Why is my iPhone 5s suddenly blacking out?

It can be frustrating when your iPhone 5s suddenly starts blacking out unexpectedly. A black or blank screen is one of the most common iPhone issues that users experience. There are several potential causes for an iPhone 5s blacking out, but the good news is that there are also some troubleshooting steps you can try to get your device working properly again.

What causes an iPhone 5s to black out?

Here are some of the most common reasons an iPhone 5s may start blacking out:

  • Software crash or glitch – A software problem like an app crashing or iOS glitching out can cause the screen to go black temporarily.
  • Overheated battery – If the battery gets too hot it can cause the iPhone to shut down to protect internal components, resulting in a black screen.
  • Faulty power button – If the power button is damaged or sticking, it may cause erratic black outs.
  • Display connector issue – A loose or damaged display connector cable can interrupt the signal to the screen.
  • Exhausted battery – An old battery that can’t hold a charge anymore may cause random blackouts.
  • Crash during iOS update – A software update crashing or freezing can lead to black screen issues.

How to troubleshoot iPhone 5s black out problem

If your iPhone 5s is blacking out intermittently, trying these troubleshooting steps may help identify and resolve the issue:

1. Hard reset the iPhone

Performing a hard reset can clear any temporary glitches causing the black outs. To hard reset, hold down the Power and Home button together for at least 10 seconds until you see the Apple logo appear.

2. Check for overheating

An overheated iPhone will turn off to protect itself. Let the phone cool down for 15-30 minutes before turning it back on. Also, avoid direct sunlight and don’t run intensive apps if it’s getting hot.

3. Update iOS

Make sure your iPhone is updated to the latest iOS version. Go to Settings > General > Software Update to check. Updating can fix bugs potentially causing black outs.

4. Test in safe mode

Booting into safe mode loads iOS without any third party apps and services. To enter safe mode turn off your iPhone, then turn it back on while holding the Volume Down button. If the issue stops in safe mode, it’s likely a problem app causing the black outs.

5. Reset network settings

Resetting network settings will wipe saved Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth connections which could resolve software glitches. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

6. Factory reset iPhone

If nothing else has worked, a factory reset erases everything and restores your iPhone to default settings. Make sure everything is backed up before resetting. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

Battery and charging issues

Battery and charging system issues are common causes of iPhone black outs. Here are some steps to identify and correct battery-related problems:

1. Let the battery drain completely

If the battery meter gets stuck or inaccurate, letting the battery drain fully can recalibrate it. Leave your iPhone turned on until it shuts down automatically.

2. Try a different charger

Test charging with the original Apple charger that came with your iPhone, or another official MFi certified lightning cable. Third party charging accessories may not provide enough power.

3. Examine battery wear level

An iPhone’s battery capacity diminishes over time. Check the battery’s maximum capacity under Settings > Battery > Battery Health. If it’s below 80% then the battery may need to be replaced.

4. Update to latest software

Apple sometimes releases iOS updates that include battery-related fixes. Updating to the newest iOS version may help resolve black out issues.

5. Disable background app refresh

Reducing battery drain can decrease black outs. Turn off Settings > General > Background App Refresh which lets apps update content in the background.

6. Turn on Low Power Mode

Low Power Mode restricts background activities to conserve power. Enable it in Settings > Battery to see if black outs happen less.

Hardware and display problems

Defective hardware components like the display or cables can also result in black screen issues on an iPhone 5s. Here’s how to test for hardware failures:

1. Check for physical damage

Inspect your iPhone for any external damage, particularly around the screen and connectors. Cracked screens or frayed cables can interrupt the display signal.

2. Examine display connector

Open the iPhone and reseat the display connector cable where it plugs into the logic board. A loose connection could cause black outs.

3. Toggle mute switch

Flip the mute switch on the side a few times to clean the contacts. Built up dust can interfere with this switch and cause display issues.

4. Try a hard reset

Attempt a force restart by holding the Power and Home buttons for at least 10 seconds. If the Apple logo doesn’t appear, the issue may be hardware related.

5. Test with external display

Connect your iPhone to an external monitor using a lightning to HDMI cable. If the screen displays properly on the external monitor then the iPhone’s display is likely defective.

6. Schedule a repair

If you’ve tried all other troubleshooting without success, it’s best to take your iPhone to Apple or an authorized repair center for inspection and replacement of faulty components.

Preventing future black outs

Once you’ve resolved your iPhone blacking out, you can take measures to prevent it from happening again:

  • Install iOS updates promptly
  • Avoid exposing iPhone to excessive heat or sunlight
  • Don’t overload device memory storage
  • Replace old batteries
  • Use Apple certified charging accessories
  • Add a screen protector
  • Get periodic repairs and maintenance

Back up iPhone data

No matter what preventative steps you take, hardware problems can still arise. Make sure your iPhone data is always backed up so it’s protected if you ever need to reset or replace your device.

You can back up an iPhone in a few ways:

  • iCloud backup – Enable iCloud Backup in Settings to store data in the cloud.
  • iTunes backup – Connect iPhone to a computer and backup locally through iTunes.
  • External storage – Use an external hard drive to store entire iPhone backups.

When to seek professional help

If you’ve exhausted all the troubleshooting steps but your iPhone 5s is still experiencing black outs or a black screen, it’s time to enlist the help of a professional:

  • Apple Support – Make a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store for troubleshooting.
  • Authorized Service Provider – iPhone repair shops can diagnose hardware defects.
  • Replace iPhone – If repair costs exceed replacement cost, get a new device.

Even if you can’t fix it yourself, as long as your data is backed up, a professional can usually get your iPhone working again or transfer your data if a replacement is needed.

Frequently asked questions

Why does my iPhone black screen for a few seconds?

Momentary black outs lasting just a few seconds are often caused by momentary software glitches or neurotic apps. Try rebooting your iPhone and deleting any problem apps to see if it resolves the brief black screens.

How do I bring iPhone out of black screen?

If your iPhone is stuck on a black screen, you can force restart it by pressing and holding the Side button and either Volume button until the Apple logo appears. If the black screen persists, connecting your iPhone to a computer or charger may help.

Can a black screen damage iPhone?

An unresponsive black screen can’t directly damage your iPhone’s hardware components. However, the underlying problem causing the black screen, such as liquid damage or a faulty component, could potentially cause permanent damage if left unchecked.

Why won’t my iPhone turn on past Apple logo?

If your iPhone gets stuck on the Apple logo during start up and won’t finish booting, it’s usually caused by a software glitch or an app that isn’t compatible with the current iOS version. Performing a hard reset or updating iOS can typically resolve this issue.

How do I fix iPhone black screen with spinning wheel?

The spinning wheel indicates your iPhone is trying to load or process something but became frozen. First force restart your device by holding the Side and Volume buttons. If the spinning wheel returns, a hardware problem like a bad power button could be the cause.


A blacking out screen is a common problem for iPhone users. While it can be frustrating, identifying the underlying cause by methodically troubleshooting can get your iPhone 5s working properly again. Software issues, glitches, overheated batteries, and hardware defects are typical culprits. Try hard resets, updating iOS, removing apps, replacing the battery, and examining cables and connectors. If the black outs persist, rely on the expertise of Apple support or professional repair shops – and have your data backed up so your information stays protected no matter what.