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What to do if your phone won't turn on: A step by step guide

NextPit broken phone
© nextpit

If you've ever asked yourself, ''why won't my phone turn on?'' you're not alone. Even if you're a professional Android tinkerer, things could occasionally go beyond your skill level and you may find yourself wondering what to do with a phone that won't turn on. Today we'll take a look at a few reasons why your phone won't turn on and also look at a few fixes for the same.

Jump to:

  1. Check if your phone is plugged in
  2. Is the problem just with the screen?
  3. If your phone was dropped or got wet
  4. Was the phone buggy before breaking?
  5. Check the battery
  6. Charger and cable problems
  7. Android stops at the logo screen
  8. Use your computer to force it to turn on

Amazon Basics USB-C charging cable

1. Is it plugged in?

Just kidding - but seriously, when was the last time you charged it? Sometimes time flies when you're having fun watching cat videos and the next time you pick your phone up it won't turn on because you've YouTubed it to death. 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.

NextPit no battery
First things first: Did you charge it lately? / © NextPit

Anker 32W 2-port charger

2. Is it on but the screen isn't on?

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.

shutterstock 549707107
Troubleshooting is not always so obvious if the display is broken / © Piyawan Charoenlimkul/Shutterstock

3. Did you drop it or get it wet?

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. But before that, you can still try getting some data out of it by using the steps mentioned in the article below.

water shutterstock 658708180
Not every device can handle water / © blackzheep/Shutterstock

4. Did it gradually get buggy and then die?

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, you might just have a software issue that can be fixed by replacing the firmware.

First, you're going to want to get as much data off as you can and then flash new firmware. We have guides for the popular devices on NextPit to help you out, and you can also try a factory reset to clear up any other problems. If this sounds too complicated, take it to your carrier store for assistance.

5. Is your battery bloated or leaking?

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 leaking.

If your battery cover is removable, take it out and inspect it for damage, bulges, or leaks. If you find any, get a new battery pronto and dispose of the old one safely.

swollen battery shutterstock 2107712735
Swollen batteries pose a risk of explosion / © Artfully Photographer/Shutterstock

6. Is your charger or cable kaput?

Sometimes you're left wondering why isn't your phone turning on and it turns out that the phone isn't the culprit at all. There have been occasions even the smartest of people have not identified that the issue is because of a faulty charger cable, adapter, or even a wall socket. So 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.

Amazon Basics 68W two-port USB-C and USB-A wall charger

7. Are you just seeing the logo screen?

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

If you've recently updated to a new version of Android or flashed a custom ROM it might be as simple a solution as entering Recovery and wiping the cache partition or doing a data wipe/factory reset or, in the worst possible case, you might have bricked your phone.

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!

8. Use your computer to force it to turn on

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.

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 February 2022 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 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 10 months ago Link to comment

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • raghavan jai Jan 1, 2021 Link to comment

    i loved it

  • 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..!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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
      • 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.

  • 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

  • Vicki Oct 4, 2019 Link to comment

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

    • 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

  • 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. 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 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! :-)

  • 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

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • mike May 15, 2019 Link to comment

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

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