iPhone screen goes blank when on a call
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I have an 8GB iPhone. When I am on the phone for more than 30 seconds the screen goes black. I cannot hang up or do anything. I have to wait for the phone to figure out that I am off or the other person to hang up for the menu screen to return. The screen is completly black so you do not see the end call option. the home button at the center does not respond or work. This is also happening to my friend’s phone. Any suggestions?
A: The most likely cause of this problem is the iPhone’s proximity sensor that is used to turn off the screen when you hold the iPhone up to your ear during a phone call. This sensor is only active while you are on an actual phone call, and is triggered by the proximity of an external object to the earpiece (at the top of the iPhone). When this sensor is triggered, the iPhone screen goes blank the and is disabled to prevent accidental input from brushing up against your face.
Since the sensor is only active during an actual phone call, when the other party hangs up, the sensor is disabled, returning the iPhone to normal operation.
This sensor is located immediately above the actual iPhone earpiece, and is triggered by any object within about a one-inch proximity (you can find more information on Apple’s iPhone page at http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/index.html#sensor). iPhone cases that block this area could cause the sensor to trigger even when the phone is away from your face, as could significant dirt or smudging in this area. Normally a case should not be a problem as the sensor is not triggered if it’s already covered when you begin a phone call, but it’s possible for the top of the case to trigger the iPhone sensor if it moves even slightly. If you are using a case, try using the iPhone without the case and see if this behavior changes.
It should also be noted that this sensor is inactive when using speakerphone mode or wired or Bluetooth headsets, so this can be used to determine whether the proximity sensor is actually the problem.
If this is occurring without any obvious obstructions on the upper portion of the iPhone, then it is possible the proximity sensor itself is defective and you should look at getting the iPhone serviced.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple releases iOS 10.1, tvOS 10.0.1, watchOS 3.1
- New details about Apple Watch Nike+ exclusives, availability
- Apple’s website hints at possible Apple Pay launch in Germany
- ConnectSense Smart Outlet adds power monitoring, reduces price
- Automatic releases new Automatic Lite version of car monitoring accessory
- Apple releases fourth tvOS 10.0.1 beta
- iOS dev finds unimplemented one-handed keyboard in iOS code
- Apple sends out press invites for ‘Hello Again’ Oct. 27 Mac event
- Apple releases fifth beta of iOS 10.1 to developers
- Apple partners with builders to include HomeKit-enabled devices in new homes
- Bowers & Wilkins P3 Series 2 Headphones
- Incase Icon, Pop, and Textured Snap for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Philips Hue Motion Sensor
- Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature Headphones
- Tech Armor FlexProtect and Shock Flex for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- SwitchEasy Flash and Fleur for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Blue Microphones Raspberry Mobile Microphone
- Incipio Haven for iPhone 7 and Reprieve Sport for iPhone 7 Plus
- Mophie Hold Force Magnetic Case System for iPhone 7
- Speck Presidio and Tech21 Evo Tactical for iPhone 7
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps