How to dry & fix a wet or water-damaged iPhone (or iPad)


How to fix a wet or water-damaged iPhone (or iPad)

Dropped your iPhone in the toilet, swimming pool or sea? Quick! Read our emergency tips showing how to dry it out and fix any water damage.

External drying

External drying

First things first. Get the iPhone out of the water right away, if you haven’t already. And don’t even think about plugging it in.

If the waterlogged iPhone is plugged in already, unplug it (very carefully). Don’t be tempted to turn it on and check for damage, as this can cause short circuits.

If the wet iPhone is in a case, remove it; take the SIM card out too. (Removing the battery wouldn’t hurt either, but this is obviously only for confident DIY-type users who are willing to void the warranty.) These steps help to reduce the number of nooks and crannies where water can linger, and help to avoid damage to key iPhone components.

Wipe the excess and exterior liquid off everything you can reach. Turn the iPhone upside down and give it a gentle shake to clear the ports and sockets.

Power off

Power off

What you want to avoid is activating the circuits inside the iPhone, because this is likely to lead to short circuits – that’s what causes the long-term damage. If the iPhone happens to be switched off, leave it off.

Don’t be tempted to power it up and see if it still works. It might, and then promptly stop working forever precisely because you took a look.

A more likely scenario, sadly, is that your iPhone was switched on (or in sleep mode) when you dropped it in the drink.

So at this point you’re looking at two unappealing options: power down (but in the process causing the screen and operating system to wake up briefly before switching off) or leave the device in sleep mode in the hope that you don’t get any notifications.

It’s your decision, but after discussions here in the Macworld offices we’ve decided that the lesser of two evils is to wake the iPhone briefly in order to do a full power off – and that’s what we suggest in the video at the top of this article.

If you were lucky enough to be in Airplane Mode when you dropped the device, however, or are otherwise confident that nothing will happen to make your iPhone wake up in the next 48 hours, leaving it alone might be the better option.