What To Do When You’ve Dropped Your iPhone in Water

What To Do When You’ve Dropped Your iPhone in Water
What To Do When You’ve Dropped Your iPhone in Water
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There’s no denying the sleek, smooth design of the iPhone looks and feels great in your hand, however sometimes these features can be problematic.

Whether it’s from trying to do to many things at once or a typical ‘butter fingers’ moment, many of us can tell the tale of how we almost dropped our iPhone into a body of water. If you fall into this category and actually managed to stop your phone from going for a swim – well done! Many of us however aren’t so lucky. So here are Enigma’s top tips on how to perform phone CPR after you’ve dropped your iPhone in water.

How to save your iPhone

For your iPhone’s recovery you’ll need: A cloth, a paper clip, a sealable plastic bag and a bed…..of rice! There’s no guarantee that following these steps will save your phone, however many of the following tips have worked for others:

Step 1. Dive in and save it

Being as quick as you possibly can, retrieve your iPhone from the sink, the toilet, the pool or from wherever it’s swimming. It is a popular belief that much of the phone’s recovery depends on how fast you get it out of the water.

Step 2. Turn it off

Immediately switch your phone off. If the phone is already off leave it off, don’t try and turn it on or charge it. This important step will keep the water from damaging the iPhone’s internal circuit board.

Step 3. Dry all ports

Remove the case, any headphones and the SIM card. You can free your SIM by injecting the open end of a paperclip, or even an earring end into the hole on the SIM tray (you’ll find this along the length of the phone of an iPhone 6/ iPhone 5 /iPhone 4, and at the top of an iPhone 3G). Press firmly and the tray will eject.

Then proceed to manually dry the iPhone with a cloth, a tea-towel, an item of clothing or whatever is most convenient. Shake gently to release any trapped water from the headphone port and the charger socket. Try your best to dry these harder to reach places before moving to the next step.

It may be tempting but do not use a hair dryer! This will only add heat damage to the internal components of the phone, and defeat the object of the rescue mission we are on. However, a wet and dry vaccum wouldn’t go amiss!

Step 4. Bed rest

dropped iphone 6 in water

Put your iPhone in a sealable bag and fill the bag with silica gel packs until the phone is covered. These are the moisture absorbing little packets found in new clothes and shoes. Let out the air and then reseal. The silica gel is used to soak up all excess moisture. Uncooked rice will also work in this process, though perhaps not as well as the gel packs. If you can find enough to fill your plastic bag, you can always pop to local shoe store and pick some up.

Once the bag is sealed lay your iPhone to rest for 1-3 days. Depending on how long your phone was submerged under water you may want to give it a good 60 hrs. This is where the phrase ‘patience is a virtue’ comes into practice.

During this time you can borrow a spare smartphone from a friend/family member (read Step seven tip 2), or surprise everyone and send a few good old-fashioned letters.

Step 5. See if it worked

As stated earlier there’s no guarantee that this method will work, but it may be your best chance at recovering your iPhone.

After you have left your phone for the allotted time, remove it from the silica or rice (be sure to check the charger and headphone ports for excess grains). Charge it up and see it if it switches on.

If the device won’t turn on, it may be worth trying to connect it to iTunes to backup your data. There’s a small chance that even if the screen doesn’t turn on, the circuits are not completely damaged, so iTunes might be able to recognise your device. For more detailed information on treating your wet iPhone, you can view this guide by CBL Recovery.

Step 6. What to do if your iPhone still won’t work.

Tip 1. If any problems persist take it into the Apple store. Although the Apple Care plan does not cover water damage, the cost of fixing your iPhone will most likely be lower than purchasing a new iPhone. The first thing they will check is the Liquid Contact Indicators inside the phone that turn pink after any contact with water – this will determine whether your story is true. If your iPhone is taken in to be fixed, read on to see what to do during repair time.

Tip 2. To ease the stress of not having your iPhone to hand, retrieve all your phone data from your last iTunes backup. This way you can avoid the hassle of lost contacts, calendar events, messages and notes, and you won’t skip a beat in conversations with your friends and family. Here’s how it works:

When you perform an iTunes backup not only does it retain your videos and photos, but it also records your SMS text messages, iMessages, contacts, calendar entries, notes, WhatsApp chat history and images sent via WhatsApp. It may be fragmented but it’s there. To extract this data download Enigma Recovery. A clever interface that will recover data from a water damaged iPhone or from your iTunes backup, and transform it into readable files that can be saved to your laptop/PC.

The software also acts as an insurance cover for your iPhone/iPad data. If you ever accidentally delete your data or if a new software update causes data loss, you will be able to get it back!

Do you have any more tips to add? Leave a comment below.


Victor, our Social Media and Support Manager helps customers to get the most out of our products. He was formerly a professional dancer who came to Enigma Digital due to his interest in emerging tech trends

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