3D Touch is a feature of some newer iPhone screens that allows the display to detect physical pressure, and then respond with a software action. For example, you can 3D Touch on some app icons and add widgets to the Today Widget screen that way. Or you can 3D Touch to print PDF, or use 3D Touch as a trackpad of sorts on iPhone with a neat keyboard trick, amongst many additional helpful or useful, and other capabilities. With how useful 3D Touch can be, it’s understandable why iPhone users would be annoyed if the feature is suddenly not working.
If you find that 3D Touch is not working on your iPhone, read on to troubleshoot and potentially fix the problem.
How to Troubleshoot 3D Touch Not Working on iPhone
We’ll run through a variety of troubleshooting steps for 3D Touch:
Check iPhone 3D Touch Compatibility
First, be sure your iPhone actually supports 3D Touch, since not all models do. 3D Touch is available on iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus, and presumably other newer iPhones going forward. Earlier iPhone models do not support 3D Touch, and no iPad currently has 3D Touch either.
Check 3D Touch Settings on iPhone
The most likely reasons for 3D Touch to not be working are that 3D Touch was disabled, or that insufficient pressure is being applied to the screen.
Fortunately, you can easily enable 3D Touch again, and adjust 3D Touch pressure sensitivity too. Both of these are simple Settings options on the iPhone.
- Open the “Settings” app on iPhone
- Go to “Accessibility” and then to “3D Touch”
- Be sure 3D Touch is toggled ON
- Adjust the 3d Touch pressure sensitivity as appropriate
- Confirm that 3D Touch is working on the sample image in the Settings panel
If 3D Touch was disabled, that’s obviously going to be why it wouldn’t work. Some users turn the feature off to make it easier to delete apps on 3D Touch iPhones or move app icons around, or because they find they’re activating it when they don’t want to. So it’s possible this happened and was later forgotten.
If 3D Touch touch sensitivity was too high, it’s likely insufficient pressure was being applied and thus the feature was not activating.
3D Touch still not working? Hard reboot
If you have confirmed that 3D Touch settings are enabled and you are sufficiently pressing the screen down with adequate pressure, then your next step should be to hard reboot the iPhone.
Hard rebooting an iPhone depends on the iPhone model that you want to restart this way, as each new Apple iPhone seems to change it a bit:
- How to force restart iPhone X
- How to force restart iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8
- How to force restart iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7
- How to force restart iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus (and earlier iPhones too)
Follow the instructions for each device accordingly. When the iPhone boots back up, try using 3D touch again.
If 3D Touch is still not working after you have confirmed the settings are enabled, you are applying adequate pressure, and you have restarted the iPhone, it may suggest an issue with hardware.
Is the iPhone damaged? Screen broken? Was the screen replaced?
A physically damaged iPhone may experience hardware problems. If you have cracked the display, dunked the iPhone into water, or dropped it repeatedly on hard surfaces, each of those reasons, amongst other physical damage, may be why 3D Touch is not working.
If the iPhone screen is broken, then that is probably why 3D Touch is not working. Getting a broken iPhone screen repaired is fairly straight forward from Apple, and is not unreasonably priced.
While you an use third party repair centers, not all of them use authentic Apple parts which may also contribute to 3D Touch not working. In fact, if the iPhone has had the display replaced before using cheaper components and knock-off parts, that may be why 3D Touch is not working too. It’s also possible the technician installed something wrong which may be why 3D Touch is not working. This is yet another reason why it’s good to go through Apple or Apple authorized repair centers for fixing a damaged display or damaged iPhone in general.
If the iPhone is damaged, taking it to Apple or an Apple authorized repair center should offer a way to get 3D Touch working again.
3D Touch is not working on my iPad! Help!
If you have an iPad and 3D Touch is not working, well, that’s because iPad does not support 3D Touch. At least not with existing models, though it’s possible that future devices would support it. The closest thing to 3D Touch on iPad is an iPad that supports Apple Pencil, because the Apple Pencil has pressure sensitivity in some apps that support it.