My iPhone Screen Is Black! Here’s The Real Reason Why.

Your iPhone is on, but the screen is black. Your iPhone rings, but you can’t answer the call. You’ve tried resetting your iPhone, letting it run out of battery and plugging it back in, and your iPhone screen is still black. In this article, I’ll explain why your iPhone screen went black and what you can do to fix it.

Why Is My iPhone Screen Black?

A black screen is usually caused by a hardware problem with your iPhone, so there usually isn’t a quick fix. That being said, a software crash can cause your iPhone display to freeze and turn black, so let’s try a hard reset to see if that’s what’s going on.

To do a hard reset, press and hold the power button (also known as the Sleep / Wake button) and the Home button (the circular button below the display) together for at least 10 seconds.

On the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, you perform a hard reset by pressing and holding the volume down button and the power button at the same time until the you see the Apple logo appear on the screen.

And if you have an iPhone 8 or newer, perform a hard reset by quickly pressing and releasing the volume up button, then quickly pressing and releasing the volume down button, and then pressing and holding the power button (iPhone 8) or the side button (iPhone X or newer) until that Apple logo appears.

If the Apple logo appears on the screen, there probably isn’t a problem with your iPhone’s hardware — it was a software crash. Check out my other article on frozen iPhones, which will tell you exactly what to do to fix your iPhone. If the Apple logo doesn’t appear on the screen, keep reading.

Let’s Take A Look Inside Your iPhone

iPhone Logic Board

iPhone Logic Board

A brief tour of the inside of your iPhone will help you understand why your screen is black. There are two pieces of hardware that we’ll talk about: Your iPhone’s display and the logic board.

The logic board is the brains behind the operation of your iPhone, and every part of your iPhone connects to it. The display shows you the images you see, but the logic board tells it what to display.

Removing iPhone Display

Removing iPhone Display

The entire display of your iPhone is removable, but it’s a lot more complicated than you might think! There are four major components built into your iPhone’s display:

  1. The LCD screen, which displays the images you see on your iPhone.
  2. The digitizer, which is the part of the display that processes touch. It digitizes your finger, which means it turns the touch of your finger into a digital language your iPhone can understand.
  3. The front-facing camera.
  4. The Home button.

Each component of your iPhone’s display has a separate connector that plugs into your iPhone’s logic board. That’s why you might be able to swipe across the screen with your finger, even though the screen is black. The digitizer is working, but the LCD is not.

iPhone Display Data Connector

The black stick is touching the display data connector

In many cases, your iPhone screen is black because the cable that connects the LCD to the logic board has become dislodged. This cable is called the display data connector. When the display data connector becomes dislodged from the logic board, your iPhone can be fixed by plugging it back in.

There are other cases where the fix isn’t so simple, and that’s when the LCD itself is damaged. When that happens, it doesn’t matter if the LCD is connected to the logic board or not — it’s broken and it needs to be replaced.

How Do I Know Whether My Display Is Dislodged Or Broken?

I’m hesitant to write this because it is by no means a hard and fast rule, but I have noticed a pattern in my experience working with iPhones. There are no guarantees, but my rule of thumb is this:

  • If your iPhone display stopped working after you dropped it, your screen is probably black because the LCD cable (display data connector) has become dislodged from the logic board.
  • If your iPhone display stopped working after it got wet, your screen is probably black because the LCD is broken and needs to be replaced.

How To Fix A Black iPhone Screen

The way you choose to proceed may depend on whether your iPhone LCD cable has become dislodged from the logic board or if the LCD is broken. You can use my rule from above to make an educated guess.

If the LCD cable has become dislodged, the Genius Bar at an Apple Store may repair it free of charge, even if your iPhone is out of warranty. That’s because the fix is relatively simple: They’ll open your iPhone and reconnect the digitizer cable to the logic board. If you decide to go this route, make an appointment with the Genius Bar before you arrive — otherwise, you could end up standing around for a while.

If the LCD is broken, that’s another story. It can be very expensive to repair your iPhone display, especially if you go through Apple. If you’re looking for a high-quality, less-expensive alternative, I recommend Puls, an in-person repair service that will come to you, fix your iPhone on the spot, and give you a lifetime warranty.

If you’d rather get a new iPhone than have your current one repaired, check out the UpPhone phone comparison tool. You can compare the prices of every smartphone on every wireless carrier. Carriers are eager to have you switch to their network, so you may find that you can get a new iPhone for roughly the same cost as repairing your current one.

Repairing Your iPhone Yourself Usually Isn’t A Good Idea

Star-Shaped iPhone Screws

Star-shaped (pentalobe) screws keep your iPhone closed

iPhones aren’t meant to be opened by the user. Just take a look at the two screws next to the charging port of your iPhone — they’re star-shaped! That being said, there are excellent repair guides out there if you’re feeling adventurous. I took the images in this article from a repair guide on iFixit.com called iPhone 6 Front Panel Assembly Replacement. Here’s a brief excerpt of that article that may sound familiar:

“When reassembling your phone, the display data cable may pop off its connector. This can result in white lines or a blank screen when powering your phone back on. If that happens, simply reconnect the cable and power cycle your phone.” Source: iFixit.com

If you believe your iPhone LCD cable (display data cable) has simply become dislodged from the logic board, you’re very tech-savvy, and going to an Apple Store isn’t an option, reconnecting the display data cable to the logic board isn’t that difficult, if you have the right tools.

Replacing the display is very complex because of the number of components involved. Let me be clear: I do not recommend you try to fix this problem yourself, because it’s just too easy to break something and “brick” your iPhone.

You Know What You Have To Do

Most readers won’t be able to fix their iPhone screen just by reading this article, because a black iPhone screen usually isn’t caused by a software issue. Everything was working fine until your iPhone screen went black. Now you can’t use your iPhone at all, but you do know what to do next. I’m interested to hear how you fixed your iPhone in the comments section below, and any experience you can offer will undoubtedly help other readers with the same problem.

Thanks for reading and all the best,
David P.
All iPhone images in this article by Walter Galan and licensed under CC BY-NC-SA.

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
621 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ashley
19 days ago

So I kept my iphone 11 pro max , when I came back I it was all black
I tried the method already it shows the apple logo but it turn off immediately again help .

nancy
1 month ago

my iPhone 11 battery died.I tried charging it and wouldn’t charge over night.I also tried force restart it and nothing happens.what can possibly be the problem?

Katlyne
1 month ago
Reply to  nancy

That happened to me in 2019. It was water damage and sometimes not fixable take it to your nearest apple company and they can tell you what has happened

Jackson
3 months ago

hello so my iphone 11 pro max had water fallen on it from the sink and its all black but if i go in a dark room i can still see the screen but in a light room i cant and ive tried most of the steps but nothing has worked but last night the screen came back on but then it was fully black after a few mintues

Ed Robbins
3 months ago

The hard reset worked for my iPhone 12. Thanks!!

Melwyn Lobo
4 months ago

I have iPhone 7 and the screen is black after it was dropped. I had tried all the possible methods given above but none of them work. Any other way this can be fixed

Melinda Caudill
5 months ago

My son has the iPhone X and he was on the phone when he went to bed and when he woke up the screen was black! Somehow we got the flashlight on but we can’t see to do anything else. Please help?

Admin
David Lynch
5 months ago

Either the display is broken or it’s frozen on a black screen. Try to hard reset the iPhone by quickly pressing and releasing the volume up button, quickly pressing and releasing the volume down button, then pressing and holding the side button. Keep holding that side button until the Apple logo appears. It make take 45–60 seconds. If a hard reset doesn’t work, plug the iPhone into a computer. It should be recognized by the computer since you were able to turn on the flashlight. If it is, back up the iPhone immediately. Then, reach out to Apple Support to… Read more »

Joy
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lynch

Thank You David This work

emma
7 months ago

my 7 plus is black screen now. i was just browsing then it blacked out, when i opened it there is s tiny hole in the battery touching the lcd. i tried replacing both lcd ang batt but its still on black screen. what should i do?

Admin
David Lynch
6 months ago
Reply to  emma

I’d set up an appointment at your local Apple Store. A punctured battery can be a real safety hazard.

Ari
7 months ago

My phone screen are all black. I try to force restart and it responding (because I know it’s vibrating), but nothing shows on the screen. The screen still black but the backlight turned on for a while (since I can see it when I in the dark place). Anybody knows what’s wrong with my phone?

Admin
David Lynch
6 months ago
Reply to  Ari

If a hard reset didn’t work, I’d try backing up your iPhone and putting it in DFU mode.

Ari
6 months ago
Reply to  David Lynch

Nah, the problem is on the LCD display. I’ve tried with other LCD and it works. So the old display have issue with the LCD (while the backlight still working normally). I don’t want to take any risk with the hard reset method since the phone is not mine (it’s my sister’s phone). I’m afraid she’s gonna kill me if I lost all of her data. XD

Thanks for the attention by the way.

Amanda
7 months ago

I have an iPhone 8 that had an unresponsive, very dark screen about a week ago. I preformed a hard reset on it, and it worked up until today. Same thing is happening again. Did another hard reset and again works fine. Can you tell me what’s happening? Device is fully updated as well.

Admin
David Lynch
7 months ago
Reply to  Amanda

Sounds like there’s a deeper software issue causing your iPhone to occasionally crash. I recommend backing up your iPhone immediately, then trying a Reset All Settings. This erases everything in the Settings app and restores it to factory defaults. You’ll have to re-enter your Wi-Fi passwords, reconnect your Bluetooth devices, set up your wallpaper again, and more. However, it has a decent chance of fixing the real reason why your iPhone screen goes dark and unresponsive.

For more help, check out our other when your iPhone touch screen is not working.

Trevor
8 months ago

hey umm my iphone is cracked and it got went the screen was green for a bit then it just turned black and you can hear notifications what do i do if the phone still works but screen is black its a xs max

Admin
David Lynch
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Unfortunately, it sounds like the display is broken. I recommend reaching out to Apple support to get it repaired.

ben dover
9 months ago

thank you king. Saved my life

Quintin
9 months ago

Hallo, Today my iPhone 10 just died on me. I had it on charge the whole night, so it is definatelly not the battery. I have also kept it on charge for some time, but nothing happens. It was working perfectly this morning. Later on I saw that my phone was off, the screen was just black. I tried the force start, but still nothing works. I did not drop my phone or bump it or anything. A few days ago the screen also did not want to unlock or sense my finger as I swipe. What can be the… Read more »

Admin
David Lynch
9 months ago
Reply to  Quintin

If the screen is totally black and not responding to touch, that sounds like a hardware issue to me. I’d reach out to Apple support or bring your iPhone into a local repair shop.

Glenn
9 months ago

My phone flickered for about 10 minutes and then it went black. It is on but I have nothing on my screen. Blank screen.

Tom Thumb
10 months ago

Apple’s way of forcing you to buy a ‘New iPhone.’
Don’t you know Apple by now….

Julius
10 months ago

my iphone just droped on the soft carpet & went of,powering on it could not but when I connect the charger it lights up & off. What might be the issue please

Admin
David Lynch
9 months ago
Reply to  Julius

Could still be a hardware, even if it fell on a soft carpet. If the steps in this article don’t help, reach out to Apple support.

Trina mounts
10 months ago

my se 2020 wont power on or its black screen . i need it back on lol i have never dropped it

Admin
David Lynch
10 months ago
Reply to  Trina mounts

Did you try a hard reset?

Pit
11 months ago

I have an iPhone 6S+ that’s about a year and a half old. Never dropped it in water, and while I have dropped it several times and the screen is cracked, the issue didn’t come up after I dropped it. If I shift it around and put pressure on the back, the screen sometimes comes back. When I turn it on, the black gains a slight blue tint and emits low levels of light. I can still press things, and I can still unlock my phone by remembering where the keys are for the password, but it’s completely black. Restarting/force… Read more »

totally not a furry
9 months ago
Reply to  Pit

This is exactly the same thing that happened with my phone.

Stuti Shahi
11 months ago

I have an iPhone 6. I restarted the phone while it was at 56%. 5ish hours later, it’s not turning on. I charged it, but it’s giving me a black screen. I tried to restart it but that didn’t work either.

Jaf
11 months ago

So, what happened is that I turned off my phone because I wanted to refresh it. Then, after that, my phone went black. I can still feel a vibration whenever I tap the Home button. I also waited for it to drain the battery but when I charged it, it still remains a black screen. It still vibrates, though, after I charged it. Help please.

Kurgat
10 months ago
Reply to  Jaf

It’s the LCD problem nothing else

1 7 8 9