How to Solve a Sliding Problem on an iPhone

By Jen Cordwainer

A display that remains unresponsive to swipes can prevent you from using the iPhone.
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A highly sensitive multitouch display is built into the iPhone, allowing it to recognize complex gestures, such as swipes, pinches and taps. However, if your display components are damaged, you might discover that your iPhone is no longer responsive to your slide commands, affecting your Slide to Unlock screen and On/Off sliding switches. Firmware glitches can also account for erratic display behaviors, which might be resolved with a hard reset or firmware restore.

Multitouch Display

Wipe down your iPhone display with a slightly damp cloth. This might clear away substances that are interfering with your touch commands. Your iPhone display is only responsive to touch, so remove gloves before attempting to use gestures. Launch your Calculator app and test out the keys. Rotating the screen sideways brings up the scientific calculators so you can test buttons across the remainder of the screen. Nonfunctional buttons might indicate a display issue. Schedule a Genius Bar appointment at Apple's website so its technicians can continue diagnostics and move forward with repairs (link in Resources).

Hard Reset

Hold the "Home" and "Sleep/Wake" buttons together until the silver Apple logo shows. This reboots the iOS firmware and might correct app or system glitches that are causing swipe issues. Wait for the iPhone to power on and return to the home screen. Test the swipe feature out by unlocking your iPhone.

Firmware Restore

Your iOS firmware might contain an issue that causes erratic display behaviors, such as freezing, lag or unexpected shutdowns. Restoring your firmware wipes all of your personal data from the iPhone and returns it to factory settings. This can resolve deeply rooted firmware errors. First back up your iPhone data by plugging it into your computer with the USB cable. Click on the iTunes "File" menu, select "Devices" and click "Back Up." Wait until the iTunes progress bar indicates that the backup has finished.

Restore your iPhone by clicking the "Summary" tab and selecting "Restore iPhone." Select "Restore" to confirm, and wait for the process to complete. You can load your backup on the iPhone by clicking "Restore From Backup." If you have an iCloud backup, sign onto your iCloud account during the device setup and tap "Restore From Backup."

Apple Support

If your iPhone displays intermittent or continuous swipe issues, you might want to visit a Genius Bar to have the issue resolved. The repair technician can troubleshoot and diagnose issues with your iPhone hardware and software, and then suggest a resolution to the issue.