How to Wipe a Phone That Won’t Turn On

If you can’t access your device because it’s broken or the system unresponsive, it can be very comforting to know that great solutions exist. We will show you how to wipe a phone that won’t turn on and provide you with some tips you can use on many occasions. So, stay with us and keep reading.

Author Avatar Vicky Carter Last Updated: May. 07, 2022

“My phone died and won’t turn on or charge!” This sentence is so familiar because many users face this problem regularly. When you have an old phone that doesn’t respond to any actions you take, you can’t perform even the most basic tasks, such as wiping its contents clean.

First. you can search for a way to regain access to your phone and fix your Android phone or iPhone that won’t turn on. Ideally, your data should be backed up in the cloud or on a memory card, since even if you are successful in the process of wiping the phone you still won’t get data back. Also, there are several reliable methods for you to wipe an Android or iPhone that won’t turn on.

How to Wipe an Android Phone that Won’t Turn On

1. Erase Android by Find My Device

Google Find My Device is an appropriate method for unlocking, finding lost Android, or deleting all content even if your phone isn’t in your hand. This method only works if you are have previously turned on Find My Device on your Android and are currently signed into a Google account.

Step 1: Go to and sign in to your Google account at your computer.

Step 2: Select the name of the device that you have trouble turning on.

Step 3: Choose the Enable lock & erase option from the list.

Step 4: You will see a list of possible actions. Choose Erase Device, and click the OK button. Your content will be deleted permanently.

What Can you Do with Google Find My Device

Choose ERASE DEVICE to Delete All Content

The Find My Device method is perfectly fine for clearing out personal data from the phone, but you need to be aware that any content stored on the SD card might not be deleted. If you want to completely wipe the SD card you need to physically put it in another device and do that manually.

2. Factory Data Reset

This method is the most reliable approach to removing all data from a device. Factory Reset will wipe all your data from the Android and instantly return the phone to factory settings. Here is how to perform this operation:

Step 1: Press and hold Power and Volume Down buttons together for a few seconds until you see the Android logo on the screen.

Step 2: Use Volume Up and Volume Down keys to navigate to Recovery Mode.

Step 3: Press the Power button.

Step 4: Select Wipe data/factory reset and press the Power button again.

Erase the Android Phone in Recovery

Erase the Android Phone in Recovery

How to Fix a Dead Phone that Won’t Turn On

DroidKit is a software that can fix various system problems like the phone won’t turn on, the phone gets a black screen, the phone is stuck in a boot loop, etc. Because DroidKit is a complete Android solution to get Android users out of dilemmas, including system repair, screen unlocking, data recovery, etc. Now DroidKit only supports Samsung phones & tablets.

Here are the detailed steps to fix a dead phone that won’t turn on:

Step 1. Get the latest version of DroidKit on your computer. Open it and you can preview all the modules as below. Choose System Fix.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Click System Fix Function

Click System Fix Function

Step 2. Connect your phone and head to Start.

Start to Repair Samsung Phone

Start to Repair Samsung Phone

Step 3. DroidKit will access the PDA code of your Samsung Device Automatically. Then click Download Now button to get the matching firmware from Samsung.

Access Matched PDA Code and Download Firmware

Access Matched PDA Code and Download Firmware

Step 4. After downloading, click Fix Now button. Follow the on-screen instructions to put your phone in Download mode and start the repairing process. Wait for a minute, you will get a successful page as below. Get your phone restarted and enter the screen now.

Completing the Repair Process

The Repair Process Completed

How to Wipe an iPhone that Won’t Turn On

1. Wipe iPhone using Find My iPhone

If you want to delete all your data from an iPhone you can activate the Erase option through iCloud. The remote deletion process will start the first time your iPhone comes online.

Step 1: Use a computer go to and sign in to your Apple account.

Step 2: Click All Devices and then select the name of your iPhone.

Step 3:  Answer the security question or enter the verification code and continue.

Step 4: Tap on the Erase iPhone icon.

Factory Reset Locked iPhone/iPad without iTunes – Find My iPhone

Erase iPhone that Won’t Turn on

2. Wipe iPhone by Entering Recovery Mode

Recovery mode in combination with iTunes is another effective way to delete all data from an unresponsive iPhone. Just follow the recommended steps and this task will be completed without the need to start the phone.

Step 1: Press and quickly release the Volume up button.

Step 2: Press and quickly release the Volume down button.

Step 3: Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.

Step 4: Press and hold the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously for half a minute.

Step 5: Open iTunes on a computer and you will see a message that your iPhone is in Recovery Mode.

Step 6: Choose Restore and let your computer do the rest of the job. All data on your iPhone will be erased.

Further Reading: How to Fix iTunes Not Recognizing iPhone in Recovery Mode >

How to Get an Old Phone to Turn on?

Before you decide to take any drastic action, try some simple ones. Sometimes a phone might be functional but is disabled because of software glitches. We listed a few useful tips to try right away:

  1. Check your battery power. Sometimes, your phone died and won’t turn on just because of that. Try to take it out on an older device with a removable battery. Wait a few seconds and return it to its place.
  2. Charge your battery for 15-30 minutes. It may be discharged and there is not enough power to turn on the phone. Also, check your charger and cable connections.
  3. Press the Turn on button on the device and hold it down for several seconds. The contacts on an older phone might be damaged and extra pressure might be needed.
  4. Take out the SIM card from the phone and then insert it back. This might reset the contact between the card and electronic circuits in the phone.

If the smartphone doesn’t respond to any of these options, you need to wipe your phone as the solution of last resort. In the next segments, we present several ways to do this.


It’s good to know how to wipe a phone that won’t turn on, especially if you decide to give it to someone or sell it. Therefore, depending on which brand or operating system you have, you can use some of the methods we described and fix the situation. Of course, be careful not to perform data removal operations on a phone that contains any valuable information that is not backed up elsewhere.

Author Avatar
Vicky Carter Twitter Share Facebook Share

Member of iMobie Inc., is also a more than 8-year user of iPhone, iPad and iMac, like to fix all kinds of iOS and Mac OS problems.

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