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That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you see the iPhone where it shouldn’t be – submerged in water – is an unpleasant, yet not an uncommon experience. If you dropped iPhone in water, it should be treated as an emergency.

Or maybe you dropped iPhone in toilet? We won’t tell anyone, promise.

iPhone dropped in water

If there is even a slight chance that your iPhone sustained damage from contact with water, the info below is for you:

Timing is important and if you are lucky, you may even escape unhurt. This guide provides a set of “first-aid” steps which are known to avoid water from crippling the iPhone. Remember: there is no magic solution.

Prevent iPhone water damage – 6 steps

  1. Step 1: don’t panic.
    Even if your iPhone is damaged, you can probably recover the data.

  2. Get the iPhone out of the water as soon as you can and switch it off by long-pressing either volume button together with home button until you see the following slider:

    turn off iphone after take out from water

    Then, slide to power off. Of course if the iPhone is already turned off, don’t turn it on. If you have difficulty switching off your device, consult Apple.

    Turning off the iPhone as swiftly as possible is the single most important step to prevent water damage. Keeping it off for a good couple of days after the incident is as crucial.

    It is not water per se which damages the iPhone but the short-circuits which can be produced by the electricity running in the iPhone’s circuit board.

  3. Dry off the iPhone with a towel or a piece of fabric. Do NOT use a hair-dryer, nor place the iPhone in an oven as the excess heat will damage the iPhone beyond repair.
  4. Grab a plastic bag, preferably a common zipper storage bag and fill it up with uncooked rice or alternatively, silica-gel packets. Place the iPhone in the plastic bag and make sure the device is fully immersed in the rice.

    If you cannot get hold of rice or silica, you can alternatively place the iPhone in a very dry and well-ventilated place (i.e. a room used to dry clothes equipped with a cold-air blow fan).

  5. Take out as much air as possible from the bag and zip it up. If you do not have a zipper bag, use a regular one, or as a last resort, a bowl.
    iphone in rice plastic zipper bag
  6. Let the iPhone remain in the rice for at least 24 hours (preferably 48 hours) after which the device should have completely dried up.
  7. Disclaimer: we cannot be held responsible should the above guide fail to help you if your iPhone fell in water.

    But we can help rescue your data after iPhone water damage.

I dropped my iPhone in water – rescue iPhone data

While your iPhone is drying in rice or being cared for by Apple specialists, you may need to retrieve some data from it. We have an application to help – CopyTrans Backup Extractor.

CopyTrans Backup Extractor can:

find iPhone and iCloud backups of your device automatically;
list all backups in one place;
extract your contacts, messages, photos, voice memos, notes and calendars to PC.

Here is what to do :

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Backup Extractor:

  2. Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor

    If you need help installing the program, refer to the installation guide.

  3. Run the program. If you want to access iCloud backups as well, log in to iCloud as shown in the screenshot. Once ready, click on “Find Backups”.
    Find iPhone backups with CopyTrans Backup Extractor
  4. After a while, you will see the list of all the backups available to you on PC or in iCloud.

    Choose the one you need. You may be asked for a backup password. What password?

    ☁️ iCloud backups will be marked with a cloud icon and they are never password-protected.

    Enter the backup password in CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  5. Choose the type of data you need or select “Extract everything”. You will be asked to select the destination folder.
    Select data types to extract with CopyTrans Backup Extractor
  6. Wait for the iPhone data extraction to complete.
    Rescue data after iPhone water damage
  7. CopyTrans Backup Extractor rescued everything it could from the backup!
    Data from iPhone extracted to PC
  8. If your iCloud photos are not in the backup, maybe they stayed in iCloud? Download all photos from iCloud to PC in a couple of clicks.
    CopyTrans Cloudly interface

When should I turn on my iPhone?

Trying to turn on an iPhone after a water incident always poses a risk of damage. Before you turn on your iPhone, please read the following text.

All iPhones feature a Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) which is activated in case water got in contact with the circuit board and damaged the phone. If the iPhone was damaged by water, the indicator will glow bright red.

Once you take out the iPhone from the rice, be sure to check whether the indicator glows red. If you are lucky and there is no water damage, you should see the indicator’s regular color which is white or silver.

To find where the LCI is located on your iPhone, check out the below table.
how to find LCI on your iPhone

Remember: it will always be safer to take your iPhone to the nearest Apple Store before attempting to turn on the device.

In the future, do not forget to back up your iPhone properly.

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By krasimir

Krasimir is an avid marketing aficionado and a tech-support specialist in charge of the English-speaking market. He grew up in Bulgaria and on the island of Mauritius where he became passionate about windsurfing and photography.