How to Save Your Phone from Water Damage

A soggy phone doesn't always need to be replaced. But maybe it's time to invest in a waterproof case.

So you’re by the pool or near a sink, and you’re about to send off an awesome Snap or finalize dinner plans when—kerplunk!

Don’t worry—you still might be able to save your phone from a watery grave. Keep in mind, water-resistant phones can still be damaged if they sink too deep or stay wet for too long.

Turn It Off

The first thing to do—after fishing out your device—is immediately turn off your phone. If it was already off, leave it that way. If the screen is frozen, try to force it to restart, and then power off. How to do the former depends on the model you own:

  • Android—Press and hold the Power button and Volume Down button until your phone turns off.
  • iPhone 8 or newer—Press and release Volume Up, press and release Volume Down, then press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo. Your phone will reboot.
  • iPhone 7—Press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power button until the phone turns off.
  • iPhone 6s and below—Press and hold the Power button and Home button until the phone turns off.

Remove the SIM card

Use a paperclip or SIM removal tool to pop open the SIM tray, and remove the SIM card from your phone.

Dry out Your Phone

There are two safe ways to dry out a soggy device: silica gel—those moisture-absorbing packets commonly found in shoe boxes, medicine bottles, and dried food containers—and rice. Once you’ve retrieved your phone, give it a few gentle shakes, dry it with a towel, and place it in a sealed container or storage bag. Toss in a handful of unopened silica packets or fill the bag/container with rice. Wait at least 48 hours for the silica or rice to draw out all the moisture before turning on your device.

If All Else Fails…

If you try the steps above and your phone still doesn’t work properly, file a claim for a replacement. Let’s hope you were signed in to iCloud or Google so your data backed up before the incident. But maybe it’s time to invest in a waterproof case.

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