Volume Buttons Not Working on iPhone: Quick Fixes and Solutions

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By: Mo

Volume Buttons Not Working on iPhone?

Experiencing malfunctioning volume buttons on your iPhone can be frustrating.

I’ve had my share of moments when I’ve missed an important call because my ringer was stuck on silent, or when I couldn’t lower the volume while my phone unexpectedly started blaring music in a quiet setting.

The good news is that there are practical steps you can take to resolve this common problem.

I’ll guide you through some of the most effective solutions, ranging from simple fixes to more advanced troubleshooting techniques.

If you’re currently facing this annoyance, rest assured, you’re not alone.

Many iPhone users encounter this issue at some point, and it can often be traced back to a variety of causes, such as software glitches, accumulated dirt, or physical damage.

By examining the possible culprits, starting with basic troubleshooting like checking for debris and restarting your iPhone, you can often get your volume buttons back to working order without a trip to the repair shop.

It’s essential to stay calm and methodical: one simple step at a time can lead you closer to a solution.

Key Takeaways

Initial Troubleshooting Steps

Have you ever pressed your iPhone’s volume buttons and found they’re not responding? Let me guide you through some practical steps that often clear up this pesky issue.

Examine the Volume Buttons

First things first, I always take a close look at the volume buttons. Sometimes, they can get stuck due to everyday wear and tear.

Gentle pressure can sometimes ease a button back to its rightful place without causing any damage.

  • Visual Inspection: Check for any visible signs of damage or misalignment.
  • Press Test: Gently press each button to ensure they click normally.

Basic Clean-Up

Next, I’d advise a thorough clean-up. Over time, dust and lint can sneak into the smallest crevices of your iPhone, potentially jamming the buttons.

A quick, gentle cleaning can work wonders.

  • Soft Brush: Use a clean, soft-bristled brush to dislodge any dirt around the buttons.
  • Lint-Free Cloth: Wipe the area with a lint-free cloth to capture any remaining dust.

Restart Your iPhone

If cleaning didn’t do the trick, it’s time to try a good ol’ restart.

Rebooting your iPhone can resolve a surprising number of glitches, including unresponsive volume buttons. It’s a simple yet often effective step.

  • Standard Restart: Hold the side button and either volume button, then slide to power off.
  • Force Reboot: On models without a home button, quickly press volume up, then volume down, then hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.

Software and Settings Review

Let’s dive right in and unravel some mysteries of the settings that might just bring those buttons back from their day off.

Check Sound Settings

We’ve all been there, scrolling through our iPhone settings, wondering why on earth the volume buttons aren’t responding.

First things first, tap into your Settings app, and find “Sound & Haptics”. Is “Change with Buttons” switched on? If it’s off, give it a tap – it’s the virtual “I believe in you” your volume buttons might just need.

Verify Accessibility Settings

Now, let’s hop into the Accessibility settings. There’s a nifty section there called “Touch” and another called “AssistiveTouch”.

These guys are like the behind-the-scenes crew making sure you can still crank up your tunes when the physical buttons decide to go AWOL.

Assess with Control Center

Now, if you’re mid-zombie apocalypse movie and those volume buttons are still out cold, swipe into your Control Center.

It’s the trusty command hub where you can slide your volume up and down without needing the physical buttons.

Think of it as your on-screen remote—an immediate peacekeeper between you and your startlingly loud iPhone.

Just a swipe and a drag, and tranquility is restored.

Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques

You’re not alone! Here’s how you can tackle this like a tech wizard, without missing your favorite tunes or crucial call alerts.

Force Restart Your iPhone

Sometimes, the classic “have you tried turning it off and on?” method is just what the doctor ordered for stubborn iPhone volume buttons.

To force restart your iPhone:

  1. iPhone 8 or later: Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then the Volume Down button. Next, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.
  2. iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Volume Down button and the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo shows up.
  3. iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, or iPhone SE (1st generation): Hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button simultaneously until you see the Apple logo.

A force restart can sometimes kick those buttons back into gear, especially if a sneaky software issue is at play.

Update iOS Software

Out-of-date software can be a party pooper, causing more than just volume button issues.

To keep the party going, it’s a good idea to check for an iOS update. Here’s how:

  1. Plug your iPhone into power and connect to Wi-Fi.
  2. Go to Settings > General, then tap Software Update.
  3. If an update is available, tap Download and Install.

Updating your iOS might introduce the volume buttons to new bug fixes and performance improvements, convincing them to start working again.

Reset All Settings

Has the “it’s complicated” status with your iPhone’s settings gotten out of hand?

It may be time to hit the reset button—figuratively speaking, of course.

Resetting all settings will not erase your data, but it will clear your personalized setup, which might resolve the volume button rebellion.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Navigate to Settings > General > Reset.
  2. Tap Reset All Settings and enter your passcode if prompted.
  3. Confirm you want to reset the settings and then wait for the process to complete.

Remember, this will also reset network settings, keyboard dictionary, home screen layout, and more, so you’ll have a fresh start in more ways than one.

Diagnosing Hardware Issues

Before you panic, let’s determine if the issue is due to physical damage or just a minor glitch that can be patched up with a quick fix.

I’ve encountered my share of device mishaps, and trust me, sometimes it’s a simple thing we overlook.

Detect Physical Damage

First things first, give your iPhone a thorough once-over. Look for any signs of drops or spills that could have compromised the buttons’ functionality.

A dented frame or moisture can be the culprits behind the malfunction.

If you spot damage and you’re not comfortable with DIY repairs, it’s a smart move to visit an Apple Store or an authorized service center, especially if you’re under warranty or have AppleCare+.

Remember, tackling it yourself could void existing warranties.

Test with External Devices

Now, let’s try something a little less daunting. Grab your headphones or connect to a Bluetooth speaker.

Does changing the volume work with those external devices?

This little experiment helps us narrow down the issue.

If the external approach works, your hardware might still be more robust than you think, and the issue could be isolated to the volume buttons themselves.

This saves you from an unnecessary full-scale repair, and that’s always good news.

Temporary Solutions

When the volume buttons on my iPhone stopped responding, I found quick, effective ways to adjust the volume without them.

Here’s how I managed without those handy side buttons.

Using AssistiveTouch

The moment my iPhone buttons rebelled, I turned to AssistiveTouch, an accessibility feature that saved the day.

Here’s the lowdown on setting it up:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Accessibility.
  2. Tap on Touch, then AssistiveTouch, and toggle it on.
  3. A virtual button will pop up on the screen, which you can drag around and place anywhere.

This floating button became my new best friend. I could use it to mimic my volume buttons, lock screen, and even more, without the physical strain on my precious digits.

It was a game-changer, especially when I needed to quickly silence my phone in a meeting!

Alternative Volume Controls

Sometimes, I just had to get creative. I started using other methods to adjust the volume:

  • Control Center: Swiping into the Control Center, I found the volume slider right there, ready to slide up or down to my tune’s needs.
  • Settings: I went to Settings > Sounds & Haptics, where another friendly slider waited for my touch.

Solving Specific App Issues

If you’re facing issues with specific apps not responding to volume button adjustments, there are some targeted solutions you can try.

Adjust App Settings

Apps like Spotify often have their own volume controls built-in.

Sometimes, these settings can override your iPhone’s physical buttons.

Here’s what I usually check first:

  1. Open the problematic music app.
  2. Look for a settings icon (often a gear or three dots).
  3. Navigate to the audio settings and check if there’s an option to enable volume button control.

For instance, in some music apps, if the in-app volume is set to max, it might seem like your external buttons aren’t working.

Adjusting this slider can re-sync the app with your hardware controls.

Reinstall Problematic Apps

When an app is stubbornly unresponsive, I take the more drastic approach of reinstallation:

  1. Press and hold the specific app icon on your home screen until it jiggles.
  2. Tap the ‘X’ to uninstall.
  3. Revisit the App Store, search for the app and install it anew.

A fresh installation can sometimes clear up any glitches causing the volume buttons to malfunction.

I’ve resolved issues with more than one app this way.

After reinstalling, log back into the app and check those in-app audio controls again!

Professional Support and Repairs

Contact Apple Support

Apple’s customer service is known for being comprehensive. I immediately visited the Apple Support website and found several contact options.

I could initiate a live chat, make a phone call, or send an email describing my issue.

Here’s the easy step-by-step way I got in touch with them:

Step 1

Navigate to the Apple Support page.

Step 2

Select ‘iPhone’ from the product list.

Step 3

Choose ‘Hardware’ issues.

Step 4

Describe the problem with the volume buttons.

Step 5

Opt for the contact method that suits you best – chat, phone, or email.

Visit the Genius Bar

If you’re more for in-person support like me, heading straight to an Apple Store and talking to a Genius Bar technician is the way to go.

I secured an appointment through the Apple Retail Store webpage which was fairly straightforward. Make sure to:

  • Book an appointment online to save time.
  • Bring your iPhone with you.
  • Back up your iPhone before the appointment—just in case.

Each Apple Store has a Genius Bar where tech-savvy employees provide hands-on support.

They’ll diagnose the issue on the spot. Most of the repairs take place in the store, but if they can’t fix it there, they might send it off to an Apple Repair Center.

Either way, they’ll make sure you’re clued in on every step of the repair process.

Preventive Measures and Best Practices

Ever had that mini heart attack when your iPhone’s volume button didn’t respond? Trust me, I’ve been there, furiously pressing with no result.

You don’t necessarily have to reach that point if you take care of your iPhone properly.

Preventive care for your volume buttons starts with a good case.

But not just any case; it should be one that provides clearance for your buttons, reducing the risk of them getting stuck.

I recommend checking out cases designed with precise cutouts for the iPhone’s buttons.

Keeping your iPhone clean is another simple yet effective way to maintain button responsiveness.

Just the other day, I noticed my friend’s volume button was unresponsive; turns out it was just some gunk accumulated over time.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Regular Cleaning:

    • Use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe around the buttons.
    • For more stubborn grime, lightly dampen the cloth with isopropyl alcohol and gently clean around the buttons.
  • Protective Measures:

    • Avoid exposing your iPhone to dusty or sandy environments.
    • If you’re at the beach or somewhere similar, consider a sealed case.
  • Maintenance Tips:

    • Check your iPhone case regularly to ensure it isn’t pressing or pinching the volume buttons.
    • Occasionally remove your iPhone from its case to clean any trapped dirt.


When your iPhone’s volume buttons give up the ghost right in the middle of adjusting the volume during a call or jamming to your favorite tunes, the frustration is real.

I’ve been there, trying to turn up a podcast only to find those little buttons on the side of my phone completely ignoring my frantic presses.

Here, let’s tackle these pesky volume button issues with some straight-to-the-point fixes and troubleshooting tips.

What should I do when my iPhone’s volume buttons aren’t responding during calls?

If I’m on a call trying to adjust the volume and my iPhone’s buttons seem to be on strike, I check the settings first. Under Sound & Haptics, there’s an option to change volume with buttons, which, believe me, can sometimes get turned off by mistake. If that’s not the issue, I give the buttons a once-over for any dirt or grime and clean them carefully. Sometimes, a simple clean up is all they need to get back to work.

How can I troubleshoot an iPhone 13 when the side volume buttons stop working?

For my iPhone 13, when the volume buttons stopped working, I took a systematic approach. I started with a soft reset — holding the side button and volume down until I saw the Apple logo. No luck? I then made sure my phone wasn’t stuck in Headphone Mode, which can be a sneaky culprit. For persistent issues, it’s time to consider getting the buttons examined by a professional, as there might be underlying hardware problems.

My iPhone volume is stuck, what steps can I take to fix it?

Stuck volume can drive anyone up the wall. When my iPhone’s volume wouldn’t budge, I tried adjusting the volume from the Control Center as an immediate workaround. Next, I’d dive into the settings to recalibrate the ‘Change with Buttons’ toggle. As a last resort, updating the iOS often smooths out these software glitches that cause volume mishaps.

Is there a way to fix my iPhone if the volume buttons are unresponsive?

Absolutely! Besides the usual checks and restarts, there’s also the AssistiveTouch option, which I often find to be a lifesaver. I turn it on through the Accessibility settings, which gives me an on-screen menu to adjust the volume without needing the physical buttons. It’s a handy tool until I can get the issue permanently sorted.

Why aren’t my volume buttons working on my iPhone, and how can I resolve this?

Sometimes, the no-response from my iPhone volume buttons is due to a software problem. I’ve found that ensuring my device runs the latest iOS version can fix unexpected bugs. If a software update doesn’t do the trick, I consider restoring my iPhone from a backup since this process can eradicate deeper software issues that might be the root cause.

What are the common fixes when the volume buttons on an iPhone 11 don’t work?

With an iPhone 11 or any model, I start with the basics: I check my device settings and make sure no debris is jamming the buttons.

If that doesn’t work, I reboot my phone, which often greases the wheels again. If all else fails, resetting my phone to the factory settings is my go-to, though I make sure I’ve backed up all my data before taking that plunge.

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