Can’t Swipe on iPhone? Try These Fixes

iPhone Won't Swipe Left or Right

Apple has always been known to make slick models of the iPhone or iPad with elegant features for each update. Rather than using buttons to navigate through your iPhone, to go back and forward, you’re able to swipe left or right on your screen. This allows you to navigate through apps like Safari very quickly because you’re able to go back with one swipe rather than clicking a back button as most Androids do.

Although this feature works seamlessly most of the time, sometimes, when you try to swipe, it doesn’t let you. This can be frustrating because there’s no other way to go back or forward on your iPhone or iPad. Luckily, you can still go back and forwards by using various buttons such as the home button, and the small button on the top left that allows you to go back to the preview app.

Why You Can’t Swipe Left or Right

Software Problem

In rare situations, a software problem can stop you from swiping left and right on your screen. Bugs and glitches are known to cause swiping problems. There’s usually a temporary problem within your iPhone’s software that causes random problems with this one making you unable to swipe. If you can’t swipe on your iPhone and it’s because of a software problem, count yourself lucky because they’re easier to fix compared to if the problem was down to the hardware being damaged. There’s no way to know if the problem is down to a software error on your iPhone which is why you need to try the software-related solutions to see if it gets rid of the swiping problem.

Dropped Your iPhone

If you can’t swipe on your iPhone home screen, it could have been caused by a drop in your iPhone which has impacted the hardware. If you’ve dropped your iPhone on a hard surface such as concrete or your home floor, it can cause the internals of the LCD display to damage which can cause the swiping feature to fail.

If you’ve dropped your iPhone and now you can’t swipe, it means that your iPhone has been hit so hard that the interactions of the screen have been damaged and you need to find out what’s the problem before you can start swiping again. In cases like this, you’ll have to repair your screen because getting your iOS device back to normal in this case is a rare thing.

How To Fix iPhone Won’t Swipe

1. Restart Your iPhone

The first thing you can do is restart your iPhone. Restarting your iPhone will refresh the software it’s running on. If there’s a bug or glitch that’s causing this issue, then restarting your iPhone may get rid of it which could fix the problem you’re experiencing. After the phone has been restarted, you can go into your home swipe and start swiping left and right to see if the screen is responsive. Or, you can go into an app like Safari and see if you’re able to go back or forward by swiping left or right.

2. Force Restart

If you’re still not able to swipe on your iPhone, then you have the option to force restart your iPhone. When you force restart your iPhone, rather than the software being shutdown (like it does when you restart your iPhone,) the hardware gets shutdown. All it does is cure the power off your device and restart it again. Doing this could get rid of bugs and glitches that could be causing issues with the responsiveness of your screen.

For iPhone 8 or Later:

Quickly press-release the volume up button, then press-release the volume down button in quick succession. Once done, press-hold the sleep/wake button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

For iPhone 7 & 7 Plus:

Press-hold the sleep/wake button in tandem with the volume down button for at least 7-10 seconds. Do not release them until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

For iPhone 6 Plus & Previous Models:

Press-hold the home and side/top button (as per the model) for 10 seconds. Do not release them until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

3. Make Storage Space

If your iPhone home screen won’t swipe, then it could be down to your storage being full. When your storage is too full, it can cause processes that allow your iPhone to function normally such as swiping to stop working.

The best way to remove a lot of storage at once is to delete some apps. But if you feel like you need all the apps on your device, you can offload some apps. When you offload an app, the data and files from the app are going to be wiped, but the app is still going to remain on your iPhone – this removes its storage in your device.

To Offload an App:

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Click on iPhone Storage.
  4. Scroll down and tap on Offload App.
  5. Tap on the app you want to offload and offload it.

Increasing your storage space can stop your iPhone or iPad from automatically turning on Optimize iPhone Storage in order to save some space.

4. Push Down on Your Screen Firmly

If your logic board and LCD cable have disconnected, you might not be able to swipe on your screen. Your logic board and LCD cable are located about 2 inches below your camera. The next thing you need to do is to push down firmly on your screen in an attempt to get the LCD cables to reconnect to the logic board.

All the pins haven’t managed to connect to the logic board so pushing down firmly is going to allow the pins to connect. There’s a high chance this isn’t going to fix the problem but it’s a step worth taking.

  1. Place one finger on the screen and one finger on the other side
  2. Push down very firmly but not enough to crack the screen

After you’ve done this, you should be able to start swiping left and right again. Along with this, if you had horizontal lines on your iPhone screen, they should’ve disappeared after reconnecting the LCD cable and logic board.

5. Force Close The App

If you can’t swipe when using a specific app, then force closing the app might get rid of the issue and cause the swipe feature to start working again. To force close the app, you need to open the multitasking view by swiping up from the bottom of your screen, then closing the app by swiping the app upwards.

6. Update the App

If you’re still unable to swipe when using a specific app, then you need to update the app. Bugs are the most common causes of problems within an app so it’s best that you get rid of the bug is by installing a newer update. The biggest reasons why updates are released are due to bugs so if you can’t swipe on your screen, you need to update the app.

To update an app, go to the App Store, tap on Updates, select the Update button next to the app. Once you’ve done this, you need to go back to the app and see if you can swipe.

7. Delete the Faulty Third-Party App on iPhone

If your iPhone still won’t swipe, then you’ll need to delete the app and reinstall it again. To delete your app, hold down the app, press the x and tap confirm to delete it. To update an app, go to the App Store, search for the app, tap on download and open the app. Once you’ve done this, you need to go back to the app and see if you can swipe.

8. Reset All Settings

The next thing that you should do to try and get rid of any glitches that could be stopping you from swiping left and right on your iPhone is to reset network settings.

To wipe all settings:

  1. From the home screen, tap Settings
  2. Scroll down to, then tap General
  3. Scroll down to, then tap Reset
  4. Tap Reset All Settings
  5. Tap Reset All Settings to confirm
  6. After doing this, see if you’re able to constantly swipe on your screen without having any issues.

9. DFU Restore Your Device

The next thing you need to do in this situation is to restore your phone from DFU mode. This is the last step an Apple tech will take when there’s a hardware or software issue going on within your device.

The problem you’re experiencing is persisting then restoring from DFU mode is the best way to try and get the software to refresh and get rid of whatever glitch is causing the problem.

When you put your device in DFU mode and restore it, it’s going to wipe all of the code off the device, update the firmware, and put the code back on. During this process, you’re going to lose all of your data, so you do need to back up your iOS device.

10. Factory Reset

A factory reset will be needed if a force restart doesn’t work. A factory reset involves wiping your device clean and restoring it back to its normal settings. For this to work, you’ll need to be willing to lose all of your data in the process, but if it’s backed up, then you’ll get it back. There are two ways to factory reset your iPhone but the easier way is through the settings app.

To revert to factory settings:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Go to Reset and choose to Erase All Content and Settings
  4. You will be prompted to backup your data at this point. Tap Back Up Then Erase.
  5. Enter your passcode to confirm the factory reset. Once you have entered the passcode and hit OK, then your iPhone will start erasing.
  6. Once the reset is complete, then check to see if you can swipe on your iPhone screen.

11. Wait

If the issue is software-related and in some cases, if it’s hardware-related, then you can simply just wait. Waiting has the power to fix lots of issues and it has the power to get rid of the swiping problem on your screen. This is especially good if you don’t have the money to repair your screen anytime soon. If you do decide to wait on it, you may one day notice that the swiping problem goes away.

12. Repair Your LCD Display

The next thing you need to do is to repair your screen. There might be a loose connection between the logic board and the LCD cables and the only way to fix this if the steps above haven’t worked is to get your device repaired.

If you have Apple care plus, you’ll be able to get this repaired for a relatively cheap price. If you have a warrant, it’s now been voided because you broke the device. You can set up a repair with Apple on their website but it’s going to take a few weeks to get the repair done.

13. Contact Apple Support

If you have tried all the steps and you still can’t swipe left or right, then it looks like there’s a deeper issue that can’t be resolved with troubleshooting steps. In this case, you’ll need to contact Apple support to get this fixed. You can speak to their live chat via the Apple Support website.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Your iPhone Screen?

If you want to fix your iPhone screen, this will involve the full replacement of the screen and its internal components as that’s what has been damaged. The iPhone X and above models start from $279. The iPhone 11 is weirdly lower and starts from $199.The iPhone 6 all the way to the iPhone 8 model starts from $149. The iPhone 5 all the way to iPhone SE modes starts at $129.

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.


  1. This is bogus, Android has had swipe back gesture for years now, and it works seemlessly across the device. It doesnt work at time because apple cant figure it out apparently. Like being in the setting 4 screens deep, you swipe back to the first page, then swipe again. Thinking it will take you back to the home since that is the going back again… Nope does nothing. So you have people doing all that crap to try and get it to work…. swipe up and it works. So I instead of being fluid with the same gesture you have yo switch up. But wait there is more if you open an app from a folder, you go that folder screen… thats not going home… Thats back….. so home goes back sometimes home sometimes sometimes dont work…… same thing with back…. 🍎 its time to rethink things. If people have to use the internet to find how to so the simplest things….. Then its not really how stuff should be done.. only reason why iphone is pop is because people think they got status being controlled by one


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