iPhone NFC Not Working (13 Fixes) [Revised 2022]

Several days ago, at the grocery register…

I observed a woman obstructing the line.

She is attempting to pay. However, the NFC on her iPhone is not functioning.

Consequently, my tech support instincts kicked in.

And I offered assistance.

Within seconds, I was able to make it function.

How did I succeed?

Continue to read to learn:

  • The correct way to use your iPhone’s NFC for scanning.
  • Thirteen efficient methods for enabling NFC on an iPhone.
  • Five of the greatest third-party NFC reader apps available on the App Store.

Why doesn’t my iPhone’s NFC function?

Your iPhone NFC is disabled since it is turned off. To turn it on, select Settings and then General. Then, pick NFC and activate it. Additionally, ensure that the Airplane mode is disabled. And that the camera on your phone is not being used. Additionally, if you are utilizing a third-party NFC reader, ensure that it is up-to-date.

IPhone NFC not working: 13 fixes

1: Ensure that NFC is enabled on your iPhone.

Apple Pay is the most prevalent situation in which iPhone owners employ NFC.

Consequently, you may be attempting to do this right now. And you were unable to make it work.

Occasionally, a difficult problem requires only a simple solution.

In this situation, simply verify that your iPhone’s NFC is active.

Here are the steps:

  1. Tap Settings from your iPhone’s home screen.
  2. Scroll down and select the General option.
  3. Locate NFC tags and tap them.
  4. Toggle the switch on.

NFC is actually enabled by default.

Occasionally, however, a bug in iOS can arbitrarily alter your phone’s settings.

Additionally, someone may have borrowed your phone. And inadvertently disabled NFC.

Therefore, turning it on should always be the first step when troubleshooting.

2: Ensure that you are scanning in the proper direction

Guess where the NFC antenna is located on your iPhone.

I’ll give you some time to consider.

If you said within the top edge of the phone, you are totally accurate.

However, some people are unaware of this.

I can appreciate the confusion. In the majority of Android devices, the NFC antenna is located in the central back area.

Therefore, if NFC does not function on Samsung or other Android handsets…

Some resort to continuously tapping their backs against the payment terminal.

Why is it vital to know the location of the NFC antenna?

So that you can correctly scan.

And because of the position of the antenna on iPhones…

The correct technique to scan is by holding your phone like a remote control. And aim it at the payment terminal or the object you wish to scan.

There is no need to even tap your phone against an object.

Apple expressly disapproves of this on their developer page.

Simply align the top edge of your iPhone with the thing you wish to scan.

As long as it is within 4 inches, it will scan correctly.

3: Unlock your Apple iPhone

The iPhone being locked is a typical cause of NFC not functioning.

iPhone must be unlocked before NFC may be used.

Apple built NFC to prevent inadvertent scanning or reading of NFC tags. Primarily for the protection of the users.

Therefore, it will only function when the iPhone is in use.

4: Reset your iPhone’s connection

Do you know the benefits of NFC?

It doesn’t require cellular data or a WiFi connection. Your iPhone’s NFC antenna is sufficient for scanning.

However, it will not function if the phone is in airplane mode.

This is due to the fact that this mode disables all phone connections, including NFC.

Ensure that it is off.

However, you can also utilize the Airplane mode to reset the connection on your iPhone.

And it’s another way to fix a malfunctioning NFC.

Simply follow these steps:

Swipe down from the upper-right corner of the iPhone.

Tap the icon for Airplane mode to activate it.

Wait approximately 1 to 2 minutes.

Tap the Airplane mode again to deactivate it.

And then try to scan again using the NFC on your iPhone.

5: Close apps that could interfere with NFC

There are certain applications that prevent NFC from functioning.

One of them is the iPhone’s default camera application.

Plus any third-party iPhone applications that utilize the camera.

Therefore, if you wish to use the NFC, ensure that all camera-related applications are closed.

The Apple Pay Wallet application is another.

Obviously, it would be required for NFC payments.

However, if you are attempting to do the following with your phone’s NFC:

  • Reading NFC card tags.
  • Manage your smart home’s devices.
  • Connecting an iPhone to a Bluetooth speaker.

Ensure that you close the Apple Pay Wallet app before proceeding.

6: Restarting your iPhone

When in doubt, restart.

Even if your iPhone’s NFC is functioning properly, there may be other iOS difficulties. And rebooting your phone is one of the quickest methods for repairing software errors.

There are two ways to accomplish this. By means of the side buttons and Settings menu.

Using the side buttons, restart your iPhone.

  1. Press and hold the Volume Down and right button simultaneously.
  2. Slide the power button to the right to turn off your iPhone.
  3. Wait between thirty seconds and one minute.
  4. To activate your phone, press and hold the right-side button.

Using the Settings menu, restart.

  1. Tap the Settings button.
  2. Choose General.
  3. Navigate to the button and select Shut Down.
  4. Slide the power off switch.
  5. Wait for around thirty seconds to one minute.

Activate your phone by clicking and holding the button on the right side.

7: Remove the iPhone’s cover.

Now, NFC will typically function even if your iPhone has a case.

But if it doesn’t function, even when you’re scanning correctly…

It will help to temporarily remove the casing.

It can marginally improve the iPhone’s NFC signal. So at least attempt it.

8: Use a third-party NFC reader application

iPhones do not require an application for NFC functionality.

However, several users have encountered problems using NFC. And they discovered that installing third-party applications was a viable workaround.

The most popular NFC reader applications include: NFC, NFC Tools, Simply NFC, NFC-Reader, and NFC Reader & Scanner.

You can download any of them for free from the App Store.

Here’s how to install an NFC reader app quickly:

  1. Launch the App Store from the iPhone’s home screen.
  2. In the search bar, type the name of your preferred NFC application.
  3. Select the Search button
  4. Click the Get button next to the NFC application.

Watch this video to see how an NFC application works:

9: Update your NFC reader application

Previously, I discussed downloading a third-party NFC reader application.

But if you’re already using one and it’s not functioning…

Then you must determine if it contains the most recent updates.

On an iPhone, updating an application is quite simple.

Here’s how:

  1. Launch the App Store.
  2. Using the search box, locate the NFC application that requires an update.

If the Update button is present, tap it.

10: Install iOS software updates

In addition to updating your NFC reader application, you should check for iOS upgrades.

A flaw in iOS could be stopping NFC from functioning. And updates typically resolve such situations.

This is how to manually check for iOS updates:

  1. Enter the Settings menu.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Update Software

If updates are available, click Download and Install.

Additionally, you can elect to receive automated updates. Simply enable the Automatic Updates option under Software Update.

11: Charge your Apple iPhone

Rarely is this the case. However, there have been claims that the NFC will stop working if the iPhone’s battery is low.

Therefore, if your phone’s battery is below 20%, try to charge it first.

You don’t even require a complete charge. Just charge the battery to roughly 50 percent.

If you’re using a 20W device, it should just take half an hour.

Then try using NFC on your iPhone again.

12: Reset your iPhone to default settings

Now, after you have tried all the troubleshooting tips…

And your NFC is still not functioning…

You may consider executing a factory reset as a last option.

Listed below are the steps:

  1. Select Preferences
  2. Go to General.
  3. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Choose Reset.
  5. Input your Apple ID password or phone passcode for confirmation.

As soon as you confirm, the iPhone will begin the reset procedure.

It will take several minutes to finish. Ensure that your phone is turned on.

A factory reset will delete all of your phone’s data. Therefore, you should back up your images in the cloud or on an external drive. Note critical account passwords as well.

13: Visit an Apple service center with your iPhone.

It’s also conceivable that your NFC problem is connected to hardware.

There is likely a problem with the NFC antenna.

You can visit an Apple shop to speak with a salesperson about the issue.

Additionally, you can visit Apple’s website to locate an approved service provider in your region.