iPhone died, how to bring it back. + AT&T caught in the act of lowballing montly svc chrg

By | January 7, 2010

I had at least 20% battery life left and my phone just died. Normally you can hold the power button or hold the home and power buttons at the same time to reboot it, but this didn’t work. Even after charging, it was just completely unresponsive. As I was surfing the web while composing my annoyance speech for the unfortunate Apple Care Technicians I came across this gem which, surprisingly, worked!

If your iPhone is completely dead, “toggle the switch above the volume back and forth two times, the hold the main button along with the top power button for about six seconds or until you see the apple icon displayed on your screen the main menu will appear shortly thereafter.” I counted to eight and nothing happened, but when I released the buttons, the Apple Icon appeared. Bonus: “if you did any charging during this blackout period it is accounted for when your iPhone comes back to life.”

So, why did this happen? Is there some random shut off timer to get people in to the Apple store for service so Apple has a chance to try to sell them an extended warranty or something?

The only thing I changed is that I changed my pass code to something very long and complicated after I got my iPhone working with ActiveSynch and Exchange Server 2003 today. How to get that to work is another post for another time.

Next hurdle is getting AT&T to give me the rate the sales people promised. I’m being charged $137.49 Monthly Service Charges before taxes when I was told several times by two different reps “Jamie” and “Vincent” and  that my Monthly Service Charges would be $124.99 for both phones on my family plan.

I learned from my experiences with Sprint and this time have screenshots of both Jamie and Vincent telling me in chat sessions that my Monthly Service Charges will be $124.99. I even said, you know, with Sprint the sales people told me one thing and then billing billed me more…”

And here is the first bill with the Month Service Charge of  …. hmm… not $124.99.  $12.50 more than I expected which adds up to an additional $150 per year. Probably just a simple mistake and I’m sure they will be happy to correct it when I call them in the morning. 😉

111 thoughts on “iPhone died, how to bring it back. + AT&T caught in the act of lowballing montly svc chrg

  1. Marketgirl

    I have the Apple iPhone version 3.1. I bought it on October 16, 2009, so I have had it for about 10 weeks. I took a photo and emailed it to my son, then I set the phone down on the counter. When I came an hour later, the screen was black and I couldn’t get it to respond. I googled and found your very very very informative and accurate account of how to revive my iphone. It worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to post this cure. But, like you, I wonder why it happened?

    Thanks again.

  2. Joe Kirby

    Same thing just happened to me and thanks to your reply I was able to restart the phone….any ideas why it might happen??? Had done nothing out of the ordinary and tehre was 45% power there….

  3. Amanda

    Thanks so much for posting this cure!!! My phone went dead out of nowhere ( I’ve only had it one month) and I live on an island and the nearest ATT store is over an hour away! I tried what you said and my phone came back on! Thanks so much! Any idea whats going on??? Aloha A

  4. Brian

    Hmmm… mine died in the exact same way: I emailed a pic and 10 min later I check it and it is totally dead. I charged it overnight with no response. I’ve been trying the technique for the past 15 minutes, but still with no luck. very strange… any further recommendations?

  5. Lorne Craig

    Worked for me… hmmm why? What is the deal? Anyone with more info? (ie how to keep it from happening again)

  6. Jill

    thanks so much! this happened to me, and after freaking out a bit, I googled “iphone died,” saw your post here, and the cure worked. like others here, was doing nothing out of the ordinary and phone had lots of charge left. so glad it’s back in action. thanks!

  7. helen

    thanks so much, i’d sent a photo – battery was 30% then nothing – wouldnt charge – tried what you said above and hey presto its working again – thanks so much

  8. Kat

    I too am on the “Thank you” bandwagon!! I sent a photo and 10-15 minutes later…nada! After reading several of the posts, it appears to occur after sending a photo. Perhaps that is where the glitch exists. Regardless of the “why”, I am just glad you provided the “how” on fixing the problem.

  9. Frankie

    OMG! I was about ready to take a hike into the Apple store and either spend money on a new phone, or take it in for god knows how long and how expensive of a service repair trip.

    I googled ‘iPhone died’ in Google, I tried what you said, and it totally worked!

    Funny, same thing happened to me. The phone was about 20% (I ran it many times on 10% power without problems), I MMS’d some pictures out. Set the phone down, about a half hour later, I picked it up, and it was dead. I tried charging it for an hour, and it would still not turn on!

    After your tip, it started up like a champ.

  10. susie

    Thank you so much for your tip on fixing a dead phone. My iphone was fully charged this morning and just died for no reason. I was about to go to the At&t store then found this site. I did what you suggested “toggle the switch” and it worked AMAZING. You saved me many &&&&”s .
    Thanks again

  11. Christa

    Wow, I thought my phone was a goner too. However, I was not sending a photo like some others have stated. It just randomly died. Thanks for the tip!

  12. Sabaki

    Wow it worked! But what the heck…Why…I’m grateful and all but I’m still in serious shock here in Osaka, Japan. I was worried about being able to wake up in time for work early tomorrow morning without my only alarm clock! You really saved me, thanks!!!!

  13. PortlandGirl

    Thank you for this tip. I had changed my passcode and worked on syncing gmail contacts using exchange server. A few hours later my phone went dark and I couldn’t get it to turn back on. Your instructions revived it. I too was about to hoof it over to the Apple Store to waste my time.

  14. Kevin

    This is crazy. Totally worked for me. The blank out happened to me once before but it was the original iPhone. All I did was plug into the laptop and that revived it. This time for no reason what’s so ever it just died. I tried this trick and it did come back on. I’m just really dumbfounded.

  15. nick

    Yep, same as the people above – my phone died for no reason, that trick sorted it out… very random, very bizarre. Thanks for the help.

  16. Karen

    Wow! I owe you a big thank you. My five month old phone died for no reason, it was about 30% charged at the time. I had just set it in a cupholder in my car. Charging it did nothing. Your little trick brought it right back to life!! I’m sending good karma your way. 🙂

  17. mark

    big thanks
    this happened to my wifes phone so googled and this page is at the top. i assumed it was overheating.
    i also found this while googling a bit more on apple support
    “If that doesn’t work, reset iPhone. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time for at least ten seconds, until the Apple logo appears”

    1. Adriana

      My phone was deader than dead compared to the rest of yours since none of that worked…then I found Mark here and tried that…it worked! Thank you!!!! It almost felt like a family member or friends had died…LOL

  18. Mama2Hapas

    Thanks! My phone died literally from one second to the next for no reason, with almost 75% charge, for no reason. The only thing I had done was turn down the volume. Anyway, this trick worked! Thanks again!

  19. IPHONE Happy

    This really worked. As previous people said, I also freaked after trying to charge it and then connecting to computer and nothing worked. I googled “IPHONE died” and found this post. Thank you so much. I am passing it on to other friends with IPHONE. I know this works on 3G and 4G phones.

  20. Jose HC

    I too am very thankful. It worked ‘as advertised’ and my wife’s phone is back up. It is only a month old so I was very worried.

    Thanks again!

  21. The Prosperous Artist

    Amazing! Ditto. I’d just finished sending a text via Google Voice app, set the phone down, then picked it up a few seconds later to send another text, and … gonzo.

    Had 93% charge. Didn’t respond to plugging into the computer like it normally does.

    Googled “iPhone died”, and there was your page, like manna from heaven. Hallelujah!

    What did we ever do before the internet? Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you. Saved me a very time-consuming trip I don’t have time for, and/or going without iPhone while traveling this weekend – ugh!

    Made me realize just how much I rely on this little block of glass. Like someone else mentioned above, I will set a backup wake-up alarm from now on!

  22. erin

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was in tears because my phone randomly went completely dead and I have no other way of communicating and am stuck right now in a snow storm with my one year old baby girl. I did what you said and it worked. I feel like I can breathe again!

  23. Yanni

    This absolutely works!!! I thought my phone was done with and I would be charged excessive fees to restore it at AT&T, but this simple but yet brilliant solution worked. Thank you sooo much!!!

  24. Patience

    I tried the trick twice and it was still dark. Then as I read on, I thought I’d try plugging the phone into my laptop (I normally only plug it into the wall to recharge and had tried that through the night and then this morning using a couple of different cords, to no avial). When I looked back down after reading a while I saw the image of a battery with just a thin red line. So apparently no charge took (contrary to what another person experienced). But I’ve got life and I owe it to this post, I presume. Thank you. And if the trick doesn’t immediately work, don’t give up on the troubleshooting.

  25. thankyou

    Thank you so much, my wife comes to me “Did my iphone just die?” I tried to charge it, then push some of the buttons and then hit up the google machine to find your very helpful post on this very thing. I do exactly as you describe above and viola! its up and working now.

    Thank you


    OMG!! My phone died without any warning and I had to drive 30 min. back home to TRY to fix it….nothing worked, not even reconnecting to itunes. So I googled how to pick dead phone and this (your suggestion) was the first thing I saw & tried since I remembered once going to the apple store and the sales person did what you mentioned.

    Toggle back/forth two times, then simultaneously presing main & off/on button for 8 seconnds…. release, and WHAM!!!! IT WORKED PERFECTLY!!! THANKS FOR POSTING your suggestion!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Caroline

    Thank you 🙂 Thought I’d lost my phone but all is well. I had to charge mine up on my computer for the restart to complete. I had the apple logo for quite some time (about 20 minutes) but it has come back now (although I seem to be having problems with my sim………………)

  28. Danny

    Add me to the list! Two month old phone, with 85% charge just died. Your advice came to the rescue – thanks. But I wish I knew what happened…

  29. jim Boehling

    Just saved my IPhone 4.0 as well. I was freaking out. Typed in “Iphone Died” and found this thread.. HUGE THANKS! Apple needs to fix this..

  30. Louise

    I was just about to call and order a new phone tomorrow (I still have 8 months to go on this plan so it would’ve cost me a pretty penny too)!! SO THANK YOU!! I was in the middle of Bejewelled – put the game on pause for a few minutes and then went back to a dead phone. Love how we all Googled ‘Iphone Died’ LOL

  31. Trudy Spooner

    Thank you, my phone went blank for no reason – and it had a full battery. This worked! Thank you so much. I hope I can find out why it happened though, not having the phone definitely left me in a lurch.

  32. G6

    Thanks! Worked for me too. Boy was I in a panic.
    Still not sure why it happened or if I’m in danger of it happening again, though…..

  33. Candice

    YAY it worked!!!! You are SO awesome! I didnt change anything on mine and it was FULLY charged! WTF? Why did this happen?

  34. Keith

    WOW! It worked. I was getting ready to head to the ATT store where I am sure I would have been ripped off because they are always charging for something that they shouldn’t. Not sure why my phone just quit because it had 45% power when I set it down 1 hour ago. Then when I went to make a call, NOTHING.
    Thank You!

  35. alex

    Same issue happened to me just a few moments ago. I called Apple and they told me to bring my phone in for repair. They advised it would cost upward of $200. I just on the internet and founded this blog. Did exactly what Xeno recommended and the issue was resolved. Thanks Xeno. You saved me a couple hundered dollars.

  36. Anne

    Thank you for posting this. It worked for me. My phone had about 48% battery when it just died. I find it interesting that Keith also had a battery in the 45-50% range. I wonder if there is some sort of software glitch? Now, whether the glitch is accidental or on purpose is an even more interesting question. Hmmm . . .

  37. Timothy Noonan

    OK, here it is Jan 2012, and last night my iPhone died unexpectedly. Nothing worked, I found this page. I had to do it three times, but suddenly, the “Charge” icon appeared and it worked! Holy crap, I am amazed!

  38. Jess

    Yay! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Really thought my phone was terminal for a while. I can’t believe something so simple worked! Hurrah!

    Anybody have any idea what caused it?

  39. Sabrina Gary

    It worked! thank you so much. I had a phone interview scheduled for this afternoon and then phone died! Your technique got me back up and running!

  40. svod4

    Thank You, it worked… one more month till I can upgrade. I wasnt going to spend any money on this or a phone till then!!!

    1. Xeno Post author

      Yes, water will totally kill your phone. You can try putting it in a bag of dry rice for a few days… That did not work for me, however. A new iPhone is absurdly expensive. Good luck.

  41. Gali

    Thank you so much! This really works! My phone died with about 70% battery life. since I happened to be near Apple store I took it there. After about 30 min, they told me the battery is dead and they cannot revive it and I need to buy a new battery for $80. They couldn’t tell me what went wrong because the phone isn’t charging so they can’t run diagnostics. You would think Apple folks should know how to do this…..

    Good thing I came home and googled this. Thanks soooooooooooooooo much!!!!!!

  42. William

    Figured I’d jump on this congratulatory bandwagon. Worked like a charm! I need the phone for non-stop business so thank you thank you thank you.

    1. Xeno Post author

      You’re welcome! I hope this blog entry saved you time and money. Research donations always appreciated (button on left) or just email me a strange news story for this blog some time to


  43. kyutiflui

    gosh, it’s now july 2012 and still happening. thanks for calming me down. your tips work

  44. Razi

    Thanks a million!! I was freaked out too. I had to do a few of the scenarios that you mentioned and then it finally worked!
    Thank you for posting this solution.

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