What causes an iPhone to suddenly go blank?

Why Does My iPhone Suddenly Go Blank?

You’re using your iPhone as usual when suddenly the screen goes black and becomes unresponsive. No matter what you try – pressing buttons, force restarting, plugging it in – the screen remains totally blank. This issue can be incredibly frustrating and concerning when your iPhone seems to randomly stop working. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover all the potential causes and solutions when an iPhone goes blank and won’t turn on.

Software Issues

One of the most common causes of an iPhone screen going blank is software issues or bugs. New iOS updates can sometimes introduce bugs and glitches that lead to problems with the screen. According to discussions on the Apple Support forums, many users have reported their iPhone screen going blank or flickering after updating to iOS 16.6 (Source). The update seems to have caused instability with the screen functionality for some users.

In general, iOS bugs can cause the screen to freeze, go black, turn white, or stop responding to touch. This is because the software is not communicating properly with the iPhone’s hardware and screen. A software glitch can lead to a crash that makes the screen appear blank. Restarting the iPhone or installing a software update usually resolves isolated iOS bugs causing a blank screen.

App Crashes

Sometimes an iPhone screen can suddenly go blank or freeze up due to certain apps crashing or not responding properly. If a particular app is not coded properly or has compatibility issues with the current iOS version, it may crash unexpectedly and cause the screen to turn black.

According to Apple’s support article “If an app on your iPhone or iPad stops responding, closes unexpectedly, or won’t open”, app crashes can lead to a blank, unresponsive screen on iPhones. When an app freezes or crashes, it may cause the entire iOS system to lock up and the screen to go black.

To resolve app crashes, Apple recommends closing and reopening the problematic app, forcing it to close if needed, and updating to the latest iOS version which may contain crash fixes. If issues persist, deleting and reinstalling the app can help. Proper app coding and iOS compatibility is key to preventing frustrating crashes leading to blank screens.

Screen Malfunction

A frequent cause of an iPhone suddenly going blank is screen malfunction. This occurs when there is physical damage to the screen or a loose cable connection. Severe impact or dropping the phone can cause the LCD and digitizer to separate or break internally, resulting in a completely black screen even though the phone is still on and operational (source). Similarly, if the display cable gets loosened or disconnected from repeated drops or bending, it can cause the screen to turn black and unresponsive while the phone itself continues working (source).

In these cases, the underlying phone is functional but unable to display anything visually. You may still hear alerts, feel haptic feedback, or get calls and texts. But the screen remains persistently black and unresponsive to touch. Physical inspection and repair of the display assembly or cable is required to restore normal visual function.

Battery Problems

One of the most common reasons an iPhone screen may suddenly go blank is battery-related issues. If the battery runs too low on charge or completely dies, it can cause the screen to turn black and become unresponsive.

Using Low Power Mode on iPhones preserves battery life by limiting background app refresh, automatic downloads, and some visual effects. However, if the battery level drops critically low while in Low Power Mode, the screen may still go black. Letting the battery fully drain by not charging the iPhone in time is another cause of black screens.

To prevent sudden black screens from battery problems, it’s important to keep the iPhone charged regularly. Avoid letting the battery die completely, and charge the iPhone before it reaches levels below 20%. Using Low Power Mode can help conserve battery when away from a charger, but be sure to charge the iPhone soon after to prevent an unexpected blackout. If the battery is faulty and no longer holds an adequate charge, replacing the battery can also solve blank screen issues.



One of the most common causes of an iPhone suddenly going blank is overheating. Excessive heat buildup inside the iPhone can cause the screen to malfunction and turn black (source). When an iPhone overheats, it will automatically shut down critical components like the display as a protective measure. The heat can potentially damage internal parts if left unchecked. This is commonly referred to as the “black screen of death.”

There are a few key reasons an iPhone may overheat and lead to a black screen:

  • Being exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods, especially inside a hot car
  • Processor-intensive tasks like gaming or shooting 4K video
  • Faulty battery causing overheating
  • Dust buildup blocking ventilation and cooling

If the iPhone reaches internal temperatures above 95°F, the system will forcibly power down the screen to prevent component damage. Heat damage can permanently affect the display, battery, logic board, and other internals if left untreated. The key is to cool down the iPhone quickly if it overheats and avoid extended heat exposure.

Water Damage

One of the most common causes of an iPhone screen going blank is water damage. Liquids can damage the delicate electronic components behind the screen that allow it to function properly. If water seeps into the phone, it can short circuit the display driver chips or corrode the display connectors, causing the screen to suddenly turn black and become unresponsive.

According to discussions on the Apple forums, water damage is the primary suspect when an iPhone screen goes black but the phone still seems to function otherwise. The screen may turn on briefly or flicker because the water causes temporary shorts in the display circuitry. However, the screen ultimately fails due to liquid buildup on the internal components.

Unfortunately, there is no DIY fix for water damage behind the iPhone’s screen. The phone requires professional repair services to replace any damaged components and thoroughly dry out the device. If the water exposure was minimal, just replacing the screen may resolve the issue. But extensive water damage often requires additional repairs or a full device replacement.

Drops and Impact

One of the most common reasons an iPhone screen may suddenly go black is physical damage from dropping the phone. According to ifixscreens.com, dropping your iPhone can disrupt the internal connections and components, resulting in a blank or black screen. Even a minor drop can shake loose connectors or damage the screen’s digitizer, which is responsible for sensing touch input.

Dropping an iPhone, especially on a hard surface like concrete or tile, generates a significant impact force. The shock can displace or break fragile ribbon cables and connectors that link the display, logic board, Touch ID sensor, and other components. If any of these vital connections are disrupted, it can cause the screen to go black instantly.

Before anything else, inspect your iPhone thoroughly after a drop to check for any external damage like cracks in the screen. Then try a force restart by holding down the side or top button for up to 30 seconds to see if power cycling helps. If the screen remains black, get professional help, as internal damage likely requires repair or replacement of components.

Troubleshooting Tips

If your iPhone screen goes blank suddenly, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try before taking it in for repair.

First, perform a hard reset by pressing and holding the side button and either volume button until the Apple logo appears (approximately 10-20 seconds). This will force your iPhone to restart and can resolve many software issues causing the blank screen (Source).

If that doesn’t work, put your iPhone into DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode. To do this, connect your iPhone to your computer while powered off. Then, hold the side button for 3 seconds. Without releasing it, hold the volume down button for 10 seconds. Release the side button while continuing to hold the volume button until your iPhone enters DFU mode. When in DFU mode, you can restore or update your device software (Source).

As a last resort, you can uninstall recently downloaded apps or content and see if that resolves the issue. Apps and media files can sometimes cause conflicts leading to a blank screen.

Following these tips can often get an unresponsive iPhone with a blank screen working again without needing a repair.

When to Get Repaired

There are some signs that indicate a hardware issue requiring professional help. If the screen remains completely black or unresponsive after trying all troubleshooting steps, it likely indicates a problem with the display, connectors, or internal components that you cannot easily fix yourself. Some other signs your iPhone needs repair include:

– Cracked or damaged screen: Physical cracks, chips, or scratches on the display can cause the screen to malfunction and go black. This requires screen replacement by a repair shop. (Apple Support)

– Flickering, distorted, or discolored display: If the screen intermittently shows distorted lines, colors, or flickering, this points to an internal hardware problem with the LCD or display connectors.

– No response to buttons: If the iPhone is completely unresponsive and won’t turn on even after pressing buttons, there may be an issue with internal components like the logic board. Professional repair is recommended.

– Liquid damage: Exposure to water or other liquids can short circuit internal components and lead to black screen issues. Liquid damage requires component-level repair at a shop.

If your iPhone exhibits any of these symptoms along with the black screen, it likely requires professional repair service rather than basic troubleshooting. Contact a reputable repair shop for assistance.