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What Do You Do If Your iPhone Won't Turn On

Blake Sullivan Updated on Jun 23, 2022 4:19 PM

See a black screen on your iPhone and it won't turn on at all? Fret not. Learn why your iPhone won't turn on and how to fix the issue to bring the device back to life in this dedicated page.

What happens when your iPhone won't turn on

Usually, if your iPhone randomly turned off and won't turn back on, or iPhone screen won't come on after a hard reset, the screen will be black and the buttons aren't responding. In some cases, the screen won't turn on but phone is on - it can still receive calls and you can hear the sounds and vibrations. There're also user complaints of iPhone not turning on but being stuck on Apple logo.

Why doesn't your iPhone turn on

The possible causes of an iPhone that will not turn on and the screen doesn't respond to your touch can fall into four main aspects:

  • The battery is draining out. A dead battery or an almost-drained battery can cause an iPhone to suddenly shut off or prevent the screen from coming on. Even charging a battery incorrectly can potentially lead to that iPhone doesn't turn on even when plugged in.
  • Software glitches. Sometimes, the issue that you can't turn on iPhone lies with a misbehaving app, corrupted data files or crashed software. The device often ends up with displaying black screen and keeping frozen.
  • Physical damage. If you've ever dropped your iPhone, and it won't turn on and stops working, chances are that the screen is cracked, the internal components are damaged or the charging connector has been broken.
  • Water damage. Do not ignore possibility of liquid damage. Even a drop of water can damage the motherboard and render the button broken or stuck so that the device won't power on.

How do you fix your iPhone if it won't turn on

Here're six workable remedies when you cannot turn on iPhone 6, 7, 8, X, XS, XR, 11, 12 or later.

An all-in-one tool for troubleshooting all iOS issues: iOS System Recovery

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1. Charge your iPhone

As frustrating as it can be, an iPhone that's suddenly shut off and not turning on do sometimes remind you it's running out of power and needs to be charged. To revive it, simply use Apple-certified charger and USB cable to firmly plug the device into the power supply. When you see the red battery charging screen, let it charge for one or two hours and your iPhone will start up later.

Again, be aware that simple things like a loose charging cable or a dirty charging port can stop your iPhone from charging. So, if iPhone has been charging for hours but won't turn on, or the charging screen or the connect to power doesn't show up, do the following checks:

  • Make sure the cable is inserted properly both into your iPhone and the charger.
  • Check out if USB cable and power adapter are damaged and change a different one to test.
  • Clean your iPhone's Lightning port to pull up any dust, debris, or other stuff.
  • Switch to a different power source: Wall power outlet, the USB port in a computer, or other power accessories.

For more advice on iPhone charging problems, see What to do if your iPhone won't charge.

2. Reboot your iPhone

If your iPhone won't start up after charging and shows a black screen, consider restarting your device. This trick is easy, but can effectively clear out all the bugs that hinder you powering on your device and get everything back into order. See: How to restart your iPhone - Apple Support

Step 1. Power off your iPhone.

  • In an iPhone X, XS, XR, 11, 12, or newer, press and hold either Volume button and the Side button. When the power off slider appears, drag it to the right to turn off your device.
  • In an iPhone SE (2nd generation), 8, 7, or 6, press and hold the Side button. When the power off slider appears, drag it to the right to turn off your device.
  • In an iPhone SE (1st generation), 5, or earlier, press and hold the Top button. When the power off slider appears, drag it to the right to turn off your device.

Step 2. Press and hold the Side (or Top) button to turn your device back on. When the Apple logo shows up, release the button and wait for your device to boot up.

3. Force restart your iPhone

A hard reset is necessary when your iPhone suddenly shuts off and won't power on with a fully charged battery and a simple restart can't help. Doing this won't delete your stored data and files.

Go through this article, or step through the following instructions to learn how do you force your iPhone to turn on, which may differ a bit depending on which iPhone mode you're holding.

  • In an iPhone 8, X, XS, XR, 11, 12, or newer, press and quickly release the Volume up button, press and quickly release the Volume down button, then press and hold the Side button. When you see the Apple logo, release the button.
  • In an iPhone 7 (Plus), press and hold both the Volume down button and the Sleep/Wake button simultaneously. When you see the Apple logo, release both buttons.
  • In an iPhone 6, iPhone SE (1st generation), or earlier, press and hold both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button simultaneously. When you see the Apple logo, release both buttons.

Wait for a while, and your iPhone will be finally turned on as usual.

4. Turn on iPhone using an iOS repair tool

Charging and restarting could fail to work if your iPhone died and won't turn on or charge because of the crashed operating system. Though, not all hope is lost, as long as you get iOS System Recovery.

Download Now!

for Windows | for macOS

This tool can detect and deal with any kind of iOS system problems like that iPhone goes black and won't turn back on, stuck on Apple logo, black screen of death, etc. It works well in both PC and Mac, and can help get your iPhone to turn on and respond to your actions as usual without requiring you to reset the iOS device. Let's begin!

  • Once installed, double-click the software icon on your computer to open it up.
  • At the bottom left corner of the homepage, go to More tools. Then, select iOS System Recovery.
  • When the new page opens, hit Start button.
  • Connect your iPhone to the computer via a USB cord. When the tool detects your device, highlight "Standard Mode" option and press Confirm button.
  • Find the latest version of iOS in the list of iOS firmware package and check it. To download the selected firmware package, hit Next button.
  • When it finishes downloading the iOS firmware package, press the Fix button.

The recovery process should begin right now and that's all what you need to do to fix an iPhone that won't turn on.

Learn Useful Tips from Video: What to Do When Your iPhone Won't Turn On

5. Restore your iPhone to factory settings

With any luck, you should now fix the black screen and your iPhone comes on as expected. If not, it often indicates that a more complicated issue occurs, making your phone turn off and not turn back on. In such cases, it's time to return the device to factory settings and start it up from its original healthy state.

As this is a nuclear option - all your personal data will be wiped clean in the process, don't miss the essential step to have your iPhone backed up in cloud or locally.

When you're ready, here's how to reset an iPhone that won't turn on or charge:

  • In a Mac running macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, launch Finder. If you're using a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or a PC, open iTunes. Learn how to do if iTunes won't detect iPhone.
  • Hook up your iPhone to the computer.
  • When prompted, enter your device passcode or tap Trust This Computer on your device.
  • Select your device in Finder or iTunes.
  • Click on Restore iPhone button.
  • When a dialog box pops up, click on Restore button. It'll then start erasing the data and information and installing the latest version of iOS software on your device.

After a while, the screen will be on, and your iPhone starts and boots up to home screen. Learn what to do here if your iPhone won't restart.

6. Contact Apple Support

Till now, you might have solved almost all the software-related issues that could cause an iPhone not to power on or work. If your old or new iPhone screen is still off and won't turn on to respond to a charge, a hard reset, or a restore, the final step is to verify if the hardware problems are the culprits.

  • Inspect the display of your iPhone. To do that, connect the device to iTunes or Finder. If the handset can be detected by iTunes or Finder, there could be something wrong with the screen.
  • Look for physical damage. For example, see if there are any cracks or scratches, or if keys, buttons or lenses are missing.
  • Find out if liquid has damaged your iPhone.

If any problem or damage is found, you'd better bring the misbehaving device to the Apple Store for professional inspection.

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