How To Dry A Water Damaged iPhone

User guides Richard Goodwin 14:35, 15 Sep 2015

How you can fix an iPhone that has got wet - an issue that Apple does not cover under its warranty or Apple Care

For the longest time, we've all known that electronics and water don't mix, and this has never been truer than with portable, personal electronic devices like cameras and music players. This was also true of feature phones, as many discovered by inadvertently dropping them in the toilet or bath. Now that smartphones are so universal and take on the role not only of phones but the aformentioned cameras and music players, as well as personal computers, video players, web browers and perhaps even a mobile office of sorts - it has never been more important to protect your device from the wet stuff. But, accidents can and do happen, no matter how cautious you are.

There is some mercy as phone-makers such as Sony add waterproofing to their devices. Samsung did this for a little while too but then removed it for the latest models, and Motorola has a few water-resistant models in its portfolio. The iPhone, however, remains as aqua-phobic as it ever was, Apple hasn't yet embraced waterproofing even with the latest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models

You may think there's no solution other than buying a new phone. This isn't always the case, however. Although we have to say that there's no guaranteed way of saving a drowned iPhone, there are a few things you can do to give it the best chance of survival.

Note that this guide is equally applicable to whatever type of iPhone you've got, whether it's a now long-in-the-tooth iPhone 4s or the latest iPhone 6s Plus and anything in between!

First of all, if you do take your iPhone back to the Apple Store or your mobile supplier, don’t lie  - they’ll find you out. The iPhone has four 'Liquid Submersion indicators' inside it that turn pink on contact with water - so they will know if you're telling porkies.

(One of these circular sensors is visible if you look down the headphone socket with a bright light - if it's been triggered the circle will be half pink and half white).

So Apple won’t - or can’t help - but all is not lost. There are plenty of reports online showing people successfully ‘drying out’ their iPhones. If you have completely immersed your iPhone in water don't try to restart it by plugging it into a power source - seriously. And put away that hairdryer.

Instead follow the steps below to have the best chance of resurrecting it. First wipe off the liquid and gently shake the phone to clear ports and sockets.

Out of all the tried and tested methods, the most successful is using Silica gel - which is an incredibly moisture-absorbent substance often found in new handbags or with new pairs of shoes. If you keep your packaging for hi-fi or cameras you may already have some lying around the house. Otherwise you can find it at Arts & Crafts shops - it's used for drying flowers - or you may be able to blag it from an electronics store. You can also order it online from places like Davpack 

Then pack the iPhone in a sealed plastic bag, safely nested among packets of Silica gel, and store it in a dry place (like the back of a cupboard) for three days. If you’ll miss your phone during this time you can always pop your SIM in a temporary one - and giving it time to dry out should ensure the moisture is drawn out from the electronic innards of your iPhone

If you can't get hold of the Silica gel quickly place your iPhone in a bag or box of uncooked rice and reseal it. This will keep it as dry as possible in the meantime. Transfer the iPhone to the Silica gel bags when you get them.

Finally connect up your iPhone to your PC, load up iTunes and try to do a complete Restore. This will provide you with the best chance of getting the iPhone to its pre-drenched working state.

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