Here’s what to do if your Nikon camera autofocus is not working

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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If you are new to the DLSR game, you may have some issues adjusting to the working of the camera. One such problem is the Nikon camera autofocus is not working.

The DSLR cameras offer both auto-focusing as well as manual focusing options. However, while trying to learn the basics, you may tweak some settings that will disable the focus feature.


Follow the steps in this article to fix Nikon camera not focusing problem.

How to troubleshoot if your Nikon camera autofocus is not working

1. Check Autofocus mode

Nikon camera autofocus is not working


  1. Make sure both the lens and the camera switches are set to Autofocus.
  2. On the camera, the switch must be set to AF (Autofocus) and not M. M is for manual.
  3. Make sure the same is also true for the lens. If it doesn’t have an AF option, set it to M/A.

Nikon camera not pairing with phone? Try these steps

2. Unlock back dial

Nikon camera autofocus is not working


  1. The back dial should always be pointed toward the camera icon.
  2. If it is pointed towards, L, make sure you use the dial to point it towards the right icon.

Check AEL / AFL

  1. Check your AEL/AFL buttons. If you have locked focus using the AEL / AFL, the focus feature will not work.
  2. Make sure you click the AE-L and AF-L button to unlock focus. This should help you to resolve the Nikon camera focus issue.

Check the lens

  1. If you haven’t locked your focus, the issue could be with the lens.
  2. Remove the lens and inspect it for any scratches from both the ends.
  3. Make sure the filters are clean and have no physical issues.
  4. Use a clean cloth to clean the lens. Avoid blowing on the lens.
  5. While reattaching the lens, you should hear a click sound after twisting it.
  6. You may also want to check the viewfinder of your DLSR for smudges, oil or dirt.
  7. Use a piece of cloth to clean the viewfinder. Do not use any solvent to clean the viewfinder.

3. Other solutions to consider

Nikon camera autofocus is not working


  1. If the issue persists, use the most common yet neglected troubleshooting techniques.
  2. Turn off your camera for a few seconds. If it has a replaceable battery, remove the battery as well.
  3. Leave it idle for a few seconds.
  4. Insert the battery and turn on the camera. Check for any improvements.
  5. Make sure that the background objects contrast is well enough for your camera.
  6. As a last-ditch effort, try resetting the Nikon DSLR camera to factory default.

If the issue persists, you may need to take the DSLR to the authorized service centre to fix the issue.


Despite the smartphone cameras offering great image and video quality, the DSLRs are still the favourite for many professionals as well as individuals.

We hope this little troubleshooting guide helps you to fix Nikon camera autofocus is not working issue by yourself.


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