How to fix an Apple iPhone that won’t turn on [Troubleshooting Guide]

While it’s so bizarre to hear of a new powerful smartphone won’t turn after a few weeks or months, it’s an inevitable occurrence among electronic devices and therefore it happens. So, don’t be surprised if one day you will just find out that your new iPhone isn’t turning on even if you’re certain that its battery isn’t yet drained completely. But such flaws are rectifiable for as long hardware damage isn’t present on the phone. The procedures I demonstrate below are potential solutions to a pertinent issue on an iPhone that won’t turn on. If you own one of Apple’s new iPhones and for some reason it refuses to turn on even when it has ample of power, then this post is for you.

Why won’t your iPhone turn on?

If it’s not due to its battery that’s running out completely, the underlying cause of the problem is either from within the software or hardware components. In old devices, power issues are typically attributed to hardware damage mostly from wear and tear. But for new iPhones that won’t turn on, it could be that the battery is empty or the screen is just stuck on black screen. In the case where the battery is empty, all you have to do is to let your iPhone charge for several minutes to accumulate enough power to boot up. But if it’s stuck on black screen, you need to try some means to get it back up into its normal state. This is when troubleshooting is needed.

First solution: Charge your iPhone.

Even if you’re certain that your iPhone still had enough power before it shuts down, it is still imperative to rule out battery draining from the underlying causes. Hence, connect your iPhone to its charger and then let it charge for at least 30 minutes. This should be enough time for the device to accumulate enough juice to power up again, in case something in it is causing rapid battery drain. Be sure to use the original charger so that the desired power output is obtained. After the elapse time, try and see if your iPhone turns on. If it does, then you’ve partially resolved the issue. “Partially-resolved” in the sense that you still need to eliminate other factors that triggered the phone to shutdown abruptly. And this is when performing some iPhone battery draining tweaks are necessary. You can check and review the battery usage details on your iPhone’s battery settings to determine which from your apps and services is draining much power than usual. Once you’ve identified the culprit, do some necessary measures to prevent it from consuming much of your iPhone power.

Second solution: Force restart your iPhone.

If your iPhone still has battery but then it just powered down and won’t turn on, chances are that it’s still turned on but stuck on black screen. So it appears to you that your device isn’t turning on. This usually happens when a system file gets corrupted or ruined by some malwares. Rogue apps can also cause the same symptom to occur. Apparently, these problems are attributed to the software and thus can potentially be remedied by some procedures. The simplest yet very effective solution to stuck issues in iOS devices, particularly for an iPhone that’s stuck on black screen is the so-called forced restart. This is an alternative method to restart/soft reset a stuck or unresponsive iPhone. It abruptly kills all erratic apps and instantly fixes corrupt services that triggered the iPhone system to crash. In new iPhones, a forced restart is carried out this way:

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button.
  2. Then press and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Side button and then release it when the Apple logo appears.

These steps are applicable to iPhone 8 and later models. In early iPhones like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, here’s how a forced restart is done:

  • Press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power (Sleep/Wake) button simultaneously and then release both buttons with the Apple logo appears.

Earlier versions of iPhones like the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 6, SE and 5s are forced restart with these procedures:

  • Press and hold both the Power (Sleep/Wake) button and the Home button for a few seconds and then release both buttons when the Apple logo is displayed on the screen.

All the above procedures do not affect any saved information in the internal memory of your phone, hence none of your saved files and personal information will be deleted afterwards. That said, creating backups won’t be needed. After this procedure and your iPhone still won’t turn on, then move on to the next procedure. 

Third solution: Plug your iPhone into a computer.

Another thing you can try if your iPhone still refuses to power on is to use iTunes on a computer. This means that you will need to connect your iPhone to the computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable. Once it’s connected, open iTunes on the computer. Normally after a few seconds, iTunes should be able to recognize and sync with your iPhone. If that did not happen, close any computer programs you’ve left opened or running in the background or disable any security software like antivirus and firewall on your computer. Then retry syncing your device. If iTunes is able to sync with your iPhone, force it to restart but this time let it enter recovery mode so you can use iTunes to repair any corrupt system files that caused the boot-up system to fail. There are different ways to put an iPhone in recovery mode, depending on which iPhone variant you have.

If you’ve got an iPhone 8 or later variant, here’s how to enter in recovery mode:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Side button until the Recovery Mode screen appears.

To enter recovery mode in earlier iPhones like the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, refer to these steps:

  • Press and hold the Side/Power button and Volume Down button simultaneously and then release both buttons when the Recovery Mode screen shows up.

For iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and earlier models, you can enter recovery mode with these steps:

  • Press and hold both the Home button and Top/Power buttons simultaneously and then release both buttons when the Recovery Mode screen appears.

Note: Do not release the Side/Power button if you see the Apple logo because you still have to wait until the device enters recovery mode.

Once you have successfully entered recovery mode, you can use the iTunes commands and controls to repair and restore iOS. Performing a recovery mode restore is often needed when the iPhone gets stuck and or couldn’t boot up due to system crash. While in recovery mode, you can restore your iPhone from a previous iOS backup or update the system to the latest version.

ALSO READ: How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max that’s stuck on portrait view

Repair and restore your iPhone in iTunes via DFU mode

If putting your iPhone in recovery mode doesn’t solve the problem, then you may opt to troubleshoot further and try performing a DFU mode restore. DFU or Device Firmware Update mode is a the deepest type of system restore done on an iPhone. It is usually used as the very last resort when dealing with major system issues that could not be resolved by basic troubleshooting procedures. Your iPhone might have succumbed to fatal system errors like when the iOS gets corrupted and so it’s no longer able to carry out its normal boot-up sequence. Should you wish to give it a try, refer to these steps to put your iPhone in DFU mode and then repair/restore iOS through iTunes.

For iPhone 6s, SE and earlier models, entering DFU mode is done with these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the Apple-supplied USB cable/Lightning cable.
  2. When it’s connected, hold down both the Home button and Sleep/Wake button for about 8 seconds.
  3. After the elapse time, release the Sleep/Wake button but keep holding down the Home button until the screen is completely black.

If you see the Apple logo, it means that you’ve held down the Sleep/Wake button for too long and so you’ll have to start all over from the very beginning.

If you see any prompts like Connect iPhone to iTunes or something similar, you will also need to start from the very beginning because your phone has failed to enter DFU mode. But if your iPhone screen remains black after releasing the Sleep/Wake button, it means that it has successfully entered DFU mode and that it’s all se for restore. Then, iTunes will prompt a message saying that an iPhone was detected in recovery mode. Simply follow the onscreen instructions to restore your iPhone.

To enter DFU mode in iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer via USB cable.
  2. While the device is connected, hold down both the Side button and Volume Down button simultaneously for 8 seconds.
  3. After the elapsed time, release the Side button but keep holding down the Volume Down button.

If you’ve held the Side button for too long, you will be prompted with the Apple logo instead. Should that happens, then you will need to start all over.

But if the screen remains black, your iPhone has successfully entered DFU mode and is all set for restore in iTunes.

In iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X and later models, follow these steps to enter DFU mode:

  1. Connect the phone to the computer using the supplied USB cable.
  2. While the device is connected, press and release the Volume Up button.
  3. Then quick-press and release the Volume Down button.
  4. Press and hold down the Side button until the screen turns black then hold down both the Side button and Volume Down button for 5 seconds.
  5. After 5 seconds, release the Side button but keep holding down the Volume Down button until nothing is displayed on the screen.

If you see any logo, it means that you’ve held the button for too long and thus you’ll have to start from the very beginning. Otherwise, you’ve successfully entered DFU mode.

Once you’ve entered DFU mode, you can use iTunes to repair major firmware issues and restore your iPhone from a previous iOS backup. After performing a DFU mode restore, exit your device and then allow your apps to recalibrate.

Is your iPhone still won’t turn on?

If your iPhone still won’t turn on after performing the aforementioned solutions, then there might be something else that needs to be fixed other than the software. At this point, you may have to consider taking a trip to the nearest Apple service center in your place and have it scrutinized by an authorized technician instead. There’s a higher chance that your device has obtained some sort of physical or liquid damage, which therefore requires service. For further recommendations, contact your service provider/carrier or better yet report the problem straight to Apple Support for further assistance.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!