5 Ways to Tell if Your iPhone Has Water Damage


Did you forget to take your phone out of your pocket and it went through the laundry? Or were you sending a text on the toilet only for it an untimely drop? If you recover the phone and find it acting up, it’s possible it has water damage.

Here are five ways for how to tell if your iPhone has water damage.

1. Your iPhone Doesn’t Turn On

All iPhones since the iPhone 7 have some form of water-resistance. This is measured by an IP (Ingress Protection) rating. A high rating means that the device has a higher chance of surviving a run-in with water.

Even with a high IP rating, it doesn’t mean your phone is impervious to the elements.

If your iPhone was working and now isn’t, it’s quite possible it has water damage. Likely the water short-circuited the phone. This could be temporary or permanent.

A good idea is to keep the iPhone turned off and put it in a container of dry rice.

Rice absorbs moisture and can potentially sap your iPhone of any water that’s preventing the phone from turning on.

2. There Are Pockets of Moisture Beneath the Screen

If you can see pockets of moisture beneath your screen, your phone likely has water damage. If your phone continues to operate normally, it means this moisture hasn’t gotten into any of the electronics which is a good sign. The moisture could even dissipate on its own.

3. You Can’t Seem to Get a Signal

There are a lot of systems in play on your iPhone. Some are more noticeable than others.

If your phone is struggling to receive a signal but is working otherwise, check to make sure you aren’t in a service dead zone. If you’re using your phone in a place where you normally receive reception, consider turning the phone off and back on.

If you still don’t have service, it’s possible that your iPhone has water damage.

4. The System Is Glitchy

Occasionally water can interfere with the system’s basic function, such as stuttering the phone’s camera or operating system (OS). 

A phone lagging, or experiencing slowdown opening apps can also indicate there’s been water damage.

5. Everything Seems Fine…

If you’re concerned your iPhone has water damage, but haven’t faced any issues yet, you can check by opening the SIM tray of your phone.

The SIM tray is on the side of your device. It will be a small slot with a pin-sized hole. Use a tool or paperclip to remove the tray.

Once removed, shine a light inside the tray. Inside your iPhone is what’s known as an LCI– a liquid contact indicator. If it’s red, this confirms your phone has been in contact with a liquid and may be damaged.

If you see any of the water damage indicators above, you can search for local repair shops that could fix your phone for a fraction of what it costs to buy new.

How to Tell if Your iPhone Has Water Damage

Now you know how to tell if your iPhone has water damage. If the conditions are manageable, you may not need to rush to get a new device as there are ways to repair it.

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