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iPhone 3GS Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting the iPhone 3GS is particularly treacherous, but we have made it as easy as possible below.

iPhone 3GS glass is shattered

Oh no! Your iPhone's glass did not survive your unintentional drop test!

Broken front panel

Take a deep breath and see if your iPhone will turn on and operate normally. In most cases, the iPhone is still functional but now a cosmetic disaster. Take a closer look and make sure the display was not damaged from the fall, as you will want to replace this at the same time as replacing your front panel if it is damaged. Generally, the front panel will have absorbed the brunt of the fall and your display will be unscathed. In this case, you must replace the front panel.

iPhone is frozen or unresponsive

Even after furious button mashing and screen smashing, your iPhone 3GS doesn't respond.

Restart iPhone

Sometimes all it takes is a restart for the iPhone to become responsive again. To restart your iPhone when it is unresponsive, press and hold the sleep/wake and home buttons until the Apple logo appears (~10 seconds).

Very low battery

It is possible for an iPhone to become unresponsive if the battery drops to an extremely low level. Plug the iPhone into your computer or wall charger and allow it to charge for at least 20 minutes before using it again.

iPhone 3GS will not charge

Plugging in your iPhone 3GS does not bring it life.

Bad cable connection

Check the USB cable for damage and dirt, especially at the ends. Then try using the wall charger, as this will provide greater power input than the computer/USB.

Broken charger or USB cord

Try using different chargers to see if you may have a problem with your charger or cord.

Obstructed/bad dock connector

Check the 30-pin dock connector at the bottom of the iPhone for dirt, lint, and damaged pins. Clean out the dock connector very carefully with a tooth pick or soft toothbrush. If the dock connection is broken, you will have to replace it.

iPhone 3GS won't turn on

No matter what you do, you can't get your iPhone 3GS to turn on.

Drained/bad battery

If your iPhone 3GS won't turn on, especially if it has not been used recently, you may simply have a drained battery. Plug your iPhone 3GS into your computer or AC adapter and see if anything happens. Ideally your iPhone 3GS will recognize it has been connected to a power source and charge its battery. If it will no longer charge, the battery must be swapped with a replacement battery.

Bad display

It is possible that it appears nothing is happening because the display is bad. If the iPhone sounds like it is working properly but nothing is visible, it is possible the display is bad and must be replaced. Because this is a particularly difficult install, we also offer the entire display assembly and instructions for replacement!

Bad logic board

If none of the above solutions fix the iPhone, and both the power button and the hold button do not turn it on, you must replace the logic board.

"This accessory is not optimized for this iPhone" message

Obstructed/bad dock connector

Check the 30-pin dock connector at the bottom of the iPhone for dirt, lint, and damaged pins. Clean out the dock connector very carefully with a tooth pick or soft toothbrush. If the dock connection is broken, you will have to replace it.

Dirty or corroded logic board connections

After an iPhone has been submerged in a liquid, there may be some corrosion or debris on the logic board connections that cause this error message. Remove the logic board and clean all of the contacts with a soft cotton swab and high concentration isopropyl alcohol (at least 90%).

No audio or distorted audio

Your iPhone 3GS turns on and appears to work, but when you plug in headphones or speakers, the audio doesn't play properly.

Bad headphones/speakers

It's unlikely your headphones or speakers are bad, but it's worthwhile to eliminate these as the source of your problem at the beginning. Try your iPhone 3GS with another set of headphones or speakers just to make sure that the problem is with the iPhone 3GS.

Bad audio jack

The most likely cause of audio output problems on iPhone 3GS's is a bad audio-out jack. Check out our installation instructions for replacement of the headphone jack.

Restore iPhone 3GS

Your iPhone is behaving erratically or displays the text "Use iTunes to restore" on startup

Corrupted software

It isn't often that Apple gives specific directions about how to fix your problem! Restoring the iPhone 3GS will erase everything on it, so make sure everything on the iPhone 3GS is stored elsewhere prior to restoring. To restore, connect your iPhone 3GS to a computer with iTunes installed. Click "Restore" on the iPhone 3GS summary page (click on your iPhone icon on the left menu to find this page). Follow the directions to restore. If your iPhone 3GS displays the text "Please wait. Very Low Battery," leave it plugged in. This charges the iPhone 3GS enough to be able to restore. If the iPhone 3GS hangs on this screen for long periods of time, you may need a new battery.

Force restore mode

If your iPhone 3GS is hanging with an Apple logo, or exhibiting some other software problem that prevents iTunes from recognizing it, you can force it into recovery/restore mode and then use iTunes to restore the software.

If the device is powered off, plug one end of your USB cable into the iPhone 3GS and leave the other end disconnected. Press down on the Home button, and keep holding it down while you plug the USB cable into your computer. After 5-10 seconds, you should see a "Please Connect to iTunes" image on the iPhone 3GS, and iTunes should prompt you to restore the software; follow the prompts and the instructions given above.

If the device is powered on, hold down both the power and home buttons until the device reboots and displays the "Connect to iTunes" image (generally, 5-15 seconds).

my iphone 3gs doesnt turn on, y changed the battery but it doesnt work do you think it may be de dock charger connector? or the logic board (really really hope not)?? Please help me!

PEPE - Replica

are you just getting the Apple logo? thats what was wrong with mine but this last note of the force restor worked for me

Joshua -

thanq so much iphone 3gs troubleshooting application helped me a lott cheers mite

naveen - Replica

hi sir,please do specify some tips to recover iphone quickly to troubleshoot different kinds of coomon problems coming with iphone 3gs

naveen - Replica

i dropped my iphone 3gs and when i plug it into the wall socket it tells me to plug it into itunes but when my phone is pluged into the computer it is not recognised that it is pluged in at all i thought it was my computer so i plugged it into another computer and it still didnt work do you have any idea on what i could do?

Amy - Replica

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