How to Fix Ghost Typing and False Touch on iPad

Does your iPad type or launch apps on its own? Learn how to fix it

Perhaps the most bizarre problem you can encounter on an iPad is the device typing or launching apps randomly, without any input from you. This behavior is often referred to as ghost typing or false touch. But don't worry: Your iPad is probably not possessed by a poltergeist, and in most cases, the problem is easily fixed with a few quick troubleshooting steps.

These fixes can be used on an iPad with iPadOS 13 or iOS 12.

Causes of Ghost Typing and False Touch

There are a few reasons why your iPad can seem to develop a mind of its own. On rare occasions, the device may have been compromised by malware. However, the more common causes of this behavior are that the device's display is scratched or dirty, or the device is bogged down with browsing history, downloads, and the like and needs a fresh start. We show you how to get your iPad back in proper working order.

iPad ghost
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How to Fix Ghost Typing and False Touch

The following solutions have been shown to resolve ghost touches on an iPad:

  1. Restart the iPad. The first step in troubleshooting most problems is to restart the device. Restarting the device can fix many technical problems, including ghost touches.

  2. Clean the iPad display. The display is designed to ignore touches that the iPad determines aren't human, which is why your nails don't register. However, something on the display can trigger the tablet's touch sensors. So, while the device is off, clean the display.

    Use a damp microfiber or lint-free cloth to clean the display. Don't spray anything onto the iPad display.

  3. Check for malware. When an iPad begins typing on its own or interacting with an app by itself, your first thought might be that someone has taken control of it. Such a takeover is extremely rare, especially if your iPad isn't jailbroken. Apple checks all apps submitted to its App Store for malware, and although a virus can slip past Apple's vigilance, it's rare.

  4. Reset the iPad. If you restarted and cleaned the iPad and you still experience ghost touches, restore the iPad to factory default settings. It may take several minutes to complete the reset process. When it's finished, restore the iPad from the backup you created.

Resetting your iPad to factory defaults erases all the data and apps on the device. Before resetting the iPad, back up the device so that you can restore your data and apps.

Still Having Problems?

If you tried the tips in this article, but your iPad still has trouble, it may have a faulty touch display or bad sensors. Contact Apple Support, or take the iPad to the nearest Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider for further assistance.