Phone Screen Black after drop
Phone Screen Black after drop

What to do when Your Phone Screen Goes Black

Ever been in that heart-stopping moment when your phone takes a nasty drop, only to pick it up and find a pitch-black screen staring back? Fear not! This guide sheds light (pun intended) on the issue and offers actionable steps you can take. We can repair an iPhone showing a black screen and nothing else. Known popularly as the “Black Screen of Death,” this issue can be a serious problem for many iPhone users. In this guide, we’ll look at what causes the black screen and what steps we can take to bring your iPhone back to life.

Understanding the Issue

Causes for Black Screens

Most of us assume the worst when we drop our phones. However, it isn’t always a case of catastrophic failure. It’s going to be a software or hardware issue:

Software Issues

  • Application Incompatibilities: Some apps may not be fully compatible with specific iPhone versions or iOS updates, causing display glitches.
  • System Failures: Occurrences like unsuccessful firmware updates or the onset of certain iOS bugs can also trigger the black screen issue.

Hardware Issues

  • Impact and Connectivity Issues: Often, the intricate components linking the screen to the motherboard can become damaged, especially due to impacts or falls. Such damage can lead to screen blackout or even prevent the iPhone from turning on.
  • Battery and Power Complications: As the heart of your iPhone, the battery’s health is crucial. Issues such as a drained battery or malfunctioning power components can lead to the screen going dark.
  • Loose internal connections
  • Faulty display components

The Science Behind the Screen

Phones operate like a symphony of various components, and the screen is the conductor. When one part falters, it can affect the entire show. The complex layers of an LCD or OLED screen are delicate. Think of it as the fragile butterfly wing of your phone – beautiful, essential, but easily disrupted.

How To Troubleshoot A Black Screen

First Steps To Take

  1. Stay Calm: It’s easy to panic, but remember, phones are resilient.
  2. Check for Obvious External Damage: Before diving into potential solutions, ensure there’s no visible damage. If there’s any physical damage to the screen or frame that could be a sign that the impact causes this.
  3. Try to Call Your Phone: If it rings, there’s hope! The phone is on, but the display is the issue. Sometimes getting a call may also jump-start your phone back to working order.

What Not to Do

Ever heard the saying, “Sometimes, doing nothing is the best action”? This applies here. Avoid:

  • Forcefully pressing the screen
  • Dismantling the phone if you’re not a pro
  • Immediately assuming it’s beyond repair

Step-By-Step Fixes for the Black Screen Issues

Step 1: The Brightness Check

Sounds silly, right? But sometimes, we inadvertently reduce screen brightness to the lowest setting. Swipe up, down, or whichever way accesses your control center, and adjust the brightness if necessary.

Step 2. See If An App Is Causing Issues

  • Check For Frozen Apps: See if you can force close and/or uninstall any apps that could be causing an issue. If your phone recently updated or an app recently updated the likelihood of this being the cause goes up..
  • Swipe Away/Close All Apps: Attempt to close all of your apps to see if that fixes the issue. If after closing an app the problem goes away, uninstall that app.
  • Turn your phone off and on to see if that works:
    Method 1: iPhone with Face ID: Simultaneously press and hold the side button and either volume button until the sliders appear, then drag the Power Off slider.
    Method 2: iPhone with the Home button: Press and hold the side button, then drag the slider.
    Method 3: All models: Go to Settings  > General > Shut Down, then drag the slider.

Step 3. Check For A Dead Battery

Your battery could need a charge or may simply be dead. Try ruling it out by:

  • Charging your iPhone for 15-30 minutes (use the max wattage your phone can support).
  • Evaluating the charging components for any visible damage.
  • Consider a battery replacement if charging doesn’t help.
  • Have your phone plugged in while checking to see if you can get the screen to turn on

Step 4: Force Restart (Hard Reset)

Force restarting can be a quick fix for software glitches:

  1. Press and quickly release the volume up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the volume down button.
  3. Press and hold the side button.
  4. When the Apple logo appears, release the side button.

Or view the guide on how to force restart an iPhone here.

Step 5: iTunes Recovery

If the issue still hasn’t gone away attempt an iTunse Recovery:

  1. Connect your device to your computer.You can connect your device using a USB or USB-C cable or a Wi-Fi connection.
  2. In the iTunes app on your PC, click the Device button near the top left of the iTunes window.
  3. Click Summary.
  4. Click Restore, then follow the onscreen instructions.

Step 6: DFU (Device Firmware Update) Restoration

DFU restoration is an advanced troubleshooting procedure. Use only with caution:

  1. Connect to a computer with a USB cable
  2. Quick-press the Volume Up button
  3. Quick-press the Volume Down button
  4. Hold down the Side button until the screen goes black, then hold down both the Side button and Volume Down button.
  5. After 5 seconds, release the Side button while continuing to hold down the Volume Down button.
    • If the Apple logo appears, the Side button was held down for too long.
  6. Nothing will be displayed on the screen when the device is in DFU mode. If open, iTunes will alert you that a device was detected in recovery mode.
    • If your device shows a screen telling you to connect the device to iTunes, retry these steps.

Step 7: Connect to an External Display

If you have the capability (most people won’t), connect your phone to an external display. This can help determine if the issue lies with the display or somewhere else.

Step 8: Get Professional Help

When DIY remedies fall short, it’s time to trust the experts. Remember, a black screen doesn’t always mean a costly fix. Sometimes, it’s a minor issue that professionals can quickly address. So after going through all the steps above, take your phone in to a professional iPhone Repair shop and have them look at it. It could very well be the screen has gone bad at this point and would need to be replaced.

If you’re in Nevada check out our locations and we’ll be glad to diagnose your phone for you.

Warranties and Insurance Claims

If your device is under warranty or you have phone insurance, now’s the time to use it. But, always check the terms. Sometimes, accidental drops aren’t covered.

Protective Measures for Phones

  • Invest in a quality case
  • Use screen protectors
  • Avoid placing the phone in precarious positions
  • Regular Maintenance Checks – Just like you’d get a car serviced, periodic check-ups for your phone can prevent significant issues down the line.


Dropping your phone and facing a black screen can be a really frustrating experience. However, understanding the potential causes and solutions empowers you to take the right steps. Whether it’s a quick fix or seeking professional help, remember that technology, like life, often has a solution. All we need is a little patience and know-how.

iPhone’s Black Screen of Death will make you nervous but isn’t always the worst thing in the world. Go over each step and see if you can get your phone screen working again.


  1. What causes a phone screen to go black but still work?
    • A variety of issues can cause this, from software glitches to hardware malfunctions due to the impact of the drop.
  2. Can a black screen be fixed without professional help?
    • Sometimes, yes. Solutions like soft resets or adjusting the brightness can sometimes resolve the issue.
  3. How much does it typically cost to fix a black screen?
    • It varies based on the issue and the phone model. Minor fixes may be affordable, but screen replacements can be pricier. See our pricelist for current pricing.
  4. Is a phone with a black screen useless?
    • Not necessarily. The phone may still operate normally, with just the display affected.
  5. How can I prevent my phone from getting a black screen in the future?
    • Protective measures like quality cases, screen protectors, and avoiding risky behaviors can reduce the chances of such issues.

Resolving iPhone’s Black Screen of Death: A


Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at  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 if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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