My iPhone Won’t Turn On! Here’s The Real Fix.

Your iPhone will not turn on and you’re looking for help. It’s a problem that can be easy or difficult to fix, depending on the cause. In this article, I’ll help you determine the reason why your iPhone won’t turn on and show you how to fix your iPhone when it isn’t turning on.

Be Careful Of Misinformation About Why iPhones Won’t Turn On

I wrote this article because I’ve seen a lot of other articles that claim to have a solution to the “iPhone won’t turn on” problem, but based on my experience as an Apple tech, the other articles have only one piece of the puzzle — or the information is just plain wrong.

Why Won’t My iPhone Turn On?

Your iPhone won’t turn on because either the software crashed and needs to be reset or restored, or a hardware problem is preventing your iPhone from turning on.

How To Fix An iPhone That Won’t Turn On

  1. Determine Whether Your iPhone Won’t Turn On Due To A Hardware Or Software Problem

    We need to determine is whether a software or hardware problem is preventing your iPhone from turning on. Your iPhone’s software is the easiest to troubleshoot, so that’s where we’ll start. If that doesn’t solve the problem, I’ll discuss the hardware issues that can cause the problem.

  2. Software Crash

    I saw this problem a lot at Apple. Someone would walk in and hand me an iPhone that wouldn’t turn on. I’d do a hard reset and their iPhone would immediately spring back to life. Astonished, they’d ask, “What did you do?”

    Cross your fingers and try a hard reset. To hard reset your iPhone on an iPhone 6S or older, press and hold down the Sleep / Wake button (the power button) and the Home button at the same time, for at least 20 seconds or until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

    On iPhone 7, simultaneously hold the power button and volume down button instead.

    To hard reset an iPhone 8 or newer, quickly press and release the volume up button, then press and release the volume down button, then press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.

    Sidenote: Why Can A Hard Reset Fix An iPhone That Won’t Turn On?

    If a hard reset fixed your iPhone, your problem was never that your iPhone wouldn’t turn on, because it was on the whole time.

    A lot of people think their iPhone won’t turn on when their iPhone is on, but the software has crashed so it’s displaying a black screen and not responding. It’s an easy mistake to make, because an iPhone in that condition is almost indistinguishable from an iPhone that’s turned off.

    Fixing A Software Crash

    If you’ve determined that your iPhone’s software is the reason your iPhone won’t turn on, I recommend you backup and restore your iPhone. When a software problem is that bad, it’s time to fix the software. You can learn about how to do the deepest type of iPhone restore in my article about how to DFU restore an iPhone.

  3. Check Your Lightning Cable And Your Charger (Don’t Skip This Step)

    iphone wont turn on check cableIf your iPhone won’t turn on, try charging your iPhone with another cable and another charger, or alternatively, try charging someone else’s iPhone with your cable and your charger. If their iPhone charges and yours doesn’t, don’t skip to the next step just yet.

    A common, less-documented issue is some iPhones will charge when connected to a laptop computer, but not with the wall charger. Even if your friend’s iPhone charges with the same cable and wall charger, it’s possible that your iPhone will not. Without going into a detailed discussion about why this happens, try charging your iPhone using a USB port on your computer if you usually use a wall outlet, and try a wall charger if you usually charge your iPhone with your laptop.

    To learn more about how to fix iPhone charging problems that can be related to this issue, I recommend you check out my article called My iPhone Won’t Charge.

  4. Make Sure It’s Not Just The Display

    iphone with itunes openIf your iPhone still won’t turn on, plug your iPhone into your computer and open iTunes (PCs and Macs running macOS 10.14 or older) or Finder (Macs running macOS 10.15 or newer). Does iTunes recognize your iPhone? If it does, back up your iPhone right away. If there’s a serious hardware problem, this might be your last chance to back up your data.

    If your iPhone shows up in iTunes of Finder and you can successfully back it up, or if it’s making any noises at all, you may need to have your iPhone’s display repaired. My article about what to do if your iPhone screen turns black can help. Scroll to the Repair Options section at the bottom of this article to learn what to do next (and possibly save some money).

    If your iPhone doesn’t show up in iTunes or Finder, try doing a hard reset while your iPhone is connected to your computer. Do you see any error messages? If iTunes says you need to restore your iPhone, do it.

    If you’ve tried the previous steps and your iPhone still won’t turn on, there’s probably no way to recover the data that’s on your iPhone now unless you have an iTunes, Finder, or iCloud backup. The only other option for recovering data is to use one of the very expensive iPhone data recovery companies you can find with a Google search.

  5. Check For Physical Or Liquid Damage

    For those of us who’ve dropped our iPhones and got away with it, iPhones are tough. For people whose iPhones stopped working after they watched their daughter’s softball game in the rain, iPhones are fragile. Drops and spills can cause damage that stops iPhones from turning on.

    Water damage is insidious and unpredictable. A spill from a week ago can cause a problem to occur today for the very first time. A drop of water got in the charging port and your iPhone won’t charge, but your friend spilled a glass of water on his iPhone and it works just fine — we hear stories like this all the time.

    Do a visual inspection of the outside of your iPhone — is there any damage? If it’s minor, Apple may ignore it and replace your iPhone under warranty.

    check closely for damageNext, check for liquid damage. Your iPhone’s warranty doesn’t cover liquid damage unless your have AppleCare+, and even then, there’s still a deductible. To learn how to check if your iPhone has water damage, check out our comprehensive guide on iPhone liquid damage.

  6. Repair Options For When An iPhone Won’t Turn On

    If you’re under warranty and there’s no physical or liquid damage, Apple will probably cover the repair for no charge. If you’re not, Apple can be expensive—but there are good alternatives.

    If you want to repair your iPhone today, Puls will meet you at a location of your choice and fix your iPhone in minutes.

    Now might be a good time to get a new cell phone. iPhone repairs are expensive, and your device may have multiple hardware problems. Repair companies often need to replace every broken component. Those repairs will add up quickly, and your bill may be hundreds of dollars. It may be more economical to upgrade to a newer iPhone. Check out UpPhone’s tool to compare every cell phone on every wireless carrier.

Your iPhone Is Turning On Again: Time To Wrap It Up

By this point, you’ve determined why your iPhone won’t turn on and the next steps to take if your iPhone needs to be repaired. If it helped you, please share it with your friends, especially because so many other articles out there are filled with inaccurate information on this subject. I’m interested to hear about your experience with troubleshooting and how you fixed your iPhone in the comments section below.

About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jenny hudson
11 days ago

My iPhone is a 11

Liam Shotwell
9 days ago
Reply to  Jenny hudson

This article may be able to help if your iPhone 11 won’t turn on.

Jenny hudson
11 days ago

My I phone has the Apple coming up but won’t turn on

22 days ago

my iphone 7+ wont turn on it was on the charger all night and now its just black

7 days ago
Reply to  jadyn

Did you try to do a hard reset? – hold the volume down button and power button till you see an apple logo

Liam Shotwell
7 days ago
Reply to  Advait

There are different ways to do a hard reset depending on your model of iPhone. Check out our article about iPhone hard resets to see the instructions for your particular model.

Maricel Hernandez
24 days ago

Hi, please help me with my iphone 5s. My phone don’t want to continue starting. It stops in the manual setting..already do the hard reset but still not working. It says, unable to activate, an update is required to activate your phone. This happens after upadating to ios 12.5.1. I connect my phone to itunes but it says the iphone could not be activated because the activation information could not be obtained from the device. What is the problem? What should i gonna do?

Liam Shotwell
23 days ago

It’s possible that it’s not working because the iPhone 5s is no longer supported by Apple. You should consider upgrading to the latest hardware and software to make sure you’re getting the best experience.

22 days ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

is upgrading available online?

Liam Shotwell
20 days ago
Reply to  Maricel

Yes, you can upgrade your phone online! Check out our cell phone comparison tool 🙂

27 days ago


My Iphone is not turning on, not charging at all, screen completely blacked out. Its just 5 days since I started using the phone.
Did hard reset, just about everything possible from my end, any other suggestions?

Thank you

1 month ago

Tried all options my iphone restarts regularly by itself and sometimes doesn’t restart. Hard reset sometimes works sometimes it doesn’t. Ant ideas

1 month ago

Very helpful! Thank you! My iphone finally opened, phew!

Liam Shotwell
1 month ago
Reply to  danigirl

Awesome! I’m glad this was helpful for you 😊

2 months ago

hello my iphone 11 zoomed in then i was fixing it but it opened the guy that speak and he started speaking then it zoomed in more and the touch stopped then the screen turned black but the sound is still working what can i do to fix it?

Wilhelmina Lewis
2 months ago

My phone only gets to the apple logo and nothing else happens. I’m charging it with a wall outlet and laptop. when I use iTunes it states no space.

3 months ago

my phone will not charge or turn on at all i have to stand it up to charge it but it stops working now i dont know what to do

3 months ago

iphone will not turn on at all any suggestions on how to fix it

3 months ago

my phone is off but it still gets notification and I can still type in my password, go on apps but i cant see what im doing its just pitch black the screen. It was working perfectly fine couple days ago i let it charge overnight and it wont turn on. I did everything. what do i do?

Liam Shotwell
3 months ago
Reply to  bree

Check out our article about what to do when your iPhone screen is black.

3 months ago

You are an angel!
The itunes trick worked, I persevered with some very long pressing of home and sleep buttons together, but eventually itunes recognised the phone and brought it back from the dead.
Thank you so much!

1 7 8 9