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iPhone Camera Is Blurry: 9 Causes and How to Fix Them

This article will help you figure out why everything looks blurry when using your iPhone camera. Don't worry - the solution is usually something simple.

This guide will help you figure out why your iPhone’s camera is blurry.

iPhones have some of the best cameras when it comes to smartphones.

Yet, sometimes when you snap a shot, you’ll notice a bit of distortion. The image may be a little fuzzy.

This will make identifying details in the picture next to impossible, and may even cause your iPhone camera to keep refocusing.

There are quite a few reasons which causes the iPhone to get a blurry camera.

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So, if you want to discover the common culprits, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the causes of blurriness.

Plus, I’ll talk about what you can do to avoid this issue in the future.

Why is My iPhone Camera Blurry? Causes & Solutions

A person holding an iphone 11 on a black background.

Dirty lenses are one of the main reasons why your iPhone photos are blurry.

There are many problems that can cause your iPhone to take blurry pictures. It may be a software or hardware issue.

Because of that, it can be a little challenging to narrow in on the culprit. So, to make your life easier, I’ll cover some of the common causes.

Plus, in each section, I’ll talk about how you can fix the problem.

1. Dirty Lens

If your phone is taking blurry photos, chances are it’s because the camera lens is a little dirty. iPhone lenses are typically made out of sapphire crystal.

This material is incredibly durable and scratch-proof. Yet, just like glass, it easily smudges. Anytime you touch the lens with your fingers, you leave behind an oily residue.

That can stick to the crystal and distort the light shining through. Similarly, if you place your iPhone in your pocket, any dust or debris in there can cover the lens.

So, as a general rule, it’s best to wipe down the camera lens before you take any pictures. Although, try to avoid using paper towels for this task (See: how to clean your camera lens)

Otherwise, you may end up making the smudges worse. Plus, using your fingers or wet wipes is completely out of the question.

Instead, it’s a good idea to use a microfiber cloth. This fabric is gentle and won’t leave any residue behind.

Give the lens a quick scrub, then try snapping another picture. You can also buy a camera lens cleaning kit or get a LensPen.

2. Phone Case Interference

Phone cases are an essential part of owning a smartphone. Without them, your iPhone is at risk of breaking any time you drop it.

That’s why many users will go out and buy the bulkiest case they can find. They do so in hopes that the extra padding will provide additional support.

Although, this can lead to an unforeseen issue. If the protective cover is ill-fitting, it can cover a portion of the lens.

This will affect the camera’s ability to focus on certain aspects of an image.

Besides that, some phone cases include metallic or magnetic components. These can significantly interfere with the camera’s operation.

It’ll impact the lens-position sensors in your phone. This, in turn, will lead to blurry images.

Thankfully, there’s a quick fix for this problem. All you have to do is remove the case and try taking another picture.

If this trick resolves the issue, then consider buying a different protective cover.

3. Faulty Zoom Settings

One of the best aspects of iPhone cameras is their ability to zoom. You can zero in on an object that’s several feet away and still get sharp photos.

Plus, using the feature is a piece of cake. Users can simply pinch the screen in or out to adjust the digital zoom.

Yet, you have to remember that this isn’t the ideal way to use the feature.

iPhones usually come with specific zoom options. These include 0.5X, 1X, 2X, 2.5X, and 3X optical zoom.

You can safely use any of these options and still get sharp images. However, if you exceed the 3X, you’ll begin to notice distortion in the pictures.

Sadly, when you’re zooming with your fingers, it’s easy to go over the optical zoom that your phone can manage.

So, to ensure this won’t be an issue, stick to the preset zoom levels.

4. Camera Software Malfunction

The iPhone camera app is pretty reliable. You can use the software for hours on end without facing any problems.

Yet, sometimes the app will glitch because of a variety of reasons. These can include your phone overheating or intermittent bugs.

Unfortunately, if you try to take a picture with these issues, the result will be blurry. For that reason, you’ll need to refresh the camera app.

The easiest way to do this is to force-close the software. Start by exiting the app and going to the iPhone home screen.

After that, place your finger at the bottom of the screen and swipe up. This will open the multitasking panel and display all your active apps.

Find the camera app and swipe it up to close it.

Next, locate the camera app on your home screen. Long press the icon until an action menu appears.

Finally, navigate to the take picture option and you’re all set.

5. Laggy Phone

There are a few factors that people pay close attention to when buying a new phone. Some care about the camera resolution, while others focus on internal storage space.

Yet, most iPhone users will neglect to consider the RAM size. The Random Access Memory holds the operating system and the apps that are currently in use.

This allows the processor to reach the software quickly when you need it.

Although, as the RAM fills up, your iPhone will start lagging. The entire operating system will slow down, and you may find it difficult to switch between apps.

Not only that, but a full RAM can also affect the quality of photos. That’s because the camera won’t be able to function optimally.

For that reason, the live feed on your screen will face a few delays. So, when you snap a picture, it’ll take your phone a second to process the order.

This will result in blurry, distorted images.

That’s why it’s so crucial that you don’t leave any unused apps running in the background. Before you take any pictures, go to the multitasking panel and force-close all the apps.

6. Outdated Software

Apple is constantly developing new features and fixes for bugs. Because of that, your iPhone will get regular alerts for updates.

While this is good for your device, there are a couple of drawbacks. For starters, the updates can be quite sizable.

This will mean you have to use up some of your precious internal storage. Besides that, when your phone is updating, you won’t be able to use it.

That’s why many iPhone users choose to ignore software updates. Yet, this can spell trouble for your camera.

If the camera app isn’t compatible with your current iOS version, it’ll result in fuzzy photos.

The only way around this issue is a full system update. To do that, go to the Settings menu. Once there, find the General tab.

Navigate the options until you see the Software Update tab. Finally, click on Automatic Updates and start the download.

7. Defective Lens

Blurry images can also be a result of a defective lens. Even though sapphire crystals are exceptionally durable, they aren’t impervious to damage.

A nasty fall can still cause the lens to crack. So, if you’re taking distorted pictures, turn your attention to the back of your phone.

Give the lens a once over and look for any cracks or scratches. If you find a break, then you need to replace the component.

Yet, not finding any scratches doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. There’s still one more test you have to complete.

Start by taking a picture with your rear camera. Then, turn your phone around and take the exact same snapshot again with your front camera.

If you notice a difference in blurriness, then you need to replace the lens.

8. Poor Light Exposure

Blurry images aren’t always your iPhone’s fault. Sometimes, the issue can be because of the lighting.

While iPhone cameras can operate in low light, it’s not ideal. They won’t be able to pick up on as many details in the shot.

This results in images that look sort of blurry.

Fortunately, all you have to do to address this issue is increase the lighting.

9. Manufacturing Issues

If none of the previous suggestions helped fix the issue, then there may be a problem with your phone. The first thing you should do to resolve the matter is to restart your device.

This will get rid of any bugs that may be causing the phone to act up.

Yet, if that doesn’t work either, then you should contact Apple Support. A customer service agent will be able to professionally evaluate the situation.

Lastly, they’ll give you a recommendation of what you should do.

Wrapping Up

If you’re trying to figure out why your iPhone camera is blurry, there are a few issues to consider. First up, the obvious problem is a dirty lens.

So, grab a microfiber cloth and scrub down the component.

Other than that, the culprit may be phone case interference or faulty zoom settings. Plus, it could be a result of a laggy phone or outdated software issues.

Finally, if you can’t troubleshoot the problem on your own, contact Apple Support.

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Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

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