Five warning signs your iPhone is about to die

Take these warning signs seriously, because otherwise bad things could happen, ranging from your iPhone dying suddenly, to the battery going up in flames.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Usually, an iPhone gives you some advanced warnings before it dies. The problem is, most of the time, people ignore these warnings until the iPhone actually stops working.

Here are five warning signs that your iPhone is about to die.

Ignore them at your peril!

Screen is flickering

This is a slippery slope towards death for iPhones.

I've seen this caused by a number of reasons (the most common is a damaged or defective display, but I've also seen the ribbon cable become detached inside).

One day that display will flicker its last.

"Ghost touches"

Ghost touches are random touches on the display. They can be caused by screen damage or an internal failure. Increased temperature or flexing can make it worse.

This is something that gets worse over time and can end with a crazy level of ghost touches or a display that becomes unresponsive to touch.

Random restarts

Notice your iPhone has started to reboot randomly. This could be down to a myriad of reasons. Bad battery is high on that list (you'll get a message if this is the case), but it can also be as a result of a defective mainboard or even loose connections.

Using iOS 14 to diagnose battery drain

Not charging

Uh-oh! Your battery is running out, but the iPhone won't charge!

Some things you can try:

  • Reboot the iPhone
  • Try a different charger/cable combination
  • If your iPhone has wireless charging, try that

Screen bulging/separating from frame

This is usually a sign that the battery has swelled up.

This is not a good sign as a damaged battery is a dangerous battery.

Don't try to squeeze the iPhone back together, as this could damage the display or puncture the battery.

Do not underestimate how dangerous a defective battery can be. Do not charge it and get it fixed as soon as possible,

Bonus sign: Screen is black or frozen on the Apple logo.

The iPhone is a brick.

A paperweight.

Apple has a couple of support documents (here and here) that might allow you to fix it yourself. If it doesn't, then you have a trip to the Apple Store in your future.

How to get the best possible life -- and safety -- from your battery

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