How to Fix an Unresponsive iPhone X Screen

Mar 2, 2018 - 65 Comments

How to fix an unresponsive iPhone X screen

Rarely, owners of an iPhone X may discover their screen is unresponsive seemingly at random, where swipes and taps on the screen are either not registered at all, or they have a severe lag and there’s a notable delay before the touch interaction completes. Swipes and gestures suddenly have a huge lag, and taps on the screen either take moments to do anything, or are ignored entirely.

Sometimes, the iPhone X screen freezes completely, becoming entirely unresponsive to any engagement with the device at all.

These are rare issues but when and if they do happen to a user, it’s understandably annoying. Fortunately there’s a simple solution available, so if you discover that your iPhone X is randomly unresponsive and the screen does not appear to be working, you can fix the problem fairly quickly.

Before anything else, make sure your iPhone X display is clean, and there isn’t any poorly fitting screen protector or case on the device that could prevent the screen from being touch responsive. Assuming the iPhone X screen is clean and there isn’t any obstruction, you’re in the realm of the unresponsive display troubleshooting that we’ll cover here.

So, what’s the best way to resolve an unresponsive iPhone X with a frozen display? The good old fashioned hard reboot! Yes indeed, forcibly restarting iPhone X will cause the iPhone to reboot and once it has booted back up again, the devices display and touch interactions should respond to all input as expected.

How to Fix Frozen / Unresponsive iPhone X Screen

Here is how you can quickly fix an unresponsive iPhone X by forcibly rebooting the device, be sure you follow the sequence exactly to properly initiate the forced reboot:

  1. Press down the Volume Up button and release
  2. Press down the Volume Down button and release
  3. Hold down the side Power / Lock button until you see the  Apple logo appear on screen, this can take about 10 seconds or so
  4. Once you see the  Apple logo on the display, release the Power button and the device will boot up as usual

Once the iPhone X boots back up, the screen should instantly work as you’d expect it to. All touch should be immediately recognized, and touch gestures and swipes should be recognized fluidly as usual.

Admittedly force rebooting a device is not the most elegant solution, but since it works (and since there is no known other solution) and it doesn’t take too long, it’s perhaps the best option available at the moment.

Next: Update iOS on the iPhone X

After you have forced your iPhone X to reboot, you should take a moment to update iOS to the latest version, or at least be sure your device is on the latest version available.

  1. Back up the iPhone X, backing up to iCloud is easy or you can backup to iTunes
  2. Open the “Settings” app and go to “General” and then to “Software Update”
  3. If an iOS software update is available, download and install it as usual

Installing the latest version of iOS to iPhone X is important because each software update release tends to include bug fixes, some of which may remedy the unresponsive screen issue.

Why does the iPhone X screen freeze or become unresponsive?

It’s not entirely clear why the iPhone screen can become unresponsive to touch, swipes, gestures, and other touch input seemingly at random. Presumably the unresponsive screen issue is software related, however.

Interestingly, some time ago Apple had released an update to iOS for iPhone X versioned as iOS 11.1.2 that specifically mentioned in the release notes the following:

“Fixes an issue where the iPhone X screen becomes temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid temperature drop”

There are also various reports online that the iPhone X screen can become unresponsive or frozen when the device is in a cold environment. In these situations, installing the iOS updates may resolve the problem.

But skepticism of temperature being the only cause of an unresponsive screen is warranted, because I have personally experienced the unresponsive screen issue on my own iPhone X in an indoors temperature controlled environment at a pleasant 72 degrees, and while running iOS 11.2.6.

It’s reasonably likely that the iPhone X screen occasionally freezes or becomes unresponsive due to some particular software issue, whether it’s a bug in a particular app, or iOS itself, or whether some daemon is running in the background and suddenly consuming excessive resources leading the device to become so slow that it appears unresponsive of frozen. Because the screen becomes responsive again after a hard reboot, this makes sense.

Finally it’s worth mentioning that because the iPhone X is fairly new, the device is covered under the regular Apple Warranty, and so if you’re experiencing constant freezing or unresponsive screen issues and the above tips of updating iOS and forced rebooting are not resolving the problem for you, you might want to consider reaching out directly to an official Apple Support channel. Unresponsive screens are not common but they’re also not entirely rare, and a similar issue happened with iPhone 6s models a while back, as well as occasionally on iPhone 7 and other iPhones too, often also requiring a hard reboot, software update, or even a system restore.

Did these tips help you fix your unresponsive iPhone X screen? Do you have another solution for this issue? Let us know your experience in the comments below.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rolland Doherty says:

    I have the same problem with 1 on my iPhone 6s plus the iPhone 6 plus is fine just bought them both at the same time from new, the first thing to go was touch ID on both then the iPhone 6s plus has the freezing up I’ve tried everything apart from the window, lol 😆 but when I fix it I’ll let you know what I did.

    • Rajiv says:

      Press home and Power button together from iphone 6 to iphone 8 plus for force restart. that can fix the problem. It will restart iPhone

  2. Rifki Septawendar says:

    I’d the same problem. When my iPhone X screen frozen, I let the phone for 10-30 seconds, then I tried to using the iPhone. It was working. Initially, I always do hard reboot when my iPhone X unresponsive, but I worry that if this step is always carried out, there’ll be some issues with my iPhone X’s hardware or software. Thus, I suggest the first step is a safe way to make the iPhone X well working..

  3. michael androl says:

    my iphone is frozen it will not recognize my face id nor accept a 6 digit passcode allows the first 3 digits then freezes up

  4. Nick says:

    also, face id has stopped working!!!

  5. nick says:

    forgot to mention that apple are clearly aware of these BS issues and are resolving it by offering this supposedly free repair serivce not sure for how long so contact them asap!!!

    iPhone X Display Module Replacement Program for Touch Issues

  6. Nick says:

    I agree with the comments. The iphone X (10) has been the wrost of all the iphones i have previously owned.

    Purchased my iphone x secondhand via ebay for £500 at the time was cheapest price i coudl find and was a good price.

    functions on the phone such as hearing people when speaking on the phone had issues (low volume) for now apprent reason.

    It has the worst water resistance of prvious iphones and ever a quick drop in water has cuased issues, some have fixed themselves but with help from me such as drying the phone using a hairdryer and just giving it time to dry out however this shouldn’t be the case! The speakers were affected but got better.

    I dropped the phone half a foot and it was a very light drop with no signs of damage but for some reaosn the top half of the screen became unresponsive and now looks like i have to send it in for replacement or fix and has been a hassle to say the least everything i have had to go through.

    I did manage to unlock the lock screen once but now i can’t seem to do it again as i did a little trick with pulling down the lock screen…

    Apple need to fix up with this.

  7. jenna says:

    My Iphone X is being touch unresponsive and I’ve tried a hard reboot and all it does is bring me to the apple logo and it blinks on and off. I have no clue what to do anymore because I have tried nearly everything. Sometimes it even says my phone is dead when it isn’t.

  8. Vinoj Ramakrishnan says:

    The simple solution for the unresponsive screen or touch issues on iPhone X is to replace the Display Module under Replacement Program for Touch Issues by Apple which is only valid until November 2, 2020.

    If you believe your iPhone X was affected by this issue, and you paid to replace your display module, you can contact Apple about a refund.

    • Sreedhar Mether says:

      Hi Vinoj , can you let me know more about the replacement program? middle part of my iPhone screen is not responding to swipe or touch and I have read elsewhere too that Apple is offering a free service option for such issues.

  9. E3 says:

    I’ve had my iPhone for a little over a year. I literally have to reboot it daily. Most of the time the Volume Up & Down along with the Lock button also have the same lag. Often it will take me multiple,multiple button presses to attempt the reboot process. I really only noticed it right around the ios13 launch. I can see it coming sometimes. I can look at the WiFi icon and notice it is no longer connected when I’m at home. That seems to be one of the indicators.

  10. Melvin C Payne says:

    I’m having a time with my iphone X the screen is frozen and the phone keeps disabling itself… the screen is frozen and all I was doing was watching a video on you tube… Ive tried the hard reboot and nothing has worked now i have to wait 15 minutes every time I reset it this sucks HELP!!!!

  11. marwa youssef says:

    my iPhone x is not working only the logo appears with black screen and the logo still appears
    how to slve the problem

  12. Omar says:

    I’ve had my iphone for a year and it’s already stopped working 3 times in one way or another, the first time i updated my phone and the next morning it was stuck on the apple logo, I tried everything and it still didn’t work we sent in to get repaired and i got it back (This happened about 3 months ago). The second time i dropped it for the first time since i got it and i got a white stripe across the screen and the top half of the screen was unresponsive i tried everything again and nothing happened, we sent it to the shop and they fixed it (This was about 3 weeks ago after my warranty ended). Now just yesterday my phone suddenly stopped working the display works it vibrates and shows notifications but i can’t click on it, i did a hard reset which was only temporary and now nothing works im currently deciding if I should just buy a new phone cause the x is the worst phone i’ve ever had to deal with, it constantly stops working for no reason and it’s been just over a year, my other Iphones the 6 and 4 lasted me for 4-5 years.

  13. Me says:

    Hi all,
    My tuppence worth: I had an issue with my iphone x. I had a WHITE screen (suspect some hanging app). Everything worked in theory; music played etc, login screen appeared and so on, ut just kept coming back to a plain white screen that I couldn’t get out from. I spent hours trying the vol up/down side button reset things but nothing worked (no reset happened, just sat at the same white screen). So I resorted to a common method for us oldies – handed it over to my teenage daughter who immediately swiped to the camera app. It came on but instantly froze, BUT from there it was possible to do the normal vol up/ side button reset. Now my phone working normally. Hope this might help anyone in similar situation

  14. Ryan says:


    I’ve had my iPhone X just under a year. A couple months back I was using my phone as normal with no issues. Put it in my pocket then took it out about 10 mins later and was unable to swipe up to unlock the phone. FaceID was working as was all other side buttons. Did the hard reset procedure, but touchscreen was still unresponsive after reboot. Ended up doing the “deep” recovery procedure with phone connected to iTunes. Touchscreen capability did eventually come back. Then afterwards, randomly, the touchscreen would become unresponsive when trying to swipe up to unlock.

    This unresponsive behavior was occurring several times a day, and each time the hard reboot temporarily resolved the issue. Dealt with this for about 2 months, and finally got fed up and realizing I was only 2 weeks away from the 1 year warranty coverage, took it in to Apple Care at Best Buy. They ran a quick screen diagnostic and found that it failed the screen diagnostic test. They then replaced the screen for me and about an 1.5hrs later I had my phone back with no more issues since.

    In my case it almost appeared to be a software issue since I was able to do the hard reset to “fix” the unresponsive issue, but this was only a band aid fix. Since replacing the screen actually did fix this issue, it seems that it is a hardware or possibly firmware issue with components that make up the touchscreen assembly.

    Hope my experience helps others with a similar issue.

    • Kristen says:

      My screen has been replaced and after only three days the issue is back again!

    • Ryan says:

      After 4 months my replacement screen started acting weird again. If I did a hard press (e.g. activating the flashlight from the lock screen), I would get a vertical purple line on my screen that would eventually go away after pressing hard on the screen a few more times.

      I took the phone back to Best Buy and they told me there was nothing they could do since I was out of my 30 day warranty period with the replacement. They suggested I make an appointment with the Apple store…

      I made an appointment with the Apple store and they gladly decided to go ahead and replace the screen once again at no charge to me :) In about 1.5hrs I had my phone back with a brand new screen and after 1 month it has had no issues.

      I believe the issue stems from faulty components within early versions of the iPhone X screens. I believe my first replacement screen was the original version that still had issues. Hoping my 2nd replacement is of the later version.

  15. Julia says:

    So my iPhone X is having the screen replaced by an authorised Apple Repairer at the moment. Does this mean it will be covered by the warranty and I won’t have to pay?
    Hard reset and all other avenues failed to fix the issue long term.

  16. Saul says:

    The top part of my iPhone is unresponsive I can’t search anything up on YouTube or delete pictures off Snapchat or search things up in safari and I already tried hard rebooting and it does not work I don’t know what to do, I have an iPhone X btw so can someone please help me solve this problem and also I’m a have an issue with ghost touching screen where random stuff happens on my phone and apps open at random times

  17. Blythe says:

    Sooooo… phone had the green stripe last month and screen was replaced and now it is completely unresponsive.

    Hard reboot not working. Headed into Apple store today . Fingers crossed I get a new phone….and I am going to downgrade to the iPhone 8 if possible.

  18. Gaurav dubey says:

    My iPhone X screen is not responded and I have done mny time this step but not working my phone please give solution what I do man? 😔😔😔

  19. Brian Zhou says:

    My iPhone X have the same problem, the unresponsive touch screen. After talking to Apple support, they agreed to replace my phone since my iPhone is still under warranty.

  20. Andrew says:

    iPhone X 6 months old, top1/4 of screen doesn’t work!! Frustrating!! Never dropped! Tried these steps didn’t work.. it’s off to the Apple store :(

  21. Lee Gullett says:

    So, my anxiety about “upgrading” to an iPhone X wasn’t unfounded afterall. Right away upon opening the brand new phone, in the middle of setting up and syncing with my iPhone 5S it crashed. I left in plugged in and checked back an hour or so later and it was completely restarted. I tried the whole setup process again and had to update to iOS 11.4.1 TWICE because is crashed! Again! It wasn’t wiped this time but did go dark and unresponsive. After doing the volume up, volume down then holding power it turned on again. Now, not even three days later, after charging for a while the POS wouldn’t turn on. I tried again and again. Must have been the tenth try of this “restart” procedure before the apple logo appeared. It’s halfway charged, lmao. I’m so nervous to keep this phone past the warranty bc this issue seems common.

  22. John Royse says:

    Frequently these steps do not work and Apple will not help leaving you with a $1000 brick. I am 84yo disabled vet and Apple said either pay another $1000., drive 15 miles to an Apple store or return phone only in their box which they will not send. It’s all a scam.

    • Paul says:

      Call official Apple Support (800-692-7753 or 1-800-MY-APPLE), if your iPhone X is having a problem and it is still under warranty (it is if you’ve owned it less than a year) they will send you a box to your house to return it to Apple, and they will fix it and return it to you.

  23. GregUK says:

    My wife experience this problem with her X model,
    the hard reset did work to get this thing to react to anything, it was like screen stopped working but when you call or send text phone was vibrating play ringtone and vibrate when we plug in the charger.
    it is the fourth time it happened so we deeply consider claiming on warranty. So far nothing but trouble with Xpens model… :)

  24. hamza asgar says:

    i tried hard rebooting it as well and still the touch is unresponsive… its just not working, what do i do?

  25. Sualeha Q says:


    So I am having the same problem with my X – the screen became unresponsive so i did the hard reboot, then did the the restore iphone and update software, now ive lost a months worth of data on my iphone, and the screen is still unresponsive!
    Im staring at my home screen right now as it says Hola to me over and over again; it wont unlock because facial recognition is inaccessible and I need to swipe up – which i can’t! I’m sitting here in Pakistan and I really dont know what to do ! Please help – anyone!

  26. John says:

    Not sure how to describe problem without curse words. Trying to send important business email before 5:30 All I wanted was to copy paste important info from one document to another. But that required my $1000 plus X phone to actually register at least 3 or 4 touches Took 30 minutes and had to shut the phone on and off 5 times I think all the snarky comments are more than justified. I only have 1 question Is all this impossible to deal with issues software or hardware ? i would gladly go back to Iphone 7 and save 30 minutes a day if this is unique to Iphone 10, or unless of course its genius software Then our only option truly is android This phone has been trouble since day 1. The only apple advantage was sync but that is going away rapidly when I first got the phone I was told to delete all my apps and not use backup to solve random shutting down every 30 seconds I told the apple genius if this is my reward for 20 yrs of loyalty why wouldn’t I just learn android ? especially if I have to start from scratch ? I made the poor decision to stay with apple

  27. Laura says:

    Mine did the same thing! Did restore per Apple from ITunes, no luck. had to drive 45minutes into town. Went to Apple store, tech had a terrible time turning off Find My IPhone to run diagnostics. No issues with software. Turned out display/screen had to be replaced. $279.00.
    Phone is 6 months old!!!! Got home and dang, it froze again for about 20 seconds!!! Now, I’m freaked. Obviously, if happens again, out of year warranty, unless they have pity on me I’m out that amount on repair.

  28. samantha says:

    screen on my iphone x became unresponsive.
    I tried to do the soft reset mentioned above,and was successful.
    It did notsolve my problem though.I still cant use the phone…
    Any ideas?

  29. Razzle says:

    This just started happening a few weeks ago.
    I fully reset my phone and then did a back up – issues persist.
    Trying the hard reset every few hours and it does help, but lag returns almost daily.
    Hoping for a solid fix – Apple Care is my next step.
    Will let you know if I find any new tips/tricks with them.

  30. Keith Walker says:

    Simple screen non responsive in iMessage issue. The top left wouldn’t allow me to back out. Did the said hard reset and has been working like a champ since. Thanks

  31. efi says:


    i have latest beta , why apple does not fix it . this is exist on the last 4 beta’s


    thank you

  32. DaveMo says:

    This is actually becoming a common experience. Happened two days ago while I was on the road for a client meeting relying on GPS, which became a non-thing along with everything you rely on your mobile for – rendering me metaphorically up the creek without a paddle. On top of that, in trying to reboot the phone the bloody 911 ‘feature’ decided to call emergency services, report my as SOS, and subsequently contact my emergency contacts (?) via text message that I was in distress while sending the map gifs to indicate where I was moving to while in this emergency predicament.

    The entire time I was fully unable to interact with my phone in any meaningful way, including pulling up my appointment location and contact information. Was finally able to find the client location. Once there got instructions for rebooting the phone, which Apple brilliantly decided to change procedures once again, and access the phone.

    Here we are two days later. Can’t access the phone again. Rebooted, still not responding to touch. I just installed the iOS update this morning, which seems to have made the problem worse. WTF, Apple?!? This wonderful tenth-anniversary technological leap forward is turning into a real unuseable piece of junk. Thanks!

    • Amy says:

      This exact same thing happened to me.
      I have re booted multiple times and screen is still unresponsive.
      I have a new one coming tomorrow.
      Fingers crossed Apple figures this out!!!

      • Dylan says:

        Hey Team,
        Dunno if this is the proper thread to post this:
        But after resetting (volume up/down, power-hold) my iPhone X literally 11 times and then finally resorting to restoring it on iTunes – that’s a funny joke because I couldn’t two-step verify my account with a frozen screen, so I didn’t get far with that – I finally just squeezed the ever living **** out of the phone with a kind of twisting motion.
        That did it. Honestly.
        Hope it helps someone out there.
        Best regards,

  33. Michael Fox says:

    What a pile of sh the Iphone X is

    Brand new – straight out of the box – following problems:-

    1) Zoom turned on by itself
    2) Follow Thingy turned on by itself
    3) Screen unresponsive 90% of the time
    4) You MUST put a sim chip in this POS or you wont get far – not like the previous models
    5) Restoring from iTunes 11.3 didn’t work – 6 times
    6) Screen takes on a mind of its own and just leaving it on the table it goes through random routines without any touch input – most amazing piece of fin sh i ever had bought for me as a B’Day present

    The wife is beside herself and I think 500 mill Cook’s a thief

    REFUND – 2 weeks for an appointment though – I love Apple me. NOT

  34. JB says:

    My issue is usually just with texting or emailing someone. The screen freezes for about 7 seconds and then catches up with what I typed. Super annoying. I’ve tried all the suggestions but still have the issue. Oddly, I had it on my iPhone 6 and assumed it was the issue because it was having various issues, but when I got the iPhone X, after a couple days the same thing happened.

    Usually I just need to close 5-8 apps and then the screen doesn’t freeze when I type, but that is annoying for a $1200 ‘smart’ phone. Apple’s support forum has several threads about it, but Apple rarely comments on this issue.

  35. luke says:

    I have the same issue with anew iphone SE, I returned it and switch back to 11.2.2 and no problems.

    11.2.5 and 11.2.6 = SUCKS! ( i bought 4 iphones in past month/returned) all do the same. Or i jsut had bad luck?

    Hope this helps someone.

    • Millsy says:

      I’m sure it has to do with the latest update 11.2.6 as I have only just come across this issue on my 12.9 IPad Pro 2 since downloading the latest update, it had never been an issue prior to this. I really do hate how Apple forces you to keep the updates once it’s downloaded even if it’s causing annoying issues.

      • Millsy says:

        I completely agree, I am also using an 12.9 IPad Pro 2 and just downloaded the latest update and REALLY regretting it as I now have a very unresponsive touchscreen. I have to keep tapping the same keys or apps repeatedly as it simply isn’t registering the tap. It’s extremely annoying that we can’t revert back to the previous version when the latest update has such significant issues. I love it when it works but at times I REALLY HATE Apple updates.

  36. Jeff says:

    Gee do ‘ya think by now the overpriced junk Apple sells would have any reliablity? DP got it right or try string & 2 tin cans V. 2.0

    • John says:

      Ge thanks Jeff. You and the squirrels out in the yard are going to be my “go to” tech advisors from here on!


    • Jerry says:

      I tried the string and tin can method you recommended and it does not work, I am going to start a class action lawsuit against you for pushing a device that has very limited range.

  37. Pete says:

    I have not had the described problem to the point of having to take any new action (i.e., maybe a few taps – instead of the usual one – were necessary). However, I was unable to download music; I could access Apple Music, I could listen to anything I selected, I just could not download. I tried the power-off reboot (soft) – not the hard reboot described above – and then could download. This situation happened across two system upgrades/reloads. For about the past month, this problem has not recurred. Friends with iPhones have said a hard reboot about once-a-month is a really good idea….

  38. nateaych says:

    This sounds like the same issue that plagued the iPhone 6Plus that Apple refused to aknowledge and is currently under class action suit. See article

  39. DP says:

    easy to fix in 3 steps:
    1) open window
    2) throw iphone x into open window
    3) get yourself android phone

  40. threedog says:

    You’re not missing a thing. It’s obvious that a “hard reboot” is simply accomplished by powering off and then back on. Whe I read this I also tried the directions because I was like wtf and also got Siri. Sheesh. What kind of a “tip” or “trick” is it when it’s the obvious?

    • remrem says:

      No, what you both are describing is a simple power down or power off (rebooting) of the iPhone. That will solve some issues. What is necessary to fix this issue is a hard reset. In older iPhones the hard reset was done by pressing the power on and home buttons together until the Apple Logo appeared. The iPhone X does not have a home button and therefore requires a different set of buttons.

      if You follow the directions in the article correctly, you will not get Siri, you will wait a little while pressing down on the power on button and then the Apple Logo will come on and the iPhone will reset (as opposed to reboot). You possibly waited too long after each press. Do it quickly on the up and down buttons and then hold down on the power button immediately.

      • John says:

        I’ve tried this “fix” numerous times and all it does is provide me with the option to shut the phone down as usual. Upgraded by OS and it seems to be working fine on my iPhone 6+.

  41. John says:

    What am I missing? I followed steps 1, 2, and 3- and all I got was Siri, awaiting instructions. Don’t we accomplish the same thing by pressing the bottom volume button and the power button simultaneously to shut it down?


    • ET says:

      Don’t press the volume button and power button at the same time.
      1. Quick press and release the Volume +
      2. Quick press and release the Volume –
      3. Press the power button until the Apple Logo appears

      • Michele says:

        I had the same problem b/c the instructions are missing the first step – that you need to turn the phone on first. Don’t start with the volume buttons when the phone is black and not “open”. First hit the side button to get it on and then do the volume buttons, then the side button. I did it twice and my screen is still frozen so off to the Genius Bar I go. Ugh.

        • Gretchen says:

          Michele, did they get it figured out. Only the top part of my screen is frozen but I’ve done all these steps and still have any issue. I don’t have a Genius Bar anywhere near me to go to though

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site