iPhone 3G Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting the iPhone 3G is particularly treacherous, but we have made it as easy as possible below.
iPhone 3G 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. We have a great front panel kit that provides everything needed to complete the iPhone front panel replacement, as well as an easy to follow replacement guide.
You can purchase the front panel kit here.
iPhone is frozen or unresponsive
Even after furious button mashing and screen smashing, your iPhone 3G doesn't respond.
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 3G will not charge
Plugging in your iPhone 3G 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 connector is broken, you will have to replace it.
iPhone will not turn on
You cannot get your beloved 3G to turn on.
Plug your iPhone into your computer or wall adapter to charge. If it does not charge when connected to either of these, you probably have a dead battery. The battery will need to be replaced.
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 is bad and must be
Bad logic board
If nothing else works, your logic board is probably faulty and needs to be replaced.
"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 (the guide to remove the board is found here) 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 3G turns on and appears to work, but when you plug in headphones or speakers, the audio doesn't play properly.
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 3G with another set of headphones or speakers just to make sure that the problem is with the iPhone 3G.
Bad audio jack
The most likely cause of audio output problems on iPhone 3G's is a bad audio-out jack. You can purchase a headphone jack assembly here. Check out our iPhone 3G headphone jack installation instructions.
Restore iPhone 3G
Your iPhone is behaving erratically or displays the text "Use iTunes to restore" on startup
It isn't often that Apple gives specific directions about how to fix your problem! Restoring the iPhone 3G will erase everything on it, so make sure everything on the iPhone 3G is stored elsewhere prior to restoring. To restore, connect your iPhone 3G to a computer with iTunes installed. Click "Restore" on the iPhone 3G summary page (click on your iPhone icon on the left menu to find this page). Follow the directions to restore. If your iPhone 3G displays the text "Please wait. Very Low Battery," leave it plugged in. This charges the iPhone 3G enough to be able to restore. If the iPhone 3G hangs on this screen for long periods of time, you may need a new battery.
Force restore mode
If your iPhone 3G 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 3G 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 3G, 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).