When it comes to customer satisfaction, Apple rules. The company has one of the highest rates in the industry. In fact, studies suggest that 81 percent of iPhone customers are happy with their purchases. That's remarkable, given that these devices can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
But even happy people can deal with technology glitches, and Apple has many of them. White bars plague many iPhone 6 users, and others deal with:
Black, unresponsive screens.
We'll talk through DIY solutions for all of these issues. We'll give you a few prevention tips too, so you can stick with your beloved phone for a little bit longer.
Beat Back the White Bars
Over the years, iPhone screens have grown larger and larger while cases have gotten thinner and thinner. A big, lightweight device is easy to slip into your back pocket, but as some iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users discovered, wearing your little phone can lead to big problems.
Two tiny chips inside your phone connect your screen to the processor. Those chips connect your taps to action, and when they're not working right, your phone won't respond. You'll also see a band of tiny white boxes across the tippy-top of your screen.
You can get a temporary fix through:
Twisting. A gentle flex of your phone could put your chips back in contact with their communication bits, and that could make your problem slide away.
Soldering. If you're comfortable with the guts of your phone, you could pop open the back and reconnect the blobs that attach chips to your motherboard.
Pushing. Gentle pressure on your screen could also pop your chips back into life.
You can also complain to Apple. Back in 2016, Apple Insider reported that 11 percent of Apple Store repairs to the iPhone 6 were due to this type of screen problem, nicknamed "touch disease." Apple responded to public pressure and agreed to fix the issue with a (not-so-small) fee. If this is happening to you, some of your official repair costs could be covered.
Why won't Apple pay for the whole thing? Unfortunately, you might bear some of the blame.
Apple products just aren't that durable, and dropping your phone one too many times can lead to touch disease. As we mentioned, wearing your phone in your pocket can also lead to bending and breakage. If you always have your phone next to your body, you could be contributing to the problem.
Move Past Vertical Lines
The problem can occur if you drop your iPhone from a great height. When you pick it back up, your entire screen could be filled with vertical lines, and your screen may not respond to your touch.
A broken display is a likely culprit, and if you're comfortable digging around inside your phone, you can fix it with a few specialty tools and a bit of patience. A new screen costs less than $100, and there are plenty of YouTube videos that show you what to do to make your phone new again.
You can also try connecting loose or rattling pins with your soldering pin. A drop can shake all kinds of things free, and when you open up your phone, you may see what's rattling around. A small bit of work could reconnect and amend the problem.
Unfortunately, there's no way to address this problem without opening up your phone and looking around a bit. If you're not comfortable with that idea, a visit to the Genius Bar is in your future.
Before you attempt any fixes yourself, check if your phone is under warranty. Sometimes, doing the work yourself can void your warranty.
Deal With the Black Screen
It's happened to all of us. We pick up our phone, and absolutely nothing happens. We tap and press and shake, and our phone just won't respond. The black screen of death is certainly intimidating, but a few small hacks could help.
First, try turning off your phone and then turning it on again. It sounds simplistic, but your phone runs on software, and sometimes, that software seizes up. Hold down the "Sleep/Wake" button (more on that below), and your screen may come to life. Use that moment to swipe your phone off.
If that doesn't work, Apple suggests a force restart. You'll take different steps depending on your phone model.
iPhone 6S and earlier: Find your "Sleep/Wake" button. It's either on the side or the top of your device. Press that along with your "Home" button for at least 10 seconds.
iPhone 7 or 7 Plus: Press the "Sleep/Wake" button (it's on the side) along with the volume down button. Hold for at least 10 seconds.
iPhone 8 or later: This is a three-part process. Push the "Volume Up" button, let it go, and then do the same with the "Volume Down" button. Then, push "Sleep/Wake" button (on the side) and hold it.
If these restarts work, you'll see an Apple logo glow in the middle of your screen. If nothing happens, your computer may help.
Boot up your computer, and open iTunes. Plug your phone into your computer, tap the phone icon, and press "Sleep/Wake" and "Home" buttons at the same time. You'll see a screen labeled "Recovery Mode," and you'll be given the option to update your phone. Take that option.
Your computer will connect with your phone and search your software for the problem. It should fix the issue without deleting your data.
If that doesn't work, your software shouldn't take the blame. A hard drop, water intrusion, or some other issue could interfere with your device. A visit to the Genius Bar can help.
Overcome Other Touch Problems
Sometimes, your iPhone won't react to your fingers even when your screen looks perfectly normal. These touch problems are pesky, but solving them is relatively simple.
You'll use the same steps we mentioned in overcoming a black screen. That means you'll:
Attempt to restart your phone.
Perform a hard restart.
Use iTunes to fix the problem.
Prevention Can Help
If you dread a visit to the Genius Bar, you're not alone. Most of us want to be self-sufficient, and we hate the idea of handing off our precious phones to other people. Thankfully, most of the issues we've mentioned here can be prevented altogether with a few subtle shifts in our daily habits.
Keep your iPhone running strong by:
Charging the battery. It sounds silly, but a low battery can cause touch problems, black screens, and more. Check your battery level, and plug in your device when you're running low.
Download software updates. Flickering screens, black displays, and more can be caused by software glitches. When enough of them appear, Apple releases a software update. You'll get a notification, and you should take heed. The latest version could keep problems from hitting your phone.
Handle with care. Keep your phone safe from water, direct blows, and falls. Hold it in your hands when you're walking, or keep it in a pocket in your purse or a briefcase. That could save you a lot of hassle.
Keep your memory lean. Plug your phone into your computer or the cloud, and offload your photos. Clear your browser cache. Delete apps you don’t need. When your processor isn't taxed to deal with so much data, performance should improve.
When all else fails and you must head to Apple, remember to keep your warranty in mind. Some repairs are covered by the protection of your purchase. Bring your receipt with you, if possible, so you can take advantage of that help.
Sources: iPhone 6 Series 'Touch Disease' Now Accounting for About 11 Percent of Apple Store Repairs. (August 2016). Apple Insider.
If Your iPhone, iPad, or iTouch Won't Turn On or Is Frozen. (January 2019). Apple.
Get Help With the Display On Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. (March 2019). Apple.