How do you fix an iPhone with a black screen suddenly?

A black screen on an iPhone can be caused by different issues, ranging from a disabled screen to hardware problems. However, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try to get your iPhone up and running again.

Quick Fixes

Here are some quick things to try if your iPhone screen goes black suddenly:

  • Force restart your iPhone – Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until the Apple logo appears.
  • Charge your iPhone – Connect your iPhone to a charger and let it charge for at least 5-10 minutes.
  • Hard reset your iPhone – Press and quickly release the Volume Up button, press and quickly release the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.
  • Check for water damage – If your iPhone got wet, dry it thoroughly and let it air out before trying to turn it on again.
  • Update your iPhone software – Connect your iPhone to iTunes and update to the latest iOS version.

Software Issues

If a quick fix doesn’t work, the issue may be a software problem. Here are some software-related issues that could cause a black screen:

  • Stuck on black screen during start up – If your iPhone gets stuck on the black screen when you turn it on, it could be because of a crashed app or software corruption. Try rebooting your iPhone or updating iOS to resolve software crashes.
  • Screen not responding – If the screen stops responding, it may be an issue with the touchscreen drivers. Resetting settings could help recalibrate the touchscreen.
  • Display driver crash – The graphics or display drivers may have crashed, causing the screen to go black. Resetting your iPhone can help reload the display drivers.
  • App problem – A problematic app could be causing the issue. Restarting your iPhone in safe mode can help determine if an app is the culprit.

If you experience intermittent black screens or the problem started after installing an app, it is likely a software issue. Try uninstalling recently downloaded apps or do a factory reset as a last resort. Back up your iPhone data first.

Hardware Problems

If you’ve tried all of the above troubleshooting without success, the black screen may be due to a hardware problem. Here are some common hardware issues that could cause a black iPhone screen:

  • Faulty display – Issues with the OLED display like dead pixels could make the screen go black. This requires screen replacement by Apple or a repair shop.
  • Ribbon cable damage – If a ribbon cable connecting the display or logic board is damaged, it can cause a black screen. Reseating cables or display replacement may be needed.
  • Power problems – If the iPhone isn’t turning on, the battery or power circuits could be faulty. Try replacing the battery first.
  • Logic board failure – The main logic board controls all iPhone functions. If it’s damaged, it can cause the device to be unresponsive and screen to go black.

With hardware issues, taking your iPhone to Apple Support or an authorized service provider is recommended. Self-repair is possible in some cases, but there’s a higher risk of damaging components.

How to Tell if the Problem is Hardware or Software

It can be tricky to determine whether a black screen is caused by a software glitch or hardware malfunction. Here are ways to help identify the underlying cause:

  • Restart your iPhone – Software issues are often fixed with a restart. If restarting doesn’t work, it points to a hardware problem.
  • Check if phone functions – Toggle mute switch, volume buttons, home button. If they don’t respond, suspect hardware.
  • Connect to iTunes – A detected but black screen on iTunes indicates hardware. Unrecognized device suggests software issue.
  • Check display responsiveness – Dimly lit images or flickering mean display hardware problems.
  • Review recent changes – Software issues commonly follow an iOS update or app installation. Hardware is more random.
  • Test using accessibility features – If VoiceOver works but screen stays black, hardware is likely the culprit.

By methodically ruling out software causes, you can determine if the black screen is due to a general hardware failure. Contact Apple support and they can run a remote diagnostic to pinpoint the exact hardware issue as well.

Fixing Specific iPhone Models with Black Screen Issues

Certain iPhone models are more prone to specific black screen issues due to their hardware design and components. Here are some model-specific fixes for iPhone black screen problems:

iPhone XR/XS/XS Max

  • Screen unresponsive – Adjust screen sensitivity in Settings > Accessibility > Touch.
  • OLED burn-in – Update iOS, use dark mode, lower brightness to minimize image retention.
  • Baseband failure – Causes black screen with spinning wheel at boot. Requires motherboard replacement.

iPhone 8/8 Plus

  • No image – Remove any stuck debris in charging port, which can interrupt display signals.
  • Backlight issue – Adjust brightness, check True Tone setting, or replace display if backlight dies.
  • Touch IC failure – Try a screen replacement as it powers touch functionality.

iPhone 7/7 Plus

  • Blank display on calls – Sensor cable may be damaged. Try reseating the connector.
  • Unresponsive after drop – Check for loose or severed display cables damaged by impact.
  • Grey flickering bar – Indicates a logic board problem. Requires motherboard replacement.

iPhone 6s/6s Plus

  • Display not working – Could be due to damaged backlight or touch IC chips. Replace display assembly.
  • No image after update – Firmware issue that requires updating, then factory reset if needed.
  • Horizontal lines – Points to damaged display cables/connectors. Check and reseat connections.

Identifying the specific hardware that failed based on symptoms and model history helps troubleshoot iPhone black screen issues more accurately.

DIY Troubleshooting Tips

Before taking your iPhone for professional repair, you can try some DIY troubleshooting at home to resolve a black screen.

1. Check the basics

  • – Make sure your iPhone is charged. Connect it to power and let it charge for minimum 5-10 minutes.
  • – Hard reset your iPhone by pressing Volume Up, Volume Down, then hold Side button until Apple logo appears.
  • – Gently clean the screen with a soft, dry cloth in case of debris buildup.

2. Boot into safe mode

  • – Booting into safe mode loads iOS without third-party apps to isolate software issues.
  • – Press and release Volume Up, press and release Volume Down, then press and hold Side button until Apple logo shows.

3. Reset iPhone system settings

  • – Resets settings to default without erasing data. Can resolve software crashes.
  • – Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. Enter passcode if prompted.

4. Restore iPhone firmware

  • – Wipes the device completely and installs latest iOS firmware from scratch.
  • – Connect iPhone to computer > Launch iTunes > Click Restore in Summary tab.

5. Inspect physical damage

  • – Check for cracks on screen glass, dents on phone body, any exposed internal components.
  • – Look for damaged display cables inside phone if you have opened it earlier for repair.

Trying these DIY steps can fix many underlying software issues causing the black screen. If the problem persists, you’ll need professional repair for any hardware damage identified.

Professional Repair Options for iPhone Black Screen

Getting professional help is recommended if you have a hardware-related black screen issue or DIY fixes don’t work. Here are the options for professional iPhone repair:

Apple Support

  • – Setup appointment at Apple store and technicians will diagnose issue.
  • – Out-of-warranty cost is $279+ for screen, $549+ for other repairs.
  • – Apple uses genuine parts and repairs are backed by warranty.

Authorized Service Providers

  • – Apple authorized third-party repair shops can also fix iPhones.
  • – Cost starts around $129 for screen, $349 for other repairs.
  • – May use refurbished parts but offer 90-day repair warranty.

Third Party Repair Shops

  • – Independent shops offer cheaper iPhone repair costing $50-$100 on average.
  • – Often use aftermarket parts and quality may vary.
  • – Ask about parts used and warranty coverage before repair.

While Apple and authorized providers cost more for iPhone repair, you are guaranteed proper diagnostics, genuine Apple parts and warranty on their work. Third party shops offer affordability but read reviews and confirm details first.

Preventing iPhone Black Screen Issues

You can take a few precautions to reduce the chances of a black screen occurring on your iPhone:

  • – Install iOS updates promptly to get bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • – Don’t jailbreak your iPhone as it voids warranty and makes the OS unstable.
  • – Be careful with iPhone physical damage by using screen protectors and cases.
  • – Avoid exposing iPhone to liquid damage which can short circuit components.
  • – Don’t overload device storage. Delete unused apps and media for optimal performance.
  • – Use reputable charging accessories. Cheap, low-quality cables and adapters can damage iPhones.

While hardware problems can happen randomly, following best practices for using and handling your iPhone properly reduces avoidable software issues that can cause black screens.


While an iPhone with sudden black screen can be worrying, using smart troubleshooting techniques usually reveals whether it’s a system glitch or component failure. For software issues, DIY fixes like force restarting, safe mode and resetting iPhone can typically resolve the black screen in many cases. Hardware problems require professional repair – Apple Support or authorized service technicians are best qualified to diagnose and replace failed display, battery or logic board components safely. With proper care and maintenance, most common causes of iPhone black screens can be avoided or promptly fixed.