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What to do if your Android phone won't turn on: step by step

What to do if your Android phone won't turn on: step by step

If you've ever asked yourself, ''why won't my phone turn on?'' you're not alone. Even when you're a professional Android tinkerer, things occasionally go beyond your skill level and you find yourself wondering what to do with a phone that won't turn on. So today we'll take a look at a few reasons why your phone won't turn on and how to get it going again.

You can find more videos on current tech topics on our video page.

Jump to:

  1. Check if your phone is plugged in
  2. Is the problem just with the screen?
  3. If your phone was dropped, or got wet
  4. Was the phone buggy before breaking?
  5. Check the battery
  6. Charger and cable problems
  7. Android stops at the logo screen
  8. Use your computer to force it to turn on

1. Is it plugged in?

Just kidding - but seriously, when was the last time you charged it? Sometimes time flies when you're having fun watching cat videos and the next time you pick your phone up it won't turn on because you've YouTubed it to death. Grab a power supply and make sure you actually have some juice on your phone before we proceed. Remember, sometimes you need to charge for a few minutes before your phone can power itself on.

androidpit battery low 1
Seriously, though - did you charge it lately? / © AndroidPIT

2. Is it on but the screen isn't on?

This is the next possibility, the phone is actually on but the display isn't working. The easiest way to check this is to long press the power button to force it to shut off and then turn it back on. You should hear a boot sound or feel a vibration. This means your phone is working but you have a display driver or screen problem.

If you have a PC and a cable to connect your phone, then we have a guide on how to recover the data from your phone. As for a broken screen, that's a job for the repair store.

broken scren phone trash 02
It's not always so obvious if the display is broken. / © AndroidPIT

3. Did you drop it or get it wet?

This is one of the most common reasons a phone won't turn on. If you've recently dropped your phone or it has gotten wet, you might have some issues. Trying to turn a wet phone on too soon can short circuit your phone and fry it, so if it gets wet, follow our guide on what to do with a water-damaged phone.

If you dropped your phone and it won't turn on, you're going to need to take it in for repair as you most likely have a hardware problem or damaged display.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy s7 water active Not every device can handle water.  / © AndroidPIT

4. Did it gradually get buggy and then die?

If you started to notice some weirdness, like crashes, restarts or other things that shouldn't happen in the lead-up to your phone no longer turning on, you might just have a software issue that can be fixed by replacing the firmware.

First you're going to want to get as much data off as you can and then flash new firmware. We have guides for the popular devices on AndroidPIT to help you out, and you can also try a factory reset to clear up any other problems. If this sounds too complicated, take it in to your carrier store for assistance.

5. Is your battery bloated or leaking?

Another rather obvious reason your phone might not turn on is because the battery has simply given up the ghost permanently. This usually happens gradually over time, but it can occasionally happen suddenly, especially if your battery is bloated or leaking.

If your battery cover is removable, take it out and inspect it for damage, bulges or leaks. If you find any, get a new battery pronto and dispose of the old one safely.

AndroidPIT Smartphone Overheating 2609
RIP battery. / © AndroidPIT

6. Is your charger or cable kaput?

Sometimes a phone won't turn on and it isn't actually the problem at all. Sometimes your charger cable, adapter or even wall socket is the culprit, so make sure you try a different USB cable, different power adapter (if you have one) and another power outlet in your home before you know you can definitely blame your phone.

7. Are you just seeing the logo screen?

If your phone will actually turn on but won't go past the boot screen, this is what we call a bootloop. It generally means your phone will start as normal but just get stuck forever on the logo screen.

If you've recently updated to a new version of Android or flashed a custom ROM it might be as simple a solution as entering Recovery and wiping the cache partition or doing a data wipe/factory reset or, in the worst possible case, you might have bricked your phone.

For a tutorial, check our guide on how to factory reset your Android phone, or search our site for your specific device. If your phone is currently fine and you're reading this out of curiosity, we'd like to kindly advise you to back up everything on your phone, just in case this happens to you in the future!

8. Use your computer to force it to turn on

If you can't get your phone to turn from the device itself, there is one more thing you can try if the steps above have not yielded any results. You may be able to use your PC to force your smartphone to reboot. Google offers the following instructions for doing so.

  • Connect your smartphone to your computer via USB
  • Let it charge for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Take the cable out of the phone, don't disconnect it from your computer, and plug it back in again within 10 seconds of removing it
  • Let it charge for a further 30 minutes at least
  • Press and hold down the power button for 5 seconds and then hit restart
  • If you don't get the restart option straight away, continue holding down the power button for 30 seconds

If none of these tips have worked, it could be curtains for your device.

Have these tips helped you? Any other tips to fix a phone that won't turn on?

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41 comments

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  • Vicki 2 months ago Link to comment

    I shut my phone down and now it won't turn back on. I need help!


  • ive got a chinese p20 pro copy , i had it one day , now its got black screen , battery is dead ,it wont charge ,when i put it into laptop ,it keeps going on and off ,,,is there a programme that can fix this


  • A refresher is always handy. I can't seem to remember everything and when I have an issue I'm almost always searching for help on the net.


  • wow! thanks for the info. I knew some of these but not all of them! thanks again! My phone is fine, but will remember these tips if anything happens to my phone! :-)


  • If there is no hardware problem, most of the times it is just the battery gone to 0. I have experienced this also if I was not using the phone and left it with a partial charge. Something was working in the background and using up my battery unbeknownst to me. I recharged the phone (and from 0 it took forever but it is not necessarily a bad thing) and reset all the permissions and the problem was solved


  • I know that the screen is the problem on my phone, so I'm trying to put all the data from my phone onto my computer, however, when connecting it to the cable, the phone wouldn't give access to any files, because it was set to, "Use USB for charging only," and because the screen is completely black, I can't change this. Does anybody know how I can put my files onto my computer?


    • You wouldn't need to transfer data because all they are doing is replacing your screen. I know this because I've had mine replaced twice and about to be a third time.


  • mike 6 months ago Link to comment

    try holding down the power button for 5 seconds. worked for me.


  • my phone won't turn on even i charged it it won't turn on. please help?


  • my samsung galaxy J7 got turn off today and it wont open even i plug it, pls help what should i do?? thanks


  • I have a Chinese 6 inch screen phablet. Had it for 3 years the battery was bad so I got a new battery for it. But now it won't turn on yes I did charge it my question is will it stop working if the LCD or display digitizer goes bad never dropped it no cracks.its plastic...? .cmx C10 phablet smartphone


  • I'd like to advice you to backup your files first.


  • Nicki Apr 13, 2017 Link to comment

    I really need my phone for my alarm. It was charging because it was at 0% then suddenly the screen started going crazy. I shut it off. Now it wont turn back on. HELP!!!!!


  • I have a LG DAB phone and am very pleased with it . I had the same trouble my phone would not charge nor respond when switching on.
    How to fix this is easy be very careful not to start messing around with the things inside you know nothing about.
    1. Very carefully take the back off the phone.
    2. Check the sim is still in place ( do not mess with it if still in place )
    3. Carefully lift the battery out and carefully replace it firmly
    This is usually the cause.


  • On the last paragraph "Are you just seeing the logo screen?" you mention having plenty of tutorials on how to fix it but you do not say where those are located or even have a link to them. I would apreciate a link to the tutorials. Please respond soon, thanks


    • Did you ever figure this out? I need the same thing.


    • For real that's all my phone is doing, I wish I knew how to fix it though. It's getting ridiculous. This is the second LG phone i have had that it has done the same thing too. I have had a LG G4, & this LG Stylist 2( i havent had it but a month). It just goes to those 2 little orange things and then the thing under it where it says 4G LTE something else.


  • Help, my oppo neo 5 is not turning on, it just shows the logo, vibrates and then It's just there. HELP

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