Water Damaged iPhone
Water Damaged iPhone

Fix a Water-Damaged iPhone That Won’t Turn On

Dealing with a water-damaged iPhone can be stressful, especially when it won’t turn on. Here’s a step-by-step guide to potentially revive your device:

  1. Immediate Action:
    • Remove your iPhone from the liquid immediately. The quicker you get it out, the better the chances of preventing serious damage​​.
  2. Turn Off Your iPhone:
    • Switch off your iPhone immediately to prevent any short circuits.
  3. Remove SIM and SD Card:
    • Eject the SIM card and any SD card to prevent water from damaging these components.
  4. Dry Your iPhone:
    • Gently tap your iPhone against your hand with the connector facing down to remove excess liquid. Leave it in a dry area with good airflow for at least 30 minutes before attempting to charge it or connect any accessories​​.
    • Avoid using uncooked rice for drying, as it might not be as effective as air drying and could introduce more debris into the device​​.
  5. Wait Before Turning On:
    • It’s advisable to wait longer before turning the iPhone back on, ideally up to three days, to ensure it’s thoroughly dry​​.
  6. Thorough Cleaning (Optional and Risky):
    • For a more thorough approach, you could disassemble the iPhone using electronics screwdrivers, tweezers, and a repair tool kit. Disconnect the battery and remove the logic board. This step is recommended only for those who are experienced with electronic repairs or are willing to risk further damage​​.
  7. Charge and Attempt to Turn On:
    • After ensuring the iPhone is dry, try charging it with a Lightning or USB-C cable. If the phone still doesn’t turn on, consider the following steps​​.
  8. Professional Repair:
    • If the above steps don’t work, it’s best to seek professional help. A technician can assess the damage more accurately and perform necessary repairs.

Preventing Future Water Damage:

  • Use a waterproof case to protect against spills and submersion.
  • Avoid using your iPhone near water sources, including in the rain.
  • Be cautious when cleaning; avoid using liquids.


Water damage can be challenging, but by following these steps, you might be able to save your iPhone. If the device still doesn’t turn on, professional repair services may be necessary.


  1. Can an iPhone survive water damage?
    • It depends on the severity of the damage and how quickly you respond. Immediate action and proper drying can sometimes save a water-damaged iPhone.
  2. Should I use rice to dry my iPhone?
    • It’s better to avoid rice. Air drying in a well-ventilated area is more effective and poses less risk of introducing debris into the device​​.
  3. What are the signs of water damage in an iPhone?
    • Common signs include the iPhone not turning on, malfunctioning screen, distorted audio, and the appearance of a liquid-detection alert.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at GadgetMates.com.  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at ericchan@gadgetmates.com if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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