iPhone: Hardware troubleshooting


If you have issues with your iPhone, try these tips.


Note: Installing the latest version of iOS may resolve the issue. If your device has the latest iOS version installed, please locate your symptom and continue troubleshooting.

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Find troubleshooting steps for:

No sound through stereo headset

  1. Inspect the headset jack for debris and clean if necessary.
  2. Connect the headset and make sure the connector is pushed in all the way.
  3. Check the volume setting. Adjust the volume by pressing the volume up and down button on the left side of the iPhone.
  4. If you are trying to listen to music and cannot hear any audio, make sure that the music on iPhone is not paused. Try squeezing the headset microphone to resume playback. Additionally, from the Home screen you can choose iPod > Now Playing, then tap Play.
  5. Make sure the latest version of iTunes is installed on the computer that you are syncing the iPhone with (songs purchased from the iTunes Store using earlier versions of iTunes won't play).
  6. Try another Apple headset (some third-party headsets require an adapter to be used with original iPhone).
  7. Try a different song or video.
  8. Check to see if the iPhone alert sounds or other iPhone sound effects exhibit the same audio issues.
  9. Disconnect the headset from the iPhone and see if sound comes from the built-in speaker.


Battery or charging issues

See these steps for troubleshooting battery or charging issues.

iPhone acceptable temperatures

Will not turn on, will not turn on unless connected to power, or unexpected power off

  1. Verify that the Sleep/Wake button functions. If it does not function, inspect it for signs of damage. If the button is damaged or is not functioning when pressed, seek service.
  2. Check if a Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) is activated or there are signs of corrosion. Learn about LCIs and corrosion.
  3. Connect the iPhone to the iPhone's USB power adapter and let it charge for at least ten minutes.
  4. After at least 30 minutes, if:
    • The home screen appears: The iPhone should be working. Update to the latest version of iOS if necessary. Continue charging it until it is completely charged and you see this battery icon in the upper-right corner of the screen . Then unplug the phone from power. If it immediately turns off, seek service.
    • The low-battery image appears, even after the phone has charged for at least 20 minutes: See "iPhone displays the low-battery image and is unresponsive" symptom in this article.
    • Something other than the Home screen or Low Battery image appears, continue with this article for further troubleshooting steps.
  5. If the iPhone did not turn on, reset it while connected to the iPhone USB power adapter.
    • If the display turns on, go to step 4.
    • If the display remains black, go to next step.
  6. Connect the iPhone to a computer and open iTunes. If iTunes recognizes the iPhone and indicates that it is in recovery mode, attempt to restore the iPhone. If the iPhone doesn't appear in iTunes or if you have difficulties in restoring the iPhone, see this article for further assistance.
  7. If restoring the iPhone resolved the issue, go to step 4. If restoring the iPhone did not solve the issue, seek service.


Display image issues

This can include bright or dark pixels, lines in video, or sections of video missing.

  1. Try turning iPhone off and then on again.
  2. Verify the issue is not content related, by viewing different content.
  3. If the image is too dark, adjust the brightness. In General Settings choose Brightness and Wallpaper and slide the slider.

Display does not go into landscape mode

  • Remember that photos, webpages, and applications will not change viewing-orientation modes when iPhone is lying flat. Hold iPhone vertically to switch between portrait and landscape modes or vice versa.
  • Verify that rotation lock is not on.
  • To test, open the Calculator application while holding the iPhone vertically (portrait mode). The standard calculator should appear. Then rotate the iPhone to a horizontal position (landscape mode), and the scientific calculator should appear.

Note: Certain apps and features may support only one mode, landscape or portrait. For example, the Videos app plays video in landscape mode, and Reminders uses only portrait mode. Not all applications on iPhone use landscape mode.

Multi-Touch display not responding to touch

See this document for troubleshooting Multi-Touch display issues.

Display has no backlight or dark screen

  1. Toggle the ringer switch to see if the unit vibrates. If it does, it could be that iPhone is getting power, but is not displaying any image.
  2. Try turning iPhone off and then on again.
  3. While connected to the iPhone charger, try to reset the iPhone.
  4. If the low-battery screen appears, charge the iPhone.

Display doesn't adjust brightness automatically

The ambient light sensor brightens the display when using the iPhone in brightly lit environments, and dims the display in low light. To test this sensor, do the following:

  1. If the iPhone is in a protective case, remove it from the case. If there is a protective film on the display, remove the film.
  2. Verify that the Auto-Brightness setting (Settings > Brightness and Wallpaper) is set to ON, and that the Brightness level is set near the middle of the slider.
  3. Press the Home button to return to the Home screen and then press the Sleep/Wake button to lock the iPhone.
  4. In a bright environment, cover the top third of the iPhone to block the light, then press the Sleep/Wake button or the Home button to wake the phone. Slide the slider to unlock the phone.
  5. Notice the brightness of the screen and application icons; they should be somewhat dimmed.
  6. Remove the cover from the top of the display and in a few moments the display should get brighter.

Learn more about the brightness setting.

Display shows a white screen

  1. Try turning iPhone off and then on again.
  2. If the iPhone will not turn off, try to reset it.
  3. If that doesn't work, try restoring the device.

After finishing a call the display remains black

  1. If the iPhone is in a protective case, remove it from the case.
  2. If there is a protective or antiglare film on the display, remove the film.
  3. Clean the screen, especially around the receiver, with a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth.
  4. Try turning iPhone off and then on again.

Screen won't lock or go black when answering calls

  1. Verify mute or speaker have not been activated, just prior to placing your ear over the receiver.
  2. While on a call hold your hand over the top third of the display, and verify that the screen is locked or goes to sleep.
  3. Try turning iPhone off and then on again.

General phone and connectivity issues

Call and connection issues

First, see the iPhone Call and Connection Assistant for troubleshooting steps.

No cell signal strength anywhere

  1. Verify that your carrier name appears in the status bar, at top left of the display.
  2. Turn Airplane mode on, wait for the to appear in the status bar, and then turn it off again.
  3. Reset Network Settings: Tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
  4. If your iPhone is in a case, try removing it to ensure that the case isn't interfering with the cell signal strength.
  5. Contact your carrier to find out the following:
    • If you are in an area with network coverage.
    • If there is a network outage.
    • The account is properly configured to your phone.
  6. Try to restore your phone and set it up as new.

Note: Your iPhone may be able to receive calls in as little as 15 minutes after activation. If you are migrating your current phone number, it can take longer–up to several days, depending on the type and status of your former service account–before calls are routed to iPhone. In the meantime, you can make calls and use the device's other features.

Intermittent service in an area with good coverage

  1. If iPhone is in a carrying case, try using it without the carrying case.
  2. Try turning iPhone off and then on again.
  3. Try moving to another location.
  4. If service is still intermittent and your iPhone has a SIM card, contact your carrier or visit your local Apple Retail Store to see if the SIM should be replaced.
  5. If you are using iPhone on a CDMA network, update the Preferred Roaming List (PRL). Contact your carrier for assistance.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth issues

Interference while in carrying case

See this article for information.

Won't go into airplane mode

  1. Try turning iPhone off and then on again.
  2. From the Home screen Tap Settings and turn airplane mode on. When airplane mode is on, appears in the status bar at the top of the screen, and no cell phone, radio, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth signals are emitted from iPhone.

To learn more about Airplane mode, see this article.

The "No Service" message appears in the upper left corner of the display

Not seen in iTunes / USB connection issues

iPhone is unresponsive and displays the Apple Logo

Review this article: iOS: Unable to update or restore.

Buttons and Switches

Sleep/Wake button won't lock or unlock iPhone

  1. To lock the phone, press the Sleep/Wake button. Note: By default, if you don't touch the screen for a minute, iPhone locks automatically.
  2. To unlock iPhone, press the Home button or the Sleep/Wake button, then slide the slider.
  3. If either of the above steps don't work, try turning iPhone off and then on again.
  4. If the iPhone will not power off, reset it.
  5. Try to lock or unlock the phone.

The Home button is slow to respond

  1. If the Home button is slow to respond when exiting one application, try another application.
  2. If the issue exists only in certain applications, try removing and reinstalling those applications. Get further assistance in installing and troubleshooting applications.
  3. If the issue continues, Try turning iPhone off and then on again. If the iPhone will not restart, try resetting it.
  4. If the issue is still happening, try to restore the iPhone.
  5. Seek service is the issue is still occurring.

The Home button isn't working

  1. Put the iPhone to sleep.
  2. Wait a couple of seconds.
  3. Press the Home button.
  4. iPhone should wake up.
  5. If iPhone does not wake up, then iPhone should be serviced.


Camera isn't functioning or has undesired image quality

  1. If the screen shows a closed lens or black image, force quit the Camera app.
  2. If you do not see the Camera app on the Home screen, try searching for it in Spotlight. If the camera does not show up in the search, check to make sure that Restrictions are not turned on by tappingSettings > General > Restrictions.
  3. Ensure the camera lens is clean and free from any obstructions. Use a microfiber polishing cloth to clean the lens.
  4. Cases can interfere with the camera and the flash. Try gently cleaning the lens with a clean dry cloth or removing the case if you see image or color-quality issues with photos.
  5. Try turning iPhone off and then back on.
  6. Tap to focus the camera on the subject. The image may pulse or briefly go in and out of focus as it adjusts.
  7. Try to remain steady while focusing:
    • Still images: Remain steady while taking the picture. If you move too far in any direction, the camera automatically refocuses to the center.
      Note: If you take a picture with iPhone turned sideways, it is automatically saved in landscape orientation.
    • Video: Adjust focus before you begin recording. You can also tap to readjust focus while recording. Exiting the Camera application while recording will stop recording and will save the video to the Camera Roll.
      Note: Video-recording features are not available on original iPhone or iPhone 3G.
  8. If your iPhone has a front and rear camera, try switching between them to verify if the issue persists on both.


Accessory not working

The stereo headset buttons are not functioning properly

  1. Verify the headset being used is compatible with the iPhone.
  2. Verify there is no debris in the headset jack.
  3. Insert the stereo headset and play audio using the Music app. Verify both left and right channels are functioning.
  4. Press the center button to see if it can pause and resume audio.
  5. Make a phone call and see if the microphone is working.
  6. If the issue persists, try another headset.
  7. If the issue persists with another headset, have the iPhone serviced.

Bluetooth headset isn't responding or working correctly with iPhone

  1. Third-party Bluetooth headsets may not be compatible with all iPhone models. Before troubleshooting or setting up service, check the product's website and verify that the headset is compatible with your iPhone.
  2. Make sure iPhone is set to play sound through the headset. Tap Audio Source and choose iPhone Bluetooth Headset.
  3. Make sure the headset and iPhone are charged.
  4. Turn the headset off and on.
  5. Try turning iPhone off and then on again.
  6. On iPhone, make sure Bluetooth is turned on: In the Home screen, choose Settings > Bluetooth and turn Bluetooth on.
  7. In the Bluetooth settings pane, verify that the headset is discoverable. (For third-party Bluetooth headsets, refer to the manual for instructions on setup, headset discovery, and default security codes. For the Apple Bluetooth Headset, press and hold the headset button until you hear five quick, high beeps in the earpiece. The status light repeatedly flashes green when the headset is discoverable.)
    • When the headset appears in the list of Bluetooth devices, tap to pair the iPhone with the headset.
    • If the headset does not appear, ensure it is discoverable and not currently paired with another phone.
    • If prompted by the iPhone, enter the security code "0000" and tap connect.
  8. If the iPhone still does not pair with the headset, remove all records of other Bluetooth paired devices. Choose Settings > Bluetooth and tap the . Then choose "Forget this device".
  9. Try turning iPhone off and then on again.
  10. Try a known-good Bluetooth headset.
    • If the issue is solved with a known good headset, the issue is with original headset.
    • If the issue is not solved with a known good headset, and the settings are correct on the iPhone, replace the iPhone.
    • Verify the headset in question works on the replacement phone.


"No SIM installed" alert

See this article for more information.

Compass (not available on original iPhone or iPhone 3G)

Compass not functioning

See this article for more information.

Issue not resolved

My issue is still not resolved. What do I do next?

Additional Information

Avoiding hearing damage

Permanent hearing loss may occur if the receiver, earbuds, headphones, speakerphone, or earpieces are used at high volume. Set the volume to a safe level. You can adapt over time to a higher volume of sound that may sound normal but can be damaging to your hearing. If you experience ringing in your ears or muffled speech, stop listening and have your hearing checked. The louder the volume, the less time is required before your hearing could be affected. Hearing experts suggest that to protect your hearing:

  • Limit the amount of time you use the receiver, earbuds, headphones, speakerphone, or earpieces at high volume.
  • Avoid turning up the volume to block out noisy surroundings.
  • Turn the volume down if you can't hear people speaking near you.

For information about how to set a maximum volume limit on iPhone, see the iPhone User's Guide.

Do not open iPhone

Never attempt to repair or modify iPhone yourself. Disassembling iPhone, including the removal of external screws, may cause damage that is not covered under the warranty. iPhone does not contain any user-serviceable parts, except for the SIM tray and SIM card on GSM models. Service should only be provided by an authorized service provider.

For more information about repairing or modifying iPhone, see the product information and safety guide for your iPhone.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Oct 2, 2014
  • Last Modified: Oct 2, 2014
  • Article: TS2802
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