How to check all parts of iPhone working after water damage?

Water damage can be detrimental to the delicate electronics inside an iPhone. If your iPhone gets wet, it’s important to act quickly and methodically to assess the extent of the damage. A wet iPhone should be treated as an emergency situation. The sooner you can remove power from the device and dry it out, the better chance you have of saving it.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to check that all parts of your iPhone are fully functional after water exposure. Following these instructions can help minimize permanent damage and potentially save your iPhone.

Step 1: Immediately Remove Power from the iPhone

As soon as you realize your iPhone has gotten wet, the first step is to power it down. If it’s still on, turn it off completely. If it’s already off, do not turn it back on. Having power running through water-damaged electronics can short circuit components and cause further damage.

If possible, immediately remove the battery from the iPhone. Power down the device completely before opening it up. Take out the SIM card tray first, then use a pentalobe screwdriver to remove the bottom screws and carefully pry up the screen starting from the bottom corners. Once inside, gently disconnect the battery cable from the logic board to fully cut power to the system.

Important notes on water-damaged iPhones:

  • Do not attempt to charge it, even if it seems to be completely dead. Charging can cause further damage.
  • Avoid pressing any buttons, as this can short circuit components.
  • Do not try turning it on to check if it still works. Assume it will need repairs.

Step 2: Dry Out the iPhone Thoroughly

With the power removed, the next priority is drying out the iPhone as quickly as possible. The longer moisture sits inside, the higher chance it has of corroding connections and destroying components.

Some suggestions for drying methods:

  • Absorbent materials: Bury the iPhone in dry rice, kitty litter or silica gel packets. The tiny particles will draw moisture out of the device. Let it sit for at least 24 hours.
  • Fan: Point a fan directly at the iPhone to speed up evaporation. The stronger the airflow, the faster it will dry.
  • Sunlight: On a dry, sunny day, place the iPhone in direct sunlight. The UV rays and warmth will help dry it out.
  • Desiccant packs: Place the iPhone in an airtight container with desiccant packs to absorb the moisture.

Avoid using heat sources like hairdryers or microwaves, which can damage the iPhone’s components. The goal is controlled drying at room temperature.

Step 3: Clean Out All Visible Water

Once the iPhone is thoroughly dried out, the next step is cleaning. Any remaining moisture or evidence of water needs to be removed before powering it back on.

Use the following supplies to clean your iPhone:

  • Distilled water
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Toothbrush, toothpicks or cotton swabs
  • Compressed air

Carefully open up the iPhone and inspect the main logic board, connectors, battery and other components. Use the toothbrush dipped in alcohol or distilled water to gently clean away any corrosion, calcium deposits or water residue. Be very gentle, as some components are fragile.

Use compressed air to blast out any trapped moisture in crevices or connectors. Make sure everything is completely dry before reassembling.

Warning Signs of Liquid Damage:

  • Corrosion on logic board
  • Cloudy or foggy camera lens
  • Visible moisture in camera or ports
  • Eroded battery contacts
  • Discoloration around screws or components

Step 4: Inspect External Components

Before applying power, thoroughly inspect the external components:

Headphone Jack

Plug in headphones and check for audio through both channels. Look for moisture or corrosion around the port.


Play audio through external speakers to check sound quality. Distorted or muted sound can indicate water damage.


Record a voice memo and play it back to test all mics. Check bottom, front and back mics.


Open the Camera app and check that both front and rear cameras are focusing and capturing images properly. Videos should record and play back smoothly.


Press home, volume and lock buttons to confirm they provide tactile feedback and are responsive.

SIM Card Tray

Eject and reinsert the SIM card tray to make sure it slides in and out smoothly. Trapped moisture can prevent proper insertion.


Play audio through external speakers at full volume to check sound quality. Muffled or distorted output can indicate water damage.


Test haptic feedback with keyboard vibrations and alarm vibrations. Weak or no vibrations could mean a damaged Taptic Engine.

Step 5: Verify Internal Components

If everything checks out so far, proceed to testing the iPhone’s internal components:


Inspect battery connectors for corrosion. Check that battery percentage displays and charges properly.

Logic Board

Examine logic board closely for any melted components or burnt connectors. Test all functions, cellular data and WiFi.

Dock Connector

Try syncing iPhone to computer or plugging in charger to dock connector port. Check for loose fit or moisture.


Tap and drag around screen to verify full responsiveness. Check for any dead spots or inaccurate tapping.

Cellular Modem

Confirm cellular network connects with proper reception bars displayed. Try sending SMS text messages.


Connect to a Wi-Fi network and verify internet connectivity. Pair Bluetooth headphones and check audio.

Taptic Engine

Test haptic feedback with keyboard vibrations and alarm vibrations. Weak or no vibrations could mean a damaged Taptic Engine.


Play audio through external speakers at full volume to check sound quality. Muffled or distorted output can indicate water damage.

Step 6: Test Functionality in iOS

If all physical components check out, perform full functional testing within iOS:

  • Check auto-lock, rotation lock, mute switch
  • Test touch accuracy on keyboard and UI buttons
  • Confirm Face ID and Touch ID work properly
  • Try Apple Pay with a test card
  • Test GPS navigation in Maps
  • Make FaceTime audio and video calls
  • Stream music and video
  • Download and install apps
  • Sync contacts, calendars and photos
  • Verify OS and app performance and stability

This full suite of tests will validate that all iPhone operations still function correctly after being exposed to moisture. Repeat any individual test that shows issues.

Step 7: Check Sensors

Here are some key sensors to test that may be impacted by water damage:

Proximity Sensor

Make a call and check that the screen blacks out when holding the iPhone to your ear. Moisture can interfere with this sensor.

Motion Sensors

Open a level app and tilt iPhone to check pitch and roll. Calibrate compass and verify accuracy.

Light Sensor

Observe auto-brightness in various lighting levels. Shine light directly on sensor to see screen brightness increase.


Compare current pressure reading against a known accurate barometer. Erratic readings may indicate a faulty sensor.


Test orientation lock and tilting in racing games. See if display orientation shifts properly based on device angle.

Step 8: Moisture Indicators

Check Liquid Contact Indicators (LCIs) – small stickers inside iPhone that change color if exposed to moisture. Their status gives clues whether internal moisture reached critical components:

  • White: The indicator was never exposed to liquid.
  • Pink: Liquid was present but did not enter internal circuitry.
  • Red: Moisture penetrated sensitive components inside the iPhone.

A red LCI suggests extensive water damage may have occurred. But a white or pink indicator does not guarantee your iPhone is safe, as moisture may have only affected certain areas internally.

Step 9: Leak Testing

As a final validation after cleaning and drying the iPhone, perform a leak test:

  1. Seal the iPhone in a plastic bag, ensuring it is fully closed.
  2. Submerge just the bagged iPhone in water for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Check for any water droplets or moisture inside the bag.
  4. If leak detected, open iPhone and re-check internal seals & gaskets.
  5. Repeat test until completely sealed and no water enters.

This leak test confirms if complete drying was successful and no internal moisture remains trapped inside prior to using your iPhone again.

Step 10: When in Doubt, Seek Professional Help

If during testing you find any issues whatsoever with functionality, it is best to enlist professional help rather than continue using your iPhone in a potentially faulty state:

  • Apple Store – Genius Bar technicians can run diagnostics and properly clean water-damaged iPhones.
  • Third party iPhone repair shops – Many offer specialized water damage repairs for less than Apple.
  • Phone repair training courses – Learn to refurbish water-damaged phones yourself as a career.

Even if your iPhone seems to pass preliminary testing, long-term issues can develop over time after water exposure. It’s better to have it fully assessed now rather than take any risks.


Following this comprehensive 10-step guide will help identify any problems in an iPhone after water damage, improve the chances of restoring full functionality, and prevent potential issues down the road.

The key takeaways are:

  • Immediately power off iPhone and dry thoroughly with airflow.
  • Open device and clean all interiors and connectors.
  • Inspect externally and internally for any moisture or corrosion.
  • Test all components, sensors, ports and features in iOS.
  • Confirm iPhone is sealed against leaks before using again.
  • Seek professional help if in doubt rather than take risks.

While water damage is never good, taking prompt action gives you the best shot at saving your iPhone and your data. With patience, care and methodical testing, there is hope for bringing an iPhone back from the watery depths.