During a recent episode of our podcast, I mentioned that I had overslept that morning due to my iPhone 11 Pro turning itself off overnight. It was positioned perfectly on a wireless charger, with plenty of battery left over from the day before, and it had absolutely no water damage or any other notable hardware concerns. It simply turned itself off, and wouldn’t turn back on.

As it turns out, this is just one of those things that happens sometimes to iPhone models X and newer. Luckily, after some stringent googling, I was able to work out an easy fix for it. So I thought it would be helpful if I shared that fix here on iDB in case you are ever unlucky enough to come across this weird bug.

How to fix an iPhone that won’t turn back on

Note 1: as I pointed out above, this happened to my less-than-6-month-old iPhone 11 Pro, that is virtually in perfect condition. If your device is significantly older than that, or has visible issues like water damage or a cracked screen, there’s a fair chance that your problem is hardware related, and thus can’t be solved with this simple software fix.

Note 2:  it may seem obvious, but for the sake of completeness, before trying the following steps make sure you’ve:

  • tried holding down the power button located on the upper half of the right side of your iPhone, and
  • plugged the iPhone into a charger for at least 10 minutes to ensure it has at least some battery

How to Force restart an iPhone X or newer

Once you’ve confirmed your iPhone has at least some battery and it won’t turn on with a simple press of the Power button, you can go ahead and try the fix known as a Force restart.

1) Press the volume up button and release it quickly. This is more of a tap than a press-and-hold.

2): Do the same thing with the volume down button. Again, it’s just a quick press.

3) Press and hold the Power/Sleep button, and this time keep holding until you see the Apple logo appear on the screen.

The steps should be done rather quickly: press volume up, press volume down and then press + hold the Power button. If you hold on to one of the volume buttons too long, or don’t hold the Power button long enough, it may not work. If you feel you’ve followed the directions correctly, and your iPhone still won’t turn on, check out this Apple Support document for more help.

Any questions?