Remember when you needed to take a whole separate device with you when you wanted to take a quality picture? Maybe you don't, but smartphones have made that largely a thing of the past. Except when the camera can't take a decent picture because it comes up blank. Don't miss the opportunity for a perfect shot because your camera isn't up to the job. Keep reading and get yourself sorted!
Before undertaking any of the more time consuming solutions below, these are a few fundamentals to give a go.
- Force restart your phone. If you do not know how to do this, follow the directions appropriate to your model.
- Verify you’re using the camera you intended. Use the button to flip to the front facing or rear camera.
- Force the camera app closed. It may just be hung on something, forcing the app to restart could resolve this.
Camera is Obstructed
In order for your camera to take pictures, it needs a clear line of sight to the image you're trying to capture. It's easy to miss that something is getting in the way of your camera, especially if the something is your finger.
- Clean the glass over your cameras with a microfiber cloth. Debris on the glass could be causing blurry pictures or blacking out the camera altogether.
- Remove your case, wallet cases are especially prone to getting in the way when you're trying to snap a quick pic.
- If your issue is with the front facing camera, verify your screen protector is not in the way.
- Check for glass damage to the camera area. The camera itself may be perfectly fine, but the glass over the camera sensor can crack, affecting image quality. This glass can be replaced, in many cases, even without replacing the rest of the back glass.
Now that we live in a world where an iPhone could have two, three or four camera sensors, finding where the issue lies can be a bit more complex.
- Verify you are using the intended camera by hitting the bottom to flip between front facing and rear cameras.
- Check which mode you are using. If you are not using a mode intended for your environment, the image may show up incorrectly.
- If you're using a third party camera app with more manual control, check to make sure things like white balance, saturation, or ISO settings are appropriate.
Any software which contains errors can cause the camera to work improperly. Before opening your phone to take parts out, ensure it's not a simple software fluke.
- See if you can use the camera elsewhere. Try a different app with built in camera function.
- If the camera works in other functions, open the App Switcher and close the problematic app.
- Reopen the affected app and try to recreate the issue. If it reoccurs, check the App Store for updates and install them.Uninstall and reinstall the app if no updates are present. If it is the native iPhone Camera app, skip ahead to step four
- If it is also unresponsive in other functions, this could be an Operating System issue. Use a PC with iTunes or a Mac to check for and install any updates.
- To rule out software entirely, be sure you have a current backup, and restore your phone via a computer to ensure a fresh copy of the Operating System is used. This will delete all data on the phone. Try without restoring your back up at first to keep testing limited to a bare OS.
The most common cause of this issue is a hardware fault with the camera itself. Issues with only one of the many camera sensors can cause issues with others, or the whole photo taking system.
- Check to see if your flash is functional. If you cannot use the flashlight, chances are you have a hardware fault. The flash enable lines come from the camera so if the camera doesn’t work, the flash cannot get the signal to turn on.
- Isolate which camera is faulty by checking the front facing camera, or various camera modes.
- Even if all cameras are non functional, this could be related to a single camera. Open your phone using the appropriate guide and disconnect each camera one by one to see if disconnecting them restores functionality. Be sure to disconnect the battery in between tests.
- Replace the offending camera or camera assembly. Note: Replacing the camera in the iPhone 12 and newer will trigger a mismatch warning. Front facing camera replacements will also break Face ID functionality.
Faulty Logic Board
The logic board is the hub for the vast majority of an iPhone's functionality. Any number of the small components on the board may have failed or become damaged, and is a safe assumption of cause if nothing else on this page has worked.
- Check for obvious signs of a board issue - burned or cracked components, liquid residue, corrosion or bend. If there are signs of liquid the iPhone Liquid Damage Guide might help.
- Replacing the logic board is often the most practical solution for a DIYer in this position.
- Contrary to popular belief, the board itself can be repaired. However, it requires specialized tools and microsoldering know-how. This is not something most people can do themselves, but many independent repair shops can do it for you!