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.

    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.

Subscribe
Notify of
564 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anonymous
6 years ago

Thanks, this worked or me. Phone came back on. Not sure why it crashed in the first place, though.

Anonymous
6 years ago

Thanks for the hard reset tip, it worked in less than 20 seconds. Awesome!

Anonymous
7 years ago

Do not turn on your phone after having it in the bag with silica gels or rice or whatever. Standing water in the phone doesnt evaporate quick enough, and likely will lead to rust. Best bet is to use a blowdryer on a hot setting and blow out the ports and the sim card slot and any opening on your phone prior to placing it in a bag full of rice or a dehumdufier puch (silica gel) etc… I dropped my phone in a bowl of water over 36 hours ago, followed all the steps above, even left the phone… Read more »

Anonymous
7 years ago

if the home button is broken im pretty much f***ed

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank you! Very helpful. My wife thinks I am a genius now for coming up with the solution to her iPhone problem.

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank you so much for your article! It helped me when my phone shut off and I needed for my ill mother to be able to get in touch with me!

Anonymous
7 years ago

iPhone 6s… I was texting no problem, put it in my back pocket while I was shopping, had like 63% battery remaining, went to try on clothes, pulled out phone to take a pic, phone was off, won’t turn on, hard reset won’t work, I plugged into different outlets, different cords, tried to plug into computer and iTunes does not see a phone connected, nor does the computer. Do you think this is a completely dead battery that needs to be replaced or hardware ? (It had been dropped a week prior, only the glass screen protector cracked in lower… Read more »

Anonymous
7 years ago

It works! Thank you!!!

Anonymous
7 years ago

THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU SAVED ME SO MUCH MONEY

Anonymous
7 years ago

the hard reset worked fine for me

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thanks, saved me some headache and worry.

Anonymous
7 years ago

doesnt help

Anonymous
7 years ago

thanks

Anonymous
7 years ago

So I came home and find out from Apple website that some iPhone 6 and 6s have an unexpected battery issue. That pissed me off because why the lady at Apple store didn’t inform me. I went to another Apple store at Waterloo as it is close to my house and I explained the whole scenario. They already have my complaints and their notes about my issue. They agree to change the battery but it didn’t work. There is something wrong with my phone and it cannot be fixed. Wow, to be honest, I didn’t drop or damaged or haven’t… Read more »

Anonymous
7 years ago

My iPhone 6s turned off all of a sudden with no reason. I have tried every step (forced reset with and without plugged with iTunes, used different charger) and suggestion to turn it on but nothing worked. I bought this phone 18 months ago and within this small period the phone just went off. I have already given my feedback to Apple and had a long conversation with Apple chat. They told me to visit nearby Apple store. I visited 2 Apple store, first one at Burlington Ontario. This visit was not good at all. First, they diagnosed my phone… Read more »

Anonymous
7 years ago

hey my iphone 5 suddenly blanked out and everytime i try all these things to restart it (pressing the home botton,power botton, power and home botton,power botton and home botton and valume botton, charging it with the computer…) all it does is show the apple symbol for like 5 minutes then goes back to just being blank then i try again and this repeats…anyone have any idea’s on what i should do?

Anonymous
7 years ago

Hi im mils i approved this message 🙂

Anonymous
7 years ago

thanks I was able to truble shot the problem and reboot.

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank you very much. No longer stressed out!!!!

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank You!

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thanks! The 20 second reset worked! That’s a real blessing!

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thanks for suggestions, its looking good so far. The hard reset caused apple to com up briefly on screen twice then died again. Plugged phone into computer usb and it started up ok (battery recently charged!?) so now I’m backing up on itunes. Wish me luck!

Anonymous
7 years ago

Yay! Looks like it was a software crash- so glad I found your info and tried it before heading over to my carrier and buying a new phone! Just saved me $300! thanks 😀

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thanks a million for the very clearly written instructions for the hard reset. I was very relieved when I saw the apple logo appear after 20 seconds. You saved me the trouble of driving over to the Apple store and waiting in line etc. Thanks again.

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank You Very Much. You Was Alot Of Help.

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank you it really worked.

Anonymous
7 years ago

thanks for hard reset tip: my Iphone 5 is up and working

Anonymous
7 years ago

my phone has been charging for hours, like over 11hours, but it keeps coming up with low battery, i have tried to hard reset it many times, but it is just not working.

Anonymous
7 years ago

thank you very much , may god bless you

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank you so much for this.

Anonymous
7 years ago

My home button is broken, my screen doesn’t turn on even when i put in the charger cabel..

Anonymous
7 years ago

Hard reset worked! Thank you for the article. I will be doing a restore on my iphone. Seems like after this last software update (10.3.2) I have had numerous issues.

Anonymous
7 years ago

Hello my iPhone Will not turn on totally I’ve taken it these guys who fix phone but they said it’s not repairable can you assist as I dropped it at the ocean

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thanks. My iPhone lives again!! This page of information saved me hours of running around.

Anonymous
7 years ago

I went out skateboarding and I had my phone in my pocket. (It has a screen protector and a case) I had it in my pocket and I fell down and I got back up and went home. I tried charging my phone and it was competely black and wasn’t turning on. when I shake my phone there is a rattling noise on the inside, it seems like there is a loose piece of equipment on the inside. I tried plugging it in to my computer to try and see if it connects with itunes, and nothing has happened, even… Read more »

Anonymous
7 years ago

the hard reset worked for me, thanks!!

Anonymous
7 years ago

THANK YOU!! I had tried everything and couldn’t get it to turn on. It’s been dropped plenty with a cracked screen so I thought it was truly toast this time. The trick was the hard reset BUT LONGER. It took it about 17 secs to turn on. I’d only been trying for 10 before. Thanks again!

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank you SO much! This just happened while my phone was charging while driving. Step #1 worked for me! I’m so grateful.

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank you so much for this article David! It’s very helpful and well articulated. I recovered my phone after holding it for exactly 17 seconds! Thank you again.

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank you for this article! i was able to do a hard reset and my phone worked again. backed it up/restored it just in case. THANK YOU!!! so helpful!

Anonymous
7 years ago

my phone turned off and the screen is black, resetting it does nothing, putting it on charge does nothing, the screen wont light up, ideas?

Anonymous
7 years ago

my iphone just gives me the apple logo whenever i turn it on, it doesnt fuly turn on and just stays on that logo for days at a time. can anyone help me please? I tried hard resetting it and it just does the same thing, when i go to restore it on my computer theres no popup window when I plug the phone in

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thanks so much !!!!!

Anonymous
7 years ago

thanks so much! Took so much stress away when the first try fixed it!

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thanks to you, panic over. Hard reset worked just fine!

Anonymous
7 years ago

Thank you SO MUCH. I was kind of losing my mind for an hour or 2! All i had to do was hold the 2 buttons down for about 20 seconds…. hey, it was a good learning experience. Thanks again!

Anonymous
7 years ago

i got this iphone 5s after it being turned off for a few months and i went to go charge it and it wont turn on, i left it on the charger for the night and that didnt help either, i tried hard resetting and cleaning and everything i could im not sure if it is the charger but i will continue testing if that doesnt help do you have any ideas?

Anonymous
7 years ago

My iphone5 powers up (white screen with black apple logo) but wont actually turn on, can anyone help please?

Anonymous
7 years ago

Great result. Worked within 10 secs and everything is working fine again. Thanks very much.

Anonymous
7 years ago

Brilliant, thank you – the hard reset worked, just as I was researching replacing it! Can you tell me what the difference is between restoring the software and upgrading to the new iOS? I upgraded to the latest iOS on Tuesday, so will a restore do anything different? Is my iPhone 6 on the way out?