Uh oh! Your iPhone fell in the pool/lake/ocean/bath/washing machine/sink/toilet! What now? Are all of your photos gone? How do I get a new phone?
These are all really important questions. For most people, losing your iPhone for a few days due to water damage is the equivalent of having an arm removed: we rely on them so much these days for everyday communication that it really hurts to be down.
We feel you.
So here’s our best advice on how to get your iPhone fixed and your data restored.
1. Don’t Try to Turn it On
When an iPhone gets wet, the first reaction is to try to turn it on to see if it still works. Please resist the temptation, because trying to turn on the device can work against you. There may be water on the circuit boards inside and it can cause something to get fried!
We want your iPhone to be resurrected too, just don’t try to turn it on.
2. Put it in Rice While You Figure Stuff Out
You may have heard of the ol’ rice trick, and guess what: it actually works a lot of the time. So, our advice is to put your iPhone into a ziplock bag of uncooked, unseasoned rice while you sort out the details. It can’t hurt anything to get it in rice until you’re back online. We’ve actually seen this bring some devices to life!
For maximum effectiveness, it’s best to keep the device in rice for 24+ hours. It takes a while for the rice to suck out the moisture, so give it some time before you try to turn it on again.
3. Don’t Get it Fixed Anywhere but an Apple Store
Even if your iPhone isn’t under warranty, we recommend getting your iPhone repaired by Apple. You can check your warranty by putting in your serial number into this website. If you’re not sure how to find your serial number, go to this site and follow the instructions from Apple.
Apple has the ability to completely replace your device that same day, even if it’s way out of warranty, for a reasonable price. And, if you have a warranty, you could save a ton of money.
Getting your submerged iPhone/iPad fixed anywhere else but Apple will void all of your warranties with Apple and can be extremely costly down the road.
If you can, make a Genius bar appointment at your nearest Apple Store to get a replacement set up. If you can’t make an appointment, Apple has opened up to take more walk-in appointments, so just go up there.
What will it cost to replace?
Here are the costs to replacing a water-damaged iOS device:
Water Damaged iPad Replacement Costs
| iPad Model|| Replace Device|| AppleCare+ Replacement|
|2|| $249|| $49|
| 3|| $299|| $49|
| 4|| $299|| $49|
|Air|| $299|| $49|
|Air 2|| $379|| $49|
|9.7″ Pro|| $379|| $49|
|12.9″ Pro|| $599|| $49|
|Mini|| $199|| $49|
|Mini 2|| $249|| $49|
|Mini 3|| $299|| $49|
|Mini 4|| $299|| $49|
Water Damaged iPhone Replacement Costs
| iPhone Model|| Replace Device|| AppleCare+ Replacement|
|3G|| $149|| NA|
| 3GS|| $149|| NA|
| 4|| $149|| $49|
|4S|| $199|| $49|
|5|| $269|| $49|
|5C|| $269|| $79|
|5s|| $269|| $79|
|6|| $299|| $79|
|6 Plus|| $329|| $79|
|6s|| $299|| $99|
|6s Plus|| $329|| $99|
iPod Touch will usually run between $150-200 for replacement, depending on which model. You can see the complete list of iPod replacement costs at Apple’s iPod Touch Support site.
How to Restore Your Data
The easiest way to get your data back is to restore from iCloud or restore from iTunes.
If you already have a backup, you can have a replacement with all of your data on it that same day. That’s pretty awesome service if you ask us!
iCloud Backup is a service that carbon copies of all of your data onto one of Apple’s computers every 24 hours. That means all of your data will have a mirror image made every day. It’s pretty amazing.
Ever wonder why your iPhone or iPad keeps saying, “You haven’t backed up in 37 days?” or “Your iCloud Backup cannot complete because you do not have enough Storage?” Here’s our simple explanation to solve this for you.
What Is Backed Up?
According to Apple’s latest documentation on iCloud Backup, here is a list of what is backed up in iOS 10:
- Purchase history for music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books
- Photos and videos on your iOS devices
- However, if you turn on iCloud Photo Library on your iOS device (iOS 8.1 or later) or Mac (OS X v10.10.3 or later), your photos and videos are already stored in iCloud, so they aren’t included in your iCloud backup.
- Device settings
- Call History
- App data
- Home screen and app organization
- iMessage, text (SMS), and MMS messages (requires the SIM card that was in use during backup)
- Visual Voicemail password (requires the SIM card that was in use during backup)
- Health data
- HomeKit configuration
- Data for any currently paired Apple Watch
This is a great thing because it means you could lose your phone, drop it in the toilet, or shatter it on the ground and when you get it replaced you will theoretically never be more than 24 hours away from a fresh backup of all of your pictures, videos, text messages, and apps. It’s the same thing as a Time Machine backup on the Mac, just on one of Apple’s storage facilities instead of your own external hard drive.
Quick Note: iTunes and App Store content is not backed up, meaning it isn’t counting against your storage. For apps, iCloud Backup only backs up the data inside the apps, not the apps themselves. The apps themselves are re-downloaded from the App Store. Same goes for content from the iTunes Store: Apple already has a copy in their iTunes server and so they don’t need to back it up again or use your storage.
Here’s the trick, iCloud Backup needs three things to backup your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch successfully:
- Enough iCloud Storage
- Plugged into Power
- Connected to Wi-Fi
The main reason it needs power and Wi-Fi is so that it won’t drain your battery or data plan to run a backup. Thanks, Apple!
How to Back Up to iCloud
1. Purchase Enough iCloud Storage
To make sure you have enough iCloud Storage, head over to the following locations on your iPhone or iPad.
iOS 7 — Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup
iOS 8 — Settings > iCloud > Storage
Once you’re there, you will be notified of how much storage you have left in iCloud, along with an estimate of how much more you’ll need. From there, you can purchase additional storage by pressing Buy More Storage.
Plans range from 5GB for free and $20/month for 1TB of storage. That is overkill for most people, so most people will either be on the 20GB or 200GB plans for $1 or $4 a month, respectively. Here is a list of the current storage pricing for your country.
2. Plug Into Power Long Enough to Backup
One common problem that keeps people from doing iCloud Backups is that they never plug their device in long enough to let the backup finish. If you’re the kind of person that plugs their device in 20 times a day for 15 minutes, you may be getting a message that says, “Plug into power to finish your iCloud backup.”
The fix is easy: plug it up when you go to bed every night instead of piecemeal throughout the day.
3. Connect to Wi-Fi
We are a mobile society, so it’s very likely that you are moving in and out of different Wi-Fi networks throughout the day. This can cause your backup to never complete because it never has enough time to finish.
If you have a lot of photos or videos, it can exacerbate the problem because your large backup may take 8 hours to fully complete but you are never in Wi-Fi for more than 1 hour during the day.
iCloud Backup is a wonderful tool to protect the data that you don’t lose the precious photos, memories, or data inside your iPhone or iPad.