Will Apple replace screen with water damage?

Whether Apple will replace a screen that has water damage is a common question for iPhone users. The short answer is that Apple may replace the screen if the water damage is relatively minor, but a more extensive water damage will require replacing the entire phone. Let’s take a closer look at Apple’s policy and criteria for screen replacement with water damage.

Apple’s Policy on Water Damage

According to Apple’s Limited Warranty and out-of-warranty policy, water damage is not covered for repair or replacement. This means if an iPhone has been damaged by water exposure, Apple is not obligated to service it free of charge even if it is still under the 1-year limited warranty.

However, Apple stores may make exceptions for minor water damage depending on the circumstances. For example, if the water exposure was very limited and only caused minor screen damage, Apple Genius Bar technicians have the discretion to replace just the screen. But any water damage that goes beyond the screen, such as reaching internal components, will require replacing the entire iPhone.

Criteria for Screen Replacement with Water Damage

Here are some of the criteria Apple Genius Bar technicians will evaluate to determine if a water-damaged screen can be replaced rather than the whole device:

  • Extent of water exposure – Was it a quick splash or short immersion vs. lengthy submersion?
  • Signs of corrosion – Is there evidence water reached the internals?
  • Functionality – Does the phone fully work besides screen damage?
  • Risk of future failure – Is there a likelihood of problems arising later?
  • Cost of repair vs replacement – Will a new screen repair exceed replacement cost?

In general, the less exposure to water, fewer signs of corrosion, and greater continued functionality beyond the screen, the more likely Apple will agree to do a screen replacement. But extensive exposure leading to lots of corrosion increases the risk of full phone failure later on, so Apple will require complete replacement.

Out-of-Warranty Costs

Without AppleCare+ coverage, the out-of-warranty costs through Apple for iPhone water damage are:

  • Screen replacement: $129-$279 depending on model
  • Full device replacement: $299-$549 depending on model

These costs can be reduced significantly by going through a quality independent repair shop rather than the Apple Store. But whether Apple or third-party, extensive water damage usually means paying the full phone replacement price.

Tips to Prevent Water Damage

Here are some tips to help avoid water damage to your iPhone:

  • Use a waterproof case when going near water.
  • Don’t swim or shower with your iPhone.
  • Keep away from bodies of water like pools, beaches, boats.
  • Be very careful around sinks, baths, toilets.
  • Don’t leave outside during rain or snow.
  • Dry hands before handling phone.
  • Invest in water damage insurance like AppleCare+.


In summary, Apple is not obligated to service iPhones with water damage, but may replace just the screen with minor exposure. Extensive damage usually requires full device replacement or very costly repairs. Using waterproof cases, exercising caution around water, and having insurance can help avoid costly water damage repairs.