Regardless of the device, nothing is more terrifying than an unresponsive, black screen. The infamous Black Screen of Death is a common problem for iPhone users, so if you encounter this issue, don’t panic. Here we have six tricks that can help you recover from a black screen on your iPhone.
1. Charge your battery
It may seem obvious, but it’s always worth checking that your battery hasn’t hit 0 percent. As devices age, the battery can start to degrade. This means that even if you recently charged your iPhone’s battery, it might have unexpectedly ran out of juice. There’s also a chance that a misbehaving or malicious app may be draining your battery.
It’s always worth plugging your iPhone into the nearest outlet and leaving it to charge for a while. If a lack of power is responsible for the black screen, then Apple’s “charging” icon should appear after a short period of time.
2. Reboot your iPhone
Whenever you encounter a technical problem with a device, it’s always worth switching it off, then switching it back on again.
Some users have also reported that their iPhones continue to function, even though their screens are black. For example, perhaps you can hear incoming notifications and calls, but the screen refuses to turn on. This typically indicates that your iPhone may be freezing or crashing – both of these problems may be resolved by a reboot.
While this is unlikely to resolve any major issues with your iPhone, it only takes a few seconds to hold down your phone’s “Sleep/Wake” button, so this is always worth a try.
3. Force your iPhone to restart
If a regular reboot doesn’t resolve the problem, you may want to escalate to a forced restart. This simulates removing the device’s battery, and should provide positive results – assuming that there’s no hardware damage.
To perform a forced restart:
1. Press your iPhone’s “Volume Up” button.
2. Press your iPhone’s “Volume Down” button.
3. Press and hold the “Power/Side” button until the Apple logo appears.
Unless your device’s hardware is damaged, this should trigger a successful forced restart.
4. Restore Factory Settings
If charging and rebooting aren’t enough to resolve your issue, you may need to restore your iPhone to its factory settings.
Restoring your iPhone will erase all the data from your device, so hopefully all your valuable content is already backed up to an online service, such as iCloud.
To perform a factory reset, connect your iPhone to your computer and then open iTunes. Once iTunes recognizes your phone, select “Summary” and then choose “Restore iPhone.”
iTunes will now return your phone to its original factory settings and then update it to the latest version of iOS.
5. Update or Restore in Recovery Mode
If restoring factory settings doesn’t resolve the issue, you can try forcing your iPhone into recovery mode. This is the mode that iPhone enters automatically whenever you’re installing a new version of iOS.
Forcing your phone into recovery mode can repair damage to your operating system. However, it can also result in data loss, so I’d only recommend attempting this step if you’ve already backed up all your important data (or you’re desperate to restore your iPhone!).
To force your iPhone into recovery mode, connect it to your computer and then open iTunes. The next steps will vary, depending on your model of iPhone:
- For iPhone 6S, iPhone 6, and earlier iOS devices, press the “Sleep/Wake” button and then the “Home” button for ten seconds. Keep holding these buttons until the screen prompts you to connect to iTunes.
- For iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, press and hold the “Sleep/Wake” and the “Volume Down” buttons for ten seconds. Keep holding these buttons until the screen prompts you to connect to iTunes.
- For iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and later iOS devices, press and quickly let go of the “Volume Up” button. Next, press and quickly let go of the “Volume Down” button. Finally, press and hold the “Sleep/Wake” button for ten seconds. Keep holding this button until your screen prompts you to connect to iTunes.
When prompted, choose “Update” from the pop-up that appears. iTunes will now attempt to reinstall iOS without deleting your data. Note that if you select “Restore,” iTunes will wipe your phone and restore its factory settings.
6. Contact support
If you’ve attempted all the above fixes and are still experiencing the Black Screen of Death, the issue may be hardware-related. In this scenario, we recommend calling in the professionals.
It’s also worth checking your contract if you suspect there’s a chance your device may still be under warranty.
It can be incredibly stressful when your iPhone suddenly stops working. Make use of the above suggestions to fix the black screen issues for your iPhone. If you have a FaceID issue instead, we have solutions to fix that, too.