iPhone camera not working, black screen

The iPhone’s camera is one of its most important features. You can shoot wide panoramas, beautiful portraits, movie-quality videos and more. When the camera doesn’t work, you lose one of your iPhone’s key features. In this article, I will explain how to fix the problem when your iPhone’s camera is not working or has a black screen.

iPhone camera not working

At this point, we don’t know if your camera issue is caused by a problem with your iPhone’s software or hardware. However, contrary to popular belief, there are many software bugs that can cause the problem. A software crash, outdated iOS, or faulty app could be the reason why your iPhone’s camera is not working or appearing as a black screen!

The following steps will help you diagnose and fix the real reason why your iPhone camera is not working. We’ll start by cleaning the camera and addressing smaller software issues. If these steps don’t work, we’ll show you how to perform more detailed software fixes or where to get hardware repairs if you need them.

Check your iPhone case

I was at a party once and a friend asked me to take a picture of her. Surprisingly, all the photos came out black. He took his phone and thought he did something wrong.

It turned out that he was wearing his iPhone case upside down! Its case was blocking your iPhone’s camera, causing any photos it took to go dark. This is a pretty common mishap for iPhone users, so make sure your iPhone case is positioned correctly.

Clean the camera lens

If your case is positioned correctly, dirt or debris may be blocking the lens and obstructing your iPhone’s camera. It’s easy for dirt or lint to accumulate on the camera lens, especially if you carry your iPhone in your pocket for most of the day.

Gently wipe your camera’s lens with a microfiber cloth to make sure nothing is stuck.

Close all apps on your iPhone

Many iPhone software problems can occur when an app crashes. If the camera app or any other app crashes on your iPhone, this might be the reason why your camera is not working. If an app crashed on your iPhone, closing it can eliminate the error!

First, double-tap the Home button (iPhone without Face ID) or swipe up from the bottom of the screen (iPhone with Face ID).

Once the app chooser opens, use your finger to swipe your apps up and down at the top of the screen. You know your apps are closed when they are no longer listed in the App Switcher.

Now that you have closed all your apps, reopen the Camera app to see if it works again. If it’s still black or not working, move on to the next step!

Restart your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone will give all your apps a chance to close and restart. Sometimes this can fix a minor software issue that is causing your iPhone’s camera to malfunction.

If you have an iPhone without Face ID, press and hold the power button until Slide to Power Off appears. If you have an iPhone with Face ID, press and hold the side button and any volume buttons at the same time until you see Slide to Power Off.

When you see the power slider, swipe the red and white power icon from left to right to turn off your iPhone. Wait a few minutes, then press the power button (iPhone without Face ID) or the side button (iPhone with Face ID) to turn your iPhone back on.

Update your iPhone

The camera app is a native iPhone app, meaning it can only be updated using an iOS update. Apple releases new updates to introduce new features and fix known bugs, one of which could cause problems with your camera!

Open Settings and tap General > Software Update. If an iOS update is available, tap Download and Install or Install Now.

Troubleshooting Third Party Camera Apps

Native iPhone apps are generally pretty reliable. Third-party apps, especially those from smaller developers, are often more susceptible to bugs and glitches. If you’ve noticed that your iPhone camera isn’t working when you use a third-party camera app, that app may be causing the problem.

While we recommend using the built-in camera app, there are a few things you can try if you want to continue using the third-party camera app.

First, check if an app update is available. You may be using an older version of the app, which may be more prone to software errors. Open the App Store and tap your account icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Scroll down to find the list of your apps with available updates. If you see your third-party camera app in this list, tap Refresh to the right of it.

If this doesn’t work, try deleting and reinstalling the app. To uninstall an iPhone app, go to the home screen and press and hold the app icon until a pop-up menu appears. Tap Delete App -> Delete App > Delete to remove it from your iPhone.

Now that the app is removed, open the App Store and tap the Search tab at the bottom of the screen. Type the name of your third-party camera app, then tap the install button (it looks like a small blue cloud icon) to reinstall it.

If a third-party app continues to cause camera crashes, try finding a different app or use the native Camera app instead.

Back up your iPhone

We highly recommend backing up your iPhone before continuing. This is a quick and easy step that ensures all your personal information is securely stored and can be retrieved at any time.

Reset all settings

If your iPhone’s camera is still black or not working at all, there may be a deeper software issue causing the problem.

Resetting All Settings deletes everything in the Settings app and restores it to factory defaults. When you perform this reset, your saved Wi-Fi passwords will be deleted, your Bluetooth devices will be disconnected, and your iPhone’s wallpaper will return to its default value.

Open Settings, then tap General -> Transfer or Reset iPhone -> Reset -> Reset All Settings. Enter your iPhone passcode, if you have one. Then confirm the reset by tapping Reset All Settings again.

Put Your iPhone in DFU Mode

A DFU restore is the most in-depth restore you can perform on an iPhone. DFU stands for Device Firmware Update. Once this restore is complete, all your personal content and settings will be deleted and your iPhone will return to factory defaults. When you finish restoring, it will be like you took your iPhone out of the box for the first time.

Before putting your iPhone in DFU mode, be sure to save a backup. After backing up your iPhone, check out our detailed article on how to put your iPhone in DFU mode and restore it.

Repair Options

If none of our software troubleshooting steps fixed your iPhone’s camera, you may need to repair it. If your iPhone is still under warranty, take it to your local Apple Store to see if they can fix the problem for you. Before going to the Apple Store, make an appointment with technicians to avoid long waits.

Don’t have an Official Apple Store near you? Apple also provides online, phone and mail support!