iPhone won't turn on? 3 solutions

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Aina Martin
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“Why won't my iPhone turn on?”: 3 ways to troubleshoot an iPhone that won't restart. An iPhone that won't turn on or is frozen can be frustrating. Here are some tips to help it get back up and running.

If your iPhone won't turn on, most of the time a simple restart will get it back up and running. If you can't restart your iPhone, make sure it's charged.

You may need to replace the Lightning cable and make sure the power source is working properly. If all else fails, connect it to a computer and see if iTunes recognizes the phone. If it does, try backing it up before getting it fixed.

It can be terrifying if your iPhone won't turn on, especially if you're not a tech guru. It might seem like there could be a million things wrong, and who knows where to start? Can it be fixed? It's not cool when this sort of thing happens, but the good news is that most of the time it's not hard to narrow down the problem and get the phone working again.

Why won't my iPhone turn on?

In general, you can narrow down the problem to one of three main problems:

  • A software glitch is preventing the screen from turning on. Your phone is probably already on, but it's sleeping and you need to restart it to wake it up.
  • The phone died and won't charge because there is something wrong with the cable or the way it is trying to charge.
  • There is a serious hardware problem with the phone.

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Check if you can restart your phone

You probably know that your phone is always on, even when the screen is off, unless you deliberately turn it off via the Settings app. When the screen is dark, the phone is on, even if it is "idle", and a software glitch in an app could prevent the phone from waking up when you press the power button, tap the screen, move it close to the face or otherwise try to wake him up.

The simplest remedy is to restart the phone. How you do this varies depending on which model you own, so read our article "How to Force Restart and Restart Any iPhone Model" for the exact steps for your phone.

If your phone restarts successfully, the problem is probably solved. This problem can occasionally occur without suggesting a serious underlying problem.

But if your phone doesn't turn on frequently enough to be a nuisance, that suggests you have a misbehaving app or some corrupted data on your phone. If so, you may need to factory reset your phone and then manually reinstall the apps from the App Store to see which one is faulty.

Try charging the phone

If you don't seem to be able to restart your phone, it is likely that the phone is already off and the battery is dead. Here's what you should do:

  1. Attempt to charge your phone - Plug in your phone as you usually charge it and let it charge for an hour or two.
  2. If the phone still won't turn on, there may be something wrong with the way it is charging. Check your phone's Lightning port to make sure it's not full of lint or debris, and inspect the Lightning cable for kinks, breaks, or frays. If necessary, replace the cable with another one.
  3. Charge the iPhone. Make sure you plug your phone directly into an AC adapter instead of a computer's USB port, to make sure the USB port isn't a problem. And make sure the socket is working properly!

It is entirely possible that your laptop's Lightning port or USB port has failed, and as it was not charging, it could not be turned on. If so, this should solve your problem.

Read “Why is my iPhone not charging? ': How to Diagnose and Fix Common iPhone Charging Problems” for more advice on this problem.

Troubleshoot a hardware problem

If the phone is unresponsive to a hard reset and does not appear to be charging, the number of potential problems has reduced, possibly signaling that it is a hardware problem. This is not good news, as it suggests you may have a serious problem. Some of the more likely problems include:

  • Water damage. You may have wet your phone and caused some components to fail.
  • Fall damage. If you dropped your phone, it may have damaged the screen (most likely) or internal components (less likely), preventing it from working.
  • Component failure. As reliable as iPhones are, it is always possible that one could fail due to a manufacturing defect. It's rare, but it can happen.

To see if your phone has any life, try this:

  1. Plug your ailing iPhone into a Lightning cable and plug it into a computer.
  2. Launch iTunes on your computer.
  3. Check if iTunes recognizes the phone. You should see the phone icon appear at the top left of the iTunes window. If so, you're in luck - the phone is actually on and you can probably back it up.
  4. If the iPhone icon appears, click it, then click the "Summary" tab on the left of the screen. In the Backup section, click "Back up now" to try to make sure you have a good backup of your phone's apps and data. You can use this backup later to restore your phone after it has been repaired or replaced.
  5. If you don't see the iPhone icon in iTunes, your phone can't even backup, sorry.
  6. Contact Apple to have your phone repaired or replaced.

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