How to Fix a Dead iPhone X or iPhone 8: Troubleshooting Guide

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Dealing with a dead iPhone can be incredibly frustrating. You rely on your device daily, so when it suddenly stops working, it can feel like your lifeline has been cut off.

If you have an unresponsive iPhone X or iPhone 8, don’t panic. In many cases, you can revive your device and get it working again.

This ultimate troubleshooting guide will walk you through the top solutions for fixing a dead iPhone X or iPhone 8. Follow these tips to get your device powered back on.

Common Causes of a Dead iPhone

Before you start troubleshooting, it helps to understand what may have caused your iPhone to stop working in the first place. Here are some of the most common culprits:

  • Drained battery – The most obvious cause of an unresponsive iPhone is a battery that has fully discharged. If you haven’t charged your device in some time, there may not be enough juice left to power it on.
  • Software glitches – iOS bugs and crashes can sometimes cause an iPhone to freeze up. Resetting your device usually resolves software-related issues.
  • Hardware damage – Physical damage from drops or accidents can prevent an iPhone from turning on. Water damage or a faulty charging port are other hardware issues that may lead to a dead device.
  • Incorrect repairs – If a DIY repair on your iPhone wasn’t done properly, it could cause functionality problems that render the device unusable.

Top 10 Fixes for a Dead iPhone X or iPhone 8

If your iPhone X or 8 is dead and won’t turn on, try these troubleshooting steps:

1. Charge Your iPhone

The first step is the simplest – try charging your iPhone for at least 10-15 minutes using the original charger and cable. This may provide enough charge to get the device back up and running.

Make sure to use a wall charger, not your computer’s USB port, for the fastest charging speed. Also inspect the Lightning cable connector for any dust, dirt or debris that could interrupt the flow of power.

PS: If you are facing issues like how to charge your iPhone without a charger, click to find the best solutions.

2. Force Restart Your iPhone

Force restarting (also known as a hard reset) your iPhone will reboot the device and can resolve many software-related issues.

force restart dead iPhone X

To force restart an iPhone 8 or X:

  • Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button at the same time.
  • Keep holding both buttons until you see the Apple logo on the display.

This resets the device power cycle and will boot your iPhone back up.

3. Put Your iPhone in Recovery Mode

Recovery mode is an iOS troubleshooting state that you can use to restore or update your iPhone using iTunes or Finder.

Put into Recovery Mode

To enter recovery mode:

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer using the Lightning cable.
  • Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.
  • Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
  • Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery mode screen.

This should kickstart the recovery process. You’ll then be able to restore or update your iPhone software to resolve any serious glitches.

4. Update or Restore Your iPhone Using iTunes/Finder

Update dead iPhone via iTunes

Once your iPhone is in recovery mode, you can use iTunes (PC) or Finder (Mac) to update or restore the device.

  • Open iTunes/Finder on your computer with your iPhone connected.
  • You’ll get a prompt that the iPhone is in recovery mode and needs to be restored. Click OK.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to restore your device to factory settings or update to the latest iOS version.

This will wipe your iPhone and reinstall the operating system, removing any corrupted software that could be preventing the device from powering on. Make sure you have a recent backup!

5. Get Your iPhone Battery Replaced

Replace dead iPhone X Battery

If your iPhone still won’t power on after updating, restoring and resetting, the issue is likely hardware-related. A degraded battery is the most common cause of hardware failure in an iPhone.

Apple recommends replacing your iPhone battery when it reaches 500 complete charge cycles or holds less than 80% of its original capacity. You can get the battery replaced at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

If your iPhone is under warranty or you have AppleCare+, battery replacement may be fully or partially covered. Out of warranty, it typically costs $49 – $79.

6. Check for Physical Damage

Check Dead iPhone 8 Hardware

Take a close look at your iPhone for any signs of physical or liquid damage that could be preventing the device from turning on. Are there cracked screen glass, dents, or scratches on the body? Does the charging port look damaged?

Even minor damage in certain areas can knock out key components and lead to functionality problems. If physical damage is apparent, you’ll likely need to visit a repair shop rather than attempting DIY repairs.

7. Try a Different Charging Cable

Sometimes the charging cable is to blame for an iPhone that won’t power on. Try using a different Lightning cable to charge your device. Make sure to use an Apple MFi certified cable for safety and maximum charging efficiency.

Also try charging your iPhone from a friend or family member’s charger. If your iPhone begins charging normally, the issue was with your original cable rather than the device itself.

8. Hard Reset Your iPhone

A hard reset (also known as a forced restart) provides a more dramatic reboot than the standard restart process. It can help resolve software crashes unfixed by a regular restart.

To hard reset an iPhone X or iPhone 8:

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  • Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

This will forcibly reboot your iPhone and could kickstart a device that’s completely unresponsive.

9. Update to the Latest iOS Version

Keeping your iPhone software up-to-date is important to fix bugs, get new features and keep your device secure. If you’re running an outdated version of iOS, updating could get your iPhone up and running again.

You can update wirelessly on your iPhone via Settings > General > Software Update. Or use iTunes or Finder on your computer to update iOS – your iPhone will need to be in recovery mode.

Updating to the latest iOS version will install fresh system files that may resolve underlying software glitches causing startup issues.

10. Clean Out Your Lightning Port

Debris in your iPhone’s Lightning port can interrupt the flow of power and cause charging or startup problems. Use a toothpick or soft-bristled brush to gently remove any dust, lint or gunk from the port.

Be very careful not to damage the delicate pins inside the port while cleaning. If corroded, you may need to get the port professionally cleaned or replaced for your iPhone to charge and function properly again.

When to Take Your iPhone to a Professional

If you’ve tried all of the self-troubleshooting tips above and your iPhone X or 8 still won’t start up, it’s time to seek professional help. A repair shop can diagnose whether your issues stem from software corruption or hardware damage. Here are some signs it’s time for pro repair:

  • Your iPhone shows visible physical damage, like a cracked screen.
  • Important components like the battery, logic board or Lightning port aren’t working.
  • Updating, restoring or resetting your iPhone in recovery mode doesn’t fix the issue.
  • iOS is fully up-to-date but your device still won’t start up.
  • There are warning signs like smoke or strange smells coming from the iPhone.

Apple Stores and authorized service providers have the training, diagnostic tools and genuine Apple parts needed to properly troubleshoot and repair your iPhone. Seek professional help to get your device working properly again.

Key Takeaways: Reviving an Unresponsive iPhone X or 8

  • Charge the battery fully using the original charging cable and adapter.
  • Force restart your iPhone by pressing and holding the Side and Volume buttons.
  • Try putting your iPhone into recovery mode and updating or restoring iOS via iTunes/Finder.
  • Get the iPhone battery replaced if it’s old, worn out or won’t hold a charge.
  • Check for any physical damage to your device that could be preventing power-on.
  • Update your iPhone software to the latest iOS version.
  • Clean out any debris stuck in the Lightning charging port.
  • Seek professional repair for software issues unfixed by troubleshooting, or any apparent hardware damage.

Following these tips should help get your dead iPhone up and running again. If the device continues to be unresponsive, take it to an Apple Store or authorized service provider for further diagnosis and repair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why does my iPhone suddenly die even when it has a charged battery?

A: If your iPhone is shutting off randomly even with plenty of charge left, the most likely culprit is an aging or faulty battery. As batteries wear out, they are unable to provide consistent power to run your iPhone. Replacing the battery should stop the device from randomly shutting down.

Q: Can I replace an iPhone battery myself?

A: While you can find third-party iPhone battery replacement kits online, Apple does not recommend DIY battery replacement. Batteries contain dangerous chemicals and require very precise installation to avoid damage. Getting your battery replaced at an Apple Store or authorized service provider is highly recommended.

Q: How can I backup my iPhone before resetting it?

A: You should always backup your iPhone before attempting a reset or restore. You can backup to iCloud or use iTunes/Finder to backup locally to your computer. Be sure your backup is current before erasing your device.

Q: My iPhone won’t turn on after being exposed to water – any fix?

A: Water damage can short circuit iPhone components and prevent powering on. You’ll need to dry out the device completely before it has any chance of working again. However, liquid damage often causes corrosion and permanent component failure over time. Take your water-damaged iPhone to a professional for assessment.

Q: I tried recovery mode but iTunes says it can’t recognize my iPhone – what now?

A: If your computer doesn’t recognize your iPhone in recovery mode, there is likely a hardware issue with the device. This could include problems with the logic board, battery, charging port or other components. Bring your iPhone to an Apple Store or repair shop for proper diagnosis and repair.

Q: How can I avoid my iPhone randomly turning off and becoming unresponsive?

A: To prevent stability and shutdown issues: keep your iPhone software updated, avoid exposing your device to excess heat or liquids, don’t overload processor-intensive apps, and replace the battery if it’s old or worn out. Proactively maintaining your iPhone helps prevent technical problems.

Q: Why does my iPhone screen stay black when I try to turn it on?

A: A black screen on startup typically indicates a hardware problem with the display, GPU, or logic board. Try a force restart – if the Apple logo never appears, there is likely internal component damage requiring professional repair service.

Q: Can I get my data back if my iPhone won’t turn on?

A: If your iPhone is totally unresponsive, data recovery is difficult but not always impossible. It depends on the specific issue and component failure. Professional data recovery services can sometimes retrieve data from an unresponsive iPhone, but there are no guarantees. Always keep regular device backups to avoid data loss when troubleshooting iPhone issues.

Q: How much does it cost to replace an iPhone X or iPhone 8 battery?

A: Out-of-warranty battery replacement costs $49 for the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, and $69 for the iPhone X at the Apple Store. Reputable independent repair shops may charge slightly less. If your iPhone is covered by AppleCare+ or warranty, the battery replacement may be free or discounted.


Dealing with an iPhone that won’t power on can ruin your day. But in many instances, you can breathe life back into a dead iPhone X or iPhone 8 using the troubleshooting steps in this guide.

Start by charging the battery, force restarting the device, and putting your iPhone into recovery mode to update or restore the software. If hardware damage is causing the issue, seek professional repair assistance for the best results.

With some persistence and patience, you have a good chance of reviving your unresponsive iPhone. Just be sure to backup your data regularly so it’s protected if troubleshooting efforts fail. Follow these tips to say goodbye to that lifeless black screen and hello to your revived iPhone.


Skilled software testing specialist with expertise in comparisons and research, passionate about blogging, reviews, and creating video tutorials.

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