Noticing that your iPhone screen keeps going black? Or does your iPhone screen randomly blackout? Experiencing unexpected restarts, a frozen screen, or your device won’t turn on? If so, you are not alone in experiencing the iPhone black screen bug!
Some users are experiencing problems with black / frozen screens; after upgrading to the latest version of iOS. More specifically, your iPhone ( or iPad) screen may go black when you launch an app.
Users stated that this problem occurs when they launch an app for the first time. Some users also reported that this black screen problem starts happening after making a call with Voice Control.
Follow these quick tips when your iPhone is stuck on a black screen (works for iPads and iPods too!)
- Ask Siri to turn up your iPhone’s brightness with “Hey Siri, turn up the brightness”
- Change your screen’s orientation by physically turning your iPhone to landscape or portrait mode
- Force restart your device
- Charge your device on a wall outlet for at least one hour and then try a restart or force restart
- Connect your device to a computer that has iTunes (Windows and macOS Mojave and below) or Finder app (macOS Catalina+) and launch recovery mode
- For iPhone 8 models, see if your device qualifies for Apple’s repair program
- For random issues, close apps, reset settings and check your battery health
- iDevice will not turn on: How to fix a dead device
- iPhone or iPad Keeps Resetting Itself, How To Fix
- iOS: Everything about DFU and Recovery Mode
No Time? Check out our Video Tips!
Ask Siri to turn up the brightness
One of the simplest fixes to get Siri to turn up your screen’s brightness. Since Siri brightens the screen in small increments–she usually responds with it’s a little brighter now, you often need to repeat this command a few times.
Is Landscape Mode Causing Your iPhone Screen To Go Black?
Change Your Screen Orientation
Some readers tell us they fixed this problem by changing their iPhone’s screen orientation–so if you see a black screen in portrait mode, switch to landscape or vice-versa.
Watch How Your Hold Your iPhone
Another potential cause is just how you handle your iPhone. If you are one of those iFolks that like to hold your phone near the top of the screen, this could be why your iPhone goes dark.
The proximity sensor is located at the top of your iPhone’s screen when holding it in portrait mode–you may block or otherwise obstruct the proximity reader. And hence, cause your iPhone to blacks out because your iPhone thinks you are on a call and placed the phone up to your ear.
Try to keep your hands holding the device by the sides or bottom–avoid the top of the screen and upper edges.
Force a Restart!
Connect your device to the charger and plug directly into a wall outlet (not a USB port on a computer), then force a restart
- On an iPhone 8 or above model and iPad without a Home Button: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and immediately release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until the Apple Logo appears
- On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the Apple Logo
- On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPads with a Home Button, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until the Apple Logo appears
If Forced Restart Didn’t Help
Connect your device to the charger via a wall outlet (not a computer port) and let it charge for at least one hour. Then try to turn it on again or force a restart.
Connect to iTunes or Finder
If charging or forced restarting didn’t fix your black screen or unresponsive issue, let’s connect your device to a computer that has iTunes or Finder app for macOS Catalina+ installed, preferably the latest version.
If you don’t have a computer, ask a friend or family member to use theirs or visit an Apple Store or Apple Reseller and ask them to use one of their in-store Macs.
Using Finder or iTunes, follow these steps in strict order
- Open iTunes/Finder on the computer. If Finder or iTunes is already open, close it first, then open it again
- Connect the cable to the computer and then connect the cable to the device
- Once you connect the device, force a restart on your device
- On an iPhone 8 or higher or iPad with no Home Button: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and immediately release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery mode screen
- On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery mode screen
- On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad with a Home Button, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery mode screen
- Make sure you see the recovery mode screen on your device before proceeding (see image below.) If you don’t see this screen, try another forced restart
- When Finder or iTunes shows the message that there’s a problem with your device that requires a restore or update, choose Update. iTunes or Finder tries to reinstall iOS without erasing your data
- If more than 15 minutes elapse, your device exits recovery mode automatically. Try to force restart again.
Black or Frozen Screens On iPhone 8?
In late 2018, Apple determined that a small percentage of iPhone 8 logic boards have a manufacturing defect. iPhone 8 Plus models are NOT impacted by this defect–only iPhone 8.
Symptoms include unexpected restarts, frozen screens, or the device won’t turn on.
For 3 years from your date of purchase (or first retail sale if you purchased a used device,) Apple will repair eligible iPhone 8s free of charge.
To see if your iPhone 8 qualifies, use Apple’s Serial Number Checker.
Experiencing this iPhone black screen bug randomly?
If you can access your iPhone at times, troubleshoot with these tips:
- Sometimes enabling Siri fixes this problem. If Siri is disabled, go to Settings > Siri & Search and turn Siri on
- Change the Date on your iPhone. Tap on Settings > General > Date & Time. Disable the ‘Set Automatically’ feature and manually set up a time for a date that was in the past. Then, restart your device. Once the reboot issue is resolved, change your date and time settings back to ‘Set Automatically.’
- Change Display Zoom View from “Standard” to “Zoomed” or “Zoomed” to “Standard”; depending on your original setting
- If the tip above did not solve this problem, try this: Tap Display Zoom View and choose Zoomed and tap “Set.”
- A message will say “Changing Display Doom will restart iPhone” and tap “Use Zoomed.” After your iPhone restarts, now tap Standard > Set and Use Standard.
- Reset your iDevice’s settings. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings.
- This reset does not impact ANY data but does return to defaults things like your accessibility settings, wallpapers, and removes any stored WiFi passwords
- Tap Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size (for older iOS, General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations or Settings >Display & Brightness) then disable “Auto-Brightness“
- Restart your device by pressing and holding the on/off button.
- Remove and reinstall any app(s) that you are having problems with
- Tap and hold the app, then tap the (x) sign when it jiggles. Then go to the App Store and re-download the same app
- Or use Settings > General > Storage and delete or offload apps from there
Bad App Behavior?
If the black screen is occurring at random times, the problem is often caused by a badly behaving app–or runaway app.
Try and spot the problematic app!
- Double press your home button or swipe up your home gesture bar and close all open apps by swiping the app preview up and off the top of your screen.
- Once you close all apps, open the apps one by one and check if the problem returns.
- Keep an eye on your battery usage
- If you notice a sudden rapid depletion of your battery, take note of the app you just opened–it might be the problem
- Close that particular app and continue opening other apps one-by-one
- Go through all your apps and see if any apps are causing the problem(s)
Some apps aren’t programmed well and lead to issues with crashing, black screens, and rapid battery depletion.
Battery or Hardware Issue?
If it’s a battery problem that’s causing your iPhone to go black, you may need to replace it. Before you go ahead and seek a replacement, check your current battery health (if possible) using iOS 11.3 and above’s Battery Health
If you are unable to verify your battery health because you cannot get your iPhone to get beyond that black screen, contact Apple Support and ask them to run diagnostics on your iPhone. Let’s find out if it’s likely a battery issue before proceeding.
Sadly, sometimes our problems are symptoms of the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch hardware failing. If your battery is draining and your iDevice reverts to a black screen in just a few minutes, it’s likely there’s a problem with the motherboard.
These are expensive repairs, so if your device is not covered by AppleCare+, contact Apple Support and find out your repair or replacement options.
Nothing Helping with iDevice Black Screen? Try DFU Mode
If none of these tips work on your device, consider using DFU Mode. DFU (Device Firmware Update) allows your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to be restored from any state.
- In Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings helped out with this issue
- It’s best to contact Apple Support if you have the following problems:
- A black screen after charging but you can hear alerts, sounds, and vibrations
- Your device chirps when you unmute it and connect it to power
- The screen is on, but it doesn’t respond when you tap, slide, or try other gestures
- Your device is stuck on the Apple logo, displays a solid color, or isn’t recognized in iTunes
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.
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