How to Fix iPad Touch Screen Not Working Issue?

Your iPad’s touch screen may not work due to misconfigurations of essential touch settings or as a result of an OS issue. The problem occurs when the iPad’s touch screen:

  • Does not respond to any touch inputs 
  • Shows a lag in touch gestures
  • Works intermittently 

In some cases, a touch on the area of the touch screen is recorded on a differing area of the touch screen e.g., a touch in the right upper corner is recorded in the left upper corner. The problem is reported on all the generations or variants of the iPad. 

iPad Touch Screen Not Working
iPad Touch Screen Not Working

Your iPad’s touch screen may also not work due to hardware problems. This can occur when the iPad is dropped or its screen is damaged in some other way. If that’s the case, we won’t be covering any hardware related fixes in this article.

Prerequisites

Before proceeding, make sure the iPad is not in extreme temperatures as too much heat or cold can also make the iPad’s touch screen behave abnormally. Moreover, if your iPad is in a cover, a screen protector is applied, or a keyboard is attached, check if removing the accessory resolves the issue.

How do I follow these methods if my screen isn’t working?

A point to remember is that if the iPad’s screen does not work by using methods like force start, then you may need to use Siri or an external input device (like a keyboard or Apple Pencil) to test the methods discussed in this article (except the method of resetting through iCloud).

1. Force Restart the iPad

The touch screen may not work due to an OS glitch or if there is a static current on the device’s screen. Here, force restarting the iPad may solve the problem. The problem may re-appear but it can give you time to try other methods discussed in this article.

For iPads with a Home Button

  1. Press and hold the top & home buttons on the iPad:
    Force Restart an iPad With a Home Button
    Force Restart an iPad With a Home Button
  2. Then, on the power options menu, keep holding the buttons and wait till the Apple logo screen is shown.
  3. Once the Apple logo is shown, release the buttons, and afterwards, check if the iPad’s touchscreen problem is solved.
  4. If that fails, put the iPad on charging for an hour and then force restart the iPad to check if the touch screen is working.

For iPads with a Top Button

  1. Tap quickly on the iPad’s volume up button and then press the volume down button of the iPad.
  2. Now press/hold the iPad’s top button and on the power options screen, keep on holding the top button.
    Force Restart the iPad With a Top Button
    Force Restart the iPad With a Top Button
  3. Then wait till the Apple logo screen is shown and once the logo is displayed, release the button.
  4. Now, wait till the iPad is powered on properly, and then check if the iPad’s touch screen is working.

2. Update the iPad’s OS to the Latest Build Through iTunes

Your touchscreen might not work if the iPad’s OS is outdated or the problem is caused by an iPadOS bug. Here, updating the iPad’s OS to the latest version may clear the touchscreen issue. Before moving ahead, make sure to back up the data on the iPad and connect the iPad to a Wi-Fi network.

  1. Launch iTunes on your PC and expand Help.
  2. Now select Check for Updates and download/install an iTunes update (if available).
    Check for iTunes Updates
    Check for iTunes Updates
  3. Once updated, exit iTunes and head to your iPad.
  4. Then press/hold the iPad’s Home (if no Home button, press the top button), and while holding the button, connect the iPad to the PC.
    Connect iPad in the Recovery Mode to the PC
    Connect the iPad in the Recovery Mode to the PC
  5. Then keep holding the button until the iPad shows the recovery screen.
  6. Now release the button and launch iTunes on the PC.
  7. Then click on the iPad icon in Devices and open Summary.
  8. Now click on Check for Updates and if an update is available, download/install the update.
    Check for iPadOS Update Through iTunes
    Check for iPadOS Update Through iTunes
  9. Once installed, click Eject for the iPad in iTunes and disconnect the iPad from the PC.
  10. Now check if the iPad touchscreen is working.

3. Disable the ‘Tap to Wake’ Feature

The touch screen may fail to work if the Tap to Wake feature is glitched and due to this glitch, the Touch screen is waiting for a tap to wake which it cannot detect, thus the issue occurs. In this case, disabling the iPad’s Tap to Wake feature may resolve the issue.

  1. Launch the iPad’s Settings and head to its Accessibility tab.
  2. Now open Touch and disable Tap to Wake.
    Disable Tap to Wake in the iPad's Accessibility Settings
    Disable Tap to Wake in the iPad’s Accessibility Settings
  3. Then restart the iPad and check if the iPad’s touchscreen issue is resolved.

4. Disable the ‘Shake to Undo’ Feature

If the iPad is “sensing” a constant shake (like on your lap), then the Shake to Undo feature might cause the screen to ignore any touch inputs and cause the problem. Here, disabling the iPad’s Shake to Undo feature of the iPad may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the iPad’s Settings and head to the Accessibility tab.
  2. Now, in the Physical and Motor category, open Touch and scroll down to find the Shake to Undo feature.
  3. Then disable the Shake to Undo feature and restart the iPad.
    Disable Shake to Undo in the iPad's Accessibility Settings
    Disable Shake to Undo in the iPad’s Accessibility Settings
  4. Upon restart, check if the iPad’s touchscreen problem is cleared.

5. Disable/Enable General Handoff & Background App Refresh 

If the iPad’s General Handoff or Background App Refresh is breaking the operation of the input modules of the iPad, then that could lead to the problem at hand. In this context, disabling and enabling General Handoff and Background App Refresh on the iPad may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the iPad Settings and head to the General tab.
  2. Now open Handoff and then disable Handoff by toggling its switch to the off position.
    Disable Handoff in the iPad's General Settings
    Disable Handoff in the iPad’s General Settings
  3. Then hit the back button and open Background App Refresh.
  4. Now disable the Background App Refresh and then restart your iPad.
    Disable Background App Refresh in the iPad's General Settings
    Disable Background App Refresh in the iPad’s General Settings
  5. Upon restart, check if the issue is resolved. If so, then you may reenable the above-mentioned features. If the issue recurs after enabling Background App Refresh, check if a 3rd party app on your iPad is causing the problem.

6. Enable the ‘Reduce Motion’ Feature

The Reduce Motion feature disables the motion detection modules of the iPad. Moreover, when this feature is disabled, the CPU, GPU, display modules, and RAM are under a lot of stress in processing motion graphics, resulting in the problem occurring. Here, enabling the iPad’s Reduce Motion feature may do the trick.

  1. Steer to Settings on your iPad and head to the Accessibility tab.
  2. Now, in the right pane, open Motion and then enable Reduce Motion.
    Enable Reduce Motion in the iPad's Motion Settings
    Enable Reduce Motion in the iPad’s Motion Settings
  3. Then restart your iPad and upon restart, check if the iPad’s touchscreen issue is resolved.

If the issue persists, check if the iPad’s touch screen is working when placed flat on a flat surface.

7. Change the Frame Rate

The iPad’s touch screen may fail to work if the iPad fails to keep up with the current frame rate and due to its linkage with the touch screen, it can cause the issue to occur. In such a case, changing the iPad’s frame rate may clear the problem.

  1. Head to the iPad Settings and head to the Accessibility tab.
  2. Now, in the right pane, open Motion and select Display Accommodations.
  3. Then enable Limit Frame Rate (which limits the iPad’s framerate to 60 FPS).
    Enable Limit Framte Rate in the iPad's Display Accommodations Settings
    Enable Limit Frame Rate in the iPad’s Display Accommodations Settings
  4. Now restart the iPad and check if the touchscreen problem is cleared.

8. Disable Siri Suggestions

Siri Suggestions use your device’s input to complete certain operations. If Siri’s suggestions are overwriting any touch input (due to a glitch or bug) or not letting the touch input register, then that could result in the problem happening. Here, disabling the iPad’s Siri Suggestions may do the trick.

  1. Launch the Settings on your iPad and in the left pane, head to the Siri & Search tab.
  2. Now, in the right pane, locate the Siri Suggestions section and disable every setting under it.
    Disable Siri Suggestions in the iPad's Settings
    Disable Siri Suggestions in the iPad’s Settings
  3. Then restart the iPad and upon restart, check if the touch screen is operating fine.

9. Enable the Rotation Lock of the iPad

If the iPad is not on a flat surface or moving/vibrating and is continuously working (in the background) to change the iPad’s rotation, then that may break the operation of the touch screen and thus cause the issue. In this context, enabling Rotation Lock on the iPad may solve the problem.

  1. Swipe from the top right corner to the center of the iPad’s screen to open the Control Center.
  2. Now tap on the Rotation Lock button to enable it and then force restart the iPad (discussed earlier).
    Enable Rotation Lock on the iPad
    Enable Rotation Lock on the iPad
  3. Upon restart, make sure the screen’s rotation lock is in place, and then check if the touch screen issue is resolved.

10. Disable Bluetooth

The touch screen may not respond if any other Bluetooth-input device (either present or currently disconnected) is conflicting with the operation of the input modules. In this context, disabling the iPad’s Bluetooth may make the touchscreen work. Apple Pencil is a reported culprit which often causes the issue.

  1. Steer to the iPad’s Settings and in the left pane, head to the Bluetooth tab.
  2. Now disable Bluetooth and then force restart the iPad.
    Disable Bluetooth in the iPad's Settings
    Disable Bluetooth in the iPad’s Settings
  3. Upon restart, check if the device’s screen unresponsiveness is cleared.
  4. If that works but you want to keep the Bluetooth enabled, check if disconnecting and removing all input devices (like Apple Pencil) in the Bluetooth settings solves the problem.
    Remove Apple Pencil from the iPad's Bluetooth Settings
    Remove Apple Pencil from the iPad’s Bluetooth Settings

11. Disable Widgets in the iPad’s Settings

Widgets are used to enhance the iPad’s functionality and if any of these widgets are interfering with the touch screen’s modules, then that could cause the issue to occur. In this case, disabling Widgets in the iPad’s settings may resolve the issue.

  1. Launch the Widgets panel by swiping right on the iPad screen and then tap on Edit.
  2. Now tap on the Minus sign of every widget to remove all the Widgets (like weather, news, calendar, etc.), and once completed, tap on Done.
    Remove Widgets on the iPad
    Remove Widgets on the iPad
  3. Then force restart the iPad and check if its touch screen is working fine.
  4. If not, remove all the widgets on the iPad’s Notification page settings and then disable all the notifications to check if the issue is cleared.

12. Enable Assistive Touch in Settings

Assistive touch is an accessibility setting but it may solve a non-working touch screen as it may reinforce certain input modules that were glitched previously.

  1. Steer to the iPad’s Settings and in the left pane, head to the Accessibility tab.
  2. Now, in the right pane, open and enable Assistive Touch.
    Enable Assistive Touch in the iPad's Accessibility Settings
    Enable Assistive Touch in the iPad’s Accessibility Settings
  3. Then force restart the iPad and check if the issue is resolved.
  4. If not, check if restarting the iPad through the Assistive Touch button solves the problem.

13. Edit the Touch Settings 

Many touch settings may stop your iPad’s touch screen from working and amending such settings may resolve the issue. You can always revert these back if changing them doesn’t fix the issue. 

  1. Launch the iPad’s Settings and head to the Accessibility tab.
  2. Now open Touch and then enable Touch Accommodations.
    Open Touch Accommodations in the iPad's Accessibility Settings
    Open Touch Accommodations in the iPad’s Accessibility Settings
  3. Then, without amending any settings, hit the back button and force restart the iPad.
    Enable Touch Accommodations in the iPad Settings
    Enable Touch Accommodations in the iPad Settings
  4. Upon restart, check if the iPad’s touch screen is working normally.
  5. If not and the Touch Accommodations feature was already enabled at step 2, check if disabling it resolves the issue.
  6. If the touch screen did not work, check if setting the Hold Duration of the Touch Accommodations to off solves the problem.
    Disable Hold Duration in the iPad's Touch Accommodations Settings
    Disable Hold Duration in the iPad’s Touch Accommodations Settings
  7. If the issue persists, head to the Touch Accommodations settings and scroll down to the bottom.
  8. Now select Initial Touch Location and scroll down till the Swipe Gestures.
    Enable Use Initial Touch Location in the iPad's Touch Settings
    Enable Use Initial Touch Location in the iPad’s Touch Settings
  9. Then open and enable Swipe Gestures.
    Enable Swipe Gestures and Set Required Movement to Standard in the iPad's Touch Settings
    Enable Swipe Gestures and Set Required Movement to Standard in the iPad’s Touch Settings
  10. Now select Standard and hard restart the iPad to check if the touchscreen issue is cleared.
  11. If that fails, check if settings the speed of the Swipe Gestures to 8X solves the problem (if the touch screen is working but showing too much lag).
  12. If that does not work, check if disabling Swipe Gestures clears the issue (if the option was already enabled at step 9).

14. Disable the ‘Allow Multiple Apps’ Feature

If multiple apps are allowed to access the home screen & dock of the iPad, then that could lead to the problem at hand as a 3rd party app might be crashing the iPad’s input modules. In this scenario, disabling the Allow Multiple Apps feature of the iPad may solve the problem.

  1. Launch your iPad Settings and in the left pane, head to the General tab.
  2. Now, in the right pane, open Multitasking & Dock (or Home Screen & Dock) and disable Allow Multiple Apps.
    Disable Allow Multiple Apps in the iPad's Multitasking & Dock Settings
    Disable Allow Multiple Apps in the iPad’s Multitasking & Dock Settings
  3. Then force restart the iPad and check if its touch screen is operating fine.
  4. If not, check if closing all the background apps solve the problem.
  5. If the issue resolves after closing the background app, then you may need to find the offending app. YouTube app is reported to cause the issue and if you have it installed on the iPad, check if uninstalling the YouTube app resolves the issue. If uninstalling YouTube did not work, make sure none of the iPad apps are not causing the problem by uninstalling and reinstalling the apps one by one.

If the issue is still there and you are using a drawing/painting app like Procreate, then make sure the all-fingers touches are not disabled in that app’s settings.

15. Reset All Settings to the Defaults

Your iPad’s touch screen may not work if a setting on your iPad is breaking the touch screen operation or any has become corrupt. In this case, resetting all the iPad’s settings to the defaults may resolve the issue. Before going ahead, make sure to note down/back up any info (like Wi-Fi credentials) that you may require later. 

  1. Steer to the iPad’s Settings and head to the General tab.
  2. Now open Reset and in the options available, tap on Reset All Settings.
    Reset All Settings of the iPad
    Reset All Settings of the iPad
  3. Then confirm to reset the iPad’s settings and if asked to, enter your iPad’s passcode.
  4. Once done, restart your iPad and upon restart, check if the iPad’s touch screen is working fine.

16. Reset iPad to Factory Defaults

Last but not least, your touch screen may fail to work if the OS of your iPad is corrupt. This corruption might have occurred if the latest OS update failed to apply properly on your device. In this scenario, resetting the iPad to the factory defaults may clear the problem. Before going ahead, make sure to fully charge the iPad, and do not forget to back up any essential data.

Through iPad Settings

  1. Steer to the iPad Settings and head to its General tab.
  2. Now open Reset and in the options shown, tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
    Erase All Content and Settings of the iPad to Factory Reset it
    Erase All Content and Settings of the iPad to Factory Reset it
  3. Then confirm to reset the iPad to its factory state and enter its passcode (if asked).
  4. Now, wait till the iPad is reverted to its default state.
  5. Then set up the iPad as a new device and hopefully, its touch screen will be working.

Source: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/254186278?page=5 (tschrover)

Through iTunes or Finder in the iPad’s DFU Mode

Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode is used to reinstall the latest iPadOS to your iPad. If resetting the iPad through settings did not work, then restoring it in the DFU mode may do the trick. For illustration, we will discuss the process of restoring an iPad 11 pro or above with a face ID. If you are using iTunes, make sure it is updated (Help > Check for Updates) and move/delete any older iPad backups from the iTunes backup directory. 

  1. Connect the iPad to your PC through a USB cable and launch iTunes or Finder on the PC.
  2. Tap quickly on the iPad’s volume up button and then press/release the iPad’s volume down button.
  3. Now press/hold the iPad’s side/top button and wait till the iPad’s screen goes black.
  4. Then quickly hold the iPad’s volume down for 5 seconds while keep holding the side/top button.
  5. Now release the side/top button but keep holding the volume down button until the iPad is shown in Finder or iTunes. If the iPad shows a connection to the iTunes screen, then the iPad has entered Recovery Mode, not the DFU Mode as the iPad’s screen should be black in the DFU Mode. If the iPad has entered the recovery mode, hard restart the iPad and repeat the above steps to put the iPad in the DFU mode.
  6. Then click on the iPad icon in the iTunes or Finder Devices and head to the iPad’s Summary tab.
  7. Now select Restore and then confirm to restore the iPad.
    Restore iPad Through the iTunes
    Restore iPad Through the iTunes
  8. Then wait till the process completes and once done, click on Eject in Finder or iTunes.
  9. Then force restart the iPad and disconnect the iPad from the PC.
  10. Now set up the iPad as a new device; hopefully, its touch screen will work fine.

Through iCloud

If you are one of those unlucky ones who cannot use any of the above methods as the touch screen is not working, then resetting the iPad through the iCloud may do the trick, given that the iPad is attached to an iCloud account by using Wi-Fi or cellular data.

  1. Launch a web browser and head to the iCloud website.
  2. Now click on Find My Device and enter your Apple ID.
  3. Then, in the list of devices, select the iPad and click Erase iPad.
    Erase iPad Through the iCloud Website
    Erase iPad Through the iCloud Website
  4. Now, wait till the iPad is reverted to the factory defaults.
  5. Then set up the iPad as a new device and hopefully, it will be clear of the touch screen issue.

If none of the above worked, then you may contact Apple support and ask for a repair, or if under warranty, ask for a replacement. If that is not an option, check if the battery’s health is not causing the problem. Till then, you may use Siri or an external input device (like Apple Pencil) to operate the iPad till the issue is resolved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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