How to Fix an iPhone That Won't Turn On or is Frozen
Dealing with an iPhone that won't power on or is stuck on the Apple logo can be frustrating. But don't worry - in most cases, it's an issue that can be fixed with some basic troubleshooting steps. This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the potential fixes to try when your iPhone won't turn on, has a black or frozen screen, or is caught in a reboot loop.
If your iPhone stopped working because it was damaged by water, or was badly dropped, you may want to try our suggestions first anyway; however, if your iPhone is damaged, you may have to take it to an iPhone repair service center.
Here we explain the reasons and how to fix the iPhone won’t turn on:
What to Do When Your iPhone Won't Turn On
When your iPhone refuses to power on or boot up, there are a few preliminary steps you should try first before proceeding to more advanced troubleshooting:
Check the Basics
Ensure the iPhone is charged - try plugging it into a wall charger for at least 30 minutes. The battery may be completely depleted.
Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for at least 10 seconds to force a hard reset.
Make sure the Sleep/Wake button is not broken or stuck. Test it by plugging the iPhone into iTunes on a computer and seeing if a connection is made.
Clean the Lightning or 30-pin dock connector at the bottom of the iPhone with a toothpick to remove any debris.
Try a Different Charger and Cable
Use the charger that came with your iPhone, if possible, for optimal charging capability.
Test different Lightning or 30-pin cables, including the original Apple cable. Faulty third-party cables can prevent charging and data transfer.
Try charging from a wall outlet rather than a computer USB port, which provides less power.
Hard Reset the iPhone
If the iPhone still won't turn on, perform a hard reset:
For iPhone 8 or earlier - Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons until you see the Apple logo.
For iPhone X or later - Press and quickly release the Volume Up button, press and quickly release the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.
Put the iPhone in Recovery Mode
If a hard reset doesn't work, try putting the iPhone into Recovery Mode:
Connect the iPhone to a computer via a USB cable.
On an iPhone 7 or earlier, hold down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons.
On an iPhone 8 or later, press and release the Volume Up button, press and release the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Side button.
Keep holding the buttons until you see the Connect to iTunes screen.
This will allow you to restore the iPhone through iTunes on your computer.
Troubleshooting an iPhone With Black or Frozen Screen
If your iPhone is powered on but has a black, white or frozen screen, don't panic. Here are some steps to resolve the issue:
Hard Reset the iPhone
Perform a hard reset as outlined above. This will force your iPhone to reboot and hopefully resolve any software glitches causing the black or frozen screen.
Check for Physical Damage
Examine your iPhone for any external damage, cracks or liquid exposure. Damage to the display, connectors, or logic board can cause black screen issues. You may need to take it to Apple or a repair shop.
Force Restart Stuck iPhone
If your iPhone is frozen on a screen, force restart it by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons together for 10+ seconds until the Apple logo appears.
Update or Restore iPhone Software
A black or frozen screen could result from a software bug or glitch. Update to the latest iOS version through iTunes, or do a full restore to factory settings using iTunes or iCloud.
Hardware Diagnosis with Apple Support
For persistent black or frozen screen issues, contact Apple support online or schedule an appointment at a Genius Bar. They can run diagnostics to determine if the problem is hardware-related and out of warranty repairs.
Third-Party Repair Options
What To Do If Your iPhone is Stuck on Apple Logo
Seeing the Apple logo during startup is normal, but if your iPhone gets stuck displaying the logo and won't proceed to the home screen, there are a few fixes:
Force restart your iPhone by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for at least 10 seconds until the Apple logo goes away and reappears. This will interrupt the startup process and hopefully get past any glitches.
Put iPhone in Recovery Mode
If a hard reset doesn't work, put the iPhone in Recovery Mode to restore it through iTunes:
Connect iPhone to computer via USB and launch iTunes
Press and hold Sleep/Wake + Home (iPhone 7 or earlier) or Volume Up, Volume Down, then Side button (iPhone 8 or later)
Keep holding the buttons until you see the Connect to iTunes screen
In iTunes, choose to Restore iPhone - this will reinstall the latest iOS software version
Restore iPhone Using DFU Mode
For serious software crashes, Recovery Mode may not work. Use DFU (Device Firmware Update) Mode instead:
Connect iPhone to computer via USB while powered off
Press and hold Home + Sleep/Wake (iPhone 7 or earlier) or Volume Down + Side button (iPhone 8 or later) for 10 seconds
Release Sleep/Wake, but keep holding the Home/Side button until iTunes shows the iPhone in Recovery mode
Restore iOS software through iTunes
Reset iPhone Settings
Resetting all settings can resolve software issues without erasing data. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. You may need to reconfigure some settings afterward.
Restore iPhone Using iCloud
If iTunes doesn’t work, you can erase and restore your iPhone using iCloud instead. Go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Erase All Content and Settings. Just make sure you have a recent iCloud backup.
How to Fix an iPhone Boot Loop
A boot loop is when your iPhone gets stuck in an endless cycle of booting up, displaying the Apple logo, then shutting down and restarting again. Here's how to break the loop:
Hard Reset iPhone
Force restart your iPhone by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for 10+ seconds until the Apple logo reappears. This interrupts the boot process.
Boot iPhone in Safe Mode
Restart your iPhone, then immediately press and hold the Volume Down button once you see the Apple logo. This will load a minimal version of iOS with only essential apps and services. If the boot loop stops in Safe Mode, it indicates a problem app.
Disable the Problem App or Run Cleanup
If you know which recently installed app triggered the boot loop, delete it in Safe Mode. You can also use Cleaner tools to disable startup apps and clear caches. Just be careful not to delete vital files.
Reset Network Settings
Go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Reset Network Settings. This will wipe all WiFi passwords and network configs, which could be causing conflicts during boot.
Restore Through iTunes or iCloud
Use Recovery Mode and iTunes or erase iPhone contents directly from iCloud to restore your device. This wipes the OS and starts fresh. You'll have to reconfigure settings afterward.
iPhone Hardware Diagnosis
For persistent boot loops, have Apple or a repair shop run diagnostics. There may be an underlying hardware issue with the logic board, connectors or chips that needs professional repair.
Soft Reset vs Hard Reset - When to Use Each Method
Resetting your iPhone is one of the first troubleshooting steps for any major problem. Here's an overview of the soft and hard reset methods and when to use each:
Soft Reset (Standard Restart)
Hold the Sleep/Wake button until the Slide to Power Off appears. Slide to turn off the iPhone.
After the iPhone shuts down, hold Sleep/Wake again to turn it back on.
Use for freezing issues or minor software glitches. Does a normal restart.
Hard Reset (Forced Reboot)
Hold the Sleep/Wake + Home buttons together for 10+ seconds until the Apple logo appears.
Interrupts entire system, force quits apps. Used for major crashes.
When to Soft Reset
Apps freeze or become unresponsive
Minor performance issues like lagging
Touchscreen not responsive
Normal restart is required after changes
When to Hard Reset
Instead of a soft reset, do a hard reset when the iPhone experiences the following:
Total freezing with screen unresponsive
Stuck on the Apple logo during the reboot
Major software problems
Black screen of death
The recovery mode not working
Hard reset is the more robust reboot option for severe OS issues. But avoid it if the iPhone is already booting up normally.
Resolving iPhone Battery Issues When Phone Won't Turn On
Battery problems are a common cause of iPhones failing to power on. Try these tips to troubleshoot battery-related no-power issues:
Charge for Extended Time
Fully charge the iPhone for at least an hour using a wall adapter. Low power mode charging from laptop USB ports takes longer.
Try Different Chargers/Cables
Test with original Apple charging equipment; third-party accessories may be faulty. Inspect cables for damage—clean charger port for debris.
Reset Charging System
Hard reset while iPhone is plugged into power - this recalibrates charging mechanisms.
Update iOS Version
Install the newest iOS update, which may contain battery management fixes. Back up data first.
If an iPhone battery is damaged/defective, a replacement is required. Schedule a cheap battery swap at Apple Store or third-party repair.
Use in Warm Environment
Cold weather reduces battery performance. Charge and use iPhone in room temperature environment.
Disable Background Apps
Closed apps still using background resources can drain the battery. Manually force quit all apps not in use or do a hard reset.
Check Battery Health
Go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health. If the Maximum Capacity reads lower than 80%, the battery needs replacement.
Factory Reset iPhone
Wipe and restore the iPhone through iTunes or iCloud. This will rule out any software bugs draining power. Backup data first.
With some basic troubleshooting, you should be able to determine whether iPhone battery issues are preventing startup and take steps to resolve the problem.
How to Restore an iPhone Using iTunes on a Computer
Restoring your iPhone using iTunes on a desktop or laptop is an effective solution when your device won't start up properly. Here are the steps:
1. Install iTunes
Download and install the latest version of iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC from the official Apple website—close other programs before running iTunes.
2. Connect iPhone to Computer
Use the USB cable that came with your iPhone to connect it directly to your computer's USB port. Avoid USB hubs.
3. Put iPhone in Recovery Mode
Press and hold the Home + Sleep/Wake buttons together until you see the Connect to iTunes screen. This initiates the recovery process.
4. Select Restore iPhone option
In iTunes on your computer, you will get a prompt saying there's a problem with your iPhone and it needs to be updated or restored. Choose the Restore option.
5. Download iOS Software
iTunes will automatically begin downloading the latest iOS software onto your computer to reinstall it on your iPhone.
6. Restore iPhone System Software
Once the iOS download completes, iTunes will automatically wipe your iPhone and reinstall the iOS, restoring it to factory settings. Wait for this to finish.
7. Set Up the iPhone as New or Restore the Backup
Finally, go through the initial iPhone setup prompts on your device, either setting it up as new or using an iTunes or iCloud backup to restore your data and settings.
With these straightforward steps, you'll have your iPhone restored and working again through iTunes Restore. Just be sure to back up your data first.
Pros and Cons of Restoring iPhone Through iTunes vs iCloud
When your iPhone is having major software issues, you have two main options to restore it - using iTunes on a computer or directly through iCloud. Here are some pros and cons of each method:
Restoring iPhone Through iTunes
More reliable for solving serious system errors
Lets you rollback/restore to older iOS versions
Faster restore process
Integrates with the latest iOS update
Backs up data locally to a computer
Need access to desktop/laptop with iTunes
A wired connection is less convenient
iTunes can have its software issues
Restoring iPhone Through iCloud
Wireless erase and restore process
Easy to perform remotely
Stores backup data in the cloud
Automatically downloads the latest iOS version
Slower than wired iTunes restore
Need current iCloud backup to retrieve data
iOS version depends on iCloud backup
Limited storage for backups
Requires internet connection
For major system errors, iTunes restore is typically more robust and efficient. But wireless iCloud restore offers convenience if computer access is limited.
Additional Troubleshooting Tips for iPhone Not Turning On
Beyond the core troubleshooting steps outlined above, there are a few additional things you can try if your iPhone still refuses to power on normally:
For water damage, open the iPhone and soak the logic board in 91% isopropyl alcohol, then let dry for 1 week before restoring.
Try charging for 1 hour with the iPhone switched off, then hard reset to boot up.
Check if the iPhone makes noises or vibrates when pressing buttons - this indicates the hardware is functioning.
Remove any protective case and reset the iPhone without a case - the case may interfere.
Try charging your iPhone using a different wall outlet in another location.
Check if the iPhone gets warm when charging - warmth means the battery takes charge.
Backup data through iCloud before troubleshooting and erase all content after fixing for fresh software setup.
Schedule a Genius Bar appointment for advanced hardware diagnostics if all else fails. Out-of-warranty repairs may be needed.
With some determined troubleshooting using both software and hardware-based solutions, you should hopefully be able to resurrect your iPhone in most situations where it's refusing to turn on or boot up correctly.
Key Takeaways and Preventative Measures
Getting an iPhone working again after it fails to power on can require some trial and error. But using a combination of hard resets, recovery mode restores, software updates, battery maintenance, and hardware examinations will help identify and fix the underlying problem.
Some tips to avoid these startup issues in the future:
Always keep the iPhone charged and avoid letting the battery drain completely.
Install iOS updates promptly to fix bugs and performance issues.
Avoid exposing the iPhone to excess heat, cold, or moisture.
Use sturdy cases and screen protectors to prevent physical damage.
Manage storage wisely and offload unused apps, photos, and media.
Back up data regularly through iTunes and iCloud for easy restores after troubleshooting.
Have the iPhone serviced annually or if hardware problems arise.
With proper everyday usage habits and preventative care, you can avoid situations where your iPhone won't power on or boot up correctly. But if the issue does strike, run through the troubleshooting checklist outlined here. Just only attempt complex repairs yourself if you're an experienced technician. With time and patience, you'll likely have your iPhone up and running again.
Reviving Your iPhone: A Lifeline for Phones That Won't Power On
When your iPhone refuses to turn on, it can feel like you're cut off from your world. This frustrating experience, however, is not uncommon and can often be resolved with a few troubleshooting steps. Whether your iPhone is unresponsive, won't charge, or remains black, there's a spectrum of solutions that can bring it back to life.
Firstly, if your iPhone won't turn on or charge, it's essential to check the basics. Ensure that your charging cable and power adapter are working correctly. Sometimes, the simplest solution is the right one, and a different power source or cable can make all the difference.
For iPhones that won't start or have a screen that won't turn on, a forced restart is often the go-to solution. This process can resolve issues caused by minor software glitches or a system crash. It's a safe and quick procedure that can miraculously restore your device's functionality without any data loss.
In cases where your iPhone won't turn on after water exposure, immediate action is critical. Turn off your device, if possible, and refrain from plugging it in. While newer iPhone models have improved water resistance, they're not invulnerable to water damage, which can cause long-term issues if not addressed promptly.
If you've tried these steps and your iPhone still won't power on, or if it won't turn on after an update, it may be time to seek professional iPhone help. iFixScreens offers expert service for iPhones with a range of issues, from battery problems to more complex hardware faults.
Remember, while it's distressing when your iPhone won't turn on, there's often a solution at hand. With the right approach, you can overcome this hurdle and reconnect with your digital life.
If you're experiencing any of these issues, don't hesitate to visit iFixScreens for professional iPhone repair services that can help bring your iPhone back to life.