If your iPhone happens to not be working, you lose track of your schedule, every phone number you've ever been told, and even where you are if you've been relying on GPS. It's a headache, that's for sure.
When your iPhone won't turn on, it can mean anything from a temporary software glitch to a hardware issue. The good news is that while there are many reasons an iPhone may not turn on, there are just as many ways you can try to solve the problem.
We'll run you through all of the potential reasons and solutions, ranging from cheaper to more complex areas like water or fall damage.
If your iPhone won't turn on, don't panic. First, let's diagnose the problem. There are a few common issues that will account for the majority of unresponsive iPhones.
If none of those seem to apply to your problem, don't worry; we have plenty of more options for you.
If your iPhone won't turn on at all, don't panic! Just keep reading and we'll go over the possible reasons for this, some solutions, and ways to stop it from happening in the future.
If your iPhone won't turn on, it may just need charging. If an iPhone battery is completely dead, then the screen will stay black and unresponsive no matter how much you try to restart it.
To fix an iPhone that won't turn on because of a dead battery, plug it in. Chargers come in different wattage strengths, so a fast charger will be more efficient at getting your phone up and running.
To prevent your iPhone from refusing to turn on, make sure your phone battery never hits zero. You can do this by having a car charger, carrying a charger with you, or buying a portable battery pack.
If your iPhone won't turn on or charge at all, the problem could be related to either the charger or the phone itself. This may mean that the power adapter is faulty, or that the charger cable is malfunctioning.
To see if this is your issue, try a different charger or Lightning cable. If that doesn't help, your phone may have issues with the charging port or the battery itself.
To prevent this situation from happening, ensure that the charger you are carrying with you works and is appropriate for your phone type.
If your iPhone is charging but won't turn on, it may be dealing with a software crash that's making it unresponsive.
To fix a software crash, consult the official Apple guide for initiating a force restart. Most iPhones can be restarted by pressing and quickly releasing the volume up button, then the volume down button, and then holding the side button until the Apple logo appears. Apple has separate guides for older models (iPhone 7 and below).
To prevent your iPhone from having a software crash, check regularly for updates and only use apps from the Apple App Store.
An iPhone that won't turn on after charging indicates that the issue isn't with the charger or the outlet, but rather with the phone itself. Your iPhone may not turn on after charging because of a hardware failure.
This can happen when your phone has taken damage, be it from a fall or from too much water.
To fix an iPhone that is having hardware issues, you may need to take your phone to an Apple store or an authorized phone repair service.
As per these instructions from our comprehensive guide, water damage can often be fixed by just leaving your iPhone out to dry.
To prevent iPhone hardware damage, consider buying a protective case and screen protector. Do not let your iPhone remain submerged in water too long, either—even if it can be, it's better if it's not.
If your iPhone screen won't turn on, that may be a sign that your power button is faulty. The iPhone power button may malfunction for a few reasons, such as wear and tear or damage from dust, debris, or water.
To fix a faulty power button, first try to clean it with a cotton swab to remove dirt and debris, or to absorb any water. If this does not work, you could try to use compressed air around it and see if that helps. However, let it dry before you turn it back on afterward.
To prevent your power button from failing, make sure that your phone stays clean and protected in a case. While every device will eventually age and have its issues, this will help prolong the phone's life.
If your iPhone turns off and won't turn back on, you may be dealing with a hardware malfunction or a software glitch. Hardware malfunctions can happen when something goes wrong with the inner workings of the phone, such as the chip or any of the wiring becoming damaged or dislodged.
Software glitches are less of a problem. They can occur due to problems with the firmware, but also just an app that's having some issues.
iPhone hardware malfunctions often require the assistance of a professional repair store or an Apple technician. Software glitches are best fixed with a force restart, although a factory reset may also be necessary. If that fails, follow Apple’s guide for a factory reset. Keep in mind that the latter deletes all your data.
Keep your phone in good shape. Avoid dropping it, leaving it out in the sun for too long, or allowing it to sustain water damage. Make sure to update it regularly and stay away from dodgy apps that don't have great reviews.
If your iPhone dies and won't turn on, its operating system may be corrupted. When this happens, the phone will become unresponsive.
To fix a corrupted iOS, you will need to do a factory reset on your phone. Because you can't do this from the phone itself when it won't turn on, you'll need to plug it into a computer and perform the factory reset using iTunes or the Finder function. This can be done either on Mac or on Windows.
It's unlikely that you can entirely prevent your iOS from corrupting, but there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. These include: regularly updating your iOS, not running unverified third-party apps, retaining storage space on your phone, and avoiding forced shutdowns.
If your iPhone went black and won't turn on, you may have a critical software error on your phone. You may have apps sending conflicting information and confusing the software, system files that are corrupted, or an interrupted software update.
To fix a critical software error, you may need to use Apple’s online support instructions to restore your phone back to factory settings. If you are unable to do this, you will need to take the iPhone to a professional for repair.
To prevent critical software errors from keeping your phone screen black, install software updates regularly. You can also take notice of any apps that seem to be glitching regularly or making your phone act strangely and remove them before they can cause a more serious problem.
An iPhone that is stuck on the Apple logo is usually suffering from a software issue, and this can happen on any iPhone model; sometimes seemingly without reason.
According to Apple Support, to fix an iPhone that is stuck on the Apple logo, start your phone in Recovery Mode or Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode. For recovery mode, use iTunes or Finder on a Mac. For DFU mode, force restart your iPhone but hold the button down for ten seconds longer.
To prevent software issues, make sure not to use a jailbroken phone and avoid third-party apps that aren't verified in the App Store.
An iPhone that won't turn on at all may be overheating. When an iPhone overheats, the device may shut down to avoid further damage. It should usually display an alert to let you know that it shut down due to the temperatures, but it may not always do that.
If your phone has overheated and shut down, all you should have to do is wait for the device to cool off. Give it at least an hour in a dark, shaded place before you try to power it back on.
To prevent an iPhone from overheating, make sure the device is not left in the sun for too long. If you notice the phone becoming hot to the touch, move it into a cool space and stop using it temporarily. Do not use resource-heavy apps while out in the sun to prevent hardware damage.
If you just got a new iPhone and it won't turn on, there may be an easy solution. New iPhones sometimes come with depleted batteries because they have been sitting in a storage facility or a storage room.
To fix a dead battery on a new iPhone, plug it in for an hour. If the phone turns on, you should have no further issues. If that doesn't help, you should take the phone back to the store and ask for a replacement—there's no reason to deal with this if you only just got it.
There is no real way to prevent this from happening. Some new iPhones may just need charging before you use them.
If your iPhone got wet and won't turn on, remember that while most iPhones are water-resistant, they are not completely waterproof.
Let the phone completely dry before trying to turn it on. You can also put the phone in a bag of uncooked rice or silica gel to absorb the moisture.
To keep your phone from being water-damaged, you can buy a waterproof case.
Different iPhone models sometimes require different fixes. You can look through the following options to see what solution best fits you depending on what iPhone model you have.
If your iPhone 14 won't turn on, it may be due to a software or firmware issue. In this case, a hard reset should be your first step. Press and let go of the volume up button, then the volume down button, and then, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears. You can also consult our iPhone 14 guide for more tips.
If your iPhone 13 won't turn on, it may be because the battery has died. This can be an issue fixed by simple charging, or it can be that your battery has degraded and no longer works. You can keep up with the lifespan of your battery in the iPhone 13's Battery Health screen under Settings and Battery. If your iPhone 13 refuses to turn on, you can check out our guide for solutions.
If your iPhone 12 won't turn on, the internal components may have been damaged. Check to make sure that none of the open ports are damp and that it isn't showing signs of having been dropped on a hard surface. Here are 10 more solutions in our iPhone 12 guide.
There are several reasons why an iPhone 11 won't turn on, ranging from water damage to a glitch following a recent update. Trace back your steps to find out what could have caused it. If you recently installed an update, a force restart should help. You can also check out our guide on what to do if your iPhone 11 is overheating.
If your iPhone SE won't turn on, the internal components of the phone may have loosened. Inside your iPhone, there are wires connecting all of the major pieces of hardware, like the motherboard and the battery. These wires can loosen over time, so with older phones, it is a more likely culprit. You may need to take it to an authorized repair store to get it looked at.
An older phone like the iPhone XR won't turn on if you need an updated charging cable or power adapter. Just like the phones themselves, charging equipment wears down over time. You can replace outdated or no longer functioning charging devices at most big box retailers that sell phone technology.
To restart an unresponsive iPhone, first, you need to figure out why the iPhone is unresponsive. A great place to start is this minute-long tutorial.
Assuming nothing else worked, don't write off your iPhone just yet. Reach out to an authorized repair service for help and a quote to get your phone up and running. It's recommended to check repair costs per model and per problem offered by every store beforehand. Here's Simply Fixable's average iPhone repair costs:
Avg iPhone repair cost
Table. iPhone repair cost
*Data in the given table is based on Simply Fixable's market research and the official Apple website
If your iPhone won't turn on and you're left staring at a blank and unresponsive screen where all your important data should be, try not to panic. Start with a good charge, a forced restart, and a quick look for any damage. Usually, either of those 3 things will lead you in the right direction.
Author: Monica J. White
Linkedin: Monica J.White
Expertise: Technology, PC Hardware, Software, Gaming
Monica is a journalist with a lifelong interest in technology. Monica attended King's College London and obtained her bachelor's degree in English Language and Linguistics. She then went on to get a master's at that same university, this time focusing on Global Media Industries. She first started writing over ten years ago and has made a career out of it, with a special focus on PCs and mobile devices. She enjoys the challenge of explaining complex topics to a broader audience, whether it's how semiconductors work or how to troubleshoot a tablet. Her work has previously appeared in Digital Trends, Tom's Hardware, Pay.com, SlashGear, Forbes, Springboard, Looper, Money, WePC, and more.
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