iPhone Troubleshooting: Six Ways to Fix an iPhone That Won’t Turn On

When your iPhone won't turn on, it can be really stressful; not only are you faced with unexpected costs to fix it but you may have also potentially lost your data including your contacts and your treasured photos. In this article, our iSmash technicians look at the possible causes of iPhone failure and potential solutions to these problems. They also offer some money-saving advice for those planning to get a new iPhone.

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Get your iPhone repaired now

We understand if your device is out of action you’ll want your iPhone repair carried out as soon as possible. That’s why our iPhone express repair service ensures your device is fixed and back to working order in no time. Most repairs take between 30 minutes and an 1 hour.

Why Is My iPhone Not Turning On?

Having problems with your iPhone not switching on? There can be many reasons for this, but the four most common are:
1.Battery failure
Confused by your iPhone’s black screen? It’s possible you’re dealing with a drained battery. If you’ve noticed that your phone turned off while you still had a lot of battery or if your device has been getting hot quickly, you might be experiencing some power issues. All Apple batteries become less effective as they age and they gradually lose their ability to hold a charge. As a result, their performance deteriorates, especially in a low state of charge, causing unexpected shutdowns.  
2. Water damage
Although many devices today boast waterproof designs, it’s often a case that even a small amount of liquid can damage some internal components, leaving you with a dead iPhone. If you think your iOS device is unresponsive due to a liquid damage, have a look at our water damage guide.
3. Physical damage
If you dropped your iPhone recently, it might stop working, even if it’s not showing any physical damage. To check for this you should shine a light on the screen to check for damage and also try calling the phone to see if it rings or vibrates. If you’ve had your screen cracked for a while, it’s possible that continuous usage has caused further damage to the phone causing it to look like it is off.
4. Software issues
Occasionally, your iPhone won’t turn on due to software issues. Certain apps and iOS updates might cause problems and sometimes, if your phone crashes while your operating system is updating, your iPhone might also become unresponsive.


So, How do I Fix an iPhone That Won’t Start?

Our experts recommend these six tips to bring an iPhone that won’t turn on, back to life. Try them in order until you find the solution that works for you!
1. Charge your battery
Fully discharged batteries are the number one cause of iPhones not turning on. Plug your charger in (make sure the plug is switched on!) and wait 30-60 minutes so that your device can get enough power to start again. Once you’ve waited for this length of time, try turning it on. Check out our battery life tips if you want your battery to last longer. It’s worth testing two different chargers to rule out cable issues too. If you find that a faulty battery is the culprit, we can replace it for you.
Pro tip: some iPhones may no longer charge via a wall charger, but will when connected to a computer, so make sure you try both!
2. Restart it
If your iPhone still won’t power on after charging, move on to the classic “Have you tried turning it off and on again?" step. Restart your iPhone by holding down the on/off button for a few seconds (usually you’ll find it at the right edge, but if you own an iPhone 4/5/SE you’ll find it at the top edge). If you own an iPhone X, you have to press the volume-up button and the side button.
3. Hard Reset (No Data Loss)
How to force restart an iPhone? Use the list below to find the correct button combination for your iPhone model and press and hold it for at least 10 seconds. Release once the Apple logo appears:
  • iPhone 4/5/6/SE: On/Off button + Home button
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: On/Off button + Volume Down
  • iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X: Press Volume Up and release, Press Volume Down and release, hold down the On/Off button until the Apple logo appears.
4. Restore to Factory Settings via iTunes (Data Loss)
If none of the previous steps get your iPhone to turn on, you can try restoring to factory settings via iTunes by following these steps:
  1. Connect the iPhone via a USB cable to your computer and open iTunes
  2. Click on your iPhone in iTunes (it should be at the top of the window). If it doesn't appear in iTunes, you need to put the iPhone into Recovery Mode first by performing a hard reset (point 3 above) - just make sure iTunes is running.
  3. Click on "Restore iPhone" to reset it. You’ll need to confirm that you want to erase everything on your iPhone. The process will take around 15-20 minutes.
5. Contact Apple Support
Even if you haven’t tried the previous steps, you should check to see if your phone is still under warranty with Apple. If so, and your issue isn’t caused by hardware or water damage, visit the Apple Support website - they might be able to fix the issue for free.
6. Get iSmash Technicians to Run a Diagnosis
If you’re still staring at a black screen and you’re after a quick and reliable fix, visit one of our iSmash stores or send your device to our repair centre via our post in service. Our technicians will be able to quickly determine why your iPhone won’t turn on and will talk you through the potential solutions.

My Phone is Dead :( How Do I Restore My Data and Photos?

If you’ve exhausted all efforts to revive your phone and are concerned about losing your data, photos and messages, don’t give up just yet! The last thing you can check yourself is to see if iTunes is still able to access your iPhone. If so, it may be that replacing your screen will bring it back to life.
Sadly, if iTunes doesn’t recognise your device, there are no magic workarounds that will allow you to retrieve your photos off of your broken iPhone and you could be facing permanent data loss..
If you’re in this situation then don’t panic just yet, visit our experts at one of our iSmash stores. We know that our customers store precious photos and information on their iPhones and we’d love to help you get your memories and important messages back! Not only that,if our data recovery experts find they can’t get your data back, we won’t charge you.
Pro tip: Be careful with data recovery software available online. There are a lot of apps you can download that promise complete data recovery but they can get quite expensive and, if you don’t identify the actual problem, the software might not work. Also, beware of downloading free apps from unverified sources - you could end up with viruses or hidden spyware.

What Should I Do If My iPhone is Definitely Dead And I Want to Move On?

Thinking of ditching your old unresponsive device for a shiny new handset? - You could save an extra £170 by repairing your unwanted phone before you trade it in. For example, you’ll only get £40 for a broken iPhone 6 but trade in a fixed one and you could be looking at £140 in your pocket. That means you can get a new iPhone, for less. Check out our handy calcuator to see how much you could save by fixing before you sell.

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