expect to get your issue resolved rather quickly if you utilize Apple support. Keep in mind that this should primarily be used as a last resort after all of the above troubleshooting methods have been attempted. This is because Apple support is likely to suggest many of the methods listed above to solve your issue.

Dealing with customer service over the phone requires some amount of patience but it can be beneficial if you have run into an error that you cannot solve on your own.

Final Thoughts

This guide has broken down in detail the many causes of a camera or flashlight not working properly on the iPhone.

Should you encounter any of the issues listed above, you now have all of the knowledge you need to troubleshoot the issue accurately and effectively, and also avoid any potential new issues in the future.

The camera and flashlight are two of the most important applications on your iPhone. This guide will help you ensure that they both stay functioning properly.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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