Can iPhone black screen of death be fixed?

The dreaded black screen of death is one of the most common issues that can affect iPhones. When your iPhone displays only a black screen after being turned on, it likely indicates a serious software or hardware problem. However, there are several potential fixes you can try at home before taking your device to a repair shop.

What causes the iPhone black screen of death?

There are a few possible causes of the iPhone black screen of death:

  • Software crash or glitch
  • Corrupted operating system
  • Faulty power button
  • Drained or damaged battery
  • Logic board failure
  • Display or backlight failure

A software crash is the most common trigger for the black screen of death. This can happen if an app becomes unresponsive during use and freezes the device. A corrupted iOS can also lead to a black screen on startup. Hardware issues like a faulty power button, bad battery or logic board failure are more serious causes that may require repair or replacement.

How to fix iPhone black screen of death

Here are some troubleshooting steps you can take to fix an iPhone with black screen of death:

1. Hard reset the iPhone

A hard reset (also known as a force restart) will reboot your iPhone and clear any temporary software glitches that may be causing the black screen. To hard reset, press and quickly release the Volume Up button, then press and quickly release the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen. This will force your iPhone to power cycle and restart the operating system from scratch.

2. Recharge the battery

One of the most obvious causes of a black screen is simply a drained battery. Try connecting your iPhone to a charger and letting it charge for at least 10-15 minutes to see if powering up the device resolves the issue. Be sure to use the original Apple charging cable and adapter for best results.

3. Boot into recovery mode

Booting your iPhone into recovery mode will allow you to troubleshoot software issues and potentially restore the device. To enter recovery mode, connect your iPhone to a computer using the original USB cable. Then press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until you see the recovery mode screen. This will prompt iTunes on your computer to let you try restoring the iPhone or updating the software.

4. Restore iPhone using iTunes

Connecting your iPhone to iTunes on a computer and restoring it can fix many software-related issues causing a black screen. Be sure to back up your data first! Then in iTunes select your iPhone, go to the Summary tab, and click Restore iPhone. This will wipe the device and reinstall a clean version of iOS, often resolving persistent software bugs.

5. Update or restore iPhone without iTunes

For iPhones running iOS 12.0 or later, you can update or restore your device without a computer using iTunes. Enter recovery mode as above by holding the Side and Volume buttons. Your iPhone will then display an option for Restoring or Updating. Selecting one of these options will wipe and restore your device over-the-air without needing a PC.

6. Check for swollen battery

If the black screen issue started after your iPhone was exposed to moisture or physical damage, inspect the device for any swelling of the battery. A swollen or expanded battery can prevent an iPhone from booting up properly. Discontinue use and seek professional battery replacement if you notice swelling.

Advanced troubleshooting tips

If the basic steps above do not resolve your iPhone’s black screen, you may need to try more advanced troubleshooting before seeking repair:

Reset all device settings

Resetting all settings will clear device preferences and settings without losing data. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. Enter your passcode if prompted.

Update iOS via recovery mode

Sometimes updating iOS via recovery mode instead of normal OTA update can resolve issues. Download the latest iOS update and enter recovery mode to install.

Clean charging port

Use a toothpick to gently clean out any dust from the iPhone’s charging port if you suspect charging issues are related to the black screen.

Check display connections

If you are comfortable opening up your iPhone, check that the display cables are properly connected to the logic board. Reseating cables can sometimes resolve black screen.

Remove SIM card and accessories

Try removing any SIM card, SD cards or connected accessories then boot the iPhone to see if that fixes the issue.

Try alternate bootup key combos

For older iPhones, try alternative bootup key combinations like holding Power + Home or Volume Down + Power to force restart.

Test with known-good cable, battery

To isolate hardware issues, test with a new charging cable and battery. If iPhone boots up normally with new parts, problem is likely the cable or battery.

When to seek professional iPhone repair

If you have exhausted all of the self-troubleshooting steps and your iPhone still shows only a black screen, it’s probably time to seek professional repair. Some of the hardware issues that can cause a black screen of death like display, logic board or battery failure will require the skills and tools of experienced iPhone repair technicians.

Seeking same day iPhone repair at a reliable electronics repair shop can get your device functioning normally again. Many reputable independent shops offer affordable repair pricing compared to the Apple Store, often with quicker turnaround. They will diagnose the specific cause of your iPhone’s black screen issue and make the necessary component replacements and adjustments to properly restore it to working order.

Can you fix iPhone black screen of death yourself?

Technically advanced iPhone users can attempt to fix a black screen of death themselves, but this is only recommended if you have experience with electronics repair. The main requirements are quality replacement parts and the ability to safely open up the iPhone and remove/replace components without damaging cables or connections. This often requires special pentalobe screwdrivers and suction cups to open iPhone casing.

Some common black screen fixes DIYers attempt include:

  • Replacing the display assembly
  • Installing a new battery
  • Cleaning corroded charging port contacts
  • Reconnecting/replacing loose display cables

While self-repair is possible, it’s generally much safer and faster to have a professional handle iPhone black screen of death repairs. They’ll determine the exact cause and make sure the proper replacement parts are used and installed correctly to manufacturer specifications.

Cost to repair iPhone black screen of death

Repair Type Average Cost
Display replacement $129 – $349
New battery $49 – $99
Charging port fix $25 – $75
Logic board repair $150 – $349

The cost to repair an iPhone with black screen of death can vary widely depending on the underlying issue. Minor software fixes may be as low as $25. Hardware issues like display, logic board or battery replacement typically cost $100 to $350, depending on the iPhone model. Showing up with an exact repair cost estimate is difficult, as shops need to diagnose the specific problem.

Is iPhone black screen fix worth it?

Getting professional repair for an iPhone with black screen of death is usually worth the investment, as long as the issue is not extremely outdated hardware reaching the end of lifespan. The cost to fix a black screen is generally less than half the price of replacing the iPhone with a brand new model. Especially for newer iPhone models that are only a year or two old, repairing provides a much more affordable option to regain use of your device.

In cases of severe hardware damage like cracked display glass or liquid/corrosion damage, black screen repair may end up being too costly compared to getting a replacement iPhone. Seeking a professional diagnosis will determine if your device is a viable candidate for cost-effective repair.

Preventing the iPhone black screen of death

While you can’t always prevent your iPhone from encountering errors that lead to black screens, there are some steps you can take to help avoid issues:

  • Keep your iPhone software updated to latest iOS version
  • Don’t overload device storage capacity
  • Use trusted apps and don’t jailbreak
  • Avoid exposing iPhone to excess heat or cold
  • Be careful not to drop or crack the display
  • Only use Made-for-iPhone chargers and cables
  • Replace battery when capacity drops below 80%

Practicing these basic precautions will give your iPhone the best chance of booting up normally every time you press the Side button. But if you do experience the dreaded black screen, just remember there are almost always steps you can take to get it working again!


The iPhone’s black screen of death can stem from various software glitches or hardware failures, but is usually repairable. Simple troubleshooting like a hard reset, restoring in iTunes, or charging can often resolve it. For persistent black screen issues, professional repair shops have the parts and expertise to safely diagnose and correct underlying problems. In most cases the cost of repairing an iPhone black screen is significantly less than full replacement, making it a smart investment to get your device functioning again.