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How to fix a water damaged phone in 10 easy steps

So you've dropped your smartphone into the toilet, sink or pool. Don't panic! If you act fast you can prevent your smartphone from becoming water damaged without spending a penny. Here are 10 simple steps to fix a phone dropped in water.

Moto G video agua 2
The Moto G is waterproof, but if your device isn't, it is possible to fix a phone that's been dropped in water. / © ANDROIDPIT

Remove the phone from the water as quickly as possible. The longer it stays there, the more water or liquid will seep through the cracks and openings of your phone. Once it's out of the water, there are certain things you need to do right away, and certain things you should absolutely avoid doing in order to prevent water damage.

What not to do

  • Do not turn it on 
  • Do not press any buttons or keys (unless this is to immediately switch off the phone. See below)
  • Do not shake, tap or bang the phone
  • Do not take the phone apart. Your device comes with a Liquid Damage Indicator (LDI) which, when activated, could void your warranty, and this could be triggered when you open your phone. Only take it apart if you absolutely need to and you have experience
  • Do not blow on it. This could send water into other internal parts of the phone that it hadn't already reached, causing more damage in the process
  • Do not heat it up (that includes using a blow dryer or microwaving it) 
  • Do not cool it down (that includes sticking it in the freezer)

10 steps to save your water damaged phone

1. Turn it off if, it isn’t already, and do so quickly. 

2. Remove any protective casing and, if your phone has them, remove your SIM and microSD cards from their slots.

3. Open up the back and remove the battery, SIM card(s) and microSD card if you are able to (note that this won't be possible with all phone models).

phone battery
Remove the microSD and SIM cards, as well as the battery. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. Use a cloth, sleeve or paper towel to dab your phone dry. Avoid spreading the liquid around, because that could push it into more of the phone's openings. Just soak up as much as possible.

5. If the water damage is more extensive, you can use a vacuum to carefully suck out water stuck from the cracks that are harder to get at. Make sure any small parts, such as the microSD card, SIM card, or battery, are out of the way before attempting this.

6. Bury the phone in a ziplock bag full of uncooked rice. Rice is great for absorbing liquid and this is actually a common method for drying smartphones and tablets. You can also buy dedicated phone drying pouches, which are worth having in reserve if you're a clumsy type. Don't wait to get hold of one if you don't already have one to hand though – get your phone in the rice!

androidpit save a phone
You can buy phone drying pouches anywhere. This one is from a company called Save A Phone. / © Save A Phone

7. Let your phone dry for a day or two. Do not be tempted to switch it on see if it still works. Put your SIM card in an old phone, or ask a friend or family if they have a spare that you can borrow. 

8. After a couple of days, you can remove the phone from the rice back, insert the battery into the phone and switch the phone on. 

9. If your phone doesn't turn on, try charging it. If it doesn't charge, the battery may be damaged. You could try a replacement battery, or consider taking your smartphone to a repair shop to be checked by a professional.

10. If your phone has turned on and it is running as it should, you should still keep a close eye on it for the next few days, to see if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Play some music to check the speakers and ensure the touch screen still responds as it should.

In the future, avoid taking the phone with you when you go to the pool, use the bathroom or do the dishes.

Some phones, including some from Sony, Motorola and Samsung, are water resistant. / © ANDROIDPIT

Water resistant cases

Hopefully these steps have helped your rescue your phone from an untimely death by drowning. If you want to protect your phone from water in future, you can also purchase a waterproof phone case. There are some good options available from brands such as Otterbox, Griffin Survivor and Catalyst.

Water resistant phones

A number of phones are advertised as "water-resistant". Be aware that when phone manufacturers say this, it only applies under a special set of circumstances. A phone's resistance to water often depends on the clarity of the water, the depth of submersion, and the length of time for which it is submerged. We wouldn't advise submerging any smartphone in water unless it is absolutely necessary.

Water hero
The Sony Xperia Z3+ is a water-resistant phone. / © ANDROIDPIT

Do you have any other tips and tricks for saving a phone from water damage to suggest? Let us know in the comments.


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  • i dropped my phone into the loo. I did put it in rice after. The battery definitely isn't damaged, it charges and vibrates when i turn it on. The little notification light flashes and my phone even makes notification sounds. Only thing is, the screen won't light up. Maybe it is useful to mention that about 2-3 weeks ago i had to get my phone screen repaired because the LED screen was smashed. Was it the water damage or the bash it got from dropping that is why the screen won't turn on? Is there any way i could fix it myself? Also my phone is a HTC Desire 626 so the battery can be pulled out a bit but it's attached with wire to the phone (I did pull off the battery a bit when i put it in the rice).

  • I accidentally dropped my phone, Nokia Lumia 635 in the loo. I've always dropped it on the ground but it never had a effect only now that its in water. Oh god! But i took it out in seconds and i took everything out (battery and sim) and i saw that there was so much water so i soaked it up using a towel and then i started shaking and slightly banging it on the cloth to shake out all of the water but then gave up and came to this and many other websites that said to put it in uncooked rice. So it was in there till morning and OMG!!! it worked !! it turned on! thanks so much

  • Very nice post. Here my problem is for Lenovo A7000. It is water damaged phone. Since the owner does not know to immediately remove battery, sims and memory cards, he kept the phone aside and after 10 days he gave it to me. The phone is turning on, able to enter RECOVERY, FACTORY, META modes also. And sometimes, it normally boots . Touch and LCD are also working fine. Flashed the Stock ROM also and it went on very well.

    Camera also damaged. The only problem is continuous restart. Is there any solution for my issue ? I have 3 Lenovo phones like this water damaged. Expecting an early reply to REMOVE THE WATER DAMAGE...

  • I was sitting on the toilet with my phone (yes, i know) when it fell into the toilet.. i grabbed it out and the home button woldn't work. there was water damge in my screen but everything worked fine. i dropped my phone in rice for 4 hours and it worked again! well.. it constantly goes to home whitout me pressing the button it's so frustrating.. someone has this problem? ;_;

  • I was listening to music in the shower with my phone on the counter beside the shower, the phone has water damage inside the screen but it still works, it's just the discolouration is really annoying. Any tips? Btw it was 2 days ago, I put it in rice overnight and nothing changed. Should I wait a couple days?

  • I spilt abit of water on my phone without knowin i only noticed the next morning its not been working the same help

  • Locoroco 2 months ago Link to comment

    I was washing the dishes this morning when my dog came and knocked my phone(Samsung J7) down onto a wet puddle on the floor. I thought it got soaked but it did not. I checked everything and it was surprisingly dry. But when I was about to take a picture using my front camera, all I could see was a blurry me. Upon closer look at the camera I can see little water droplets inside. I'm going to put it inside a ziplock with uncooked rice inside it overnight. I hope this works. And I hope I'm doing it right. But if not, please help me. I don't want to tell my Father this 'cause I know for sure he's going to get mad at me. Again.

    P.S. Phone is working. Just the screen flickers.

  • I did some of the things it says not to, like turn on the phone multiple times. Could it still be salvaged?

  • Chin 3 months ago Link to comment

    My phone was soaked with water this morning, I saw it was still working so I just wiped the excess water off the case. Few minutes later when I'm in the bus, it wouldn't turn on so I opened the case to see water everywhere. I wiped everything then blow dried it. Still won't work. I wish I have read this article much sooner so I am aware what to do and what not. It's been 5 hours, is there any chance that my phone gonna work again? Please help I'm doomed

  • Kkelly 3 months ago Link to comment

    When I dropped mine in the sink, I took the battery out and put it in a plastic bag for 2 days. I tried to turn it on and it did but the screen was black and I could hear buttons pressing when I touched it. I put it back in the bag and put it in my car for an hour in the heat, then vacuumed the rice dust out of it. Put the battery back in and turned it on. It works, no problems! Hope this helps someone else too.

  • I've noticed when enough people voice their concerns about a common (it would seem) problem and Not one person responds to address their issue it's time to go a different route people! I challenge the cell phone manufacturers to build us a phone that is WATERPROOF OR BETTER YET WATER FRIENDLY!!!!, My God we have a satellite in Jupiter's orbit but we can't make a phone that takes a little moisture!!Please! While you're at it how about creating an app that can automatically charge your phone ohhhh there's an idea....hang around I'm just starting on a roll.

  • I dropped my lenovo k4 note and removed it within seconds my phone is not turning on what should i do

  • Protect Accidental Damage and Liquid Damage instal Gopcpro app

  • Nice Posting............

    Protect Accidental Damage and Liquid Damage instal Gopcpro app

  • Can anyone tell me what to do next after my samsung phone got a soaking from my water bottle. And stupid me was in a state of panic, tried to turn the phone on & the screen went white. Then someone advised me to take the battery out & let it dry out.....about 6 hours later I've put the battery back in & tried the phone & the screen is still white....I have taken the battery out again & put the phone in a container of uncooked rice. My question is ....have I cooked/fried my phone & will I have to buy a new cell or can it be saved?

  • hello. Last night, I put my phone beside the sink and hets wet. Now, I can't power it off because the touchscreen don't work and when I press the power button, it restarts.I can't remove the battery either because it is built in.The screen bcomes defected, what should i do?

  • Should have read this article quicker, I did everything (except for the heat and cool thing) it told me not to do. I'm screwed :(

  • My infant son was chewing on my case and me not.realizing his drool got into the case and into my phone it will.not turn on it is a galaxy e5
    Any suggestions on what

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