What to Do if Your Phone Won’t Turn On

It’s startling. It’s inconvenient. It’s downright freaky. And it happens to nearly everyone at some point. Your phone won’t turn on. Here’s what to do if you ever find yourself in this situation.

Common Reasons Why a Phone Won’t Turn On

First, you want to make a quick diagnosis, following the sequence of events leading up to the malfunction. While countless variables can contribute to your phone not working, there are four main issues that can cause this problem.
  • The phone has been damaged - Drops and spills are often the culprits, and you can’t always see the full damage with a basic visual inspection.
  • The battery is dead - In many cases, there’s no serious damage or major issue. The battery simply needs to be recharged (this happens more than you may think).
  • The charger or adapter isn’t working - Sometimes, it’s not the phone that’s the problem. Instead, there’s an issue with the charger or adapter.
  • There’s a software bug - If your phone crashes, especially during an app or system update, a bug is often the cause.

What to Do if Your Phone Won’t Turn On

If you suspect phone damage, you should contact your extended warranty provider. However, there are some issues that you can fix without outside help, like a faulty charger. Here are potential solutions based on common issues.

Phone Damage

If you suspect phone damage because of a drop or spill, you’ll want to do a thorough inspection. Note that internal and external damage isn’t always easily visible. That’s why you’ll want to remove your phone case to see if there’s any breakage inside and shine a flashlight over your screen to see if there are any cracks.
You can also call your phone from another device to see if it still rings. If it doesn’t and there are signs of physical damage, it will likely need to be repaired or replaced. Always contact your extended warranty provider if you suspect phone damage.

A Dead Battery

If you don’t suspect any damage, the next issue might be the battery. In some cases, it’s nothing serious, and the battery simply needs a charge. To test it, “try plugging your phone into a charger — if the battery is truly drained, it won’t necessarily light up right away,” explains PCMag. “Try leaving it plugged in for 15 to 30 minutes or so before turning it on.”
If it fires back up, the battery was likely the issue. Otherwise, this brings us to our next possibility.

A Faulty Charger or Adapter

Another potential problem that may be less obvious involves the charger or adapter. If either of these has become damaged, your phone will no longer get a charge. So this is something you’ll want to rule out before exploring other possibilities.
To check, plug your charger into an outlet and look for the charging icon on your phone (this will typically be an image of a battery with a “lightning bolt”). If this icon doesn’t appear, there’s likely a problem with the charger or adapter. Sometimes this can be due to small debris getting stuck in the port, which can be removed with a toothpick. Other times, the charger or adapter will simply need replacing.
Also, it’s worth plugging your charger into a different wall outlet to make sure the initial outlet you used was working, as this can sometimes be the reason.

A Software Bug

If you’ve ruled out everything else, the issue could be a software bug. Again, if your phone crashed during an app or system update, this could certainly be the problem. In this case, you’ll want to restart your phone and see if that works. If it doesn’t, try a force restart, which you can learn how to do on both iPhone and Android devices here.
Hopefully, one of these techniques has solved the problem. Otherwise, you’ll need to either have your phone repaired by a professional or replaced.

The Importance of Having an Extended Smartphone Warranty

Since smartphones are vulnerable to damage, it’s crucial to have proper coverage. Most phones come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, but once that lapses, you’re no longer covered. In addition, the manufacturer’s warranty rarely covers accidental damage. To protect your smartphone, purchase an Upsie extended Smartphone Subscription Warranty.
Upsie covers defects, mechanical issues, accidental damage, and more. As a result, customers get comprehensive coverage at an affordable price.
If you ever need to make a claim, you can do so quickly and conveniently through upsie.com, and you can talk to claims representatives 24/7.

Learn More About Smartphones:

Return to all posts

* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.