iPhone 5 Won't Turn On_ Here's The Real Fix.

iPhone 5 Won’t Turn On? Here’s The Real Fix.

You've been trying to use your iPhone 5, but it just doesn't seem to turn on. You've pressed every button, but your iPhone is completely unresponsive. In this article, I'll show you everything you can do if your iPhone 5 won't turn on!

What's Wrong With My iPhone 5?

A lot of the time, an iPhone 5 won't turn on because of a software bug. It's possible your iPhone 5 froze on a black screen, making it appear like it won't turn on. It's also possible your iPhone is experiencing a hardware problem. Before you take your iPhone 5 into the Apple Store, follow the steps below to diagnose the problem!

Fixing A Software Crash

When trying to resolve most glitches on an iPhone, the best place to start is to perform a hard reset. On an iPhone 5, press and hold the Sleep / Wake button and the Home button at the same time to begin a hard reset. Keep both of these buttons held down until a white Apple logo appears on your screen. It can take around 20–30 seconds for an iPhone to initiate a hard reset, so make sure you hold on even if it feels like it's not accomplishing anything.

Something commonly misunderstood about a hard reset is that it won't actually turn an on iPhone if it's stuck as shut down. If a hard reset got your iPhone to work again, your iPhone was actually on the entire time you were trying to get it to boot up.

If the hard reset made your phone work again, the crash was most likely due to a software issue. Hard resets don't actually fix software issues, they just unfreeze your iPhone. It's possible the problem will reoccur. Keep following the steps below to address the root cause of the reason why your iPhone 5 was not turning on!

Back Up Your iPhone 5

Before going any further, it's a good idea to back up your iPhone 5. You don't know when this problem could reoccur or what might happen if it does. You'll want to have a backup of all the information on your iPhone in case something goes wrong.

Check out our other article to learn how to backup your iPhone 5 to iCloud, iTunes, or Finder!

If A Hard Reset Didn't Work

While a hard reset will fix this problem most of the time, it's possible that your iPhone 5 still won't turn on. Follow the steps below to see what else could be causing the problem.

Test Your Charger And Lightning Cable

It's possible your iPhone 5 doesn't have any battery life left, and your charger or charging cable is broken.

Inspect your Lightning cable

Try borrowing someone else's charger or charging cable. If your iPhone starts charging immediately, you'll know that the charging components were the issue. Conversely, you can also ask someone to try plugging their iPhone into your  charger and charging cable. If their iPhone starts charging it's probably your iPhone causing the problem.

Sometimes, an iPhone will only charge when plugged into a computer rather than a wall charger, or vise versa. Try plugging into your computer if you usually charge from a wall outlet and see if that fixes the problem. This principle also works in reverse, so try plugging into a wall if you usually charge from your computer.

For more information about issues with your iPhone's ability to charge, consult our article on what to do if your iPhone isn't charging.

Check Your iPhone's Display

If your iPhone 5 still won't turn on, plug it into your computer and open iTunes (or Finder if your computer runs on MacOS Catalina 10.15 or newer). If your computer recognizes your iPhone when it's plugged in, back it up if you can. Your computer's ability to connect to your iPhone 5 despite it not working may be indicative of a serious hardware issue.

If your iPhone emits any sound, or if it shows up in iTunes or Finder, it's possible that the display needs to be repaired. Read our other article to learn more about what to do when an iPhone screen is black.

backup iPhone using finder non specific

If your computer can recognize your iPhone, try another hard reset while plugged in. Keep an eye out for error messages. If iTunes or Finder suggests a restore, allow it.

Put Your iPhone In DFU Mode

A more permanent solution to a software crash is to fully backup your iPhone and perform a DFU restore. This process will erase all of your personal data from the iPhone, but might also completely resolve any glitches within your software that inhibit your iPhone's functionality.

Make sure to back up your iPhone before doing this step!

Prefer a visual guide? Check our YouTube video on how to DFU restore below.

Look For Any Physical Or Water Damage

iPhones can be pretty fickle when it comes to how they react to being damaged. Sometimes dropping it won't effect it at all, other times the slightest force can cause serious problems to your iPhone's functionality. The same can be said for contact with water, as sometimes liquid will have no impact at all and other times it can cause irreversible damage to the device.

Take a close look at your iPhone 5. Can you identify any visible damage? If you find any or can think of a recent event that could have potentially harmed your iPhone 5, that might be the reason it's unable to turn on. Even if the accident happened days before, it may just be catching up to your iPhone now.

iPhone 5 Repair Options

Unfortunately, the iPhone 5 has been added to Apple's list of obsolete and vintage products. With this designation, Apple will no longer service this model. If you love your iPhone 5, try finding a local mom and pop shop that repairs iPhones.

Realistically, it's probably time to upgrade. iPhone has come a long way since the 5. Check out our cell phone comparison tool to find a great deal on a newer model!

Wrapping It Up

You've fixed the problem with your iPhone 5, or you've found a new model that better meets your needs. Make sure to share this article to teach your family and friends what to do when their iPhone 5 won't turn on. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any other questions about your phone!


Colin Boyd

I'm Colin, the Creative Coordinator for Payette Forward.

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1 year ago

My iPhone 5s will not turn on. It is charging up but will not turn on. What can or should I do?

1 year ago

It’s been over 30 seconds. I keep holding down the buttons but nothing comes out.

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