No one should have to click multiple times to adjust their iPhone’s volume; of course, not when the volume buttons are there to ease the task. But an iPhone with faulty volume buttons is as bad as a deadbeat, let’s face it. It means you can’t reduce or increase its volume without going through unnecessary stress.
If your iPhone’s volume buttons are not working, this article is for you! Keep reading as I show you all possible fixes.
- Ensure volume buttons are enabled for alerts and ringer
- Check the side Silent/Ringer buttons
- Remove your iPhone from its case
- Relaunch the app
- Force restart your iPhone
- Update your iOS version
- iPhone volume buttons not working after update?
- Perform a factory reset
- Temporary solution to control iPhone volume
- How to fix stuck volume buttons on iPhone
Did you know you could deactivate your iPhone’s volume button from controlling alerts and ring volumes? Yes, you can. And you might’ve done so while playing around in your iPhone’s Settings. You might’ve even installed or used an app that prompted you to deactivate them from controlling alerts. It’s just always possible to click and authorize actions mistakenly or ignorantly.
So, checking if those volume buttons are currently deactivated might help you fix the problem already. To inspect and activate the volume buttons for alerts and the ringer on your iPhone, go to Settings → Sounds & Haptics → toggle on Change with Buttons.
There’s a small toggle by the side of your iPhone, just above the volume buttons, that controls ringing and alerts. Pushing it down shows a reddish region. This means your iPhone is on silent mode.
So, check if it’s toggled down or up. And then push it up if it’s down. Now, your iPhone will indicate whether the ringer is on or off on the screen itself.
Note: The two fixes above apply if your iPhone’s volume buttons don’t work for adjusting alerts and ringing volumes only. The ringer/alert controls don’t affect other sounds like those coming from music and videos. However, if the problem is more widespread and volume buttons don’t work for any sound adjustment, move on to other fixes.
3. Remove your iPhone from its case
So this looks like it doesn’t make a difference, but it does, sometimes. Some iPhone cases are faulty around the side button areas. So they obstruct accessibility to sound adjustment with the volume buttons.
Besides, your phone’s case might be old and, as a result, hardened around the volume buttons. This also makes it stuck and difficult to press. So you might want to remove your iPhone from its pouch or case and try adjusting the volume again.
If you discover that your phone’s case is the cause, it’s time to find a new one that matches your iPhone model.
4. Relaunch the app
Some apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, and the likes seize on the volume sometimes. And usually, even turning the volume buttons up or down doesn’t affect their sound output when they freeze.
For instance, I’ve experienced abrupt low volume on WhatsApp and Facebook on my iPhone a couple of times. And when it happens, trying to increase the volume with volume buttons doesn’t work.
If this happens to you, merely force-closing the apps and relaunching works.
5. Force restart your iPhone
Like any other gadget, the iPhone isn’t exempted from temporary unit failure or malfunction, too. If your iPhone volume buttons still don’t work, it’s probably due to a temporary volume control malfunction. So restarting your iPhone might fix the volume buttons.
6. Update your iOS version
Although this is rarely a cause for volume buttons not working on iPhone, some apps might fail to adjust volumes if your iOS is obsolete. So, besides the volume buttons, trying to increase or decrease the volume in Setting might not work either. Hence, updating your iOS to a more recent version might solve the problem.
This is rare, though. But some apps might fail to respond to volume adjustment or other native functions after an iOS update (usually to beta versions). This might be due to incompatibility or bugs that Apple didn’t detect when the developer pushed their app to the App Store. Fixes are usually available in further updates of such apps, though.
To fix the volume buttons not working after an iOS update, you might want to check if the app you’re adjusting the volume for needs an update. Check our article to understand how to update the app on iPhone.
The above usually fix the problem. But if it doesn’t, and you’re sure the volume buttons failure only started after updating your iOS, you might consider downgrading your iOS version and restarting it from scratch. Who knows, something could’ve broken during the previous update.
8. Perform a factory reset
A factory reset is an extreme measure. But it comes in handy if all else fails. So, do this only when you’ve tried other fixes, but they fail. However, ensure that you back up your iPhone before resetting it to avoid losing your files.
An iPhone factory reset wipes your iPhone clean and returns it to the default state. Thus, it’s as good as new after. So this should fix volume buttons not working.
9. Temporary solution to control iPhone volume
While I’ve provided hotfixes, you might be bent on finding a quick temporary fix for failing iPhone volume buttons. Here’re alternatives you can use to adjust your iPhone’s volume instead of using the buttons:
I. Use AssistiveTouch to adjust the volume
AssistiveTouch lets you use screen gestures to control parts of your iPhone, and this includes volume controls, too. For instance, you can use AssistiveTouch to increase the volume whenever you single-tap the screen and reduce it when you double-tap, depending on your likes.
To control the volume with AssistiveTouch using double- and single-tap on iPhone:
- Open Settings.
- Go to Accessibility → Touch → AssistiveTouch.
- Toggle on AssistiveTouch.
- To increase the volume with a single tap:
- Select Single-Tap.
- Scroll down and choose Volume Down.
- Tap the back arrow at the top-left when done.
- To decrease the volume with double-tap:
- Select Double-Tap.
- Choose Volume Up this time.
You’ll see a small greyish circle on your iPhone’s screen immediately after you enable AssistiveTouch. Single- or double-tap this circular icon to increase or reduce your phone’s volume.
However, you can still customize AssistiveTouch for volume if you don’t want to use the built-in gesture tray. See how to use AssistiveTouch on iPhone or iPad for more information.
II. Adjust the volume in Settings
You can also adjust the volume by opening your iPhone Settings → Sounds & Haptics → swipe the RINGER AND ALERTS slider to increase or reduce your iPhone’s volume.
III. Use Control Center to adjust the volume
This is an easy alternative to using volume control buttons. You can access volume in the control center by swiping your screen down from the top-right. Swipe the audio slider up or down to increase or decrease your phone’s volume.
If you find that your volume button is stuck or stiff and won’t press, this can be due to factors ranging from dirt and dust to waxes. iPhone volume button can even stop working after battery replacement or any other repair.
You can use the following solutions to fix stuck volume buttons.
I. Use a vacuum cleaner
If you have one, you can apply a little pressure from a handheld vacuum cleaner on the volume buttons to suck up dust or dirt hanging around its base and corners. This removes any obstruction preventing the volume buttons from reaching the volume sensors.
II. Brush and blow the space around the volume buttons
You might also want to opt for a mechanical cleanup of the volume button area by brushing it up. Ideally, you should use a precision brush to do the job. A light blowing, after all, might do the trick. Want to learn more about how you can sanitize your iPhone? See this iPhone cleaning guide.
III. Apply a little pressure on the volume buttons
The volume buttons might be out of the phone’s mainframe a bit, probably due to repairs like battery replacement or impact from hits. So carefully applying a little pressure from the side to the top of the volume buttons might also work.
IV. Carefully push up the volume buttons
Anything from a fall or hit on a surface might have pressed the volume buttons readily inside. And worse, the compression might be negligible. Carefully using your sharp nails to lift it might help.
iPhone volume buttons not working can be frustrating, but the fix is usually at your fingertips. Ultimately, one of the fixes in this article should work for you. Did you find a solution to your iPhone’s unresponsive volume buttons already? Let me know in the comment section below.
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Idowu is an avid tech writer and a software surfer who loves covering knowledge gaps in consumer software, including anything related to iPhones. Well, when he's not reading and learning new things, you'll find Idowu losing gallantly on a solid chessboard or virtually on Lichess.