iPhones are extremely reliable, but even the best phones can run into problems from time to time. One of the most terrifying problems is “iPhone white screen of death” which keeps the iPhone frozen on white screen. Only white light is visible on the screen of iPhone.

Fortunately, it’s not as durable as it might seem at first, and can often be fixed with a variety of easy methods. We explain how to fix the White Screen of Death on iPhone without any tool or technical knowledge.

If your iPhone has fallen, you can also read our What To Do When iPhone Won’t Turn On And How To Fix A Cracked iPhone Screen.

What causes the white screen of death?

When it comes to this particular ailment, there are two main causes: software or hardware. We now know virtually all problems fall into one of these camps, but we know that the White Screen of Death is caused by either, which could make diagnoses a bit more problematic.

As for software, users often experience WSoD (we’ll be doing it briefly from now on) if they have tried to install an update or have tried to jailbreak their phone.

A failed installation due to a corrupted file or something that went wrong during the process can easily cause this condition, but it’s actually the best-case scenario as it’s not too hard to fix.

The second suspect is a hardware problem that usually occurs when the phone is dropped. In some cases this can still be repaired by the user, but if the internal components have been damaged or any of the connecting cables have become disconnected, you can visit the Apple Store for professional repair.

Restarting iPhone

The first thing to try is to just restart your device. The way to do this differs depending on the type of iPhone you are using. Since the device is unresponsive, you will not be able to use the usual combination of buttons to turn it off as this also requires moving the Off slider on the screen. Instead, you have to do what Apple calls a force restart. This won’t wipe any data or anything like that, but it should allow your iPhone to shut down quickly.

How to force restart iPhone 12, 11, XR, XS, and X models

Briefly press the volume up button then release it and quickly proceed to volume down for the same amount of time. After that, let go of the volume button and immediately press and hold the side button on the right side of your device. After about 10 seconds, the Apple logo should appear, so release the Side button and your iPhone should restart.

How to force restart iPhone 8 or iPhone SE (2020)

This is a very similar method for those iPhones with Home buttons due to the fact that the buttons are software controlled, not the hardware versions found on earlier models.

Therefore, press and briefly hold the volume up button, then release it and repeat the process on the volume down button. Release the latter, then immediately press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears. Stop holding the button and your iPhone should restart.

How to force restart iPhone 7

It’s a little different with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, as you’ll need to press and hold the Volume Down and Sleep / Wake buttons (on the side) at the same time until you see the Apple logo on the screen. Release both and your iPhone should restart.

How to force restart iPhone 6s or iPhone SE (2016)

For older model users, the process is as follows. Hold down the Home button while pressing and holding the Wake / Sleep button, which is located on the right side (iPhone 6s) or the top edge (iPhone SE) of the device. Wait for the Apple logo to appear, then release both buttons and your iPhone should restart.

Using recovery mode on a Mac or PC

If resetting iPhone doesn’t fix the problem, you can always try connecting it to your Mac or PC to use recovery mode and reinstall iOS.

Using recovery mode in macOS Big Sur or Catalina

In older versions of macOS, you would have to use iTunes to recover your iPhone. But since Apple ditched the aging software in Catalina, you have to use the Finder instead for newer iterations of the Mac operating system.

To do this, connect your iPhone to your Mac, open the Finder, and select iPhone from the sidebar. Depending on the type of iPhone you have, what to do next:

IPhone 12, 11, X, XS, XR, 8, or SE models (2020)

Similar to restarting your device as described above, you need to press and release the Volume Up button followed by the Volume Down button then immediately pressing and holding the Side button. After a few seconds, a Restore page should appear that looks like a Mac with a Lightning cable underneath.

Go back to your Mac and you should see new options: Update or Restore . Click Update and your Mac will now try to reinstall iOS on your iPhone, leaving your user data and files in place.

iPhone 7 or 7 Plus

Press and hold the volume down and side buttons at the same time, and after a few seconds the recovery mode screen should appear. Then go to your Mac and select Update to reinstall iOS.

iPhone 6s or earlier

Press and hold the Home and Side or Top buttons simultaneously until the recovery mode screen appears. Then go back to your Mac and choose Update to reinstall iOS.

Using Recovery Mode in iTunes

If you have a Windows or Mac computer with macOS Mojave or earlier, you can use iTunes to put your iPhone into recovery mode.

Connect your iPhone to the computer with a cable, then launch iTunes. Your device should appear at the top of the screen with a small icon. Click to open the iPhone website.

After that, you have to use several button combinations on your iPhone to enter recovery mode. They vary slightly depending on the type of iPhone you are using. They are the same as the ones described in the previous section, so follow the instructions to restore and start your iPhone.

Using the DFU mode

If you are not happy with any of the above options, you can try entering the Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode. This differs from Recovery Mode in that it does not allow the iPhone to boot into its bootloader or iOS, but is still able to communicate with iTunes or Finder.

By using this technique, you can restore your iPhone to its original settings and then use iCloud or iTunes backups to reload the data.

Entering DFU mode is a challenge and there is a good chance you will make a mistake due to the mysterious combination of button presses and times required to enter this mode. We’re not sure why Apple makes it so difficult, but give it a couple of times and you should eventually be able to fix iOS.

On iPhones up to and including iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, you can follow our How to Use DFU Mode to save an unresponsive iPhone guide.

If you have an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X or later, the method is as follows.

First, connect your iPhone to your PC / Mac with the Lightning cable, then launch iTunes or Finder and click the iPhone icon. Now, short press the Volume Up button, do the same to the Volume Down button, then press and hold the on / off button on the right side of the iPhone until the screen goes black.

Keep holding down the on / off button, but now press and hold the volume down button again. Count to five then release the On / Off button but hold the Volume Down button for another ten seconds. The screen should be black, so if you see the Apple logo at any time, it means you’ve accidentally entered recovery mode.

On your PC / Mac, you should see a message from iTunes or Finder stating iPhone detected in recovery mode and offering the option to Restore iPhone. Click on that and hopefully when the process is complete you will have a fully working system.

To exit DFU, just use the button combination for your device that would normally put it into recovery mode.

Time to take a trip to the Apple Store

If you still can’t restart your iPhone after all these routes, it looks like you have a hardware problem. While you may find some guides on how to fix them online, we recommend that you make an appointment at the Genius Bar, at least to find out what’s wrong.

Hopefully it won’t be fatal, but if it does, you can at least skim the latest phones available while you’re there. Be sure to also check out our Best iPhone Deals, iPhone 13 Rumors, and Best iPhone: Which One Is Right For You? guides.

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