iPhone's black screen of death, and how to fix it

Your iPhone Just Went Black and It Won’t Respond to Any Button. Here’s What You Do


Then think about all the time your iPhone was exposed to moisture: jogging, that day you got caught in the rain, the time you set it down in a ring of condensation.  Then you’ll think about the times you’ve dropped, sat on it, and kicked it.

iPhone's black screen of death, and how to fix it

Then relax. Chances are, your iPhone simply decided to reset itself.

This happened to me the night before the most important business trip of my life.  I was about to spend 6 days in California with no means of communication–except for my laptop and Google phone.  Plus, I was coordinating activities of 4 other consultants.

I woke up soaking wet with fear at 3:30 a.m.  I decided to play around on the internet and searched for symptoms like mine–the phone shuts off and pressing the top silver button or the round awake/sleep button does nothing.

What I found was a MacRumors forum discussion with a simple solution:  Press and hold both buttons (top silver, bottom round) until the little Apple logo appears. For me it was about 10 seconds.  (You’ll lose hope after 5, but keep holding.)

You might want to bookmark this post in case this ever happens to you.

384 thoughts on “Your iPhone Just Went Black and It Won’t Respond to Any Button. Here’s What You Do”

  1. Thank you – I was in complete panic :-). Just simply wasn’t holding the buttons down long enough. Apparently panicked counting to 10 is just not enough time for the phone to reset.

          1. Take it to an Apple Store. When I had a phone that failed for another reason, they replaced it for $50. Brand new iPhone 4 for 50 bucks. Not sure they’ll do that for everyone, but they did it for me.

        1. i know i am late, but try putting on ur charger as well, then press the two buttons together :) It worked for me ^^ it was 100% before i dropped it, but apparently, the battery seem to have been knocked out of it too, when i dropped it from the third floor to the second floor ^^

        1. thank you.. that is the only thing that made it come back on.. now to see if it will work
          now my screen is back.. wow.. made me nervous

        2. This one worked for me. Only holding one button did nothing and had me completely panicked. Thanks for the other option

        3. thank you so much! this was the only thing that worked for me i tried holding the power and home button but it didn’t work, this worked tho thank you

          1. well i have done all that.it appears that the issue i had was using an affected USB cable which drained the energy from my battery cells. i had to get it fixed by a technician.i was heartbroken for 48 hrs..

        4. 2 hours in panic – with Apple closed, and countless youtube videos and threads later, I find your comment. Thank you so much!

        1. It took about a minute of holding the buttons simultaneously. If that doesn’t work, please take the phone to your Apple Store. The Geniuses there do a great job of diagnosing and fixing problems, if they can be fixed.

    1. Thank you,Thank you,incredible but it work, very simple and very big useful! Now I don’t need to to worry about my iPhone 5, very big Thanks!

  2. This happened to me and I panicked as well. However, this worked and my phone is back live. Thank you soooooo much for posting this!

  3. You are right! I panicked. Found your post. Did what you said. Panicked again after 5 seconds and it reset at 10. I’m in little apple logo happiness right now.

      1. [email protected] says:

        hello my iphone 4 has gone black screen non of the buttons do anything all its doing is vibrating any ideas whats going on it was fine this morning im stumped

        1. Isis, I am in the same predicament right now … what did you end up doing?
          Does anyone have the answer to this?
          If the home button is not working and, because the screen is black, I cannot “respond to your iPhone” to “allow access,” how can I solve this issue?
          My phone still vibrates when I get a call but I can’t use the phone or answer or anything.

  4. Awesome tip. Thank you very much. I was at a total loss as to why my iphone simply blacked out and then l had attempt a quick fix. Thanks for the elightenment

        1. Try going to settings and look for place to set the brightness of your screen. Somehow I had managed to accidentally change this to the lowest setting. I fixed it and the nearly black screen came back,

      1. I dropped my phone a couple of minutes ago & the screen has been black ever since. The phone is still on but I can’t see anything. I tried resetting it but still no luck. What should I do?

        1. That sounds like a trip to the Apple Store. Sorry. You can try this method, but it sounds like you might have physical damage.

      1. thanks so much!! i spent 2 hows on the phone with at&t tech support. Bless her heart she had me downloading my life away. Needless to say she didn’t help, i read these post, held the button on top, and the round on the bottom, and LAWD BEHOLD!! it worked, time ti sip some wine lol

        1. I started to panic after my screen went black after installing an app. I typed in my screen has gone black and this forum came up.Did what it said by pressing both buttons.Now my phone works.Thank You.From DonnaT.

  5. Thank you thank you thank! Yesterday marked 30 days with my iPhone and it went into the black hole of death with no warning. I, too, panicked yet after 10 very long seconds, it has come back to life. Your post is greatly appreciated

  6. Thank you very much this was very help full!! Especially the the part (You’ll lose hope after 5, but keep holding.) that helped out a lot!

  7. OMG thanks so much and by the way i love the way you wrote the post it really does sum up the feelings of the black out

  8. OH MY GOD! I really thought that it was a paper weight! Just went black and didn’t even respond to plugging it into the wall or computer. Tried the reset with both buttons but was to panicked to hold it long enough I guess.Did what you said and POOF came back to life!!! THANK YOU!

  9. Oh my EFFING GOD thank you for this. And I did lose hope after 5 seconds. But now I have the Apple logo on my screen. Phone’s just turned back on. Oh my god, the panic. My heart is beating so fast right now. You’re a true life saver!

  10. Yeah, it happened to me as well on my iphone 5!! WTF!!!
    20 minutes of terror, on Christmas morning even!!
    Thank goodness for the internet and your post…

  11. Hi, my iphone5 went black today, and I followed the tip of this post. The apple logo appeared after 7 sec but it went black again. The home screen didn’t appear at all. I tried to reset it again and it never worked. Anyone have some ideas?

    1. I’m sorry this technique didn’t work. My recommendation would be to take it to the nearest Apple Store. I’ve heard that some people needed to have their iPhone 5s replaced. It’s very rare, but it happens.

  12. i was using a unu add on battery pack . do you think that made the phone go black. your info got it back though. but afraid to put battery back on.

    1. Pat,

      I could not find any complaints about the Unu causing the blackout problem. Doesn’t mean it’s not the cause, but I couldn’t find examples. Also, I don’t use the Unu, and I don’t think the 20 or so people who’ve commented on this thread use one.

      You might try the Unu again to test. If the phone goes black again with the Unu on, there’s a good chance that’s the problem.

  13. FANTASTIC!!! Thank you! I have been having trouble with my iPhone since I had got it fixed post accidental introduction with water. Anyhow it’s turned off/ black screen several times, and I pretty much thought it was DONE (mind you this is the very REASON I had AVOIDED getting an iPhone in the first place. Anyhow… it worked. Thank you!

  14. bhennessy thanx alot man u saved my life amazing by the way how did u find this??????? im only 14 gonna be 15 this year so again thanx if this fone hadn’t worked i wouldn’t get another fone like this for another 4-5 years…. i’d have to use a cheap fone

  15. hii. i have an problem like this but not solving… my iphone just crashed and went black…i tried this method i hold the buttons for 7 minutes nad the same thing…iphone is tethered jailbreak and i boot from redsn0w and i can here the phone on…even to itunes is open :( what to do

  16. My iPhone 5 did that this morning. Never happened and I’ve had every iPhone since the first. I knew instinctively to do a “hard reboot” (holding down the power and home buttons until the apple appears as described in this post – fixes a lot of problems). But I still don’t know why. It might be related to my backup.

    When I got this phone I restored everything from iCloud. Yesterday was the first time I synched directly to my Mac (because I didn’t have all my music transferred yet). Leads me to believe it had something to do with that.

  17. Ah! I was about to run out to the store and have them (probably do the same thing and laugh me out the door) fix it. My husband is overseas and I was about to miss his call!!! Thank you!!!!!

  18. THANNKKKKK YYOUUUUU…!!! thannnxxxx 4 this…thannnkkkuu so muchh…it worked finally…I totallyy freaked out…so happy :) :)

  19. Thank you that was so helpful. I panicked and didn’t hold the buttons down for long enough but after reading your comment I retried it and it worked!

  20. you are a life saver .. I was sitting in apple store ready for the bad new that my display has gone bad or sth when I read your post.. and It works!!! Thankyouu

  21. unfortunately it doesnt work for me :(( I holded both butons for like a minute and the logo still not showing
    I have iphone5

  22. my ipod 2g just had lcd and digitizer replaced. screen came on last night to tell me it was dead. charged it and it seemed to work this morning (all i did was turn on screen, locck it and went back to sleep) now it wont respond to anything! DFU, restart, reset, plugging into wall or comp. its just black!!! why???

  23. Thanks soo much. I am Jonathan “Tig” Willard former Clemson Tiger. I am in this years NFL Draft. But when my phone went out today all I could think about it what will happen if they call me and I don’t have a phone. This was a life saver. Thanks again.

  24. Thank you so much for that. This quick fix saved me a lot of time feeling not very good. You have been very gracious in your many replies to those you have helped. I am by no means loaded – being a struggling artist but would like to donate a little something to a charity if you can suggest one, by way of thanks.

    1. try just holding the power off button I tried with both buttons for 12 sec and that didn’t work so I held the power off button for 12 sec and it started to work again YAY!! i got so worried LOL

  25. Anecdotally, it seems to be a bigger problem with the 5. Mine started going black screen the first day I owned it. The hard reboot worked the first time, but then didn’t the next time. I took it back to Verizon while it was black. Luckily I got the guy to look at it right away, because it woke up while I was waiting. His back office insisted I take it home, back it up, and restore it. I did, and I was SO HAPPY it worked. Two days later, same old stuff. It’s going back but I’m thinking about an android.

  26. thank you so much, my iphone 5 just turned black and I did what you said to do, and it worked!!!!! THANKS, your a genius.

  27. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! Apple care couldn’t help me, and I was getting ready to make the hour drive to the nearest apple store in hopes that someone could help.
    Almost every picture of my daughter from 6 months until now (almost 11 months) is on my iPhone and I haven’t backed it up. You have no idea how helpful and thankful I am that I found this tip. Backing up my phone as I type. Thank you again!!!!

    1. so this didnt delete your photos!? It just happened to me and I have all my photos of my daughter on there too !!

  28. You’re a good man! Felt like someone had pulled the rug from under my feet when it just died. So relieved now. Cheers!

  29. [email protected] says:


  30. My iPhone was in my backpack and I dropped my backpack on the floor. When I looked at the phone it was fine, but it didn’t respond to any buttons and vibrated every time I received a text or phone call. I tried this and it didn’t work. Help!!! (I held the buttons down for over a minute!!!)

  31. The button on the top of my phone hasn’t been working for a few weeks and I dropped/cracked my screen so had a new one put on two days ago whilst travelling in Laos – I have the screen of death today and can’t press both buttons because the top one isn’t working…it just tells me that Siri isn’t available and to connect to the Internet!! I know it’s alive…I can hear it…I just can’t see it :(


  32. Thank a lot! *Press and hold both buttons (top silver, bottom round) until the little Apple logo appears. For me it was about 10 seconds. (You’ll lose hope after 5, but keep holding.)*

  33. I was able to get my phone to the reset stage and the apple icon screen. Now it is showing an image of the USB port cord with an arrow pointing to Itunes. Any ideas? I can’t get it to respond beyond that…Thank you!

  34. Hi, my iPhone 5 (iOS 6.1.2) has similar problem. Last night after I connected it to the power source the screen slowly went black, it was still making a normal sound of power connection, it was still vibrating, and the screen was black but with illumination. However, few minutes later with no response to the rebut (pressed two buttons for 10 seconds) the screen is just black, vibration is off, but it did vibrate, Siri sound was functioning, but today the phone reacts only on slinence/vibration button. Help!

    1. Take it to an apple store. They should replace it if it didn’t get wet.

      Moisture can damage the home button, though.

  35. i tried those tips, but still it isn’t work.. what happen on my iphone 5 was i accedentaly press the notification for unmounted Sd i thought it was an ordinary notification, i just realize it later when i check my gallery it was empty it says no sd detected,and return it, so what i did is to restart the iphone like hold the power nad home button, it turn black but the apple logo wont appear and now trying all tips to turn it on but sad to say it doesn’t work,,,anybody could help pls…………….

  36. I dropped mine in its otter box and I was freaking out when it wouldn’t turn on it took me eight seconds and it works now but I have a crack on my otter box

  37. Even this didn’t work for me :,( I didn’t drop it or anything, my alarm went off and I went to swipe the screen to turn off the alarm, and my screen was black!! I can hear my phone ring and receive texts, but I cant open or view them due to the screen. I can use voice control to play music! Im going to try letting the battery die then trying this. Im at a complete loss at what to do. This is the replacement of my first iphone, the power button died and wouldn’t work so they gave me this one….see how well that worked :/ I need this for worship at church tomorrow, it has all my stuff on it.

  38. looks like this happens all the time around the world? thanks for your post, worked well, and I’ve got a near new iPhone5

  39. Yup, panicked just like everyone else. Tried calling the VZW store where got my phone and no one answered…thx sir!

  40. Omg the drama was 3 seconds away..lol I thought I was going to cry because my phone wasn’t responding to any buttons. Thanks so much

  41. my didn’t work and I have a iphone 4. it was outside a lot today so do I give it time and I counted for a whole minute and nothing happen, plz help I need it for tomorrow!!!!

  42. Sadly didn’t work for me. Took the phone to an independent repair agent, who diagnosed that the LCD backlight had failed, but was replaced in less than 30 minutes for £40 UK sterling. Phone now working fully and my teenage daughter (Who’s phone it is) is happy once again and permanently glued to it!!
    Thanks for the advice, and glad that it did work for the majority of people.

  43. Sent this to a friend that had their phone go black and she wants to have my children now. Talk about panic, there must be a word for someone past panic. Thanks and now I know what to do if it happens to me.

  44. This happens to me VERY OFTEN. I found out that if you open p=up the phone and unplug the battery connector then plug it back in the phone will work. But it’s a hassle. I havent tried your method, but I will next time my phone does this. I just want to know WHY it does this so often…I bought an entirely new battery and Im starting to think something is wrong with the connector for the battery but Im not sure….

  45. so i would love to try this but my sleep button has been stuck for awhile. ive been using the accessibility button since. any other way to accomplish a reset?

  46. Thank you my friend I am relieved. I got in an argument my my lady because she thought I turned my phone of. Again thank you my friend.

  47. what do you do if your lock/power button is broken? Mine has been stuck for a while and as a student don’t know if i can spare the probable couple hundred to go somewhere to fix it.

  48. What you are doing here is called a force reboot, but just make sure you dont put it into DFU; it is a similar procedur and that would be very bad. Well, not with any knowledge o ios devices, but people here didnt know what force reboot was, so…

  49. Thank you so much! I had a mini heart attack when my phone crashed an application and went totally black. Thank you thank you.

  50. Oh My Dear Jesus!! ur are a kind , good , very nice person. U saved the dear life of somone coz i had already boiled with anger and was going to kick the retail guy who sold it to me a few weeks ago!!!!!

  51. Thank you sir. My Iphone just blacked out and searched for solution on the internet and found out your little and helpful article about that, which helped me alot. Thanks again now my phone works perfectly

  52. OMG thank you soooooooooo much !!!!!!!!!!! It worked !!!! My phone was off for like 12hrs and I was about to take it in and pay for it to get fixed til something in me told me told me to google it :) THANK YOU <3

  53. My lock screen is broken so I cant do that.. so do I just wait till my phone is dead somehow and then plug in my charger? Because I honestly have no idea what to do.

  54. What should I do if only my home button is working? My power button has been broken for awhile now, but my screen went completely black and I have no idea what to do now.


  55. just upgraded to ios 7, did my first sync and the screen went black….panicked like everyone else..LOL found your page and the two button push worked!! Thank you!!

  56. omg!!!….I hope this blog pays you somehow….because I am one thankful cookie……I apparently didn’t hold long enough when my instincts said hold it down or press any button a million times………..THANK YOU!!…..THANK YOU!!!….for posting this

  57. phew, i thank you for experiencing that problem and finding the solution, i was about to reset the phone back to the factory settings, but you prevented me from losing all my apps and info.

  58. Yes, I panicked thought about throwing it out the window then ur awesome site came into play. thanks you so very much. heart was in bottom of stomach for about 20 minutes. i hate technology simply because i depend on this stupid little thing. lol

  59. Hey,i own an iphone 5 and i left it to charge and when i came back it was black and won’t turn back on. my sleep button is broken so i can’t do it your way although i wish i can. Any suggestions on what i can do to at least fix my button so i can try this? thank you in advance.

  60. This happened to me but I could still hear all of the sounds. I could hear a call coming in (I called myself from a land line) and could hear all of the alerts. Then when I held the power button down for a bit it just came back on. So weird!

  61. I cant thank you enough. It was really hard for me because both my buttons are jammed and reallyyyy hard to push. But I finally got it…I think it’s time for a new phone. :P

    1. Thanks heaps !!!! Thought my phone had died lol worst still us I use it as a alarm clock and thought holy cow what if I sleep in and don’t get the kids to school and miss work lol

  62. Dear Author, All I can say is that God bless you ! My phone stopped working two days ago with a black out screen. I was all set to buy a new iphone 5s, but luckily I read your experience. I did exactly as you had suggested and thank God it worked. :) No doubt internet is a great source of knowledge. Thank you.

  63. OMG thank you thank you thank you! You’re totally right! I wanted to give up after 5 seconds, then sure enough ten seconds later my apple logo!!!! I think it has to be an Iphone 4 or 4s for it to work. But thank goodness for this post!

  64. Thank you soooooo much – it worked perfectly! I had never been more scared in my life. Did start to lose hope a little after 5 secs.

  65. thank you so much like really , i was about to die because it wouldnt come on, then i found this website, did what u told me to and now my phone works fine :) \

  66. saved me from having a near heart attack. Thank goodness I was near a PC when this happened. I take it as a warning. Must back up the da phone.

  67. Has anybody ever experienced this: my battery appeared to start to go out in my iPhone 5 for a couple weeks (it’s only 9 months old) so finally it completely died and after charging all night it wouldn’t come back on. I went to the apple store and they took it to the back and opened it up. They came back out front and said they couldn’t help me because the phone had been altered. I was in shock, I bought this phone BRAND NEW from verizon and it has NEVER been opened or altered. After fighting with Apple and verizon they told me the best option is to pay the insurance to replace the phone. This whole thing ticks me off as it’s still under warranty and I didn’t do anything to the phone!!!

  68. Thank-you for making this available to everyone! I was certain that I would be buying a new phone tomorrow, which certainly was not in the budget. Very grateful for your advice :)

  69. OMG! You should see my eyes almost drooping out in search for any help online to get my phone back. Well I am happy I did this first than to call any office to get me on phone downloading some endless information bla bla bla…….Thank you so much for this help! A great sigh of relief!!!

  70. Thank you SO SO much ! Panicked ! Just got this new 5S. You are a life saver. Thanks for posting : ) It was the title of the forum that drew in in without reading others.

  71. OMFG. I tried everything (even put it in rice) and read all forums and even watched youtube videos. Then I saw this and decided to try it, and counted exactly at 10 right after I counted 10 I was about to give up, but the logo came on! thank you so much!

    1. THANKS!!!!!!i was about to throw my phone away I was so frustrated but tried it and it worked first time right away. So simple but did the trick!

  72. Thank you…, I was stranded in a foreign country when this happened. Just after my laptop crashed a few days earlier so I actually jumped when the logo appeared. Apparently I didn’t hold long enough when I tried before. THANK YOU so much!

  73. i cant make a reboot coz my lock button is not working anymore the only option i was thinking is to drain the remaining power of my fone. will it work???

  74. i have never used an iphone, and now i have gotten the 5s not longer than 4 months,nd i have just experienced the blackout problem,i have tried all suggestions and holding the power nd home button longer than neccessary. nd im pretty sure it was battery drain.this is soo frustrating.

    1. Sorry to hear about your problems, abbakar. You probably need to take the phone to an Apple store. They do great work there. I know it’s an inconvenience, but every time I’ve been an Apple Store with a problem, I left feeling even better about choosing the iPhone. (And, no, I don’t work for Apple or own stock in the company.)


  76. How about this. I cant restart my blackout iphone 4 because my home button is not working . What do i need to do to fix it?


  77. haha,it really works…thanks for the info..it really helps.i thought i wont be able to use mine again…awwe..God speed.

  78. THANK YOU!!!! randomly googled and found your site, I had to hold my buttons for about 15 sec I gave up hope after 10 but held on for dear life and what do you know…THE APPLE APPEARED!!! I have never been happier to see a piece if fruit missing a bite in my life…Thanks for the help!

  79. OH MY GOD! Thank you so much. I nearly died. My mom nearly killed me and there are absolutely no stores around here. It didn’t work for the first ten seconds and I was losing hope but after 30 seconds it showed the apple icon. THANK YOU

    1. Thanks, Vidinka. You make a very important point. Do not give up after just a few seconds. It’ll seem like forever, but most people get the happy Apple logo between 30 seconds and a minute.

  80. you just saved my life! My husband completely obliterated our PC about a month ago, HD and all so this was about to send me over the edge. you are AHHHHHHmazing!

  81. Many thanks, Bill. You saved me hours of being out of touch. You also saved me a trip to the Apple Store. Slaintè.

  82. I cant tell how happy I am,how much I am appreciating you and your help.Wishing you lot of happiness.
    1 month old my iphone6 :)
    Thanks a lot!
    Keep posting

  83. OMG thank you so much! It is 1:30 am and I had been trying to get my phone to turn on for 30 minutes as I have several appointments tomorrow. You are a life saver. Thank you so much.

  84. you are a life saver! my wife uses apple (i’m an android guy) and her precious iphone6 went blank on her. Talk about panic.. Luckily this did the trick!! THANKS for saving me a night of griping,crying, yelling, etc

  85. My daughter’s phone started squealing then went dead. Now the phone will not turn on at all. The only thing out up is a small white light on the back. Any suggestions she is freaking out

  86. hey good pM guys… IM also in this situation..but my home bottom is not working..try to send me a solution to my viber.. +639155440382…thanks a lot

  87. Tank you so much! I’ve been panicking all day because of this, but now it’s working again. I love you, you beautiful human!

  88. Ummmmh okay so I dropped my iPhone 5c picked it up it went black I opened it to see and,my screen isn’t attached to a skinny black band around it could it be my screen that’s the problem or can I still restart it without losing all my memory ?

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