iPhone volume buttons not working? Here’s what to do

We get frustrated when the iPhone volume button is not working as we expect our expensive iPhone not to have any problem regarding the most rudimentary functions – your iPhone volume button not working can be one of these issues.

So, if you are experiencing the same problem, you will be able to fix it after reading this article. Let’s get started.

iPhone volume button is not working?

If you find that your iPhone volume buttons aren’t working, there’s usually a good reason for this. Here’s the main reasons why this may be the case;

  1. Dirt and Debris: Over time, dust and debris can accumulate around the buttons, preventing them from being pressed down fully or making a proper contact.
  2. Physical Damage: If the iPhone has been dropped or has experienced a significant impact, the buttons may have been damaged, dislodged, or misaligned.
  3. Wear and Tear: With regular use, the buttons on your iPhone can experience wear and tear, leading to reduced responsiveness or failure.
  4. Liquid Damage: Exposure to liquids can cause corrosion or short circuits in the button mechanisms or associated circuitry.
  5. Software Glitches: Sometimes, a software issue can cause the buttons to be unresponsive. This could be due to a bug in the operating system or a conflict with a third-party app.
  6. Protective Case Interference: A case that does not fit properly can press on the buttons or prevent them from being fully depressed.
  7. Circuitry Issues: The buttons are connected to the iPhone’s main board through a series of contacts and circuits. If there is an issue with these connections, the buttons may not work.
  8. Accessibility Settings: The iPhone has various accessibility settings that can alter how buttons work, such as “Sticky Keys” or “Slow Keys.” If these are enabled by accident, it may seem like there is a button malfunction.
  9. Temperature Extremes: Exposing your iPhone to extreme heat or cold can temporarily affect how the buttons respond.
  10. Battery Swelling: In rare cases, a swelling battery can put pressure on the iPhone’s internal components, including the buttons, leading to malfunction.

In the following sections, we will explore what we can do when the problem is more physical damage to your iPhone volume buttons to see if it’s a major hardware problem.

Then, we’ll look at your iOS. to determine if it could a software bug that’s causing the issue.

1. Cleaning the volume bottoms

It might not occur to you, but the reason that your iPhone volume button is not working is simply dirt or dust.

So, you can try removing it with a vacuum nozzle. The bottoms could also be sticky because we have eaten and touched them. In this case, a q-tip and rubbing alcohol does the trick.

2. A temporary solution: using the Volume Slider

The Settings app can help us adjust the ringer volume when the physical iPhone volume is not working, regardless of its causes.

  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap Sounds & Haptics, which allows you to have the desired ringer volume.

You can do this by simply dragging the slider to the left and right for quieter and louder ringer and alerts, respectively.

Can we adjust the volume in apps too? Yes, of course! There is a horizontal slider at the bottom of apps that play songs, podcasts, or videos, allowing you to adjust the volume of whatever you are listening to.

3. Remove your iPhone’s rubber case

Simple solutions sometimes work. Your iPhone’s rubber case may be the reason why your iPhone volume button is not working.

So, please take the rubber case off and check whether the problem is resolved. If this is not the case, check other possibilities.

4. Creating the virtual volume button

You might be sure that the physical iPhone volume button is not working, but you don’t have time or budget to fix it.

If this is the case, putting the virtual volume button makes adjusting the volume more convenient. To create this button:

  • Navigate to Settings
  • Tap Accessibility
  • After that go to Touch, AssitiveTouch and turn on the switch next to it.

Now, as long as your iPhone volume button not working, you can tap the virtual button and select Device. Next, you will see two options, one for the Volume Up and one for the Volume Down.

After doing this, you’ll also want to check if the problem is software-related. What if your iPhone volume buttons are not jammed? You press the buttons, and they are working just fine, but the volume doesn’t change.

If this is the case, you might get suspicious that your iPhone is suffering from a software problem. In this case, follow the troubleshooting steps below.

5. Hard reset your iPhone

Sometimes, your iPhone volume button not working because the software has crashed. So, you can easily unfreeze your iPhone by doing a hard reset to check whether the volume button problem is fixed.

It should be noted that doing a hard reset is different depending on the iPhone model you have.

In iPhone 6s and earlier, holding the Power and Home buttons simultaneously until you see the Apple logo on the screen does the job. In iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus, you should press the power and volume buttons at the same time until the Apple logo appears.

What about iPhone 8 and newer models? First, press and quickly release the Volume Up button, followed by holding the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

6. Turning on Change with buttons

When the option Change with Buttons option is turned off, your iPhone volume button can only adjust the volume of music, podcasts, and videos when played through headphones or iPhone speakers, not the ringer volume.

  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap Sounds & Haptics and turn on the Change with Buttons option to solve this problem.

7. Earphone trick

You can try another trick. For this, you will need the original Apple earphones with a remote so that you can adjust the volume.

First, plug the earphones into the headphone jack and then try to raise or lower the volume. As soon as you see the volume bar, adjust the sound using the iPhone volume buttons.

8. Putting your iPhone into DFU mode

DFU, which stands for Device Firmware Update, has been built into iOS.

Basically, DFU is an advanced recovery mode that tries to fix problems in the firmware and software.

If your iPhone volume button not working, DFU might be the final solution before driving to the nearest Apple store.

  • Turn off your iPhone and connect it to your computer using a USB cable.
  • Make sure that iTunes is running on your computer
  • Press and hold the power button for three seconds
  • While still pressing down the power button, press and hold the volume down button for ten seconds. Note that if the volume down button is physically damaged, you can’t enter DFU mode.
  • While holding down the volume down button, release the power button to enter DFU mode
  • If the screen is lit in black, you have successfully entered DFU mode
  • To reboot your iOS device, quickly press the volume up, then volume down. Then hold the power button down and wait for your iPhone to reboot.

9. Repairing the volume buttons

if you’ve tried all the solutions mentioned above and you couldn’t fix the problem, it is probably the right time to reach an Apple store or a licensed technician.

In the earlier models, volume buttons were used only to adjust the volume.

However, with newer models, you have to take the problem more seriously as they are required for functions such as resets and screenshots.


When your iPhone volume buttons are not working, you should first detect whether it is a physical or software-related issue. In this article, we suggested several tips and tricks for both cases.

Some common fixes for physical malfunction include removing the dirt, using the volume slide bar, changing the rubber case, and creating the virtual volume button.

If you encounter a software-related problem, you can do the hard reset, turn on the Change with buttons option, and use DFU mode.

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Farhad Pashaei

For the past seven years, I've been tinkering with power banks, smartphones, laptops, printers, and writing reviews about them. When I'm not writing, you can bet I'm devouring information on products that are making their first foray into the market, demonstrating my unquenchable thirst for technology.

Read more from Farhad Pashaei


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