iPhone Repair: Quick and simple fixes
There is nothing more universal than that sinking feeling after you’ve broken something important. It’s that uh oh, this is going to be expensive stomach drop that has followed mankind from stone tools all the way up to our prized smartphones. All hope isn’t lost just yet, there might be a chance to use some iPhone repair tips to fix your problem.
Whether the damage is a by-product of daily usage or outright abuse, repairing a device can feel daunting to even the most tech-savvy of us. We all find ourselves weighing the price of repair against the frustration of “hacking it” until it’s time for an upgrade.
We’ve surveyed some of the most common issues, giving you our best advice on what you can do to avoid yourself a trip to a repair shop. Use this article as a helpful guide for iPhone repair in your journey back to a fully functional phone.
Before you start: it might be a software issue!
Before you reach for a screwdriver, there are a few quick fixes that might magically dissolve all your worries (unless your worry is water damage, then skip ahead to that section quickly).
When it comes to iPhone fixes, it turns out that lots of bugs can be solved by, first, making sure your iOS is up to date. Do a quick check by tapping Settings > General > Software Update.
Second, reboot your phone. There’s nothing special about this process— just hold down the sleep button and home button until your phone restarts.
Third, reset your phone. Before doing this, make sure all your important data is backed up using your iCloud account or through iTunes. After your data is secure, tap Settings > General > Reset, and select “Reset All Content and Settings”.
If your problems continue, take a deep breath and continue to the more hands-on solutions below.
Water. How can something so essential to us be so destructive to our precious iPhones? It must be one of life’s cruel jokes.
The first commandment in dealing with water damage is simple: Thou Shalt Not Turn It On. After you fish your phone out from the toilet or the pool, turning it on can short out the circuits where the water rests. So keep your phone off until you’ve done everything you can to dry it out.
Without opening the phone, removing water can be tricky. To get the bulk of the water out, try 10 minutes of holding a vacuum nozzle up against the port on the bottom of your phone.
Step two: rid your phone of the leftover moisture by leaving it in a bag of rice or a store-bought drying agent. If you prefer to keep your rice for eating, there like solutions like Dry-All, Damp-Rid, or plain old Silica Gel. Make sure you take your time with this step— you’ll need at least 24 hours to dry out your interior enough to have a shot of a working phone after it has taken a dip.
You know what they say about people who assume, don’t you? The old adage holds true here too: don’t assume that you have a malfunctioning battery without checking your software first.
The two biggest culprits for short battery life are power-hungry apps and a battery that isn’t calibrated properly. Both of these have pretty simple fixes.
First, check to see if you’re running any apps that are abusing your location services or are constantly running in the background. Think: Foursquare, Facebook Messenger, or Twitter. Not sure which apps are the culprits? Head to Settings > General > Usage, and select “Battery Usage” to see a break down of battery use per app.
Step two: calibrate your battery by running your iPhone’s battery all the way down to 0% and recharging it to full. If your phone shuts down on you before reaching 0%, just wait a few minutes, turn it back on and use it until it turns off again. Repeat until the phone no longer responds. Once it reaches 0% and you’ve given it another full charge, run your phone back down again. After this, your phone will more accurately show how much battery is left instead of shutting off prematurely.
Apple has a replacement program for certain iPhone 5 with defective batteries. Users can type in their serial number here to see if they are one of the lucky few who qualify for a free replacement battery.
If you don’t qualify but still have a weak battery, this is one of the simpler DIY fixes. We recommend using this battery replacement kit from iFixit, which has everything you need to make the switch.
Stuck home button
This is where Apple’s signature minimalism becomes a double-edged sword. A phone with only a few external buttons means that any damage here can make your life endlessly difficult.
Accumulated dust and other lint from pockets or purses can get wedged in behind an iPhone’s home button, making it sticky. Blowing into a video game cartridge seemed to work in 90s as a quick fix, but the present day method involves a can of compressed air. Fire some upward into the adapter port at the bottom of the phone, helping to dislodge any material packed under there.
If you’re home button gives you trouble, use a Q-Tip dipped in a little rubbing alcohol.
1. Turn off your iPhone
2. Dip a Q-Tip into isopropyl alcohol (we suggest 99%) and press into home button, applying pressure until the home button ‘clicks’ a few times. The idea here is to get the alcohol in behind the home button, so a drop or two of alcohol should squeeze out of the q-tip in the process.
3. Flip phone over and rub the home button with a dry cloth, applying pressure to ensure that it clicks a few times again.
4. Let dry for 5 minutes before turning the phone back on.
A fix for seeing “no service” is sometimes as simple as pulling out the SIM card and reinserting it. Try a different SIM to ensure that your problem isn’t your card itself.
For more serious issues, reset your network settings. You can do this by tapping Settings > General > Reset > and selecting “Reset Network Settings”. This will reset all network settings, including Bluetooth pairing records, Wi-Fi passwords, VPN, and APN settings.
Any ongoing reception issues should be handles by someone who knows what they’re doing. Have you ever seen a picture of the inside of a phone? There are a lot of wires and points of connection, which means a lot of opportunities for things to break. You’re probably dealing with a disconnected internal antennae, and that is definitely something to get looked at professionally.
Going to a professional
Even if you’ve resigned yourself to visiting a professional repair shop, doing some of the troubleshooting we mentioned above is always a good first step. It’ll put you in a better position to articulate the problem to your iPhone repair technician and maybe save you some of the labour costs involved in narrowing down the source of an issue.
Visit the troubleshooting section of our support page to see more simple fixes to common iPhone problems. For anything more complicated, like replacing a screen or soldering a WiFi chip, you’ll ultimately need the help of a professional. In these cases, the risk of just making things worse is too high.
The local iPhone repair shop can usually meet your needs within a reasonable amount of time and with less stress. Anything that involves opening your phone, like replacing parts, is best left up to them. Of course, be sure to look up local shops’ reviews online— they can be very telling.
If all else fails, it might be time for a new iPhone. Orchard can get you connected again with a high-quality used device.