Does this comment sound familiar? Are you seeing nothing but a black screen when you hold the power button? The cause might be something simple or something that only a trained iPhone technician can fix. Before you relegate your iPhone to the trash can or throw it out the window to rest in pieces, read further for some tips on how to bring your seemingly-broken iPhone back from the dead.
Separating the Facts from the Misinformation
Many of the articles you will find on the Internet will only be able to solve part of the problem, if anything at all. Oftentimes the information they present doesn't really get down to the how and why of the subject, or the information may be entirely inaccurate. In extreme cases, the advice they give may even damage your iPhone to the extent where it will void your warranty.
Is the Problem Hardware or Software Related
The first thing we need to do is to determine if it's a hardware or software issue. Because the software is the easiest to troubleshoot, we'll start there. Software crashes can easily prevent your iPhone from starting up normally.
Fixing a Software Crash
In most cases, fixing a software crash is a simple task. All that is needed is to do a hard reset. What is a hard reset, you ask? A hard reset on an iPhone would be like turning your computer off and back on. It resets the software on your iPhone and can clear up most software-related issues.
To do a hard reset on iPhone 6 or older models, hold the Power button and the Home button at the same time for 10 seconds. To hard reset an iPhone 7, you will need to hold the power and volume down buttons. In either case, you should see the Apple logo reappear, and you will be taken to your home screen a few moments later.
Why Does a Hard Reset Fix Software Issues?
Sometimes software can be poorly made. Other times, the software will simply fail. In most cases, the iPhone is still powered on in a software crash; the display just cannot work correctly because something caused a software error. It's similar to a blue screen error on a Windows computer. Performing a hard reset powers down your phone so that everything has a chance to reset. After powering back up, your phone should work normally again.
Try Recharging the Phone and Checking the Lightning Cable
Sometimes your iPhone won't turn on because it simply doesn't have a charge. In such cases, the phone will shut itself off and won't turn back on until you charge it. If you attempt to turn the phone back on, you might see a battery icon with a cable icon beneath it. This means your phone has insufficient charge to continue running.
The iPhone comes with a lightning cable and plug that is used to charge the phone. The big end of the lightning cable (it looks like a wide rectangle) plugs into the back of the wall plug. It will only fit one way, so do not force. The other end of the cable (the one that looks like a small square with gold "teeth" on the end) plugs into a small jack on the bottom of your iPhone. This end can plug in either way, but remember, you should never try to force the cable in, as this could permanently damage the cable and/or your phone.
If your phone has sufficient charge (it needs a minimum charge to power on), you should be brought to your home screen. If not, you will just see a battery icon, and the cable icon should disappear, meaning your phone is charging. If the cable icon doesn't disappear or you are not brought back to your home screen, check the cable. Sometimes the small end can break over time, particularly if you wiggle the cable to insert and/or remove it, and you will need a new lightning cable. If all else fails, and your iPhone still will not charge, refer to this article. It contains a few troubleshooting steps you can try to get your phone to charge.
Check the Display
Sometimes you will power up your iPhone, but you will see a black screen. You know the phone has sufficient charge, and the problem persists even after performing a hard reset. In this case, the display itself may be the culprit.
To diagnose the display, plug your iPhone to your computer using the included lightning cable. Your computer may take a few moments before it recognizes the phone. Then open iTunes. If iTunes recognizes your device, back up your data. If the backup is successful, the iPhone is actually powered on, and something is wrong on the hardware end. Refer to this article to diagnose exactly what's wrong with your iPhone, or have it checked by a qualified service technician if you're not comfortable messing with the guts of your phone and/or don't want to void your warranty.
However, if your iPhone doesn't show up in iTunes, you could try a hard reset on the phone while it's still connected to the computer. Check to see if you get any errors when the phone reboots. If you get a message saying you need to restore your iPhone, do as it says. Failing that, there may not be a way to recover the data easily. You will need to use a company that specializes in iPhone data recovery. That can be quite expensive, but well worth it if you cannot afford to lose your data.
Inspect the Phone for Liquid Damage
If you've ever dropped your iPhone on the ground or inside a rain puddle, you've probably dealt with a few black screens. Worse, liquid damage may not be immediately noticeable. It's possible for liquid to cause damage to your phone even well after the incident happened.
The problem is that if you have the basic warranty, you're out of luck. However, Apple recently added coverage for water damage if you have an AppleCare+ plan. The AppleCare+ plan adds coverage for up to 2 instances of accidental water damage after paying a deductible.
How do you tell if your iPhone has sustained damage from an accidental spill? Turns out that all devices made after 2006, which includes all iPhones, had liquid contact indicators installed. These indicators start out white or silver, but they turn red when water has contacted these indicators. You can find the locations of these indicators from Apple Support.
Additional Repair Options
If you've reached this point in the article, chances are you've determined that your iPhone will need to be professionally serviced. If your warranty hasn't expired and there's no physical or water damage, Apple will usually repair your phone for free.
However, let's say your warranty has expired, but you don't want to pay the outrageous fees charged by Apple. You have a couple of options. If you're located in most major cities, there's CellSavers, a company that will meet you at a location of your choosing, and they can usually get your phone working after a hot cup of coffee and a Cannoli.
My Phone is Turning On Again! Thanks!
You're quite welcome! If this article helped you diagnose what was happening, don't forget to share this with your friends! This is one of a surprisingly few articles that don't waste your time with inaccurate information.
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