How to fix your phone (when you think it’s dead)
Your phone is dead.
Or, at least you think it is. But before you say goodbye to your device forever, there are a few steps you can take to fix it (or at least try).
Check out our top tips below.
My phone is overheating!
Your phone is hot, but not in a good way.
First, turn it off or (if that’s not possible) disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and any other demanding features.
Next, remove the case, disconnect any chargers or cables and put your device somewhere cool (but not the fridge or freezer – the sudden change in temperature can cause even more damage).
Now it’s time to find out what’s causing your phone to overheat. Here are a couple of common suspects:
– An app that demands a lot of resources (i.e. a game). Uninstall a few recently downloaded apps to see if that helps.
– The battery: one of the most common reasons for overheating, this is unfortunately difficult to fix in the age of the unibody cell phone. It’s not impossible but it can be expensive.
– A faulty charger or an unauthorized charger; swap out your charger.
– Out of date software: make sure you’ve updated to the latest version of your operating system and that all apps are up-to-date too.
– Malware, although fortunately this is less common. If you’ve downloaded a dodgy app or visited an unscrupulous website, put your phone into safe mode and remove the offending app. If this fails, factory reset your phone (back up your data first).
How to fix a phone with water damage
Water damage occurs in a number of ways: repeat exposure to the elements, shower steam or, of course, dropping it down the toilet.
However it happened, the first thing to do is remove everything you can (the SIM card, microSD, etc) and switch your cell phone off.
Next, dab any excess fluid from the device using kitchen towel and hold your phone vertically to drain any excess water.
Now for the main part: grab a freezer bag, half-fill it with uncooked rice, and put your phone in. Then, fill the bag and seal it.
The rice should absorb most of the water from your phone, although you’ll need to leave it for at least 24 hours (but you’ll get better results if you leave it even longer).
Rice isn’t the perfect solution though, as it can get stuck in your phone’s ports and create new problems. A better idea is to use silica gel, which you usually find in electronics and clothing packaging. Most people don’t have silica gel lying around but if you can get your hands on some quickly (from a store, for example), this is an effective way of removing moisture from your device.
If the process has worked correctly, your phone should work as normal. If not, take it to a technician (or sell it to Decluttr – yep, we buy water damaged phones too).
I’ve lost my phone, what should I do?!
Losing your phone is the worst. The good news is that you might be able to get it back –if it’s still on. Use Apple’s Find My iPhone or Android Device Manager to locate your phone, lock it remotely and add a home screen message so whoever finds it knows where to return it (if they’re kind-hearted). If you can’t locate it (or someone mean has stolen it), wipe the data remotely and change your password on any sensitive accounts.
As mentioned before, these steps only work if your phone is on. If it was stolen, the thief probably turned it off immediately so you’ll need to contact your wireless provider to block service to the device and change your password on any sensitive accounts.
Report it to the police too; while they’re unlikely to find it, they’ll give you a crime report so you can claim funds for a replacement from your insurer.
Claims usually take a few weeks to process, so check out the Decluttr Store if you need a replacement phone in the meantime!
My battery keeps dying!
Sadly, your phone battery will naturally diminish over time. There are a few ways you can extend its life in the short term, though.
Firstly, turn off as many services as you can when you’re not using them; that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and location services. Dim your screen too and, if you’re really short on juice, turn on battery saving mode.
In the long term, you’ll either need to replace the battery or replace your phone. Which you choose depends on a) how much you like your phone and b) how much it’ll cost to replace the battery. If you use an older device, you may find that it’s actually cheaper to upgrade!
I’ve cracked my screen, what should I do?!
Don’t walk around with a cracked screen. It looks terrible and you might get glass in your fingers and debris in your phone!
Instead, put a plastic cover on your screen until you have time to get it fixed. Minimise your usage too.
If you have an iPhone and AppleCare+, your first port of call should be the Apple Store. They’ll fix it but you’ll have to pay a standard $79 fee for the privilege. Other phone manufacturers offer similar deals under warranty.
Things get pricier if you’re out of warranty: insurance will usually cover your screen but you’ll have to pay an excess, while your phone manufacturer will likely charge a fortune to fix it.
The best out-of-warranty option is to take it to a store, but make sure you use a trusted and verified repair store; otherwise, you risk a low quality repair or, even worse, someone accessing your data and storing it remotely.
Your final option – and the one we’d recommend least – is fixing it yourself. There are a lot of tutorials online but none are as good as iFixIt. As well as providing easy-to-follow instructions, they sell all the parts you need. Just remember that attempting your own repair will void your warranty, leaving you with huge repair bills if you mess up. Only attempt this if you’re really confident!
If you’re looking to sell a broken device with Decluttr, check out our sell broken phones page for more information.
If you’re ready to upgrade, sell your cell phone or trade in iPhone devices with Decluttr. We’ll give you an instant price (no auctions!), FREE shipping and fast next day payment. You can even sell cracked and broken phones to us too!