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What to do if your Android phone won't turn on: a check list

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.

nexus 6 top closeup
A phone that won't turn on doesn't have to become a paperweight. / © Google

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.

Battery charger
Silly I know, but have you charged it lately? Is your power on? / © ANDROIDPIT

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. This is one for the repair store.

XperiaZ3 wassertest
Some phones are ok to go through the dishwasher. Others, not so much. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

nexus 5 first steps teaser
Have you been seeing app crashes, freezes, reboots and other weirdness? / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

samsung galaxy s5 mini 5
If you can, pop the back off your phone and check the battery for bulges or leaks. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

nexus 5 cable
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know this is a bad thing. / © ANDROIDPIT

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.

android l boot logo teaser
If you're seeing the boot screen for more than a minute, you're stuck in a bootloop. / © ANDROIDPIT

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 (we have plenty of tutorials for popular devices), or, in the worst possible case, you might have bricked your phone.

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

24 comments

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  • 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

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

  • Hi,

    I tried to charge my Moto g phone. But suddenly a big spark came out of the switchboard and mobile stopped.
    Then, the mobile was gradually increased temperature (low to very high). After a few minutes, cool down completely, then won't work. I have tried different ways, different chargers, but no luck. Mobile is not working and won't turn on.

    What happen to my phone, how to resolve the issue?

  • I need help. My phone fell hard on the floor and it doesn't turn on nor can I charge it. When I plug it in it just shows me the charging screen and says it's at 0% and turns off And if I press the power button it'll boot up and show the logo and turn off as well. I just wanna know if it's fixable or not. It's a LG G Stylo btw

  • If it don't turn on... Buy a new one!

  • Good read!

  • I successfully used a "hard reset" a couple of times after bricking my old LG gingerbread phone - rarely mentioned in this type article, only applies to certain brands and models - note that it completely restored original OS but wiped all software including a lot of the preinstalled bloatware, too, net increase to internal storage - consider it a "last resort":

    URL is hard-reset and add dotcom. The site has fixes for other kinds of electronics as well.

  • please help me ... my phone is not charging and not even restarting ...i dont know what happened..i flashed philz recovery then i selected "reboot to download mode: then my phone switched off..and not opening .. :( now tell what to do? please anyone help me !! my phone is samsung grand duos i9082

  • I rooted my lgl33l usen kingo one click root and now i cant get past the blue track phone logo when booting up the device and tryed the factory data reset but it's blocked too what can I do to get past that and UN root the device it's running OS 5.0.1

    • best I can think of is go to xda forum and learn how to flash original Rom. this will unroot your phone also. it should start again.

  • i was using my phone and suddenly it turned off (black screen) , and it is not turning on again , with charger connected . it shows charging screen for a sec and again goes black (repetition)
    Please help me out ........

  • My son and I have LG Realm smartphones and they aren't activated yet. We got them from Fingerhut which was my mom's great idea! We were told that the phones needed sim cards but we didn't have any. These phones are LG Boost Realm phones. No one could help us! We also had to have the same color sim cards that matches the phones. Why should that f'n matter?!? Can anyone help?

    Marcie Redford

  • Niel Mar 16, 2015 Link to comment

    Today I was making a call, when suddenly my LG G3 turned itself off. I couldn't turn it on again. So I removed the battery. After removing the battery it was able to turn on again. Is this a software issue?

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