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Attempted to use the Camera App today and was presented with a closed shutter screen in the Camera app as pictured below. No tramma or anything happend to the phone no recent OS update, just not working out of the blue.

iPhone 4S

If I open the FaceBook app and go to the "Take Picture" section, the camera opens successfully, but when I attempt to switch to the front camer, it goes back and gets stuck at the shut shutter screen.

What I have tried:

  • Quitting the "Camera" app and re-opening it

  • Shutting down and restarting the iPhone.

  • The force shutdown method, hold power + home button until it turns off.

  • The Restore in iTunes

Still the same rear camera works, and when attempting to switch to the front camera boom closed shutter screen.

Any other ideas, it looks like I have a hardware problem...

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I see you restarted your iPhone, but did you try to kill all open applications and then reopen only the camera app ? –  Ermiar Aug 18 '12 at 8:20
    
Ya tried killing all open apps and the opening just the Camera app, same closed shutter screen –  MrDaniel Aug 18 '12 at 15:23

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is a hardware problem. This comes up when the ribbon connector from the camera to the main circuit board comes loose or gets disconnected altogether. If you have the right tools and enough DIY skills to open up your iPhone, it's a very simple fix that should be fairly obvious to see. Otherwise, the Apple Store should be able to repair it for you (I would think free of charge, but who knows).

If you do want to take apart your iPhone and attempt the repair yourself, PowerBook Medic has some really nice instructions for taking apart all versions of iPhones from 3GS and above. They also sell replacement parts and will repair it for you as well if you want. (Disclaimer: I have no affiliation nor prior experience with this company, so use at your own risk.)

This is what the front camera of an iPhone 4 looks like:

enter image description here

That little white/silver part is what's probably come loose; just pushing down on it gently should allow it to snap right back in.

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Neat do you have a source / how to link /quote for this information? This looks like it may be a very valuable answer for those who experience this issue out side of the 1 year / AppleCare window. Would be nice to have a little more details. –  MrDaniel Aug 20 '12 at 13:13
1  
I know that this screen indicates a hardware failure from personal experience. When I took apart my iPhone that was having the exact same problem, I discovered my camera cable connection had come off somehow. I'm revising my answer to include relevant links and stuff. –  Matt Aug 20 '12 at 13:46
    
+1 I had this happen to my iPod Touch. It's a hardware issue. –  Andrew Larsson Aug 21 '12 at 15:55
1  
To add to this answer, if your iPhone was "repaired" lately, mr.absinth suggest the reason for that could be a broken contact-point as a result of the unofficial service. See here: Iphone 4 front facing camera solution –  Gonen Feb 2 '13 at 13:15

This does indeed seem like a issue worth taking your iPhone to an Apple Store to repair, as you have performed all the recommended troubleshooting steps already.

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If you have this Issue and your still under warranty your wireless carrier will likely replace your phone with a refurbished one.

Given that solution I unfortunately will not know for sure what the actual problem was causing the front camera to stop working.

Although, when I took the iPhone 4S to my local wireless providers store, it did not take them long to conclude that it was a hardware problem and issue a replacement phone, given the fact that is was still under warranty.

The wireless providers customer representative seemed to conclude given the above information, and after taking a quick look at the phone that it was a hardware failure of some kind.

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i cant find any ways to fix mine so I put it rice

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1  
Are you suggesting that the person asking for help has a liquid damaged phone? Seems unlikely, but perhaps you could explain this answer with an edit to add more detail? –  bmike Feb 18 '13 at 22:41

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