Assess the Damage
If your iPhone has been exposed to water, the first step is to assess the extent of the water damage. Carefully examine the phone for any visible signs of water under the screen. Look for fogging, condensation, or blurred areas on the display. Also check if the touch screen is still fully functional. Water trapped under the screen can cause issues with screen responsiveness.
Inspect the ports and buttons for any trapped moisture or corrosion buildup. Try plugging in headphones or charging cables to see if they connect properly. If you find water in these areas, the internal circuitry may have been compromised.
While a small amount of moisture may dry out on its own, larger amounts of water under the screen indicate the need for professional repair. Water damage left untreated can lead to permanent device failure over time. If the phone won’t power on or exhibits distorted visuals, this is a sign of serious water intrusion requiring immediate service.
To accurately determine the severity of the water damage, it’s best to have the iPhone examined in-person by a repair technician. Waterproof device assessment services like those offered by Wefixit Weprintit can provide a thorough inspection. Knowing the full extent of the damage will inform the next steps for drying, repair or replacement.
Turn Off the Device
If your iPhone has gotten wet or has water under the screen, it’s important to turn off the device immediately to avoid further damage. Powering down the phone can help prevent electrical shorts and corrosion.
To turn off your iPhone, press and hold the side or top button (depending on your model) until the power off slider appears on screen. Drag the slider to turn off the device completely.
As soon as possible after exposure to moisture, power down your iPhone to avoid short circuiting and minimize corrosion. Don’t try charging or using a phone that has gotten wet until you’ve had a chance to dry it out thoroughly and assess the damage. Turning off the device right away can help prevent permanent issues.
Dry Out the iPhone
It’s important to thoroughly dry out the iPhone after water exposure to prevent permanent damage. There are a few effective methods for absorbing moisture:
Open the phone and use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently dry out all accessible areas. Be sure to dry out the charging port, headphone jack, speakers, cameras, and any other openings.
Place the iPhone in an airtight container filled with dry rice. The rice will act as a desiccant and draw moisture away from the phone’s interior. Let the phone sit for at least 24 hours.
Use silica gel packets (the type packed with electronics and shoes) instead of rice. The silica beads absorb moisture well. Place packets all around the phone in an airtight container for at least a day.
Avoid using a hairdryer or other heating methods to dry out the phone, as excess heat can damage the sensitive components.
Check for Corrosion
If your iPhone has been exposed to moisture, it’s important to check for any signs of corrosion or damage. Remove the SIM tray and inspect the SIM card slot for any rust, residue, or discoloration. Also examine the Lightning port, headphone jack, speakers, buttons, and seams between components for similar issues.
Corrosion occurs when electronic components come into contact with moisture, so look closely for any burnt, discolored, or flaky areas on the logic board and connectors. Battery swelling is another sign of water damage, so check for any strange bulging of the battery inside the iPhone.
You can use a flashlight to peer into small crevices. Magnification may help too. Even minor corrosion can cause functionality issues, so it’s important to thoroughly inspect all components exposed to moisture.
If corrosion is present, the iPhone will likely need professional repair or replacement. Catching it early can prevent further spread of damage. Be sure to backup data regularly as a precaution. Refer to Apple’s water damage policy regarding costs for repair or replacement.
Try Charging the Device
After thoroughly drying out the iPhone, the next step is to try turning it on and charging it. Plug your iPhone into a wall charger or computer using the original cable. You may see an error message that says “Unable to Charge” or “Liquid Detected in Charging Port.” This is because some moisture may still be in the charging port.
It’s a good sign if the phone turns on at all or shows the charging battery icon after being plugged in. However, don’t be discouraged if it still doesn’t charge – the battery or internal components could have been damaged by the water. Let the phone continue to air dry for 24-48 hours before trying again. According to discussions on the Apple boards, sometimes the charging port needs extended time to fully dry out.
If the iPhone still won’t turn on or charge after an extensive drying period, this likely confirms liquid damage that will require replacement of internal parts. Additional troubleshooting steps could be to try a different charging cable, plugging into a computer instead of the wall, or using an external battery pack. But once liquid damage is detected, full functionality may not be able to be restored.
Contact Apple Support
If your iPhone still shows signs of water damage after trying to dry it out and charge it, it’s best to contact Apple support for further troubleshooting and evaluation. You can make an appointment to take your iPhone to an Apple Store Genius Bar or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP).
At the Genius Bar or AASP, an Apple technician will examine your iPhone and may run diagnostic tests to assess the extent of the water damage. They can determine if your iPhone needs to be repaired or replaced under warranty or AppleCare coverage.
To find an Apple Store or AASP near you and schedule a Genius Bar appointment, visit https://getsupport.apple.com/ and enter your location.
Be prepared to provide details about when and how the water damage occurred. The technician can provide a repair estimate and options if your iPhone is not covered under warranty.
Back Up Data
If your iPhone has water damage, it’s crucial to back up your data as soon as possible before potential data loss occurs. Connect your iPhone to your computer or iCloud and create a backup. This will save your contacts, photos, videos, app data, messages, and other important information.
You can back up an iPhone using iTunes on a Mac or PC by connecting the device and clicking “Back Up Now.” iCloud backups happen automatically when your iPhone is charging, connected to WiFi, and has an active iCloud storage plan, but you can also force a manual backup by going to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now.
Third party software like FoneTool can also help recover data from a water damaged iPhone if you don’t have a current backup. However, it’s always best to maintain regular device backups to limit potential data loss from water or other damage.
Get a Replacement
If the water damage to your iPhone is beyond repair, getting a replacement may be the best option. You have several choices for replacing your water-damaged iPhone:
Apple offers full replacement of an iPhone for a flat fee that varies based on the model. For an iPhone X, the out-of-warranty replacement fee is $549 if you don’t have AppleCare+, or $99 if you do have AppleCare+ coverage (Source). Apple will replace your damaged iPhone with a refurbished model.
Cell phone carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint may also offer reduced-cost replacement options as part of your cell phone insurance/warranty program. Check with your carrier to see if water damage replacement is covered.
Third-party repair shops can also order replacement iPhones and swap out your water-damaged device, often at a lower cost than the Apple replacement fee. However, quality may vary between repair shops.
When getting any iPhone replacement, be sure to backup your data first, as you’ll get a different refurbished device.
Use Waterproof Case
To help prevent water damage in the future, invest in a waterproof case for your iPhone. Waterproof cases create a protective barrier that keeps water out of your device. There are a variety of waterproof case options to choose from:
LifeProof cases are designed to be slim and offer full protection against water, dust, snow, and drops. Popular options like the LifeProof FRE are fully sealed and submersible.
Catalyst cases are ultra protective, able to withstand drops up to 6.6 feet and keep devices waterproof up to 33 feet underwater. The Catalyst Waterproof Case is a great heavy duty option.
Otterbox also makes the OtterBox Defender Pro XT, featuring a multi-layer construction and port covers to keep water out while still allowing access to touchscreen and ports.
Getting insurance like AppleCare+ can also help cover water damage repairs or replacement costs. Using a waterproof case is the best way to prevent expensive damage and keep your iPhone safe.
Here’s a quick recap of the key steps to take if your iPhone has water under the screen:
- Turn off the device immediately and don’t turn it back on.
- Dry out the phone as much as possible with a cloth or rice.
- Check for corrosion once fully dry.
- Try charging the device after 48 hours.
- Contact Apple support for next steps if it still won’t turn on.
- Back up data from the phone if possible.
- Get a replacement phone if needed through Apple or your carrier.
- Consider a waterproof case for the future.
Following these steps can help minimize water damage and recover data if possible when dealing with water under the iPhone screen.