How to Fix iPhone Camera’s Focus Issue: Solving the Blur

Last Updated: July 27, 2023By
Close up iPhone 12 Pro Max camera

Imagine capturing an exquisite sunset, a surprise birthday, or a memorable trip on your iPhone, only to find the images blurred due to focusing issues. These are instances where the utility of a functional iPhone camera becomes glaringly apparent. 

With every pixel, the camera captures not just images, but moments and emotions that mean the world to us.

However, a common and frustrating problem many iPhone users encounter is their camera’s inability to focus correctly. This problem can turn stunning vistas into blurred scenes, smiling faces into vague impressions, and vibrant colors into washed-out patches.

Understanding the Issue: iPhone Camera Won’t Focus

The iPhone camera’s focusing problem is not always immediately apparent. You may initially notice your photos turning out blurred or out of focus.

In some cases, you might see the camera lens moving in and out, trying to focus but failing to achieve a clear image. Other symptoms include the camera not being able to adjust to different distances or light levels, or the autofocus feature not functioning as expected.

How Does the Issue Affect Photography and Videography?

An unfocused iPhone camera can significantly impact your photography and videography experiences. It prevents you from capturing high-quality, sharp images, affecting everything from personal memories to professional content creation.

The beauty of a blooming flower, the vibrancy of a street festival, the intensity of a sporting event – all can be lost in a blur without a properly focusing camera.

Potential Causes of the Issue

The causes of the focusing issue vary, ranging from software glitches to hardware faults. Sometimes, the problem is as simple as having a dirty lens or an obstructive phone case blocking the camera.

In other cases, outdated iOS software could be causing the problem.

Basic Troubleshooting Steps

Now that we’ve identified what an iPhone camera focusing issue looks like, let’s go over some basic troubleshooting steps.

Cleaning the Camera Lens

Your first line of defense against an unfocused iPhone camera should be a simple lens clean-up. Dust, fingerprints, or smudges on your camera lens can interfere with your camera’s ability to focus.

Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently clean the lens. Avoid abrasive materials as they could scratch and damage the lens.

Checking and Removing the Phone Case

Phone cases, especially thick or poorly designed ones, can sometimes obstruct the camera lens. If your case is near or covering part of the camera, it may interfere with the focus. Try removing the case and taking a few photos to see if the focus improves.

Checking for iOS Updates

Apple frequently releases iOS updates, which include fixes for known software bugs and issues. If your iPhone’s operating system is outdated, it might be causing your camera’s focusing problem.

Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Software Update’ to check for and install any available updates.

Closing and Reopening the Camera App

Sometimes, simply closing and reopening the camera app can solve the focusing issue. To do this, swipe up from the bottom of the screen (or double-click the home button on older models), then swipe the camera app off the screen to close it.

Open the app again to check if the problem is resolved.

Restarting Your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone can clear minor software glitches that might be causing the focusing issue. Press and hold the side (or top) button until the power off slider appears, then slide it to turn off your iPhone.

Wait for a moment before turning it back on and checking the camera’s focus.

Resetting All Settings

If the problem persists, try resetting all settings on your iPhone. This won’t erase your data, but it will reset system settings, potentially resolving any software issues causing the problem. Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Reset’ > ‘Reset All Settings’.

Remember to backup your settings as some things like Wi-Fi passwords will be erased. After resetting, check if the camera’s focus has improved.

Advanced Troubleshooting Steps

If the basic troubleshooting steps didn’t solve the problem, don’t worry. The issue might require a more advanced approach.

Trying Third-Party Camera Apps

If the basic troubleshooting steps don’t resolve the issue, it’s worth checking if the problem persists across other camera apps. Download and try using a third-party camera app from the App Store, such as ProCam or Manual.

If these apps don’t have the focusing issue, the problem could be specific to your iPhone’s built-in Camera app.

Restoring Your iPhone to Factory Settings

If the issue persists across different camera apps, it might be time to restore your iPhone to factory settings. This step will erase all data and return your iPhone to its original state when it was first purchased, so make sure to back up all your data before proceeding.

You can restore your iPhone to factory settings by going to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Reset’ > ‘Erase All Content and Settings’. After the restoration process, check if the camera’s focus has improved.

Checking for Physical Damage

If all software troubleshooting steps fail, the issue might be hardware-related. Inspect your iPhone for any signs of physical damage. If your device has been dropped or exposed to water, the camera module could be damaged, causing the focusing issue.

If you notice any signs of physical damage or if the issue persists despite all your troubleshooting efforts, it’s time to consider professional repair options. Physical damage is best handled by experts who can safely open up your device and fix the problem without causing further damage.

Remember, trying to repair physical damage on your own can void your warranty and potentially cause further damage to your device. Always seek professional help if you suspect physical damage to your iPhone.


Tackling the issue of an iPhone camera that won’t focus can seem daunting at first. However, with the detailed basic and advanced troubleshooting steps we’ve discussed, you are well equipped to identify and resolve this problem.

From simple actions like cleaning your camera lens or removing an obstructive phone case, to checking for iOS updates and restarting your iPhone, you can carry out several steps on your own to restore your iPhone camera’s focusing abilities.

In cases where software solutions don’t resolve the issue, we’ve also dived into more advanced troubleshooting steps. These include trying third-party camera apps, restoring your iPhone to factory settings, and inspecting for physical damage.

If all else fails, remember that seeking professional help is a valid and important step.

Maintaining your iPhone camera’s functionality is vital for capturing those precious moments in life. By following these troubleshooting steps, we hope you’ll be able to quickly resolve any focusing issues and get back to taking crisp, beautiful photos and videos.