iPhone or iPad won't turn on? If you're sure your battery isn't depleted — you're all charged up and should be ready to go! — you there's a lot you can try before giving up and calling Apple for help. Yes, sure, sometimes hardware fails, but other times it's just a software glitch or weird edge state that a few simple steps can fix. So, follow along and we'll try to get you back up and functional in no time!

1. Plug in

Yes, I know, you're sure it's not the battery and you're sure you're charged up, but let's make double-triple sure. Maybe something caused your battery to drain faster than you expected, or maybe your charger or cable wasn't working, so it's worth checking.

Grab your Lightning or 30-pin Dock connector — preferably a different one than you used before — plug into an outlet or USB port, and leave it for at least an hour. If that works — if it boots up and starts working — great. If not, keep going!

Get an iPhone SE with Mint Mobile service for $30/mo

2. Hard reset

If your iPhone or iPad won't turn on, one of the first and easiest things to try is a hard reset. Whether it's really not turning on or it's just frozen on a black screen, or it really hasn't booted, a reset can help. Yes, it's the old "reboot Windows" solution, and it's silly, but it works. Sometimes bad bits get stuck and need to be flushed out.

  1. Press and hold down both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time.
  2. Keep them held down until you see an Apple logo.
  3. Let go.

If you see that Apple logo, then that's a good sign. Let it go an if it comes up, you're good. If not — if it won't reboot — go on to the next step.

3. Restore

After trying the easy fixes, it's time to try the harder ones. In this case, restoring your iPhone or iPad in iTunes. iTunes is a safer bet than iCloud because it actually offloads, re-installs, and reloads your data rather than doing everything in-place and on your device. That can sometimes shake loose bad bits that even a hard reset or iCloud restore can't.

Your iPhone or iPad will have to be functional to restore — even if it's not booting directly — but plugging into iTunes should answer that question almost immediately.

  1. Connect your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC via Lightning or 30-pin Dock connector.
  2. Click on the Device tab at the top left.
  3. Click on Backup.
  4. Wait for the backup to finish.

  5. Click on Restore
  6. Wait for the restore to finish.

If that works, hallelujah. If not — or if iTunes can't even connect — there's on more thing to try.

4. Contact Apple

Real talk: Sometimes a problem is really a problem. Electronics can fail, and they can fail at any time. If you have AppleCare+, make a Genius Bar appointment at the Apple Store or call Apple at 1-800-MY-APPLE to set up a mail-in repair. If you don't have AppleCare, you may have to pay for the visit or call, but it's less of a waste than having a dead iPhone or iPad.

Your fixes?

If you had an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad that won't start up, and one of the above fixes worked for you, let me know! If something else worked, let me know that as well!

Get More iPhone

Apple iPhone

Get More iPad

Apple iPad

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.