[Guide] How to Fix iPhone Compass Not Working (iOS 16/17)

This post describes the fixes about how to fix iPhone Compass not working. After reading, you can know the methods to finish iPhone Compass calibration.

Clara by Clara Updated November 23, 2023
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My iPhone Compass not working. It is acting all wonky and stuck on the north. My iPhone 13 Pro runs the iOS 16. Any tips or tricks to get this thing back on track? Thanks in advance.

- Question from Apple Community

Why Is Compass Not Working on iPhone?

When you're exploring unknown areas, or navigating city streets, the compass feature on our iPhone is undoubtedly a handy tool. However, if you encounter the issue of the Apple Compass not working, you may find that no matter how much you rotate or adjust the device, the compass needle remains unresponsive. It is really a frustrating problem.

iphone compass not working

In fact, there are some main reasons why isn’t Compass showing direction: Magnetic interference, calibration issues, software glitches, or hardware Problems. Based on these causes, the post will provide troubleshooting methods to fix the compass functionality on your iPhone.

How to Fix Apple iPhone Compass App Not Showing?

Below are 7 measures you can apply to address the Compass not working properly on iOS 16/17. With the detailed guide, you can choose the suitable method to help you solve this problem. Let’s start to read!

Option 1. Stay Away from Metal or Magnetic Items

The Compass relies on the device's built-in magnetometer to function properly. If there are any magnetic objects or interference nearby, such as magnets, electronic devices, or metallic surfaces, it can affect the accuracy of the compass readings. To avoid your compass getting weird, you need to stay away from these items nearby or don’t put them together with your iPhone.

Option 2. Check the Compass Location Services

If Location Services is disabled or not allowed for the Compass app, it can lead to incorrect readings or the Compass is not working on iPhone. To ensure the compass works properly, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and make sure it is enabled for both the overall device and specifically for the compass app.

iphone compass not working

Option 3. Turn on Compass Calibration on iPhone

Sometimes, the compass may require calibration to provide accurate results. If you recently updated your iOS or experienced any significant changes to your device's software, it's possible that the compass calibration needs to be reset. Below are the steps to calibrate the Compass:

Step 1. Open Settings > Locate Privacy > Tap Location Services.

Step 2. Select Location Services > Tap System Services.

Step 3. Make sure you turn on the Compass Calibration.

Option 4. Reset the Location Data

If the above ways didn’t come fruitful in fixing the problem of the iPhone Compass does not work, you can try resetting the Location and Privacy. By resetting this setting, you can restore the default location and privacy permissions for all apps on your iPhone. The steps are simple to follow: Navigate to Settings > General > Reset > Look for Reset Location and Privacy.

iphone compass not working

Option 5. Quit and Re-open the App

Quitting and reopening the compass app is a simple yet effective troubleshooting step that can help resolve issues with its functionality. Here is the guide to solve Compass not working on iPhone:

Step 1. If you have an iPhone with a home button, double-press the home button to access the app switcher. For iPhones with Face ID, swipe up from the bottom and pause in the middle to access the app switcher.

Step 2. Swipe left or right to locate the Compass app > Swipe up on the compass app's preview to close it.

Step 3. Return to the home screen and relaunch the Compass app.

iphone compass not working

Option 6. Restart the iPhone

Often a simple restart can resolve various iPhone issues, including problems with the compass. This can help refresh the system and clear any temporary glitches that might be affecting the compass functionality. For different models, there are different steps:

On iPhone 8 Plus/8/X or later: Quick press and release the Volume up button > Fast press and release the Volume down button > Press and hold the Side button until Apple logo appears.

On iPhone 7 Plus or 7: Press and hold Sleep/Wake and Volume down buttons > Hold both buttons until the Apple logo shows up on the screen.

On iPhone 6 or earlier: Press and hold the Home button and Sleep/Wake button > Keep holding both buttons until you see the Apple logo.

iphone compass not working

After you restart the iPhone, you can launch the Compass app to see if it is working fine.

Option 7. Update the iOS to the Latest Version

If you don’t want to restart your iPhone to fix glitches or bugs that can affect the performance of the Compass app, you can also choose to update your iPhone to the latest iOS version. After the update, your device has the most up-to-date software, which can address compatibility issues and improve the overall performance of the Compass app. Check the steps below:

Note: Remember to back up your iPhone before performing any iOS updates to ensure your data is safe.

Step 1. Open the Settings app on the iPhone > Tap General.

Step 2. Click Software Update > Download and install the latest version of the software. If your iPhone 12/13/14/15 unable to check for update, click this link to find solutions.

iphone compass not working

Tip: How to Back up iPhone to Protect Data

Before you update the iOS version to fix the iPhone compass not working issue, if you don’t want to lose any data, we provide an easy and fast way to back up all data on your device.

FoneTool is the best choice for you to manage your iOS data. Unlike backup with iCloud/iTunes, its backup process only depends on a USB cable rather than any Wi-Fi or cellular data. And it doesn’t limit the storage space, because you can decide the path where you save the backup files.

enlightened FoneTool combines more features in one:

Support you fully backup iPhone to iPad/PC/iPhone/other external drive.

You can preview and selectively backup photos, message, videos, contacts, music, etc.

It also provides powerful functions like transferring data from iPhone to iPhone, erasing private data, or converting HEIC photos, etc.

Now, download and install FoneTool, then learn how to back up iPhone to computer to get rid of losing data.

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Step 1. Run FoneTool on the computer > Link your iPhone to the PC.

Step 2. Click Phone Backup on the interface > Choose Full Backup > Tap Get Started.

iphone compass not working

Step 3. Check the Enable Backup Encryption if you want to back up the private data > Set a storage path > Click Start Backup.

iphone compass not working

When the backup is finished, you can go to Backup History, and tap Restore to restore your iPhone data.


In this post on fixing the iPhone Compass not working on iOS 16/17, we have provided 7 methods to address the issue. By following these troubleshooting steps, you can resolve common problems that may be affecting the compass functionality on your iPhone. Additionally, it is important to back up your data to avoid any potential loss during the process.

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