What Is Ghost Touch on iPhone?


Do you notice that your iPhone screen is doing things independently or moving without you touching it? This is an unusual issue that several iPhone users may experience with their devices. It can be frustrating as your screen will be reacting to nonexistent touches. When this occurs, what is the technical term for it? And what can you do?

Quick Answer

Ghost touch is a display issue that affects both new and old iPhone models. It occurs when the screen of the iPhone reacts abnormally—you will notice that your apps will be opening and doing things without you or anyone operating it.

If you’re battling this issue, you can take the device to Apple for a repair or take a few steps to fix it yourself for free. The steps to fix it will range from performing a factory reset to cleaning the device’s touchscreen.

In this article, we’ll walk you through what ghost touch on iPhone is and the methods to fix it.

Ghost Touch on iPhone 

Several display issues can affect your iPhone (old or new model), and ghost touch is one of them. It refers to the display on the screen of your iPhone, which reacts abnormally even when you are not touching it. When this occurs, your device will perform actions without anyone touching it. This is when your iPhone closes or opens your apps, places calls, and sends messages by itself. 

Several factors can trigger ghost touch on iPhone. Damaged screen components or faulty displays usually cause the problem. If your device has software glitches and hardware problems, it can lead to ghost touch. Besides, you may notice ghost touch after updating the iOS or installing new software on your iPhone. Ghost touch on iPhone can occur if there are bugs in the iOS update, affecting the screen sensitivity.

6 Methods To Fix the iPhone Ghost Touch

Below are the different methods you can use to repair ghost touch yourself without necessarily taking the device to Apple.

Method #1: Clean the iPhone’s Touchscreen 

This is one of the easy and effective methods you can apply. Here, you will need a soft, clean cloth and warm water. 

Here’s how to clean the iPhone’s touchscreen.

  1. Turn the device off and ensure that all cables are unplugged.
  2. Dampen a soft and clean cloth with warm water.
  3. Clean by gently wiping the touchscreen from one end to the other (ensure that moisture does not get into any openings while wiping).

As recommended by Apple, ensure you avoid using household or window cleaners or cleaners with hydrogen peroxide or abrasives. Using them can affect the oil-resistant coating Apple on the device.

Method #2: Take the Screen Protector or iPhone Case Off

Screen protectors help protect your device from cracking and scratching. Although they are helpful, screen protectors can cause ghost touch on iPhone. To deal with this issue, you should remove it. You can also remove the hard case from an iPhone if it has a twisted screen. This can help fix the problem of ghost touch.

Here’s how to remove the screen protector.

  1. Take the screen protector carefully and slowly by starting at one corner.
  2. Peel the protector gradually off the screen.
Quick Tip

It’s advisable to take the device to an expert (or Apple) if the protector has been damaged or cracked to ensure you don’t hurt yourself on the cracked glass. Besides, you may need to contact the screen protector manufacturer to inquire about the most suitable way to remove it. You may even be offered a refund if the screen protector is responsible for the ghost touch issues.

Method #3: Restart the iPhone 

Restarting the device, which temporarily wipes away the iPhone’s memory, can help clear any glitch that may cause ghost touch issues.

Here’s how you can restart your iPhone.

With a Home Button

  1. Press and hold the side or top buttons and wait to see the power-off slider.
  2. Swipe the slider to the right.
  3. Hold after shutdown the side or top buttons until you see the Apple logo. 

Without a Home Button

  1. Hold any volume button and the side button, and wait to see the power-off slider.
  2. Swipe the slider to the right.
  3. Hold after shutdown the side button until you see the Apple logo. 

Method #4: Force Restart the iPhone 

If the ghost touch on iPhone is so severe, you can take an advanced method of forcing the device to restart. 

Here’s how you can restart your device by force.

For iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus (or Earlier)

  1. Hold the home button and the power and home buttons.
  2. Let go after seeing the Apple logo.

For iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus 

  1. Hold the volume down and the power button.
  2. Let go after seeing the Apple logo.

For iPhone 8 or Later

  1. Tap the volume up button.
  2. Tap the volume down button.
  3. Hold the side button.
  4. Let go of the side button after seeing the Apple logo

Method #5: Update the iPhone 

You should try updating the iOS if the ghost touch is still unfixed. This is recommended because a software bug from a recent update might cause the issue.

Here’s how to update your iPhone.

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Hit “General”.
  3. Click “Software Update”.
  4. Tap “Download and Install” or only “Install” if the update has already been downloaded.

Method #6: Reset the iPhone 

Performing a factory reset can work if restarting the device and updating the software fail. 

Here’s how to reset your iPhone.

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Hit “General”.
  3. Scroll down and press “Transfer or Reset”.
  4. Hit “Erase All Content and Settings”.
  5. Click “Continue” and input your passcode.
Keep in Mind

After resetting the device, you need to do the setup. You can restore the device from a previously saved backup during this process.


Ghost touch on iPhone is an issue you don’t want to leave without fixing. Since you know what it means, what can cause it, and the effect it may have, following the methods can help you deal with the problem. If these methods fail, you can try to take your iPhone to Apple. 

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