How to Fix Your Apple iPhone When it Doesn't Turn On

By Avery Martin

Get back to your Home screen and repair your iPhone's operating system.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It can be a distressing feeling when the screen on your iPhone remains resolutely dark even after you've repeatedly pressed the Power and Home buttons. Before taking your iPhone to the nearest repair store, try some basic troubleshooting steps. In most cases, you can get from a blank screen to your Home screen.

Charge It Up

The battery in your iPhone may go into a state of deep discharge. This typically occurs if you don't use your iPhone for awhile, fail to connect it to a charger and then try to turn it on after the battery completely runs down. It can also sometimes occur when you only charge the iPhone using your computer. The USB connection doesn't provide the same level of current as the wall outlet. Try charging your iPhone by connecting it to a wall outlet for at least 20 minutes. You may need up to an hour if you ran down the battery excessively.

Force a Reboot

In some cases, your iPhone might show a black screen when the iOS software crashes or freezes. An overheated iPhone might also show a black screen. You can get around this by forcing a reboot of your iPhone. Try holding down the Power and Home buttons at the same time for about 10 to 15 seconds.

Connection Checkup

Check all the connections to the iPhone, including the wall mount charger, the charging cable and the iPhone's charging port. Sometimes debris can get stuck, in which the charging cable can't charge the device. The simplest way to check the connections involves attaching another set of cables that you know works with another iOS device. You can also use a can of compressed air on the charging port to attempt to dislodge any debris.

Restore Options

When the screen remains black and won't turn on, you can try to connect the device to iTunes and see if it shows up. If the iPhone does show up, you may be in luck. Try selecting the device by clicking the "iPhone" button in iTunes. Select the "Restore" button to attempt to restore the software. ITunes does attempt to make a backup you can use to restore your apps and settings after the process completes, but can't always do so. If you kept a previous backup in iCloud or iTunes, you can use that backup if the restore process succeeds.

Hardware Failures

An iPhone submerged in water can sometimes be salvaged if you immediately power it off and let it dry out completely. This can take up to three days and may require the expertise of a repair technician to open the device and clean the internals to ensure that no corrosion ensues. You might need to replace the battery, something that a repair shop can take care of for you at much less than the cost of a new iPhone. An iPhone still under warranty might get replaced if you take it into the Apple Store for repair. Rather than voiding your warranty with personal repairs, taking it in while under warranty provides the best chance for getting your iPhone running again.