Why Won’t My iPhone 12 Turn On? The Screen Troubleshooting Guide

iPhones are one of the best phone brands, so it is concerning when you have to research, ” Why won’t my iPhone 12 turn on?” 

The product is well tested and has performed well in the past, but many users are beginning to have issues with it since it is 4 years old.

Several potential problems can cause this, and we will go into detail with all of them. As a user, you must understand your device and its limitations to use it best. Here are the main reasons why an iPhone 12 could fail to turn on;

Why Won’t My iPhone 12 Turn On?

So one day, you wake up and need to review a few details for work, and nothing happens when you press the power button. 

Most smartphone users have experienced this, and you can have the same problem with an iPhone 12 regardless of its condition.

There are several potential culprits for this delay, and here are some of the reasons you ought to look out for; 

  1. The Battery Isn’t Charged

Sometimes, the most straightforward solutions are the best; it could be that you didn’t notice your battery running out. The screen will be unresponsive with a discharged battery, so you must check before taking drastic measures.

iPhone 12 will give you a screen prompt when the battery is getting low, so you know you should plug it in. 

If you don’t notice these prompts, the battery will get lower, and eventually, there won’t be enough power to display the prompt.

Plug the iPhone and let it charge for about 10 minutes to ensure the battery has enough power, then try turning it on again. 

You should also check your cable, outlet, and charging block to ensure everything works optimally before ruling out battery power.

You can do this by plugging another iPhone into the same charging system to see how it responds.

  1. A Damaged Battery

Smartphones and most electronic devices use lithium-ion batteries with a limited lifespan. Depending on how you use and charge them, the battery will start degrading and losing power faster as time goes by, and eventually, you’ll need to replace it.

If you use your iPhone 12 every day, you have probably charged it thousands of times, which has caused damage to the batteries. 

The lithium-ion battery could be degraded to the point it can’t hold any power, so the phone doesn’t power up even if you charge it.

You will encounter this problem more often if you keep your battery at its end for long periods. This means that you should let the power on your battery stay between 80% and 20% rather than 100% and 1%.

Keeping the iPhone fully charged or discharged for an extended period will accelerate the degradation rate of the battery even if you don’t charge it often. To troubleshoot this issue, plug your phone in and try turning it when it’s connected to a power source.

If the phone works, go to the settings and check the battery status. Open settings and scroll to the battery menu, then battery health. Check the maximum capacity; if it’s less than 80%, the battery is degraded but still usable.

If the max capacity is below 50%, the battery has reached its limit, and it’s time to get a replacement.

  1. Physical Damage

If your iPhone drops from a high place or gets water inside it, then afterward it doesn’t turn on, then it is likely that the physical damage is what is keeping it from working. Any accidents followed by a failure to turn on will hint at where to begin.

Water is a grave concern as it can get to any internal components and stay in the device for long if not well-dried. 

Water can conduct electricity, so it could fry the circuit board if you plug in your iPhone or have enough battery power. 

It could be that a small component inside the phone is dislodged from the impact or has short-circuited. In this case, the best thing to do is go to a certified Apple repair shop near you for professional assistance.

You can go to third-party repair professionals, but doing this will void your warranty claim, so it is better to deal with Apple itself.

  1. Damaged Screen

The screen is the primary output and input device for a touchscreen phone like the iPhone 12. It shows and controls the user interface, so if the screen has a fault, it will keep your phone from turning on.

Visible damage to the screen, like cracks or black spots, could be a good sign of why your phone won’t turn on. Sitting on the phone, dropping it, or keeping it inappropriately can also be a concern.

Some users suggest that using magnetic holders can damage the screen, which could cause your issue. If possible, you need to confirm the problem by plugging your phone into an external screen.

If it works on another screen, you can be sure the problem is screen-related, and your phone is still turning on. 

You can also use a USB ammeter to check for screen damage since it will confirm the phone is charging and the internal components are operational.

Luckily, the screen is one of the easier replacement parts to find, and it can get fixed in under an hour if you get the right person. 

As always, go to certified Apple repair shops with guarantees of repair or replacements if you can claim the warranty.

  1. A Damaged Motherboard

If you try all of the above fixes and the screen still won’t turn on, the problem is most likely on the circuit board of the iPhone. A motherboard has the processor and everything that controls every aspect of the iPhone.

This includes receiving and sending inputs from the screen and power buttons and responding to them appropriately. 

The motherboard also houses the CPU, RAM, and GPU, three crucial components to any computer performing its roles.

Additional chips control lighting, sound, touch, and much more, so mage to the motherboard can be a death sentence for your device. The motherboard is well protected in the casing, so it only gets damaged after significant impacts.

This can be in the form of exposure to high temperatures, hard physical hits, exposure to water, or a change in BIOS settings. 

BIOS settings dictate the powering-up sequence for a phone, so changing them could lead to miscommunications within the device.

If you continue using your phone, you must replace your motherboard if any of these is the issue. This will be an expensive repair, and most people just buy a new iPhone rather than risk the money for a solution that might not work.

Can Software Issues Keep An iPhone 12 From Turning On?

Software is as vital to the operation of any computer or phone, so software errors can cause your iPhone to stay off. 

This is uncommon since Apple does a great job of eliminating bugs and potential software glitches before they occur, but it’s possible.

Apple is among the most diligent companies in rolling out updates for their iPhones to ensure the hardware has the best support. A big part of this support is firmware that links the software and hardware to ensure they serve their roles.

If your iPhone won’t turn on and hasn’t experienced any physical damage, malfunctioning firmware will likely cause the problem. You can fix the firmware problem by doing a forced restart to reset them. To force restart your iPhone 12;

  • Press and release the volume-up key.
  • Press and release the volume down key and hold the power button until the Apple logo pops up on the screen, then release the power button.

You need to press the volume buttons quickly and in quick succession for this to work. If your phone still doesn’t work, you should try to charge it again and see if there will be any changes.

This primary software concern could keep your iPhone 12 from turning on. You should update your phone with the latest patches to match industry standards and new app requirements.

A well-updated system will have fewer malfunctions and better performance, saving you the trouble of dealing with issues like these.


You have all the answers now if you were wondering, “Why won’t my iPhone 12 turn on?” iPhones are excellent products, and many issues, software and hardware, could cause this. Sometimes, it is a simple explanation where the phone’s battery has run out.

In other cases, it can indicate a bigger concern, such as screen damage or motherboard circuitry damage. Try charging and force restarting the device first. If this doesn’t work, go to the nearest Apple store for professional advice and a quality repair.

David Huner
David Huner
David Huner is a tech lover. After completing his graduation from the University Of Phoenix, he started gather his knowledge mostly on latest technologies that keeps his life smart and cool. Now he wants to spread his knowledge with people who loves technologies.

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