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Top Reasons Why Won't Your Phone Turn On and How to Fix It

NextPit no battery
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Wondering why won't your Android phone or iPhone turn on? You're not alone. There are different reasons why your handset won't switch on. We'll take a look at some causes for these and also at some possible fixes for the issues.

Reason #1: Your battery is dead

One of the most common culprits that your Android phone or iPhone cannot be switched on is that the battery is fully drained. You might not have noticed that your phone's battery level hit zero. And unlike other issues, this is the easier way to fix.

Grab a power supply and make sure you actually have some juice on your phone before we proceed. Remember, sometimes you need to charge for a few minutes before your phone can power itself on.

Reason #2: Your battery is damaged

Another rather obvious reason your phone might not turn on is that the battery has simply given up the ghost permanently. This usually happens gradually over time, but it can occasionally happen suddenly, especially if your battery is bloated or damaged.

If you think your battery is the cause, you can try to plug your phone into a power adapter and if the charge level won't refill, then there's a big chance the battery needs to be replaced.

There are also many reasons why your phone's battery is charging slowly or won't charge. Find out here how to diagnose why the battery in your phone charges slowly.

Reason #3: Faulty charger or cable

If reason number 2 is not the problem, it might be the charger or cable you're using to charge your phone. Sometimes, the socket is also damaged or has no supply. If you think this is the case, you would better leave it to professionals to check your socket and power line.

Checking if the charger or cable is faulty or not is straightforward. Make sure you try a different USB cable, different power adapter (if you have one), and another power outlet in your home before you know you can definitely blame your phone.

Reason #4: The power button isn't working

If you've exhausted all the steps above, we can possibly narrow it down to the fact that the physical button on your device used to switch it on could be malfunctioning.

Depending on your phone's brand and model, there are ways to switch on your device without the use of a button. The most common and effective method is to plug your iPhone into a charger via a wired USB connection. This will automatically boot your handset.

Meanwhile, some Android phones like a Samsung Galaxy require you to press the volume down and up buttons simultaneously while it is plugged into a charger.

Reason #5: The display is the problem

This is the next possibility, the phone is actually on, but the display isn't working. The easiest way to check this is to long-press the power button to force it to shut off and then turn it back on. You should hear a boot sound or feel a vibration. This means your phone is working, but you have a display driver or screen problem.

If you have a PC and a cable to connect your phone, then we have a guide on how to recover the data from your phone. As for a broken screen, that's a job for the repair store.

Cracked screen on an Android smartphone
Troubleshooting is not always so obvious if the display is broken. / © Piyawan Charoenlimkul/Shutterstock

Reason #6: Your phone is wet or damaged

This is one of the most common reasons a phone won't turn on. If you've recently dropped your phone or it has gotten wet, you might have some issues. Trying to turn a wet phone on too soon can short-circuit your phone and fry it, so if it gets wet, follow our guide on what to do with a water-damaged phone.

To put things succinctly, if you dropped your phone in water and it won't turn on, you're going to need to take it in for repair as you most likely have a hardware problem or a damaged display or battery. But before that, you can still try getting some data out of it by using the steps mentioned in the article below.

Reason #7: Minor software glitch

If you started to notice some weirdness, like crashes, restarts, or other things that shouldn't happen in the lead-up to your phone no longer turning on or responding, you might just have a minor software issue. Thankfully, this could be addressed by a forced restart.

Force restart your iPhone

For iPhones, the same process for forced restart can be performed. Ensure there's enough battery on your handset. Check out the following steps:

  1. Quickly press the volume up button.
  2. Quickly press the volume down button.
  3. Press and hold the side power button.
  4. Release the button when the Apple logo appears.
How to forced restart an iPhone that won't turn on
Press the volume up briefly then press the volume down followed by pressing and holding the side button. / © nextpit

Force restart your Android phone

If you have an Android phone or a tablet that is not responsive or won't switch on from the dead screen, you can also do a force reboot or restart. As usual, be sure that your device is charged or at least the battery level is not low. After that, proceed to the next steps below:

  1. Press and hold the volume down and power button at the same time.
  2. Release the buttons when the device vibrates or if the boot logo lights up.
How to forced restart an Android Samsung Galaxy phone that won't turn on
Press the volume button down and power button simultaneously. / © nextpit

Use your computer to force turn on your Android

If you are using an Android device and are faced with the 'phone not turning on' problem, there is another way you can try powering it on. This step involves your PC and this is a fix that has been endorsed by Google. Here's what you need to do.

  1. Connect your smartphone to your computer via USB.
  2. Let it charge for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Take the cable out of the phone, don't disconnect it from your computer, and plug it back in again within 10 seconds of removing it.
  4. Let it charge for a further 30 minutes at least.
  5. Press and hold down the power button on the phone for 5 seconds and then hit restart.
  6. If you don't get the restart option straight away, continue holding down the power button for 30 seconds.

Reason #8: Corrupted system

If your phone will actually turn on but won't go past the boot screen, this is what we call a boot loop or corrupted operating system. It generally means your phone will start as normal but just get stuck forever on the logo screen.

There are several factors that your phone's file system is corrupted. It is either you have flashed a custom Android ROM on it or might have entered the recovery state and tweaked some system settings that resulted in your phone being bricked.

Keep in mind, the solution to this is the last resort you should do as it will restore your phone to its factory state, erasing the data from apps to files and settings stored on it.

For a tutorial, check our guide on how to factory reset your Android phone, or search our site for your specific device. If your phone is currently fine and you're reading this out of curiosity, we'd like to kindly advise you to back up everything on your phone, just in case this happens to you in the future!

If none of these tips have worked, it could be time to take your device to a repair shop.

Have these tips helped you? Any other tips to fix a phone that won't turn on?

Article updated in July 2024 with new screenshots and revised instructions. Older comments were not deleted and may refer to outdated instructions.

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Scott Adam Gordon

Scott Adam Gordon

Originally from the UK, Scott graduated in Popular Music Studies at Newcastle University and attributes much of his success there to his beloved Samsung Galaxy S2. His current aim is to write cool things about Android. And he loves it.

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  • Matthew Danielle Polintan 1
    Matthew Danielle Polintan Oct 29, 2022 Link to comment

    i have an realme cp while im using it it just turn off when i charge it the screen did not open but just vibrates i keep pluggin and unpluggin it but it just vibrates and wont open ineed help

    • shemron 1
      shemron Jan 23, 2023 Link to comment

      dude same it just vibrates but not turning on did u fix it? btw I have a Samsung m02s

  • 49
    storm Feb 24, 2022 Link to comment

    It means pull out your prior phone and get it updated so you can keep on with things while you figure this out if it can be recovered.

  • 1
    Walter Kim Jun 22, 2021 Link to comment

    I have a vernee T3 pro and it just went off,refused to come....Idk what to do anymore

  • 2
    raghavan jai Jan 1, 2021 Link to comment

    i loved it

  • 7
    RowanRosh Dec 14, 2020 Link to comment

    I'm using Redmi Y3, it will get heat faster while using and some times the screen touch won't work properly. At that time used to restart my phone after that only screen touch get sensation..!

  • 1
    Redock Nov 7, 2020 Link to comment

    How do you fix LG q6+ when you powered it off, ounce you powered it on it takes forever to unlock

  • 1
    JPR Sep 13, 2020 Link to comment

    I have an S6 that started giving overheating warnings. Didn't feel too hot. Automatically shut off. I was able to pull pics off it at one point but will not start up again. I popped it apart and changed batteries as previously battery was also dying quickly (old phone) and still no restart. Feels warm when plugged in so charging. Tried power and down volume with no luck but when I do power, down volume, and the main screen button, it does bring up the warning screen about a custom OS so I can either go this route by pressing volume up and continue restarting by pressing volume down. Of course, volume down results in a black screen as no sounds or vibration indicate the phone is booting up at all.
    Options? I have since replaced my phone but there are files and contacts on this S6 I would like to retrieve as lots did not come across from linked accounts.

  • 1
    Paulo May 17, 2020 Link to comment

    Hello, I hope you see this. I use an infinix hot 5. It began to touch itself just yesterday and I slept only to find out it turned off and wouldn't come on this morning. I have tried hard reset but it wouldn't make any sound or vibrate meaning its not coming on at all. What do I do please?

    • marco sarli 39
      marco sarli
      • Admin
      May 17, 2020 Link to comment

      Unfortunately your phone is a 2017 model so it is not in guarantee anymore and you will have to pay for assistance. Probably the best thing is to bring it to a repair shop.A lot of components start to fail after a couple of years of use,they are programmed to do so.

  • 1
    dia Mar 8, 2020 Link to comment

    It work my oneplus 6t is working again it was like giving it CPR. Thank god because i did not want to buy a new phone

  • 1
    Vicki Oct 4, 2019 Link to comment

    I shut my phone down and now it won't turn back on. I need help!

    • 1
      Desmond Wallace May 24, 2021 Link to comment

      my battery died so plug it in and went to sleep i woke up a couple hours later and it wont start up everytime when i turn it on it goes half way and died

  • 1
    gerald forster Jul 28, 2019 Link to comment

    ive got a chinese p20 pro copy , i had it one day , now its got black screen , battery is dead ,it wont charge ,when i put it into laptop ,it keeps going on and off ,,,is there a programme that can fix this

  • Dean L. 34
    Dean L. Jul 26, 2019 Link to comment

    A refresher is always handy. I can't seem to remember everything and when I have an issue I'm almost always searching for help on the net.

  • Brett Hermance 3
    Brett Hermance Jul 25, 2019 Link to comment

    wow! thanks for the info. I knew some of these but not all of them! thanks again! My phone is fine, but will remember these tips if anything happens to my phone! :-)

    Dean L.

  • marco sarli 39
    marco sarli
    • Admin
    Jul 25, 2019 Link to comment

    If there is no hardware problem, most of the times it is just the battery gone to 0. I have experienced this also if I was not using the phone and left it with a partial charge. Something was working in the background and using up my battery unbeknownst to me. I recharged the phone (and from 0 it took forever but it is not necessarily a bad thing) and reset all the permissions and the problem was solved

    Dean L.

  • Sadboi_;^; 1
    Sadboi_;^; May 29, 2019 Link to comment

    I know that the screen is the problem on my phone, so I'm trying to put all the data from my phone onto my computer, however, when connecting it to the cable, the phone wouldn't give access to any files, because it was set to, "Use USB for charging only," and because the screen is completely black, I can't change this. Does anybody know how I can put my files onto my computer?

    • 1
      queenawojobi Jun 18, 2019 Link to comment

      You wouldn't need to transfer data because all they are doing is replacing your screen. I know this because I've had mine replaced twice and about to be a third time.

  • 1
    mike May 15, 2019 Link to comment

    try holding down the power button for 5 seconds. worked for me.

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