Why is my phone clicking?

A clicking or tapping sound coming from your phone can be annoying and concerning. This noise likely indicates an underlying hardware or software issue. While it may seem minor, the clicking can progress and turn into a more significant problem if left unchecked. Fortunately, the cause is usually easy to identify and address once you know where to look. This article will provide an overview of the common culprits behind a clicking phone and actionable solutions. Continue reading for steps to diagnose the specific reason your phone is clicking and how to stop the noise for good.

Hardware Issues

One common hardware issue that can cause random clicking or tapping on a phone is a loose camera lens, power button, or SIM tray1. The camera, power button, and SIM tray are mechanical parts that can come loose over time from normal wear and tear or drops. If any of these parts become slightly dislodged from their proper positions, they can end up putting slight pressure on the screen or digitizer underneath, causing erratic touches and clicks.

On an iPhone, a loose power button is a particularly common culprit for random clicking. The power button sits right above the screen on most iPhone models. If it becomes loose, it can press against the screen when the phone is held a certain way. This leads to random clicks and actions. Carefully checking the tightness of the power button and adjusting it back into position is often an easy fix.

For Android phones, the SIM tray being loose is a more likely hardware issue. The SIM sits close to the touchscreen digitizer and can interfere with it if dislodged. Popping open the SIM tray and ensuring it is seated firmly can alleviate clicking from a hardware perspective.

Software Issues

Software problems are a common cause of clicking or tapping noises from phones. Notification sounds, keyboard clicks, and other audio feedback can sometimes malfunction and repeat unexpectedly. This tends to happen when the operating system or certain apps become corrupted.

For example, the default notification sounds on an iPhone or Android device may get stuck in a loop, causing a repetitive clicking or chiming sound. This is often caused by bugs in the OS software. Rebooting the phone or updating to the latest OS version usually resolves it.

Likewise, the keypress clicks or tapping sounds from the onscreen keyboard can also get stuck repeating. This can happen with bugs in the keyboard app or other system files. Again, a reboot or app update typically fixes the issue.

In rarer cases, third-party apps may be the culprit. If a certain app seems to trigger the clicks, deleting and reinstalling that app is worth trying as a fix. Malware infections could also be to blame in some cases.

Overall, software glitches are one of the most common reasons a phone might make errant clicking or tapping noises. While annoying, these issues can often be resolved by rebooting, updating apps and the OS, or removing problematic apps.

Moisture in Speakers or Microphone

One common cause of clicking or crackling sounds from your phone is moisture damage. Liquid such as water, sweat, or humidity can seep into the speakers, microphone, or headphone jack and cause oxidation or corrosion on the internal components. This can interfere with the electric signals and make sounds come out distorted.

According to WikiHow, if your phone has been exposed to moisture, you should immediately power it off and try to dry it as quickly as possible. Some methods to remove water include shaking out excess liquid, using compressed air, placing the phone in rice, or using a fan to circulate air [1]. It’s also a good idea to avoid charging your phone until it’s completely dry, as electricity and water don’t mix.

While moisture damage may be reversible if treated quickly, prolonged exposure can cause permanent damage. If drying methods don’t resolve the clicking or crackling sounds, you may need to get your phone’s speakers or microphone repaired or replaced.

Loose Battery

One common cause of a clicking noise from your phone is a loose battery. If the battery is not properly secured in the phone, any small movements can cause it to shift and click against the phone housing [1]. This is most likely to happen when the phone is moved or picked up. A loose battery can result from impact damage, long-term use that has degraded the battery housing, or improper installation after replacing the battery.

Symptoms of a loose battery besides the clicking noise include random reboots or shutdowns when the phone is moved, difficulty powering on the phone, and interrupted wireless connections. If a loose battery is suspected, open the phone case following manufacturer guidelines and ensure the battery is properly seated in its compartment. Reinstall it firmly to remove excess play. If the battery cannot be securely reinstalled, replacing it with a new battery that fits snugly should resolve the issue.

Damaged Audio Jack

One common cause of clicking or crackling sounds from a smartphone is a damaged audio jack connection. When headphones or auxiliary cables are plugged into a faulty headphone jack, it can cause interruptions in the signal leading to popping and clicking noises. This typically happens when the audio jack has become loose or corroded over time from repeated plugging and unplugging.

As the audio jack connection degrades, it may not maintain a clean contact with the plug. This can lead to intermittent breaks in the signal causing audible clicks, pops or crackles. Debris buildup in the jack can also cause issues. Over time, pocket lint and dust can accumulate in the jack. When plugged in, this debris can get in the way of the contact points leading to faulty connections.

If the clicking persists across different headphones and cables, the issue is likely with the phone’s headphone jack itself. The jack may need to be cleaned or possibly replaced if the damage is severe. One temporary fix is to gently move the plug while it’s inserted to try to find a “sweet spot” with a clean connection. However, this is just masking the underlying issue. For recurrent clicking and popping noises, it’s best to get the audio jack professionally inspected and repaired. This will resolve the root cause and restore clean audio playback.

Source: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/all/audio-jack-makes-clicking-sound-with-headphones/5b2a65e1-4930-4b69-a03c-ad230b43d4df

Dust Buildup

Over time, dust and debris can accumulate in or around your phone’s microphone and speaker. This is especially true if you use your phone in dusty environments or workplaces. As particles collect in the small openings and mesh screens, they can cause muffling, crackling noises, or distortion when using the microphone or speaker. According to https://www.blackview.hk/blog/guides/phone-speaker-crackling-noise[1], buildup on or near the speaker can affect its acoustical performance.

Dust accumulation happens gradually, so you may not notice the sound quality deteriorating at first. But eventually interference from debris in the microphone or speaker can make your phone frustrating to use for calls or media playback. Try using compressed air to gently blow out any particles lodged in the microphone and speaker openings. You can also use a soft brush or toothpick to gently dislodge buildup, being extremely careful not to puncture the mesh screens.


There are a few solutions you can try at home to fix an iPhone that is clicking on its own before taking it in for professional repair:

First, try cleaning the phone, particularly around any openings like the charging port, headphone jack, or speakers. Use a toothpick or soft brush to gently remove any lint, dust, or debris that may be interfering with hardware buttons or audio components. Avoid using liquids or compressed air, which could push debris further into the phone (Source).

Inspect the phone for any visible obstruction or damage around the clicking area. Look for cracks, swelling batteries, or malfunctioning buttons. If you find obvious damage, this likely needs professional repair.

Also examine the case, screen protector, or any accessories connected to the phone like headphones. Remove any case or protector to isolate the issue. Try different headphones to determine if the clicking is coming from an accessory (Source).

Lastly, restart the iPhone to clear any temporary software glitches contributing to the clicking. Turn the phone off completely, wait 30 seconds, then turn it back on. See if the clicking persists after a reset.

With proper cleaning and care, many minor clicking issues can be resolved at home. But if the problem continues, take the iPhone to an Apple store or authorized service provider for professional diagnosis and repair.

When to Get Professional Help

There comes a point when your phone’s issues are beyond what you can repair yourself at home. According to Cell Phone Repair: An Essential Guide for Smartphone Users, “The question remains: when is the right time to seek professional help? As a rule of thumb, you should take your phone to a repair shop if the problem is severe and persists even after trying some DIY solutions” (source).

Signs that your phone needs professional repair include persistent freezing, crashing, overheating, or restarting (source). Severe screen damage like large cracks or a completely black/distorted display, major water damage, bad battery life even after rebooting, or physical damage like a bent phone chassis are also good reasons to seek expert help according to What are the most common signs that my phone needs professional repair? on Quora (source).

Attempting complicated repairs on your own when the issues are advanced runs the risk of damaging components further. The professionals have the parts, tools, and technical knowledge to properly diagnose issues and make the right repairs for optimal function. Relying on their expertise can often be more affordable than purchasing an entirely new device.

Preventing Future Issues

There are a few key steps you can take to help prevent clicking sounds and other audio issues from occurring in the future:

Take care of your phone: Be gentle with your phone and avoid dropping it or getting it wet, as damage can lead to audio issues. Use a protective case and screen protector.

Keep moisture out: Don’t charge your phone in humid areas or use it in the rain. Water exposure can cause clicking sounds from moisture in the speakers or microphone. Allow your phone to fully dry out if it gets wet before charging or using it.

Use compressed air: Use compressed air to occasionally blow out dust from the headphone jack, charging port, speakers, and microphone. Dust buildup can cause clicking or crackling sounds.

Update your software: Keep your phone’s software updated, as the latest updates may include bug fixes for clicking sounds.

Taking good care of your phone and keeping it clean and dry will go a long way towards preventing those annoying clicking or crackling sounds!