Community Tested

How to Repair an iPhone from Water Damage

This wikiHow teaches you how to attempt to dry out or repair a water-damaged iPhone. While these methods have been known to improve an iPhone's chances of working again, there is no way to guarantee a fix for a waterlogged phone.

Part One of Three:
Salvaging a Wet iPhone
Edit

  1. 1
    Remove your phone from the water immediately. The longer your phone stays submerged, the more chance it has of shorting out. Quick reflexes can mean the difference between a working phone and a dead one.
  2. 2
    Power down the phone. To do so, press and hold the Power button, then slide the button at the top of the screen right when prompted. The sooner you can turn off your iPhone, the higher its chances of recovery will be.
    • If the screen is off but you're not sure if the phone is on, quickly press the Power button to see if the screen turns on. If it does, proceed to power the phone off. If it doesn't, leave it off.
  3. 3
    Remove any case that is on the iPhone. If your iPhone has a case, it may be holding in moisture; removing the case will allow the phone to breathe.
  4. 4
    Remove your iPhone's SIM card and tray. To do so, insert a SIM removal tool or an unbent paperclip into the SIM tray's hole to pop the SIM tray out. Completely remove the tray so that water can escape.
  5. 5
    Use a dry, absorbent cloth to wipe down the phone. Get all of the excess moisture off with an absorbent cloth. Make sure to get the moisture out of the charging port, the volume keys, the headphone jack and any other crevices.
  6. 6
    Swab out ports with a toothpick and piece of cloth. Get a thin piece of cotton, like an old shirt, and wrap a single layer around the end of a toothpick. Use this to absorb any excess water from the charging port and headphone jack.
  7. 7
    Place the iPhone in a warm, dry location. The best way to get rid of the water inside of your iPhone is to simply let it air dry in a warm place for as long as possible.
    • Many guides will report that placing your iPhone in a bag of rice will help draw the water out. This has been proven false--simply letting your iPhone air dry is the most effective way to fix it.[1]
    • Air drying will be more effective if you are able to remove the battery from the iPhone.
  8. 8
    Wait at least 48 hours. The longer you can wait, the more successful your drying process will be. If you can wait longer than 48 hours, 72 hours may be even more effective.
  9. 9
    Check for the water damage indicator. Each iPhone has a small indicator that tells repair technicians that the phone has received water damage. The indicator is a piece of plastic that turns red when it comes in contact with too much water. You can check this indicator yourself to see if your phone may be damaged. Use a flashlight to help you see inside the port. This indicator usually means that you likely won't qualify for free repair, in which case you may want to consider fixing the phone yourself.[2]
    • iPhone 5 and up - Look for a red indicator in the SIM tray port on the screen side of the phone.
    • iPhone 4S - Look for a red indicator in the charging port or in the headphone jack.
    Advertisement

Part Two of Three:
Working Around Water Damage
Edit

  1. 1
    Back up your iPhone immediately after turning it back on. Backing up your iPhone as soon as possible will ensure that, even if your iPhone quits working a few days later, its information can be installed on a new device.
  2. 2
    Use AssistiveTouch if your Home button stops working. A common symptom of water damage is a non-working Home button; you can bypass this issue by enabling the "AssistiveTouch" accessibility option that places shortcuts for hardware buttons on your screen.
    • AssistiveTouch will also allow you to lock your screen, alter your phone's volume, and take screenshots.
  3. 3
    Use a USB dock or Bluetooth headphones to play sound. If water damage has caused your iPhone's headphone jack to malfunction, you may need to use an alternative audio output device instead of traditional headphones.
    • Try to connect a USB dock that is compatible with your iPhone to the charging port at the bottom of your iPhone. It should be detected automatically.
    • If your phone's charging port won't recognize input, you won't be able to charge your phone.
  4. 4
    Keep your iPhone charged if your power button stops working. If your power button stops working, powering your iPhone on and off becomes very difficult. You’ll need to keep it charged and turned on to keep using it.
    • If your iPhone runs out of battery and shuts off, it will turn on again when you plug it into power.
    • On phones with the "Raise to Wake" feature enabled, simply picking up your iPhone will turn on the screen.
  5. 5
    Check if you qualify for warranty service. Standard AppleCare does not always cover water damage, but you may be able to get your phone serviced if it is new enough or you get a nice representative.
    Advertisement

Part Three of Three:
Performing Advanced Repairs
Edit

  1. 1
    Power down the phone. To do so, press and hold the Power button, then slide the button at the top of the screen right when prompted.
  2. 2
    Remove the SIM card. Take the SIM card tray and the SIM card out before you begin taking apart the iPhone.
  3. 3
    Remove the screws from the bottom of the iPhone. You’ll need a pentalobe (5-prong) screwdriver to remove the screws. The screws can be found to the left and right of the charging port.
  4. 4
    Use a suction cup to remove the front cover. A strong suction cup is one of the easier ways to remove the front part of the iPhone body. This will prevent scratches when trying to pry the halves apart.
    • Place a suction cup on the front, and hold the back of the case with your other hand.
    • Once the suction cup is applied, pull it apart from the back half.
  5. 5
    Use a Phillips screwdriver or other flat tool to remove the battery. Set the battery off to the side for now.
  6. 6
    Remove the cable connectors. There are several cable connectors that will need to be removed before you can access the logic board. Some of these will be pried off while others may require a Phillips screwdriver.
  7. 7
    Remove the logic board from the plastic case. Once you’ve completely detached the logic board, you can remove it from the plastic housing.
  8. 8
    Submerge the logic board in 97% isopropyl alcohol. Let it soak until any visible residue has become loose.
  9. 9
    Use a soft brush to scrub away visible residue. Make sure to clean all contacts and connectors. Scrub the chips on the logic board. Repeat the cleaning process if necessary.
  10. 10
    Allow the logic board to air dry completely before reassembling. Make sure the logic board is completely dry. If it is still damp, you may cause more damage when you try to turn it on.
  11. 11
    Wipe down the LCD with the isopropyl alcohol. Wiping down the LCD screen can remove any liquid residue. Avoid submerging the screen, as this can cause permanent damage to the display.
  12. 12
    Wait for your components to dry. Isopropyl alcohol will take a little while to completely dry, so leave all of your components out for at least four hours before reassembling the iPhone.
  13. 13
    Reassemble your iPhone. Put your iPhone back together by replacing all of the connectors and reinserting the screws in the reverse order that you took them out in.
  14. 14
    Power on your iPhone. If you’re sure that the iPhone is dry, you can try powering it on. If you performed a thorough cleaning and the parts weren’t too corroded, the phone may work again.[3]
    Advertisement

Community Q&A

Search
Add New Question
  • Will 70% alchohol work?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • You want the highest percentage alcohol possible. 70% alcohol has 30% water, so you're just putting more water on your already water-damaged components.
    Thanks! 28 7
  • My iPhone 6S has medium water damage. It'll still turn on and other parts function perfectly, but the screen has a blue and dark mar. How can I fix this?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • The only way to fix it is to get a new, high- quality LCD screen. These can be found for around $80 online, but shy away from the cheap ones, as they do not use high-quality materials. Follow the enclosed steps for removing the screen and cables, do them in reverse order to finish, and power on.
    Thanks! 23 7
  • I dropped my phone in toilet last night. Took it out, towel dried, put it in zip-lock bag with rice overnight. Tried to plug in charger this morning and charger won't fit into cell phone opening. I have iPhone5. Any suggestions?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • There is probably rice in your charger port. Try a paperclip to remove. Be gentle.
    Thanks! 59 25
  • Will keeping my phone next to a fire help prevent water damage in my phone after I dropped it in water?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Intense heat will be bad for the phone. Keep it in a warm place to help dry it out.
    Thanks! 6 1
  • Will this still work even if your iPhone has been water damaged for a year?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • This depends on how it was damaged. If it was fully submerged in a liquid, the answer is most likely no, because liquids can corrode the inner workings of the phone. If it was a small amount of water or only some functions of the phone do not work as they should, it is possible that this guide will help. However, if the phone still does not function properly, you may have to replace parts of the phone or the phone itself.
    Thanks! 27 13
  • After drying my iPhone, it started working again, but now I'm experiencing odd errors and sluggish performance. What should I do?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • There's a good chance that your iPhone has suffered permanent water damage. You can try taking it completely apart and using isopropyl alcohol to clean the parts, but it may just need to be replaced.
    Thanks! 13 6
  • How can I take apart my iPhone 4?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • If your phone is insured, you may not want to take it apart, because they might not let you claim for water damage.
    Thanks! 23 14
  • After my iPhone got immersed in water, it's working again but has a 'no service' message on top left, and I can't make or receive calls. Is that caused by water damage and can it be fixed?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Your SIM card could be damaged. Talk to your cell phone carrier about replacing your phone's SIM card.
    Thanks! 19 11
  • Will these steps work if I did nothing about it until after a few hours?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes, more than likely if you haven't suffered extreme water damage, if the phone logic board hasn't been damaged, or if you haven't tried to turn it on and it damage the logic board.
    Thanks! 9 4
  • How do I remove the SIM card?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Straighten a paperclip and insert one end into the small hold in the SIM tray on your iPhone. Push the paperclip in and the SIM tray will pop out, allowing you to remove your SIM card.
    Thanks! 17 11
Show more answers
  • What do I do if I put my phone in rice for two days and it still won't turn on?
  • What do I do if I was able to charge my phone after it dried, but the Apple icon flickers off and on?
  • My phone was partially submerged in water and now it will only work for a couple of minutes at a time. What should I do?
  • Is my phone repairable if it fell into water and the Apple logo comes and goes?
  • My iPhone 7 has a white line across it and I believe it is water damage. What can I do to repair it if I don't want my parents to find out?
Show more unanswered questions
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
Submit

Quick Summary

1. Remove phone from water source.
2. Power down the phone.
3. Remove the case.
4. Remove the SIM card and tray.
5. Wipe phone with a dry, absorbent cloth.
6. Swab ports with a toothpick and piece of cloth.
7. Place phone into a warm, dry location.
8. Wait 48 hours or more before turning back on.

VideoEdit

About This Article

Tested By:
wikiHow Technology Team

This version of How to Repair an iPhone from Water Damage was reviewed on March 20, 2017.

How helpful is this?
Co-authors: 23
Updated:
Views: 792,754
Categories: IPhone

Reader Success Stories

  • DH

    D. Horton

    Apr 2

    "This was helpful and interesting. Though it did not deal with the uniqueness of the iPhone 10, it gave hints."
Share your story

Is this article up to date?

Yes
No