How to Fix iPhone Black Screen Issues

Jul 22, 2018 - 13 Comments

iPhone black screen

Some iPhone users may run into a problem where the iPhone screen goes black, and then the iPhone screen seemingly stays stuck on black. A black iPhone screen can be caused by a variety of different things, but the good news is that usually a blacking out screen is pretty straight forward to fix and have working as normal again.

This guide will run through a variety of possible causes and potential troubleshooting fixes to an issue where iPhone display gets stuck on a black screen.

How to Fix iPhone Black Screen

Since there are different potential causes to have an iPhone stuck on a black screen, there are also different potential solutions to the issue. Fortunately most of the time the black iPhone screen is the result of some software issue that is easily resolved, so with that in mind we’ll start from the easiest troubleshooting methods first.

If you want a short overview of the troubleshooting material, try the following:

  • Plug the iPhone into a wall charger, then reboot the iPhone
  • Update apps on the iPhone
  • Update iOS on the iPhone (backup first)
  • Take the iPhone to an authorized Apple repair center if all else fails

That’s a very brief summary, but read on below to learn much more.

iPhone Screen Black Because It’s Off or No Battery, or Battery Failure

If the iPhone is powered off, or if the iPhone has run out of battery, the screen will be black. The only solution to this is to power the iPhone on, or if the battery is run down then to plug the iPhone into a charger to let it charge and then turn on. This is relatively straight forward, but it must be mentioned anyway, particularly since sometimes an iPhone with a failing battery will turn itself off.

If you are pretty sure the iPhone had battery life but the iPhone turned off and the screen went black anyway, the battery may be failing or need service or replacement. You can check the iPhone battery health within Settings app, or take the iPhone to an Apple authorized repair center and have them check it out, it may need to be replaced.

Fixing an iPhone Black Screen that is Powered ON

Sometimes the iPhone will go to a black screen despite still being turned on. You will know this is the case because the screen will be black, but the iPhone itself is still getting text messages, phone calls, making sounds, and is also sometimes warm to the touch.

The iPhone screen going black while still being powered on has been reported to happen with a fair number of iPhone X users in particular, but it can happen to other iPhone models too.

A black iPhone screen while the iPhone is still powered on suggests the iPhone is crashing or frozen, and therefore must be rebooted to resolve the problem. Fortunately, rebooting an iPhone is super easy, though a forced restart is different depending on the device you have:

  • Force restart iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone 8 by doing the following: Press Volume Up, then Volume Down, then press and hold Power button until you see the  Apple logo on screen.
  • Force restart iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold Power button and Volume Down button at the same time, until you see the  Apple logo
  • Force restart on iPhone 6s, iPad, and earlier iPhone models, you can force restart by: holding the Power button and Home button at the same time until the  Apple logo appears on screen

Once the iPhone powers back on, the device should work as normal and no longer show the all black screen.

iPhone Screen Goes Black With a Particular App

If using one particular app causes the iPhone screen to go black and get stuck, that strongly suggests there is an issue with that app itself.

Another possibility is that the app is loading something, whether downloading from the internet or loading some library on the device itself, and the black screen is displaying as the material is downloaded or loaded into the app itself. This can sometimes happen with apps like Netflix or YouTube as you load a video to watch, particularly if you have a slow internet connection.

If the only time your iPhone is stuck on a black screen is with a particular app usage, then you’d want to do the following:

  • Exit out of the app and return to the Home screen
  • Open the “App Store” and go to the “Updates” tab and install any available updates to that app
  • Restart the iPhone

Often simply updating the app will resolve black screen issues if only one particular app is having the display problem.

iPhone Screen Goes Black When Watching Videos, YouTube, Netflix, etc

If the app freezes up and the screen goes black when trying to load a video or media content, it could be an issue with the internet connection, or internet connection speed. This could also be due to some throttling going on by an ISP itself, or by the media delivery network, or some other related provider. This is sometimes intentionally done by companies when slowing down data delivery or media delivery becomes active because a user hits a bandwidth limit cap, a common occurrence with many US based cellular data plans as well as many broadband internet connections. Also, the slowdown of data delivery could be done because of a lack of net neutrality rules, and therefore internet providers and large media providers could choose to slow down or prioritize certain data delivery as they see fit. Sometimes simply waiting, often for quite a while as the video or media content loads slowly, is the only solution to this kind of situation where some internet provider has intentionally throttled data delivery.

Making sure you have a fast and usable internet connection can often resolve those type of issues with a black screen when trying to load video content in particular. You may also need to make sure that you are not over a bandwidth limit, or your internet connection can be throttled.

iPhone Screen is Black, Turned Off, and iPhone is Unresponsive

Sometimes iPhone users may find the iPhone screen is stuck black and the iPhone is unresponsive and turned off. Usually this is because the battery is completely drained, but it can be caused by other reasons too.

Click here to read what to do if iPhone won’t turn on at all.

iPhone Screen Black with Red Line on the Screen?

Rarely, an iPhone screen may go completely black, but show a red line extending down the screen, or across the screen. Sometimes the line is another color too, but typically it’s red. If the iPhone screen goes black but the display shows a thin bright vertical or horizontal line, that is a pretty good indicator there could be a hardware issue involved. If the iPhone has been damaged or dropped this is even more likely.

If you see a black screen on the iPhone with a line on it, and the iPhone screen does not correct itself with rebooting, then you likely want to take the iPhone to an authorized repair center or Apple Store to have them take a look at it.

iPhone screen stuck black with a white Apple logo?

If the iPhone screen goes black but shows a white  Apple logo before returning to normal, this indicates the device is rebooting. If that happens out of the blue, it usually suggests the iPhone is crashing or an app is crashing which causes the device reboot.

If it’s a particular app that is causing the device to crash, often updating that app to a new version via the App Store will resolve crashing app issues.

If it’s iOS itself that is crashing, updating to a newer version of system software from the Settings app will often resolve such a problem.

You can learn more about fixing an iPhone stuck on Apple logo here.

Much more rare, but it’s also possible that an iPhone gets stuck in a boot loop with the  Apple logo on the screen, in which case the iPhone almost always needs to be restored from a backup.

Did these suggestions help fix your iPhone black screen issue? Did you find another solution to resolve a screen going black on an iPhone (or iPad for that matter)? Share your experiences in the comments below!


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rachel says:

    This completely worked for my husband’s iPhone 8! You MUST hold them release as stated above-Don’t hold them all down at the same time.

  2. irms says:

    im trying to force restart my iphone x. the screen is black but the phone is still on and im getting calls.
    the problem with holding the power/volume to force restart is that ITS KEEPS CALLING 911!! how can i force restart if i have the 911 alert option on???
    my screen is all black so theres no way to turn off the 911 option.

  3. Leah Goyette says:

    If the iPhone 8 dose not turn on and is a complete black screen, But makes noises when you get notifications but the screen remains black and unable to work. What dose that mean? And how would I fix that? I have tried to reboot it so it could reset and it just calls 911 and makes a weird noise.

  4. Michael Skyba says:

    What you said worked great, thank you

  5. Jim says:

    Thanks All, your tip to update a particular app if it was the one causing my 6s screen to go black worked a treat. I sought out the Google app, updated it, et voila, IT WORKED😁. Jim

  6. Unicorn says:

    I tried the 2 others things for one app but I can’t do the App Store because the App Store is the app with a black screen

  7. Dayana says:

    the force restart does not work on the iphone 8 it calls 911

    • Paul says:

      To force restart iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus: Press and release the Volume Up button, press and release the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Side Power button until the iPhone reboots showing the  Apple logo on screen. Then you can release the button and let the iPhone startup.

      • Shelli says:

        As Dayana stated in her comment, forcing a restart does not work. When trying to do so 911 is called and SCREEN REMAINS BLACK. Suggestions anyone?

    • irms says:

      yes!! thats my issue! ugh. its so annoying.

  8. MAry says:

    None of that works and you don’t have to reboot or reset your iPhone. Just go: to your settings/ accessibility/display accomidations/invert colors/then turn off smart or classic or both and you’ll see the difference immediately

    Happy Trails enjoy so much easier and simple

  9. Mike says:

    Often while using maps to navigate the screen will go black. I can not reboot while driving. What can I do to prevent it.

  10. indubitably says:

    If the iPhone screen keeps going black and rebooting doesn’t fix it, and if the iPhone is used or refurbished, it is also possible that a third party cheaper display was put onto the iPhone as a replacement and that it is either not connected well or it is failing. I have seen a few iPhones with replaced screens from cheap sources that have touch issues, screen blackening at random, slow input, bad colors, etc.

    Always repair an iPhone screen from Apple or with an Apple authorized repair center to avoid the bad screens from cheap Chinese suppliers!

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