When you rely on your iPhone for business and its screen goes black while you are miles from the nearest Apple Store, don’t panic. A black screen can have several different causes, most of which you can troubleshoot. In many cases, you can solve the issue yourself, but if nothing works, your iPhone will need to be repaired by a professional technician.
Don’t skip the obvious — the iPhone battery could be dead. Connect your iPhone to a wall socket using the power adapter that came with it and then press either the “Home” or the “Sleep/Wake” button. If a drained battery is the cause of the problem, your iPhone’s screen will light up and display an empty battery icon. If the battery was completely drained, the screen may remain black for up to two minutes before the icon appears. At this point, if you see the empty battery icon, you only need to wait for your iPhone battery to charge.
If you launched an app just before the screen went black, that particular app might have crashed. Press the “Home” button twice in quick succession to see a list of recently apps, each with an icon and preview. Swipe up on the suspect app’s preview to force it closed and then press the “Home” button once to return to the home screen. Launch the app again to see if the problem repeats. If the issue with the app persists, remove the app from your iPhone or contact the app developer for support.
Restarting the iPhone can fix a number of unidentified problems. Press and hold the “Sleep/Wake” button until the red slider appears. Slide the slider to the off position to turn off the iPhone. Press the “Sleep/Wake” button again to turn on the iPhone. If the screen remains black and you don’t see the red slider, reset the phone. Press and hold both the “Sleep/Wake” and the “Home” buttons at the same time for at least 10 seconds. When you see the Apple screen, release the buttons.
If you haven’t had success by this point, your iPhone is likely having trouble with its operating system. Restoring your iPhone to factory settings is the next troubleshooting step. A restore erases the contents of the iPhone and installs a clean version of the iOS. To do this, connect your iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes. If the “iPhone” button appears in the iTunes interface, click “File,” hover over “Devices,” and select “Back Up” to create a backup of your iPhone’s data. When the backup process is complete, click the “iPhone” button, select the “Summary” tab, click “Restore iPhone” and follow the on-screen prompts. If the “iPhone” button doesn’t appear in iTunes, disconnect your iPhone from the cable, but leave the USB end connected to the computer. Press and hold the “Home” and the “Sleep/Wake” buttons simultaneously for approximately five seconds, until the iPhone switches off. Press and hold the “Home” button and connect the USB cable to the iPhone while holding the Home button until iTunes prompts you that it has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. Click “OK.” Click “Restore” and then follow the on-screen prompts.
If nothing works and your iPhone is still unresponsive, the issue is likely caused by a hardware fault and is beyond your power to fix. Contact Apple either online or at an Apple Store. Apple may offer a replacement iPhone or repair your existing one. In either case, you lose all your data that occurred since your last backup.