How Do I Save My Phone If It Fell in Water?

What to do if your phone has gone for a swim.

So you’re by the pool, or near a sink, or at the beach, and you’re about to send off an awesome Snap or finalize dinner plans when—kerplunk! Is the phone ruined? Can you save it? Help!

It’s okay. Take a breath and pull yourself together. 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 your device from the water — is immediately turn off your phone. If it was already off, leave it off. If the screen is frozen, try to force restart, and then power off. How you force restart your phone 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

See that little hole on the side of the phone? That’s where the SIM card lives. 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/rice to draw out all moisture before turning on your phone.

If All Else Fails…

If you try the steps above and your phone still doesn’t work properly, file a claim for a replacement. Hopefully, you were signed in to iCloud so your data backed up before the…incident. But maybe invest in a waterproof case if you plan on taking your phone swimming.

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