Dealing with a black, unresponsive screen on your iPhone can be infuriating. But don’t panic – in most cases, the dreaded black screen of death can be fixed with some troubleshooting. Follow this guide to get your iPhone up and running again.
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What Causes the Black Screen of Death on iPhones?
The iPhone black screen of death is caused by either hardware damage or software issues. Let’s look at each cause:
Hardware Damage – The Most Common Culprit
Physical damage is the leading cause of the iPhone black screen. Dropping your phone or getting it wet can damage the:
- Display or screen
- Connectors between internal components
Once hardware is damaged, you’ll need a repair to resolve the black screen of death.
Software Issues – Easier to Fix Yourself
Sometimes software glitches cause the black screen:
- Buggy app updates
- Failed iOS updates
- Storage overload
- Other software malfunctions
Rebooting or restoring your iPhone often resolves these software issues causing the black screen.
Step-By-Step Guide to Fixing iPhone Black Screen
Ready to revive your iPhone from the black screen of death? Follow these troubleshooting steps:
1. Charge Your iPhone’s Battery
If the battery drained completely, your iPhone will appear to have a black screen. Plug it into a charger for at least 30 minutes before trying to turn it on. This simple fix works surprisingly often!
2. Force Restart Your iPhone
Force restarting reboots your iPhone, closing any apps that have crashed and caused the black screen.
To force restart:
- iPhone 8 or later – Quickly press Volume Up, Volume Down, then hold Side button
- iPhone 7/7+ – Hold Side and Volume Down buttons
- iPhone 6s or earlier – Hold Home and Power buttons
Keep holding the buttons until you see the Apple logo. This should fix any software glitches causing the black screen.
3. Update or Reinstall Problematic Apps
If a particular app launched right before the black screen appeared, updating or reinstalling it can fix app crashes. Force restart your iPhone first if needed.
4. Restore Your iPhone Using iTunes or Finder
Connecting your iPhone to a computer and restoring it can fix many iPhone black screen issues caused by software.
To restore your iPhone:
- Connect your iPhone to a computer via USB
- Open iTunes (PC) or Finder (Mac)
- Click “Restore” and follow the prompts to reinstall iOS
- Restore your data from a backup after finishing
5. Put Your iPhone in Recovery Mode
If restoring didn’t work, recovery mode resets your device and reinstalls the latest iOS version.
To enter recovery mode:
- Connect your iPhone to a computer
- Hold the right button combination for your model
- Select “Update” or “Restore” in iTunes/Finder
Recovery mode can fix stubborn black screen problems related to software.
6. Try DFU Mode for Persistent Issues
DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) mode is an alternate recovery method to fix deep system problems. Attempt this if other options failed.
To enter DFU mode:
- Connect iPhone to a computer
- Hold Power button for 3 seconds
- Hold Power + Volume Down for 10 seconds
- Release Power but keep holding Volume Down until iTunes prompts you
Then choose Update or Restore.
7. Seek Professional Repair for Hardware Damage
If you’ve tried everything, the black screen is likely hardware damage needing professional repair. Contact Apple Support to arrange service via mail or at an Apple Store.
Physical damage isn’t covered under Apple’s warranty, so repairs come with a cost. But it’s often worth it to revive your iPhone.
Back Up Your Data Before Troubleshooting
Before trying any troubleshooting steps, be sure to back up your iPhone data in case the black screen is permanent.
- Back up to iCloud – If you have iCloud Backup enabled, your data is already safely stored in the cloud.
- Back up in recovery mode – Connect your iPhone and select “Back Up” when prompted in iTunes or Finder.
- Use data recovery software – Programs like FoneDog can retrieve data from unresponsive iPhones.
- Contact a data recovery service – For valuable data, professional iOS data recovery services can often recover data from non-functioning devices.
Don’t Despair if You See the iPhone Black Screen
While certainly frustrating, the black screen of death is often repairable through software troubleshooting like force restarting, restoring your iPhone, and using recovery mode. But if you exhaust all options, seek professional repair for likely hardware damage. Just be sure to back up your data first! With some persistence and the right approach, you can typically fix the dreaded iPhone black screen.