How to Fix iPhone Proximity Sensor Not Working

Is the proximity sensor on your iPhone not working?

When the proximity sensor is not working, your iPhone’s screen will stay on during calls. 

This can cause accidental touches on your screen, which can lead to abruptly ending your important calls. 

iphone proximity sensor not working

If you’re experiencing this issue on your iPhone, we got you covered. 

This guide will show you how to fix the proximity sensor on your iPhone. 

Let’s get started!

1. Restart Your iPhone. 

Sometimes, a simple restart is what your iPhone needs to fix the proximity sensor.

Restarting your phone reloads system resources, which resolves any bugs or glitches during use. 

This should also clear corrupted data from the memory, which can also cause problems. 

If you are using an iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, 14, or later, here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Hold down the Volume Down button and Side button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt appears. 
  2. Now, drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds. 
  3. Press the Side button afterward to turn on your device. 
Restart iPhone

For older models, follow the steps below: 

  1. Locate the Power button on your device. 
  2. Now, hold the button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt shows up.
  3. Drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds before turning on your device. 
iphone proximity sensor not working

Make another call afterward to check if the problem is solved. 

Related: How to Fix iPhone 13 GPS Drift Issue

2. Clean Your iPhone’s Display.

The proximity sensor is located near the earpiece of your iPhone. If oils and smudges cover the sensor, it might not work properly. 

Grab a clean piece of cloth or microfiber towel and clean the surface of your display. Ensure no dirt or smudges are near the earpiece, notch, or dynamic island. 

Make another call to check if the proximity sensor works. 

3. Remove Any Case or Screen Protector. 

Cases and screen protectors are great for preventing damage to our iPhones. 

However, not all phone cases and screen protectors are made properly. 

Some phone cases don’t have the correct cutouts for buttons or ports, and there are screen films that cause light to refract and bounce off on the sensors. 

Try removing any accessory on your iPhone and see if the proximity sensor would work. 

4. Force Restart. 

Try performing a force restart if the proximity sensor on your iPhone is still not working.

This will restart your device at a hardware level and should refresh the sensors and electronic controllers. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button
  2. Now, press the Volume Down button once. 
  3. Hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears. 
  4. Release the Side button
iphone proximity sensor not working

Once done, check if the proximity sensor works on your iPhone. 

5. Update Your iPhone. 

The version of iOS you’re using might have an issue that causes the proximity sensor to malfunction. 

To rule this out, check if there are available updates for your device and install them. 

Follow the steps below to update your iPhone: 

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone. 
  2. Navigate to General > Software Update
  3. If there’s a new iOS version available, tap Download and Install
iphone proximity sensor not working
  1. Once the new software is ready, follow the prompts to install the update. 


  • Your device can restart several times while installing the update. 
  • Make sure that your iPhone has at least 50% battery before installing updates. It’s best to keep your device plugged into the wall charger to avoid interruptions. 
  • Allow at least 15 minutes for the update to install, especially if it’s a major update (iOS 14 to iOS 15).

Make another call to check if the problem is solved. 

6. Reset Your Settings. 

Improper device settings can cause the proximity sensor of your iPhone not to work.

Instead of tweaking your settings and finding out what configuration to change, just reset your iPhone’s settings back to factory defaults. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. On your iPhone, go to the main menu and open Settings
  2. Now, tap on General
  3. Look for Transfer or Reset iPhone and tap on it. 
  4. Tap the Reset option and select Reset All Settings
  5. Follow the prompts to continue. 
iphone proximity sensor not working


  • Your iPhone will immediately restart upon resetting your network configurations. 
  • It may appear to be stuck in the Apple logo. Wait for the process to complete, which usually takes 5 to 10 minutes. 

Once done, set up your iPhone and check if the proximity sensor works.

Related: How to Fix iPhone Stuck on Emergency SOS

7. Visit the Apple Store. 

If none of the solutions above worked, it’s time to let the professionals take over. 

Head to the nearest Apple Store in your area to have your iPhone checked for hardware-related issues. 

Find Apple Store

You might have a cracked screen, which messes up the sensor’s readings. 

Apple might fix your device for free if it’s still covered by warranty and there are no indications of water or fall damage. 

If you had your iPhone for less than 14 days, you can ask for a replacement unit or refund, given that you purchased your device directly from Apple. 

That sums up our guide for fixing the proximity sensor on your iPhone if it’s not working. 

For your questions and other concerns, please let us know in the comment section, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it.


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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