iPhone Won’t Turn On or Wake Up?

by Michael on March 16, 2011 · 438 comments

Earlier this week, I had quite a scare with my iPhone 4. One minute it was working fine, and then all of a sudden it stopped. I pulled it out of my pocket, hit the “home” button to wake it up, and the screen flashed and then went black.


That was it. It had a full charge, but I couldn’t wake it up. I hit the home button. Nothing. I hit the power button. Nothing. I tried holding each of them down. Nothing. I plugged it into the wall. Nothing. I plugged it into my computer. Nothing.

Jailbreak = void warranty

It’s still well within the warranty period, so it wouldn’t be a huge deal, except… My iPhone is jailbroken, which technically voids the warranty. While it’s a simple thing to reset your iPhone to its factory settings, you can’t do that if you can’t get your phone to turn on.

I’ve actually been having some minor issues with a dark spot on my iPhone screen, so I didn’t mind making the 45 minute trip to the nearest Apple store to get it swapped out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t walk in with a jailbroken iPhone and expect them to help me.

How to get your iPhone to turn on

The good news is that I figured out how to get my iPhone to turn back on. After a bit of Googling, I tried holding down the home and power buttons simultaneously to reset my iPhone. I held them about 12 seconds before anything happened, but then the silver Apple icon appeared on the screen and it proceeded to boot up.

Once it booted up, I ran a quick sync to get everything backed up before putting it in recovery mode and resetting it to the factory settings. From there, it was just a matter of driving to the Apple Store to swap it out for a new handset with a fully functional display.

For what it’s worth, when I mentioned the difficulties getting my iPhone to turn on, the guy at the Genius Bar said that it was almost certainly a software issue. His advice was to reset my phone to the factory setting and then restore my data from the latest backup.

FYI: If the problem persists after restoring your phone, then it might be a corrupted file in your backup. In this case, you’ll need to sync you data instead of restoring from backup, and then manually re-set all of your preferences.


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