How do I fix my iPhone 5 when the screen is black?

There are a few potential causes when an iPhone 5 screen goes black and unresponsive. The black screen issue is commonly due to a software glitch or hardware issue. Before taking the phone for service, there are some troubleshooting steps users can try at home to get the device working again. This article will provide step-by-step instructions to help diagnose and resolve a black screen on an iPhone 5.

Step 1: Hard Reset the iPhone

The first step is to hard reset the iPhone. A hard reset can clear any temporary software glitches causing the black screen. To hard reset:

For iPhone 5s or earlier:

1. Hold down the Home button and Power button simultaneously until the Apple logo appears on the screen. This may take up to 10-15 seconds.

2. Once the Apple logo shows up, release both buttons.

3. The phone will restart normally if the hard reset is successful.

For iPhone 5c:

1. Press and hold both the Home and Power buttons for at least 10 seconds, until the Apple logo shows up.

2. After the Apple logo appears, release both buttons and let the phone reboot.

A hard reset essentially reboots the device and clears out any software issues temporarily. If the black screen persists after the hard reset, move on to the next steps.

Step 2: Charge the iPhone

An unresponsive black screen may simply mean the iPhone is out of battery. Connect the iPhone to a wall charger using the original charging cable and leave it to charge for at least 30 minutes. iPhones with completely drained batteries may take longer to display the charging indicator.

If the charging indicator does not appear after 30 minutes, the issue is likely hardware-related. However, if the charging screen lights up, let the phone charge until the battery reaches 100%. Then turn it on normally to see if the issue is resolved.

Step 3: Force Restart the iPhone

If a hard reset did not work, try force restarting the iPhone next. To force restart:

1. Connect the iPhone to a computer using the original USB cable.

2. Open iTunes on the computer.

3. While connected, hold down the Home button and Power button together for about 10 seconds.

4. Release both buttons when you see the Apple logo on the screen.

This should force the device to restart. If the black screen issue goes away after a force restart, check if a specific app or setting is causing the problem. Updating the device’s software may also fix resurgent black screen issues.

Step 4: Update iOS Software

An outdated version of iOS can also cause an iPhone 5 to show a black screen. Follow these steps to update the software:

1. Connect the iPhone to a computer with internet access and open iTunes.

2. Click on the device icon in iTunes.

3. Go to Summary > Check for Update in the sidebar.

4. Download and install the latest iOS software update and see if it fixes the issue.

Updating iOS is essential for fixing any bugs in the operating system causing black screen problems. Make sure the device has sufficient battery level before installing a software update.

Step 5: Reset iPhone Settings

Resetting the phone’s settings to factory default will clear any problematic customized settings that may be interfering with the screen display and system UI. To reset iPhone settings:

1. Go to Settings > General > Reset.

2. Tap on Reset All Settings (this will not delete data or media files).

3. Enter the passcode if prompted and confirm to reset settings.

Once the settings are reset, restart the iPhone and test if the problem is gone. Resetting removes any customized settings and network configurations, so they will need to be re-entered manually after. This step often resolves persistent black screen issues caused by customized configurations.

Step 6: Restore the iPhone Using iTunes

If none of the above steps fix the black screen, restore the iPhone software using iTunes. Restoring will wipe the device completely and reinstall the latest iOS version. Follow these instructions carefully:

1. Connect the iPhone to your computer and open iTunes.

2. While the phone is connected, force restart it.

3. The moment the Apple logo appears on restart, press and hold the Home and Power buttons together for 5 seconds.

4. After 5 seconds, release the Power button but continue holding the Home button until iTunes shows the recovery mode screen.

5. In iTunes, click Restore iPhone to initiate the restore process. This will wipe and fully restore iOS.

Once finished, set up the iPhone from scratch and test if the black screen issue is resolved after the restore. All data, media, apps and settings will be wiped out, so make sure to backup data beforehand.

Step 7: Contact Apple Support

If all the above troubleshooting steps fail to fix the black screen on iPhone 5, the underlying cause is likely a hardware issue needing professional repair. Contact Apple Support online or schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store. Be ready with the iPhone model details, iOS version and a detailed description of the problem.

Apple Support can run diagnostics, assess the exact issue and recommend suitable repair options if required. Out-of-warranty devices may need paid repair or full unit replacement from Apple. Backup any important data before taking it in for Apple Support.

Common Causes of Black Screen Issue on iPhone 5

Here are some of the most common culprits behind iPhone 5 displaying a black screen:

  • Discharged battery – Allow the phone to charge fully before troubleshooting
  • Crashed app or iOS software glitch – Hard reset and update iOS to latest version
  • Incorrect settings – Reset all settings to defaults
  • Outdated or corrupt iOS – Restore iPhone firmware through iTunes
  • Hardware damage – Faulty display/logic board/battery requiring repair/replacement

How to Prevent Black Screen Issue on iPhone

Following some basic phone usage tips can help minimize instances of black screen on iPhone 5:

  • Always update iOS firmware for latest bug fixes
  • Avoid excessive exposure to moisture and high temperatures
  • Use a protective case and screen guard
  • Don’t use low quality chargers or cables
  • Install apps only from trusted sources like App Store
  • Take care not to drop or mishandle the phone
  • Back up data regularly as a precaution

When to Avoid DIY Repair

While many black screen causes can be fixed with basic troubleshooting, some issues require professional repair:

  • Broken/cracked display panel or damaged flex cables
  • Faulty logic board needing microsoldering or chip-level repair
  • Corroded/damaged battery connector pins
  • Short circuits due to liquid damage on internal components
  • Signs of unauthorized tampering with internal parts

Seeking professional assistance for complex issues is recommended to avoid permanent damage or safety risks. Do not attempt to pry open the iPhone on your own.


A black screen on iPhone 5 has several potential fixes users can try on their own, such as hard resets, forced restarts, resetting settings, or restoring the device. Updating to the latest iOS version can also resolve many black screen problems caused by software bugs. For persistent display issues traceable to hardware damage or component-level faults, seeking professional Apple or third-party iOS repair services is advised. Avoid DIY repairs on the iPhone interior, as incorrect handling of internal parts can make the damage irreversible. With some diligent troubleshooting steps, users can often get their iPhone 5 back working normally even after the dreaded black screen.

Symptom Potential Cause Fixes to Try
Pitch black screen Discharged battery Charge phone for at least 30 mins
Unresponsive black screen Software glitch Hard reset iPhone
Black screen on boot Corrupt operating system Restore firmware via iTunes
Black screen after dropping Display or logic board damage Professional repair service
Intermittent black screen Buggy app or faulty settings Reset all settings to default