How to fix a freezing iPhone camera

How to fix a freezing iPhone camera

stylish girl holding a black screen iPhone. - freezing iPhone camera
Your camera may be freezing due to solvable issues.

It truly is a nuisance to deal with a freezing iPhone camera. And to think you own the iPhone—they’re supposed to have high-quality cameras, right? 

Sadly, even the native camera app on your iPhone is not immune to hang-ups and slip-ups. 

Now, before you leave a scathing review on Apple’s App Store, take a second and breathe. Freezing cameras are often manageable and don’t need expert help—unless bad becomes worse. 

In this post, we listed down the likely culprits behind a freezing iPhone camera and how to fix them. 

Possible reasons behind a freezing iPhone camera 

You can’t solve things easily if you don’t know the root issue. Right? 

Therefore, before we give you some tips, we listed down some possible problems your iPhone camera might be having. 

Find out which of these might be the culprit.

1. Software glitch or possibly a bug

black grid on iPhone. - freezing iPhone camera
A software bug may be freezing your poor camera.

To be clear, a glitch is a temporary and fixable issue, while a bug is a graver concern. However, you can fix smaller bugs like a freezing iPhone camera by rebooting your iPhone.

Your iPhone camera, regardless of its quality, is not immune to glitches and bugs. In fact, Apple even pays users who find bugs in their software—just like other tech companies such as Mozilla and Microsoft. 

Prior to September this year, iPhone cameras suffered from a bug that makes it non-functional. However, despite the first version of the iOS 13 being launched when the bug surfaced, it didn’t fix the latter. 

As a result, Apple followed it with three versions that aim to solve the camera glitch. 

Consequently, if your camera keeps freezing, then maybe you should try updating your iOS to the latest version. 

Besides freezing, iPhone users often have these other problems with their cameras:

2. Your storage needs to unload

iPhone storage full prompt on camera. - freezing iPhone camera
Full storage might also be the villain to a sluggish camera.

It’s not unknown to many smartphone users that full storage space can cause problems. Your iPhone is no exemption. 

Yes, it does happen. Eventually, even with your caution as an iPhone user, your storage will get filled with temporary files, heavy apps, etc.

Consequently, your phone and its native apps, including your camera, will slow down. 

Moreover, installing newer and faster apps also require more resources. These bigger apps also require the phone’s hardware (especially the RAM) to keep up. 

How about if your iPhone is an older model? Well, it might be “working” too hard to cater to these apps. As a result, you will have a phone that can’t optimize and apps that freeze or flicker. 

3. Your iPhone has the “touch disease”. 

factory worker fixing a broken iPhone. - freezing iPhone camera
The iPhone “touch disease” is thankfully curable.

Do you own an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus? If you have a freezing iPhone camera or its camera’s viewfinder is unresponsive, then it might have caught the “touch disease”. 

In late 2016, a few users complained about their iPhone 6 Plus devices after they stopped responding to touch commands. 

Apparently, the issue stemmed from chips inside the iPhones loosening after being dropped several times.

As a result, Apple offered to reimburse the users, given that they sent it to Apple for a service, and the latter already fixed it. 

Therefore, if your camera app has not been responding properly to your touch commands, maybe you should bring it to an Apple center first.

How to fix your iPhone camera that keeps freezing

Below, we’ve listed three detailed solutions that may or may not solve your camera’s freezing problem. 

Most of the time, it does go away; however, if it won’t go back to normal, then we suggest going to an Apple service center or a certified Apple technician.

1. Do a soft reset and a hard reset.

Apple logo on black screen iPhone. - freezing iPhone camera
The two well-known “nuclear” solutions: a soft reset and a hard reset.

People often do this all the time; however, they are unaware of what these two really do.

A soft reset (or a restart) is when you simply turn off your iPhone and reboot it. By doing this, you can fix minor issues such as glitches, lags, etc. 

On the other hand, a hard reset will remove all the data on your iPhone. As a result, this resolves a freezing iPhone camera and sluggish apps, and other not-so-minor problems.

How to do a soft reset

Apple logo on iPhone
Soft reset a.k.a. restarting a.k.a. rebooting.
For older iPhone models
  1. Long-press the Volume Up or the Volume Down button. 
  2. At the same time, long-press the physical Home button.
  3. Let go after you see the Apple logo.
  4. Next, wait for the Homescreen to appear again. 
For newer iPhone models
  1. Long-press the Volume Up or the Volume Down button. 
  2. Press the wake/sleep button simultaneously, for no more than 5 seconds.
  3. Slide to power off. 

If you are okay with losing your installed third-party apps, then, by all means, do a hard reset. However, you should still create a backup of your present user settings and sync it with your iCloud. 

By doing that, you can restore your old data such as:

  • your saved passwords
  • your preferred settings
  • installed third-party apps
  • contacts, photos, and videos
  • bookmarked websites on your Safari

As a result, if you’re ready to do a hard reset, start by syncing with iCloud. 

Remember, this will erase all your data. Therefore, to avoid regrets and lost data forever, follow our detailed guidelines below. 

How to do a hard reset 

Restore in Progress on iPhone.
Hard resets will literally delete your iPhone.
1. Backup your data.
Sync your user settings with iCloud using iPhone
  1. Connect to your WiFi.
  2. On your iPhone, go to Settings.
  3. Scroll down and tap “Storage & Backup”.
  4. Under “Backup”, toggle the iCloud Backup button. 
  5. Scroll down and tap on “Back Up Now”.
Sync your user settings with iCloud using iTunes
  1. On your Mac or PC, launch your iTunes.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC.
  3. On the upper left side of your iTunes window, tap the phone-shaped icon. 
  4. Tap on the Summary option. 
  5. Under Backups > Automatically Back up, select “This computer.”
  6. Check the “Encrypt local backup” box and create a password. 
  7. Click “Back Up Now” and then “Done” if you’re finished. 
2. List down your apps’ licenses, your Apple ID, and its password.
iPhone apps with vibrant home screen.
Take note of your apps’ licenses if they have any.

After backing up your data, now it’s time to list down your apps’ licenses or activation keys if you have any. This way, you won’t have to pay again when you reinstall them. 

As for adding your device back to iTunes, you just have to sign in using your Apple ID and password. This way, you don’t have to reauthorize it since authorization only applies to desktop computers.

Apple’s authorization of devices serves as a security measure—it makes sure that only a handful of computers can access iTunes. 

3. Do the hard reset now. 

After securing all your information and syncing your data, now it’s time to do a hard reset. You can do it in two ways—directly on your iPhone and through the iTunes on your Mac or PC.

Do a hard reset using your iPhone
  1. Open your Settings.
  2. Tap on General. 
  3. Scroll down and tap Reset. 
  4. Tap “Erase All Content and Settings”.
  5. Tap “Erase iPhone”.
Do a hard reset using iTunes on your Mac or PC
  1. Open your iTunes.
  2. Plug your iPhone into your Mac or PC.
  3. iTunes will detect your iPhone. Click the phone-shaped logo that appears on the upper left corner of your iTunes window.
  4. On the left sidebar, tap the Summary option.
  5. Click Restore. iTunes will now revert your iPhone to its factory settings.

2. Try updating to the latest iOS version. 

iOS 13.1 on iPhone and laptop showing iPhone 11s.
iOS 13.1.3 may or may not solve your camera freezing issues.

We mentioned the “touch disease” above—and if your iPhone happens to have it, maybe you should try installing the latest iOS version. 

The latest iOS version as of today, 13.1.3, was released last October 15, 2019. 

The previous versions aimed to fix the many, MANY bugs in iOS 13. Those include the flash malfunctioning and the rear camera not working… and many more. 

That is why we said “try” updating it because things might not work out. Not all iOS updates are good for your iPhone, anyway. 

However, what if you tried doing a hard reset and the camera still started freezing? 

Well, you can always try updating to iOS 13.1.3. After all, this version, specifically, is entirely focused on fixing bugs.

Just make sure to create a backup; through this, you won’t melt in frustration and regret—in case it turns out to be worse for your iPhone. 

Apple devices that can update to iOS 13.1.3

If you own any of these Apple devices, then you can update your iOS to 13.1.3.

  • iPod touch (7th gen)
  • iPhone 6s & iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR, iPhone XS & iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro & iPhone 11 Pro Max

How to update your iOS to the latest version

iOS 13 on iPhone laid on laptop.
The iOS 13.1.3 is totally focused on repairing the stubborn bugs from iOS 13.

Do you have no other options before going to a service center? If yes, then follow these steps to update your iOS to its most recent version.

  1. First, connect to your WiFi.
  2. Sync your backup with iCloud. Just follow the steps we listed above.
  3. Uninstall apps and/or delete files to free some space for the update.
  4. Go to Settings.
  5. Tap General.
  6. Scroll down and tap Software Update. It will show a red circle with a white number 1. 
  7. Tap Install if you want to update your iOS now. If you still want to use your phone, tap Later. 
  8. Enter your passcode.
  9. The updating of your iOS will now begin.

3. Free some space in your storage. 

deleting FaceTime app.
You need to purge your unused apps.

As we mentioned earlier, your full storage could be causing your camera to freeze. Why not try getting rid of your unnecessary files and unused third-party apps?

Clearing space in your storage can make your iPhone function better, which will also make your camera less sluggish. Moreover, it will be easier for you to install newer iOS versions if you want. 

Here are several ways to clear some space in your storage: 

1. Delete apps manually

  1. Long-press on any app. All apps will start wiggling.
  2. Tap the “X” at the upper right corner of the apps you want to delete.
  3. Tap OK. The app will now be deleted.
  4. Press your Home or Sleep/Wake button to return to your home screen.

2. Delete apps through Settings

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Press iPhone storage or Storage & iCloud Usage.
  4. Tap Manage Storage.
  5. Delete the apps that take up the most space.

3. Delete your apps’ extra or temporary data.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Press iPhone storage or Storage & iCloud Usage.
  4. Choose any app that you want to delete by tapping on the “>” arrow beside its data info. 
  5. Find the downloaded files from that app and delete them.

4. Activate the Offload Unused Apps (OUA) feature.

Offload Unused Apps setting.
Is the Offload Unused Apps a friend or a foe?| Photo

Do you have apps that you’re okay with being deleted since you rarely use them? If yes, then you can turn on this feature. 

The OUA is an emergency feature introduced in iOS 11. It’s akin to an auto-pilot switch that instantly deletes any of your unused or rarely used apps without your permission. 

Now, the good thing is it retains the data from the unused apps. 

You can always reinstall the app from the App Store if the OUA deletes an app that you like.

How to activate the Offload Unused Apps feature
  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Press iPhone storage or Storage & iCloud Usage.
  4. Under the iCloud Photo Library, toggle the Offload Unused Apps button. 
How to deactivate the Offload Unused Apps feature
  1. Now if you want to turn it off, you can’t do the same steps above.
  2. Go to Settings. 
  3. Tap the iTunes & App Store.
  4. You can deactivate the OUA feature there.

5. Sync your files with iCloud and delete them.

Last but not least, you can just back up your photos and videos in iCloud. After that, you can delete them on your device or transfer them to an external hard drive. 

Final thoughts

Having an iPhone is great. But what’s the use of that if you have a freezing iPhone camera? If your camera does freeze all the time, then go ahead and try the tips we mentioned above. 

However, if nothing changes, don’t hesitate to call the experts and let them handle it. 

What have you done to stop a freezing iPhone camera? Let us know in the comments below. 

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