How to Fix iPhone Messages Back Button Not Working

Fix iPhone Messages Back Button Not Working

As you were messaging your friend using the Messages app on your iPhone, you find that the back button to go back to your conversation list is not working.

You keep tapping on the little arrow, but to no success, you keep getting no response from the button.

Sound familiar?

Fact is, it’s a common bug that has been around since iOS 10 and since then Apple may have overlooked it as being a priority as it still is not fixed on some versions of the latest iOS updates.

In this guide, I’ll show you a few workarounds as well as lay down the common solutions to fixing this bug and hopefully getting it working or at the very least allow you to continue to use the app the way you’re supposed to. 🙂

Let’s dive right in.



Fix iPhone Messages Back Button Not Working: 7 Ways


1. Close iMessage and Try Again.

Before trying the methods in this guide, try closing the Messages app and then reopening it. See if it fixes the back button from not working.

If you have already done this or you find that this still doesn’t do anything to fix it, then you may jump onto the next method below.



2. Restart your iPhone.

This is yet another method which you may or may not have already done and it may work to fix the problem as it reboots the system.

If you’re on an iPhone X or later, to restart your iPhone, simply hold down on your Power button and any one of volume up button. You will see the Slide to Power off screen. Drag the slider to turn it off. Once it’s shut down, turn it back on by pressing the Power button and you will see the Apple logo light up on the screen as your iPhone restarts.


restart iphone
iPhone X, XS, 11 and later models (right) — iPhone 8 and earlier models (left).


Alternatively, you may also shut down your iPhone via the Settings app. Simply jump into the Settings app, tap General, and then scroll all the way down the page until you see Shut Down. Hit Shut Down. Give it a few minutes then turn it back on.


Fix iPhone Messages Back Button Not Working


If you’re on an older iPhone 8 or earlier, then simply press on the Power button until you see the Slide to Power off screen. Drag the slider to turn your iPhone off. Once after your device turns off, press and hold down on the Power button again to turn it on as you will see your Apple logo light up on the screen.

Try jumping into the Messages app and test and see if the back button works once again.



3. Turn Off Accessibility Text Settings

One effective technique that has worked for both our readers as well as users over at Apple’s Support Communities is to turn off Accessibility Text setting.

Here’s how you turn off the Accessibility Text setting to fix the issue:

  1. Jump into your Settings app and then tap Accessibility.

iOS Accessibility settings



Since iOS 13, the option for Accessibility has been pushed to the front of the Settings app and is no longer hidden inside the General options. Hence, if you’re on iOS 12, 11 or prior iOS versions, you will have to go Settings > General.


  1. Next, tap on Display & Text Size.

Fix iPhone Messages Back Button Not Working


  1. Then turn off Bold Text.

Fix iPhone Messages Back Button Not Working


  1. Tap on Larger Text.
  2. Lastly, turn off Larger Accessibility Sizes and drag the slider to the left (small text size).

Fix iPhone Messages Back Button Not Working


Done. Jump back into Messages app to see if it fixed your issue. Try testing to increase the text size bigger one at a time until you find the point where the Messages back button stops working. This is where you can figure out where exactly the problem is occurring.

The other workaround is slide to go back and we will go over that next …



4. Slide to Go Back

The second workaround, which I think would be more appropriate as it’s own section, is to touch and slide your finger from left-to-right across the screen within a conversation in your Messages app.

This will bring you back to the conversations list rather than using your back button which is not working.

It may take a few tries to get it right and it is a workaround (for now) until Apple releases an update. If you aren’t able to to do this then make sure that you start sliding from the very left edge of your screen and slide quickly.

Let us know how it goes below in the comments if it doesn’t work and we will help guide you. 🙂


Fix iPhone Messages Back Button Not Working
Swipe from left ➡️ right



5. Update your iPhone

The great thing about having an iPhone is the constant useful updates that the device gets that keep it from becoming a bug-infested party.

Apple is most likely already working on a fix for this. They may have even released the update already.

To find out if there are any updates that are waiting to be downloaded on your iPhone, here’s what you do:

  1. Jump into your Settings app and then tap General.

iOS Settings iPhone


  1. Next tap Software Update.

Update iOS


If you see any update that is waiting to be downloaded, simply hit the Download and Install button to begin the updating process. It’ll take a few minutes depending on your Internet.

Your iPhone may restart in the process as it prepares to update the system. Once it is done, you can jump back into your Messages app and test if the bug has been fixed.



6. Reset your iPhone

You’ve restarted, updated and tweaked your iPhone but to no result you still find the bug persists.

What else can you do?

The last resort would be to carry our factory reset of your iPhone which will wipe out all of its data and reset it back to its original factory settings. If you’re not ready for that then you may also choose the visit Apple and have them check it.

Even if you’re at the Apple store and you’ve tried all of the above methods, then most certainly they’ll suggest a factory reset for the iPhone and then see if that fixes the bug.

To save the quick trip to the shop, here’s how you reset your iPhone safely as well as correctly:



Make sure to create a backup for your iPhone before you reset it. Backing up your iPhone beforehand will ensure your data and images are kept safely in case if you need to restore your iPhone back. Here’s a great guide by Apple themselves on how to backup your iPhone.


The steps are as follows:

  1. First and foremost, grab your USB cable and connect your iPhone to your computer. and make a backup in iTunes, if possible. If iTunes isn’t available, backup to iCloud.
  2. Great you’ve made your backup! Now disconnect your iPhone from the computer and proceed to charge your iPhone to ensure that your iPhone is charging before proceeding with the reset.
  3. Now go to the Settings app on your iPhone and then tap on General.

Factory Reset iPhone


  1. Next, scroll down and tap on Reset.

Fix iPhone Messages Back Button Not Working


  1. Then, tap on Erase All Content and Settings. This will erase all content and settings on your iPhone. Meaning, you will lose your data. But you’ve backed up your data so you can restore it back later.

Fix iPhone Messages Back Button Not Working


When prompted, click through the warning messages. Your iPhone will begin resetting, where its screen will turn black and proceeds to restart after a while once it is done the resetting.

Once you’ve reset your iPhone, try testing the Messages app to see if the back button has been fixed.



7. Visit Apple

If you tried all of the above methods but you still find that the Messages back button is still not working on your iPhone, then a quick trip to your nearest Apple Authorized Service provider should be able to clarify and inspect what’s going on or if you’re a new iPhone will a replacement is allowed.


Let us know down below if you found a better option and we will update the article with your credit.


If this guide was helpful, please share it. 🙂


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