iPhone Camera keeps refocusing - 3 ways to fix

Modified Nov. 3, 2023, 9:25 p.m.


My iPhone Camera keeps refocusing recently, here is how to fix it if it happens to you!

To stop your iPhone camera to keeps refocusing, you need to download and install the latest iOS version.

A known bug in iOS 16.3 made iPhone cameras keep refocusing, the only way to permanently fix the issue was to install the latest iOS version. This bug could reappear again in any other iOS version, check if any new update is available.

While waiting for the new update, I give you two tricks to temporarily fix the issue. If you still have the issue after a newer version of iOS, then you could have a bigger issue, try to clean your lens or replace your iPhone camera.

iPhone Camera keeps refocusing because of an iOS bug

Apple is consistently trying to improve the camera on their iPhones, by improving the components used in their phones and developing and adding features in iOS to make the pictures taken with iPhones always better.

Sometimes, while they are developing something new in iOS that is related to the camera application, there can be a bug that they did not detect before releasing the new update.

If a lot of tests are done each time they add features to iOS to avoid bugs, some can still be missed. It already happens a few months ago on iOS 16.

If your iPhone camera keeps refocusing, your iPhone might have downloaded and installed a new iOS version, containing a bug related to the camera app. Unfortunately, this bug can only be fully fixed with a new iOS version.

While waiting for this new version to be released by Apple, there are still a few things you can try to temporarily fix the issue:

  • Restart your iPhone. Most of the time, the bug does not appear after a fresh restart, otherwise Apple would have detected it during the tests. Restarting your iPhone should allow you to take a few pictures at least.
  • Switch to the front camera, then back to the rear one. This trick has worked for me on the last bug on iOS 16. Each time I opened the Camera app, my iPhone keeps refocusing, but switching to the front camera, then switching back to the back camera allowed me to take pictures.

Your camera lens is dirty

Another common issue that made your iPhone Camera keeps refocusing is that your camera lens is dirty, dirty outside but it can also be dirty inside the camera, a little dust is enough for getting a big issue with an iPhone camera.

Clean the outside of your iPhone camera lens

Cleaning the outside is not complicated, you can do it by yourself easily, but you still need to be careful enough to not damage the glass of the camera lens.

To clean the outside of your iPhone camera:

  1. Use a cleaning brush to remove the bigger part of the dirt. In this step, you want to remove any small pebbles that could add scratches to the camera glass
  2. Use a cleaning spray, these sprays are specially made for electronic devices and will make the dirt easier to remove in the last step
  3. Use a microfiber cloth to clean the lens. Microfiber ensures that you won’t damage your iPhone or remove any protective layer added by Apple to make the glass stronger.

Cleaning the inside of your iPhone camera

Cleaning the inside is a bit more complicated, it requires removing the protective glass using a heat source. But this could lead to more damage due to the heat, but also because more dust could be added to the inside of the camera.

Unless you know what you are doing, I do not recommend do try this by yourself. Instead, you should take an appointment at an Apple Store and ask for them to clean the inside of your iPhone camera.

Professionals will know better how to handle this, and if anything goes wrong, they will handle it too.

Your iPhone camera has been damaged

If your iPhone camera keeps trying to focus, it can be due to damage to the camera itself.

iPhone cameras have built-in stabilization, which helps users to take better pictures, even when they are moving. But this stabilization is quite weak and can be damaged if high vibrations are applied to the iPhone.

It usually happens while using a motorcycle, but can also happen on some cars. To avoid your iPhone camera being damaged while using a bike mount, or a car mount, I recommend using a quad lock mount, quite an expensive but very reliable mount that will protect your iPhone from vibrations.

If you think your iPhone camera is damaged, you will have to replace the camera unit. It’s not an easy task, and your iPhone won’t probably be waterproof anymore. If you don’t want to take any risk, you should ask a repair store instead. To repair the rear camera on the latest iPhones, Apple charges $169.

If only the protection lens part of your iPhone camera is cracked, you might want to fix it yourself.



Maxime Levesque is a technical engineer with more than 5 years of professional experience. He is an expert in computer and phones, mostly on Apple products. Maxime is also the founder of TechBrowser.

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