What to Do If Your iPhone or iPad Won’t Turn On

Get your iPhone or iPad working again! Troubleshoot for software bugs, charging issues, and hardware damage.

Is your iPhone or iPad not turning on? While this can be frustrating, it is usually not difficult to troubleshoot the issue and resolve the problem. Below, we'll walk through common solutions so that you can get your device working again whether you're experiencing a software glitch, charging issues, or have dropped your device.

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Common Issues: Why Is My iPad Not Turning On?

It can be stressful to find your iPhone or iPad does not turn on! The good news is that it is usually not difficult to narrow down the problem and get your device working again. For the most part, when your device won't turn on, the problem falls into one of these three categories: 

  • A software bug is causing problems and preventing your iPhone or iPad screen from waking. 
  • Your iPhone or iPad battery is dead because of a charging issue with your cable, charger, or outlet. 
  • Your device has a hardware issue, which is most often caused by drop damage or water damage. 

Below, we'll walk through each potential issue to help get your iPhone or iPad working again. If you're interested in learning more about how to care for your device to prevent common issues, I recommend checking out our free Tip of the Day

Common Fixes for iPad/iPhone Not Turning On

Step #1: If Your iPhone or iPad Has Water Damage

First things first: If you've dropped your iPhone/iPad in water and the screen won't wake, do not attempt to turn it on. Turning your iPhone or iPad back on after dropping it in liquid increases the chance of further damaging your device. Instead, follow the steps in this article covering what to do if you've dropped your device in water

Step #2: If Your iPad or iPhone Won’t Turn On, Restart Your Device

As long as your device hasn't been dropped in liquid, your first troubleshooting step should be to restart your iPhone or iPad. If from out of nowhere your screen suddenly died or refused to wake, you may have a software glitch causing problems with your device screen display. Because the steps to restart your device will differ slightly depending on your model, I recommend following the steps in this article covering how to restart your iPhone or iPad. This simple fix clears your phone's RAM and will most likely fix your iPhone or iPad screen not waking. 

Step #3: Perform a Force Restart

If the regular restart didn't work, it's time to try the force restart. If you're unfamiliar with the force restart function, this is just a different way of cutting the power on your iPhone or iPad. A force restart cuts the power from the phone's battery to the hardware, which allows us to initiate a restart on the hardware level. It's also important to note that while you might lose unsaved changes to files from a force restart, this is very different from a factory reset, which intentionally erases all of your data (so don't worry about losing your beloved photos). The steps for force restarting your device will differ slightly between generations. If you're unsure of how to do this, follow the steps in this article covering how to force restart your iPad or iPhone model

Step #4: Check for iPhone or iPad Charging Issues

It's possible that your device has died because of a charging issue with your cable, charger, or wall outlet. To double-check this, follow the steps in this article to troubleshoot any potential charging issues with your device. If it is a charging problem, sometimes the answer is as simple as cleaning the fine layers of dust off your iPhone or iPad's charging port or replacing a damaged charging cable to get it working again. 

Step #5: When All Else Fails, Contact Apple Support

If you've tried the solutions above, and your iPhone or iPad will not turn on, it may have a hardware failure. At this point, your best chance to get your device working is to locate the nearest Apple Store. Apple store employees can help determine what the underlying issue is with your iPad or iPhone. If you don't have an Apple Store nearby, you can also contact Apple Support for help and instructions.

We hope this article has helped you to resolve the issue with your iPhone or iPad not turning on. If there are any other solutions you've come across that are not listed here, we would love to hear about them! Please let us know in the comments.

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Author Details

Ashleigh Page's picture

Author Details

Ashleigh Page

Ashleigh Page is a Feature Writer for iPhone Life. With a background in computer science and creative writing, she loves blending aspects of the technical and creative. An avid technology enthusiast, she adores Apple products and keeping up with the latest innovations. When she’s not working, Ashleigh is often found crafting whimsical (and sometimes nonsensical) short stories, hiking, and playing sand volleyball.

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