Tech Tips

How to fix a phone that won’t turn on

Our phones help us stay connected, so when they stop working (or worse, won’t turn on), there’s a lot we can’t do—from texting and calling to surfing the web and watching videos on apps like TikTok® and Instagram®.

Fortunately, Asurion Experts come across issues like this every day. They help millions of customers get the most out of their favorite tech, whether it’s a broken Xbox Series X™ or a swollen laptop battery. If your phone hasn’t been turning on like it should, check out their tips for getting your device working again (so you can get back to enjoying that video of Adam Sandler leaving IHOP®).

Why won’t my phone turn on?

There are several possible reasons why your phone won’t turn on, from battery failure to software issues. But most times you can narrow it down to a few common problems, including:

  • A drained battery. Your phone may be unresponsive because the battery is dead. Find out ways to minimize battery drain
  • Water or physical damage. Dropped your phone in the sink recently? Even a small amount of liquid can do major damage if it gets inside your device. Dropping your phone on a hard surface can also do some internal damage, even if there aren’t noticeable cracks or breaks.
  • A software glitch. When an iPhone won’t turn on or the screen is black, it could be a software issue. The same goes for Android devices. Certain apps and programs occasionally prevent your phone from working properly, especially if it crashes during a software or system update.

What to do if your phone won’t turn on

If you’re having issues with an unresponsive phone, don’t panic. There are several ways to get it back up and running without going to extremes (like buying a new device). Here’s how to fix a phone that won’t turn on, according to our experts:

1. Restart the phone.

The problem could be that your phone is frozen. Try restarting it the normal way, and if that doesn’t work, you may have to force restart your device.

For an iPhone 11 that won’t turn on, as well as other new iPhone models, follow these steps:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button, then the Volume Down button.
  2. Press and hold the Power button until your device restarts.

Need to restart a Google Pixel® that won’t turn on or another Android phone that isn’t working? Just perform a power cycle. The steps are simple:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for several seconds. For some models, like a Samsung® phone, you may also have to hold the Volume Down button at the same time.
  2. Wait until your screen turns on to release the buttons.

2. Charge the battery.

Plugging in your phone for 15–25 minutes may do the trick. Connect your device to a charger and give it some juice. If the battery symbol appears on the screen, be sure your phone gains enough power before you try turning it on. Then, check out our tips on how to improve your phone’s battery life.

What if my phone died and won’t turn on or charge?

If you’ve tried charging your phone and it won’t turn on, there may be dust and dirt clogging the charging port or a problem with the USB or lightning cable. Check out our guide for how to clean your phone’s charging port if you need more help.

3. Enable Safe Mode.

Using safe mode will disable third-party apps that may be causing an issue for your phone and hopefully allow it to turn on.

How to enter Safe Mode on your Android:

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. When the Power options appear, press and hold Power off.
  3. Tap Safe Mode or OK to reboot the phone.
  4. To exit Safe Mode, simply restart the device.

How to put your iPhone in safe mode:

  1. Turn your iPhone completely off.
  2. Turn the device back on by holding down the Power button.
  3. Once your device lights up, hold down the Volume down button until Apple logo appears.
  4. When your iPhone boots, it will be operating in safe mode.

4. Check for damage.

Sometimes cracks, breaks, and corrosion on your phone aren’t visible right away. Try shining a light on the screen and removing your phone case to check for any physical damage. You can also try calling your device to see if it vibrates or rings. Water damage? Here’s 8 ways to dry your phone fast.

5. Perform a factory reset.

When your Android or iPhone won’t power on, restoring your device to its factory settings may be your only option. But Asurion Experts only recommend this as a last resort, after you’ve tried everything else.

If you can’t perform a factory reset on your phone because of a frozen or black screen, connect it to a computer and use a program like iTunes® to enter Recovery Mode. For Samsung Galaxy S8 and newer devices, you can reset your phone with its Power and Volume buttons.

Tried everything and your phone still isn’t turning on? Don’t go out and buy an iPhone 12 Pro just yet. Get some in-person help at the nearest uBreakiFix by Asurion store—they can repair your broken phone fast.

Protect your phone

For more than 25 years, Asurion has helped 300 million customers protect, connect, and enjoy the tech they love most. And smartphones are no exception. Your life is on your device, make sure it’s protected. Learn more about Asurion phone insurance plans today.

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