What to do if my iPhone fell in water?

Quick Answers

If your iPhone fell into water, remain calm and act quickly. Here are some quick tips:

  • Retrieve your phone from the water as soon as possible.
  • Do not try to turn on your wet iPhone.
  • Dry off all exterior surfaces with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Do not try to charge your wet iPhone.
  • Place your iPhone in an air-filled ziplock bag for at least 72 hours.
  • After drying, inspect your iPhone for liquid in ports or speakers.
  • Only try turning on your iPhone after it is completely dry.

Assessing Water Damage

If your iPhone has been submerged in water, it is important to quickly assess the extent of the water damage. This will help determine the next steps to try to revive your iPhone.

Consider Water Exposure Factors

Several factors impact how water damaged an iPhone may be after falling into water:

  • Depth – Was your iPhone fully submerged, or did only part of it get wet?
  • Duration – How long was your iPhone in the water? The longer the exposure, the more damage.
  • Liquid – Fresh water causes less corrosion than saltwater or chlorinated water from a pool.
  • Temperature – Warmer water can penetrate seals and gaskets easier than colder water.

Inspect Physical Damage

Closely inspect your iPhone after removing it from the water to spot any physical signs of water damage:

  • Look for water droplets or fogging under the screen or camera lenses.
  • Check if the SIM card tray or ports allow any liquid to escape when pressed gently with a cloth.
  • Peer into ports and speakers to see if you can spot any traces of moisture.
  • Watch for condensation building up inside the phone if you shine a flashlight through the ports and speakers.

Check Functionality

It is risky to try turning on a wet iPhone, but you can still check a few things:

  • Sounds – Listen for any gurgling or sloshing sounds from inside the iPhone.
  • Vibration – Set off vibrations to see if the motor still works properly.
  • Display – If turned off, see if anything shows on the screen when you press buttons.
  • Power – Connect your iPhone to charge and watch if it begins charging.

Drying Out Your Wet iPhone

The key to potentially reviving a water-damaged iPhone is to dry it out fully and carefully. Rushing the drying process or leaving moisture inside can cause permanent electronic failure when power is restored.

Avoid Heat

Do not attempt to dry out your iPhone using any direct heat methods:

  • No hair dryers, heat guns, or other hot air.
  • Avoid placing it directly in sunlight.
  • Do not oven bake it – high heat will damage internal components.

High heat can cause moisture trapped inside your iPhone to rapidly evaporate, leaving behind deposits and residue. This can permanently damage electronic circuits and connections.

Absorb Moisture Gently

Use passive moisture-absorbing methods to gently draw water out of your iPhone:

  • Lightly dab the ports, buttons, speaker, and mics with a soft cloth.
  • Allow it to air dry with ports facing down to let gravity help drain liquid.
  • Place your iPhone in a sealed bag or container with silica gel packs, rice, or cotton balls overnight to absorb moisture.
  • Leave it to dry for at least 72 hours before attempting to power on.

Check on your iPhone periodically to watch for any remaining dampness that needs drying.

Avoid Charging

It can be tempting to plug your iPhone into a charger after water exposure to see if it powers on. Avoid doing this until you are certain no liquid remains in the Lightning port.

Charging when the port is still wet risks short circuiting and electrical damage to components and charging circuits inside the iPhone.

Cleaning Dried Water Residue

Once your iPhone is fully dried out, there may still be contaminants or mineral deposits left behind:

  • Look closely for any white or colored residue around ports, seams, buttons, and the SIM tray.
  • Shine a flashlight inside ports and speakers to check for dried deposits or fogginess.
  • Clean residue away gently with a toothpick, brush, or soft cloth dampened with warm distilled water.
  • Compressed air can blow out loose particles in ports or speakers.
  • Do not scrape anything inside ports to avoid damaging the contacts.

Any remaining water contamination left trapped inside your iPhone can lead to issues like shorts and corrosion later on, so be thorough in cleaning. If in doubt, give your iPhone another 24 hours in rice or silica gel to help draw out any remnants.

When to Power Up Your iPhone

Once your iPhone seems dry both externally and internally, you can try powering it back on. Be sure to:

  • Inspect the Lightning port carefully and make sure no moisture remains.
  • Try initially powering it on without any accessories or cables plugged in.
  • Watch and listen closely for any signs of water damage like odd sounds or a flickering display when it boots up.
  • Let the battery fully drain down once powered on before charging again.

If your iPhone fails to power on or seems unstable, give it another 24 hours in rice to dry further. Leaving moisture inside risks short circuiting or corrosion later on after you start using it again.

Water Damage Repair Options

If drying out your iPhone fully at home does not restore normal function, your options include:

Apple Support

Make a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store and have them inspect your iPhone.

  • An iPhone that won’t power on at all after water damage has a higher chance of requiring full board-level repair.
  • For minor issues like speaker damage, Apple may be able to perform a same-day repair in store.
  • A mail-in depot repair through Apple can take 3-5 business days plus shipping time.

Third Party Repair

Reputable independent repair shops can perform water damage fixes:

  • May be a lower cost option compared to Apple.
  • Technicians can disassemble an iPhone and clean out individual components.
  • Component-level fixes for things like charging ports or speakers.
  • May void any Apple warranty.

Insurance Claim

For severe water damage, filing an insurance claim may make sense:

  • Carrier insurance like AppleCare+ or device insurance through your cell provider may cover water damage with a deductible payment.
  • Can get a replacement device more quickly than extensive repair.
  • May void Apple warranty and require contract renewal.

Preventing iPhone Water Damage

Some simple precautions can help prevent your iPhone from getting water damaged in the future:

  • Use a waterproof case when at the pool, beach, on a boat, etc.
  • Keep your iPhone away from sinks and running water.
  • Never charge your iPhone near a bathtub or shower.
  • Avoid placing your iPhone in a pocket when playing sports or activities with water risk.
  • Only use your iPhone in safe, dry locations to limit water exposure.

Acting quickly if your iPhone does get wet minimizes the water exposure time, giving you the best chance to dry it out fully and avoid permanent damage.


While an iPhone is not designed to withstand water damage, fast action if it does fall into liquid provides hope for bringing it back to life. Letting it dry out completely before powering back on, cleaning all residue, and watching closely when starting up again are key to successfully reviving a water-exposed iPhone.

Carefully following the proper drying steps, using moisture-absorbing materials, avoiding heat, cleaning residue, and waiting until fully dry give you the best shot at saving your wet iPhone from permanent failure. If extensive repair ends up needed, options like Apple, third party technicians, or insurance can get your iPhone working again.

Time After Water Exposure Recommended Action
Immediately Retrieve iPhone from water quickly and dry exterior
First 5 minutes Do not try to power on, assess damage
First 12 hours Air dry with ports down, do not charge
24-48 hours Place in rice/silica gel to absorb moisture
48-72 hours Check for remaining moisture, keep drying
72+ hours Clean any residue away, power on carefully
1 week post-exposure Fully dried internally, safe to fully use

Following these timelines ensures you do not rush the drying process or power on prematurely before fully removing any traces of liquid internally. Geduld and diligent moisture removal provide the greatest chance for your iPhone to bounce back after falling into water.

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