What is the black screen of death?
The black screen of death refers to when an iPhone suddenly stops working and becomes unresponsive with a black or blank screen. This can happen due to software crashes, hardware issues or battery problems. The phone may or may not restart on its own. Essentially, the screen goes black and the iPhone no longer responds to touch or button presses. This can be incredibly frustrating for users.
What causes the black screen of death?
There are a few potential causes of the black screen of death on iPhones:
- Software crash – A software glitch or app crashing can sometimes cause the black screen. This often happens after an iOS update.
- Hardware failure – Hardware issues like a faulty power button or damaged display can lead to the black screen of death. This is often seen after physical damage.
- Battery problems – An unresponsive, faulty or damaged battery can cause the phone to turn off and get stuck on the black screen. This is common with old batteries.
- Overheating – Excessive heat buildup can prompt the iPhone to turn off the screen. The black screen appears until the phone cools down.
- Incorrect repairs – Incorrect repair methods during screen replacement or other fixes can render the display unusable.
How to fix the iPhone black screen of death
If your iPhone is stuck on the black screen, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to attempt to fix it:
1. Hard reset the iPhone
The first thing to try is a hard reset. This forces the phone to restart and clears any minor software glitches. To hard reset, press and hold the Power and Home buttons together for at least 10 seconds until you see the Apple logo.
If the hard reset works, your phone will restart normally. However, the issue may reoccur. A hard reset doesn’t fix underlying hardware problems.
2. Charge the iPhone
If the black screen appears when your iPhone battery is low, try charging it for at least 30 minutes. Plug your phone into a charger using the original charging cable that came with it.
Sometimes, depleted batteries can prevent an iPhone from turning on normally. Fully charging it can potentially resolve this.
3. Update iOS
An outdated version of iOS with bugs could also cause the black screen of death in some cases. Connect your iPhone to a computer and update iOS to the latest version through iTunes or Finder.
This will also update your apps and may resolve software crashes leading to the black screen. Backup your data first.
4. Restore the iPhone
If the black screen persists, the next step is to wipe and fully restore your iPhone. This will erase all contents and settings and install a fresh copy of iOS. You’ll have to restore your data from an iTunes or iCloud backup after the reset.
To restore, connect the iPhone to a computer. Then put the iPhone in recovery mode – on an iPhone 8 or earlier, hold the Home and Power buttons together until you see the recovery mode screen. On later iPhones with Face ID, hit Volume Up then Volume Down then hold the side button till recovery mode.
Now select Restore iPhone in iTunes or Finder to wipe the device. This resolves many software issues. Resetting network settings alone often helps as well.
5. Get a battery replacement
For iPhones that still have the black screen after the above steps, a battery issue is likely the culprit. Batteries degrade over time and can trigger black screens when faulty.
Take your iPhone to an Apple Store or repair shop to have the battery examined and replaced if needed. This typically costs $50-$80. Properly replacing an old battery often successfully fixes the black screen.
6. Repair physical damage
The black screen of death in some cases is due to physical damage to the display, connectors, logic board or buttons. Dropping an iPhone can break internal parts and render the screen unusable.
If there are any cracks, dents or water damage, take your device to a repair shop to assess the damage. Repairing broken connectors or a faulty power button will solve many black screen problems.
When to give up and get a replacement iPhone
If you’ve tried all troubleshooting steps – a hard reset, restore, new battery, hardware repairs – and the iPhone black screen persists, it’s time to give up and replace your device.
Extensive hardware damage that is uneconomical to repair will necessitate getting a new iPhone or iPhone screen replacement. Most repair shops can tell if that is needed after inspecting the device.
Software issues should be fixable with resets and updates. But if hardware damage is causing the black screen and quoted repairs are too expensive, replacement is the best route.
How to avoid the black screen of death
While there’s no fail-proof way to prevent your iPhone from getting the black screen, these tips can help avoid it:
- Update to the latest iOS version
- Close apps not in use and restart regularly
- Avoid excessive heat and overcharging
- Replace aging batteries
- Use protective cases and avoid drops
- Beware of water damage and dry devices quickly
- Don’t attempt repairs yourself unless experienced
Following best practices in using, charging and protecting your iPhone will minimize the chances of a black screen occurring. But it’s still a possibility with regular long-term use.
Third party black screen of death fixes
Besides Apple’s own tools, some third party software claims to fix iPhone black screen issues:
- iMyFone Fixppo – Fixes system errors by repairing the iOS system.
- Tenorshare ReiBoot – Unfreezes the iPhone and reboots it to normal.
- Dr. Fone – Full software repair option for firmware issues.
- AppleXsoft iPhone Data Recovery – Retrieves data from black screen iPhones.
These solutions attempt to repair iOS problems without deleting data. However, it’s often better to use Apple’s built-in reset and restore tools for guaranteed fixes. Third party apps may not work reliably.
When to take your iPhone to Apple
If you’ve attempted all troubleshooting steps and the black screen persists, your best option is to take the iPhone into an Apple Store for examination.
Apple Geniuses have the best tools to accurately diagnose hardware and software issues causing the black screen. They can examine the iPhone thoroughly and also quickly replace components like the battery or screen.
Out-of-warranty issues may cost over $200 at Apple, so consider third-party repair shops as well. But Apple provides the most reliable service when you’re out of DIY options for the black screen. Scheduling a Genius Bar appointment is wise after trying everything else.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my iPhone go to a black screen?
An iPhone black screen is typically caused by a power issue, hardware damage or a major software glitch. Crashes from iOS issues, battery failure and screen connector problems can all lead to a black screen.
Can you recover data from a black screen iPhone?
Recovering data from an iPhone with black screen issues is difficult but possible. If hardware isn’t damaged, a hard reset or restoring through recovery mode can help retrieve data. Third party software also claims to rescue data from black screen iPhones.
Is the iPhone black screen of death permanent?
The black screen is not necessarily permanent, but resolving it gets harder if the screen stays black despite resets and restores. That likely indicates hardware damage, which may be too expensive to repair. A black screen lasting days or weeks despite troubleshooting often means the iPhone is permanently unusable.
Can you force restart an iPhone with black screen?
Yes, you can force restart or hard reset an iPhone even with a black screen. Just press and hold the Power and Home buttons together for over 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears. If the screen stays black, the iPhone may have serious damage.
Does DFU mode fix black screen of death?
Putting an iPhone into DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) mode can help fix the black screen in some instances. DFU mode forces a connection to iTunes for full restores. If software is the issue, a DFU mode restore may resolve it. Hardware problems won’t be fixed with this method.
Dealing with the black screen of death in iPhones can be immensely frustrating. But in many cases, it can be fixed with standard troubleshooting – hard resets, software updates, battery swap, and repairs of physical damage. Recovery is possible unless the motherboard is completely dead. Back up data regularly so it isn’t lost when troubleshooting the black screen. And if all else fails, Apple support and replacement iPhones are the ultimate fix.