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.

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Paras
6 hours ago

i just fell down iphone x in water for just 20 second, then i try to dry very well for 3 to 5 day in shutdown condition. After some days i power on my phone and it go verywell for 3 days but after then its screen go black out. i try all method shutdown and all but it can’t working. So, what i should do for it?

Emily
24 days ago

So I was about to plug my phone (iphone 7) in and fell down (maybe 2 feet at most) when i looked at my phone the background was black with no screensaver but the time and “slide to unlock” were still lit up. It wouldn’t respond, lock, turn off, so I did a hard reset. The screen went blank but the light was still on like it was trying to turn off. It stayed like that for about 5 minutes so I did another hard reset and it shut off. It never turned back on after that. I plugged it… Read more »

sean
1 month ago

i was scrolling through instagram and my phone just crashes and the screen goes black , after a friend texts me it returns back to normal and all is fine but the same thing has happened again and now the screen is completly black and wont return to normal , i’ve tried a hard reset and nothing worked and i don’t think it’ll be its insides because i haven’t dropped it. its still responding because i can feel it vibrate when i put my thumb on the button ,so im very confused , some advice would be great
thanks sean

James
1 month ago
Reply to  sean

This is exactly the same thing that happened to me! if you get an answer i’d love to hear it.

Bianca
1 month ago
Reply to  James

This has just happened to me also. I had it on charge in the car and the screen just went black all of a sudden. Would also love an answer please.

Jane
1 month ago
Reply to  Bianca

Same here. Whats up with our phones?

MUNA
28 days ago
Reply to  sean

Mine also have that problem and I fixed it by my self it take only 20 minutes and now it works well. make sure your iPhone has charge and if u use iPhone 7 or 7 plus u have to press and hold the volume down button with the power button together the apple logo will appear and disappear don’t release just continue to do so and will appear again. after that it will show the image that tell u to connect ur iPhone with MacBook, once u connect it there will be a message in MacBook that tells u… Read more »

marshall
1 month ago

my iphone 7 screen went blank it usally will come back on with a reset but its till blank i can feel my phone turing on and vibrating buy rhe hard reset isnt working

Joepard
5 days ago
Reply to  marshall

Mine also has this problem. I was charging my phone and all of a sudden it want blank I tried the hard reset but still no avail but I could still feel my phone vibrate. I hope someone has a solution to this…

josh
1 month ago

So my phones fully dead and when i put it on charge it charges for a little while then the apple logo shows up for around 3 secs then goes black and keeps repeating itself

Shruti
2 months ago

Hey So i dropped my phone day before yesterday and the back of my Iphone Xsmax is pretty bad. It was working all fine after that but suddenly from yesterday the screen issues has been started. Yesterday at the night time the screen just automatically starting flashing and it was continue than i turned off my phone. Than in the morning i turned on the phone and increase the brightness and it was working good but the flashing on the screen was still there at time to time. Than suddenly now the screen goes all back. I tried turned off… Read more »

Admin
Liam Shotwell
2 months ago
Reply to  Shruti

Try contacting Apple to see if you are still under warranty. If that doesn’t work, you may need to get a replacement or go for an upgrade.

Alex
2 months ago

Hi there, my iPhone 8 sat outside in the cold all night and I left it to warm up to room temperature for the day and plugged it in after it was warm. The phone vibrated when I plugged it in but the screen is black. I tried to the the rest with the volume button and power button but the apple sign did not appear, any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited 2 months ago by Alex
Yna Monina
18 days ago
Reply to  Alex

same issue with mine, what did you do?

Yen
2 months ago

Hi, my ihpone 6 had sand in the port and speaker, I tried getting them out using an unused toothbrush and it did. I did not droped my phone on sand but after that my phone won’t vibrate nor make audio when I play music, I checked on settings and everything needed to be done was already turned on. I tried restarting and it worked! it was on 14%. The first try when I charged it, it turned on and working but no vibration or audio.. 12% and my phone was not charging… I tried again but the second time… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Yen
Admin
Liam Shotwell
2 months ago
Reply to  Yen

The iPhone 6 is pretty old, and with the condition it’s in, it’s not worth repairing. Apple will soon discontinue support for the iPhone 6. It’s time to upgrade. The iPhone 12 is a solid option and will get you running with the latest hardware and software support available.

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