How do I fix my iPhone after it gets wet?

Quick answers

If your iPhone has been exposed to water, the most important thing is to act quickly to try to dry it out and remove any water inside. Don’t try to turn it on until you’ve dried it thoroughly. Things that may help:

  • Immediately power off the iPhone and don’t try to turn it back on.
  • Remove the iPhone from the water source and gently shake out excess water if possible.
  • Dry the outside of the iPhone with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Place the iPhone in front of a fan or point a hair dryer set on cool at it to speed up drying.
  • Leave the iPhone in a dry, warm place for at least 24 hours to allow any internal moisture to evaporate.
  • Once fully dried, try charging the iPhone and turning it on.
  • If the iPhone won’t power on or seems damaged, you may need professional repair.

Acting quickly gives you the best chance of saving an iPhone from water damage. Don’t try to turn on a wet iPhone or charge it until it’s fully dried. Professional repair may be necessary if drying doesn’t work, but can sometimes recover an iPhone from significant water exposure.

Assessing the water damage

If your iPhone has gotten wet, the first step is to quickly assess the situation:

  • What kind of liquid was it exposed to? Fresh water, salt water, chlorinated pool water, juice, soda, etc?
  • How wet did it get? Quick splash, spilled drink, dropped in water?
  • Which parts of the iPhone got wet? The whole device or just one area?

Knowing the type of liquid and extent of exposure can help determine your next steps. Quick splashes of water on part of the iPhone may not be as problematic as it being submerged in a pool for several minutes.

You’ll also want to determine if the iPhone is still on and powered up, or if it has already automatically shut itself down from the water exposure. Don’t try to turn it on if it’s already off.

Water damage and Liquid Contact Indicators

iPhones contain small internal components called Liquid Contact Indicators that are designed to detect moisture. The indicators are small sensor strips that will turn red if they come into contact with water.

The Liquid Contact Indicators on an iPhone are located:

  • In the SIM card slot
  • On the bottom near the charging port

You can check these areas to see if the indicator strips inside have turned red. Red indicators mean water has gotten inside that area. White or silver indicators mean no internal moisture has been detected.

Seeing red Liquid Contact Indicators doesn’t necessarily mean your iPhone is damaged and won’t work. But it’s a sign that liquid did reach the interior and you’ll want to thoroughly dry it out.

Turn off and don’t turn on

If your iPhone has gotten wet, it’s important not to turn it on or try to power it up until it’s been thoroughly dried. electrical components could short circuit if powered up when still wet.

Immediately turn off your iPhone if possible by pressing and holding the Side/Power button until the “slide to power off” prompt appears, then drag the slider.

If it won’t turn off, just leave it be. Don’t keep pressing buttons to try to get it to power down or power up.

Leaving the iPhone off prevents short circuiting while still wet and gives the internal components the best chance of drying out fully before attempting to turn it on again. Don’t try to turn it back on until you are sure it is completely dry internally.

Dry the outside

After powering off your wet iPhone, the next step is to thoroughly dry the outside of the device. Carefully wipe down the entire surface with a clean, soft, lint-free cloth to soak up as much moisture as possible.

A microfiber cloth works well, or you can use a paper towel or chamois cloth. Be gentle when wiping; you don’t want to cause any scratches to the iPhone’s glossy exterior.

It’s also a good idea to lightly shake the iPhone to try to remove trapped water drops from ports, buttons, microphones and speaker grills.

Make sure to dry out the Lightning connector port on the bottom if it got wet. Carefully insert a corner of your drying cloth into the port to absorb moisture. Don’t plug in a Lightning cable yet.

Dry out the interior

After removing exterior moisture, the next goal is to thoroughly dry the iPhone’s interior components. With the phone powered down, place it in a dry, warm spot and allow the internal moisture to evaporate:

  • Leave the iPhone near an air vent or fan for several hours. The blowing air will help evaporate any water.
  • Put the iPhone in a sealed bag or container with drying packets, silica gel beads, couscous or rice. The desiccant materials will absorb moisture.
  • You can also try pointing a hair dryer set on cool away from the iPhone to circulate drying air.

Ideally, leave a wet iPhone in a warm dry spot for at least 24 hours before attempting to power on. This allows plenty of time for interior moisture to completely evaporate.

Do not put the iPhone in direct sunlight or use a heat source like a microwave or conventional oven to dry it out, as this could damage the device.

When to try turning it back on

After thoroughly drying both the inside and outside of your iPhone, the next step is to try turning it back on.

Before powering it up, inspect the Lightning port and headphone jack for any residual moisture. Make sure they are completely dry before connecting a charger cable.

If possible, connect your iPhone to a wall charger before powering it on. This will allow it to charge up in case the battery was depleted by the water exposure.

Press and hold the Side/Power button to boot up the iPhone. The Apple logo should illuminate and the phone should power back on if no serious water damage was done.

Let the phone fully start up and check that the touchscreen, buttons, speakers and rear camera are functioning properly. Try making a call to test the phone and cellular connection.

If everything seems to be working okay, your iPhone was hopefully dried out in time before any permanent internal damage occurred. But keep an eye on it over the next few days for any odd behaviors just in case.

When to seek repair

If your iPhone won’t power on or seems damaged after drying out, it will likely need professional service to repair any issues caused by liquid exposure:

  • If the phone won’t turn on even after thorough drying, internal components have probably been damaged.
  • Issues with the touchscreen sensitivity or unresponsive buttons can indicate liquid damaged the logic board.
  • Cameras and microphones not working can mean corrosion from liquid.
  • Speakers making crackling noises could mean water remains internally.

Don’t keep trying to power on a water damaged iPhone if it’s not responding properly. Take it to an Apple Store or third-party repair shop.

Professional iPhone repair services have tools and techniques that can sometimes salvage an iPhone even after significant water damage, though full recovery is not guaranteed.

Do a backup

Before taking your iPhone in for water damage repair:

– If possible, back up your iPhone data and settings to iCloud or iTunes. This will allow you to restore the information to your iPhone or a replacement device if needed.

– Sign out of your Apple ID account on the iPhone before service. This protects your data from being accessed during the repair process.

– Let the repair technician know specifically how the iPhone was damaged by water. This will help them better assess the repairs needed.

Cost of water damage repairs

The cost to repair an iPhone suffering from water damage can vary significantly based on the specifics of the damage and components affected. Common repair costs include:

Repair type Average cost
Logic board repair or replacement $75 – $350
Battery replacement $49 – $99
Headphone jack or charge port replacement $25 – $99
Front or rear camera replacement $60 – $99
Speaker or microphone repair $25 – $99

More extensive damage requiring full device replacement can cost over $500 in some cases from Apple. Independent repair shops often charge less for parts and labor.

Water damage is often excluded from standard iPhone warranty coverage, so expect to pay out of warranty rates for any repairs needed. Using device insurance or an extended warranty can help reduce repair costs for water damaged iPhones in some situations.

Preventing water damage

While no iPhone is fully waterproof, there are steps you can take to help minimize the chance of liquid damage:

  • Use a protective waterproof case when going near water.
  • Never charge iPhone if the Lightning port is wet.
  • Avoid spills by not having drinks near your iPhone.
  • In high-risk situations, turn on Airplane Mode which disables touch input.
  • Consider getting device insurance in case of accidental damage.

Be extra cautious using your iPhone around pools, boats, baths or other sources of water. A moment of inattention could lead to an expensive repair!


Liquid damage is one of the most common issues affecting iPhones, but acting quickly can often save a wet device. Turn off the iPhone immediately, thoroughly dry it both inside and out, and only try to turn it back on once fully dried. If you see any sign of malfunction after drying, seek professional repair assistance as soon as possible. With rapid response, there is a good chance of recovering your iPhone at minimal cost following light or moderate water exposure. Just be sure to take preventative steps in the future to avoid a repeat incident!