Your iPhone contains a sensor that turns off the display when you hold the phone close to your face to answer a call. That saves you from accidentally touching the screen and perform an action that you don’t want to during voice calls. What if the proximity sensor can’t detect your face?
When the proximity sensor goes on the fritz, you may accidentally mute a call, activate the speakerphone, or end the call prematurely. This guide compiles the useful tips to get the proximity sensor working on your iPhone. So, let’s take a look.
1. Force Restart Your iPhone
Force restarting your iPhone is a tried-and-tested way of fixing various temporary issues with it. If it’s nothing major, this should help fix any problems with the proximity sensor on your iPhone and restore normalcy.
To force restart your iPhone, follow these steps:
Step 1: Press and quickly release the volume up button.
Step 2: Press and quickly release the volume down button.
Step 3: Press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.
If you have an older iPhone model, you can refer to Apple’s user guide to find the exact steps for performing a force restart. Once your iPhone boots up, the issue should not occur again.
2. Clean the Proximity Sensor Area
Sometimes, dirt or smudges on the proximity sensor can stop your iPhone from knowing when you’re holding it up to your face. When this happens, your iPhone may fail to turn the screen on or off automatically during calls.
The proximity sensor is located at the top of the screen on your iPhone, near the front-facing camera. Try wiping it down gently with a microfiber cloth. You can dampen the cloth with a cleaning solution if any dirt or gunk won’t come off. However, don’t press too hard for it could damage the sensor or screen.
After cleaning the proximity sensor, make a phone call, and put your hand over the sensor to check if the display turns off.
3. Remove the Screen Protector and Case
A screen protector can mess up your iPhone’s proximity sensor, especially if it is too thick or not installed correctly. Similarly, a protective case can also interfere with the sensor at times.
So, if cleaning the sensor proves ineffective, carefully remove the case and screen protector from your iPhone. After that, clean the sensor area again and then test the sensor during a phone call.
4. Check for Any Signs of Physical Damage
If your iPhone’s screen is cracked, the proximity sensor may be damaged. In that case, your iPhone won’t turn the screen on or off automatically during calls.
Check your iPhone’s screen for any obvious cracks, scratches, or other problems. Look for anything that looks out of the ordinary, like deep scratches, or areas where the screen looks distorted.
If you notice any signs of screen damage, consider contacting Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store for further assistance. Note that using an iPhone with a damaged screen could potentially lead to further issues, so it’s best to have it repaired.
5. Install iOS Updates
There’s a chance that the issue with the proximity sensor is related to a bug in the iOS or iOS beta build running on your iPhone. So it’s a good idea to install any pending iOS updates if the above solutions don’t work.
Follow these steps to check for available software updates on your iPhone.
Step 1: Open the Settings app, tap on General, and select Software Update from the following menu.
Step 2: Tap Download and Install to apply the pending updates.
The proximity sensor will work after you update your iPhone to the latest iOS build.
Sensing Your Presence
In most cases, temporary glitches or a screen protector cause the proximity sensor to stop working on your iPhone. One of the above solutions will help fix the problem and get things back to normal. Let us know which tip worked for you in the comments section below.
Last updated on 22 August, 2023
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