What Do You Do When the LED Light on an iPhone Goes Off?

By Avery Martin

A blank screen can indicate an issue with the settings or hardware.
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The iPhone 5 running iOS 7 comes with an LED backlight that affects the visibility of everything on your screen. When the backlight goes off, don't rush off to the nearest repair shop before you attempt some simple remedies to fix the problem yourself. Often, you can turn the backlight back on yourself by checking your settings, rebooting your iPhone or resetting the device.


The brightness level on your iPhone might not provide enough light in direct sunlight and other situations where the phone gets exposed to large amounts of light. Try taking your iPhone into a dark area and manually adjust the brightness setting. If, after moving into a darker area, you can see the contents of your iPhone again, select the "Settings" app and adjust the slider in the Brightness and Wallpaper section. This can help you regain visibility in situations where you need a brighter LED.

Battery Issues

Sometimes your iPhone display goes off because of a low battery. Toggle the ringer switch on the side of your iPhone to see if the iPhone vibrates. If the iPhone vibrates, it's possible that you need charge your iPhone. If you can't get your iPhone to turn on at all, try connecting your device to the wall charger for at least 15 minutes. Charging your iPhone using a computer or portable charger doesn't provide the same level of charge that the wall charger provides. If this still doesn't work, try using a different charging cable to ensure that you don't have a faulty cable.

Call Issues

Try removing any protective casing that you placed on your iPhone, clean the screen and then restart your iPhone if the display remains black after you finish a call. If you can see a screen when you receive a call, but then the device goes black, check to make sure that you didn't enable the mute or speaker option before taking your next call. During the call, place your hand over the top third of the display to verify that the screen locks or sleeps.

Image Issues

If the display goes blank when trying to play a video or suddenly goes off while using the device, attempt to reboot your iPhone. Hold the power button until the red slide to power off displays. Swipe the slider to shut down your iPhone. When it shuts down completely, power the device on again. If that doesn't work, attempt to reset the device by holding the "Sleep/Wake" and "Home" buttons for at least 10 seconds. Release the buttons when you see the Apple logo.

Restore Your iPhone

When you have tried all other options to fix the backlight, try restoring your iPhone. Restoring your iPhone deletes all of the information on your device, so you should connect your device to your computer and create a backup with iTunes. Once you created a backup, select the "Restore iPhone..." button in iTunes. This option also creates a backup of your data before restoring the device. Click the "Restore" option and then use the previous backup to set up your iPhone again, once the restore process completes. If you continue to have issues, take the iPhone in to a repair specialist to diagnose issues that you shouldn't attempt to repair on your own.