How To Tell If Your iPhone Has Water Damage

Water-Damaged Iphone

Even though Apple is focusing a lot on making the newer models of the iPhone more and more water-resistant, dropping an expensive phone in water can cause a lot of stress, assuming that you don’t know how to tell if your iPhone has water damage. 

Quick Answer

You can assess water damage by reviewing the Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) present inside the SIM card slot of most iPhones. Remove the SIM tray and look inside the slot; if you see red, the LCI has been activated, and your phone has water damage. If it appears silver or white, there is no water damage.

As Apple’s warranty does not cover water damage, you will be left hanging. So you would want to be sure that your phone has water damage before taking any other steps. We will discuss how to check your iPhone for water damage and the dos and don’ts if you drop your iPhone in the water.

How To Check if an iPhone Has Water Damage

There are other water damage indicators, but LCI is the most reliable. We will discuss all of this in-depth one by one. 

By following these simple methods, you can make sure if your iPhone has sustained water damage or not. 

Method #1: Observing the Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI)

iPhone models that were built after 2006 have a built-in LCI. The Liquid Contact Indicator is designed in such a way that it will activate if the device comes in contact with water. Usually, its color is white or silver, changing to red if the device has water damage. 

The LCI will not change color because of humidity and temperature changes within the devices’ operational ranges. You can assess water damage by observing the built-in Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI). 

Here is how you can check the LCI to determine if your iPhone has water damage.

  1. Locate the SIM card tray under the volume buttons.
  2. Insert a clip or SIM ejector in the hole present in the tray and gently press it. The SIM tray will pop out, and you can safely remove it.
  3. Look inside the empty SIM slot using a flashlight or a magnifier. If you see red inside the empty SIM slot, your phone has water damage.

If you see the red color inside the empty SIM slot, the LCI has been activated because either water or another liquid got inside your phone. If you see the color white or silver inside the empty SIM slot, the LCI has not been activated, and the iPhone has no water damage.


Do not force it if your SIM tray is not ejecting. If it does not come out even after you press a clip or SIM ejector inside the hole, you will need to take your iPhone to an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Method #2: Check for Visual Signs of Water Damage

There are visual signs to tell if an iPhone has sustained water damage. These signs may take time to appear and may not be present on all phones with water damage. This is why these signs may not be a reliable source of whether your iPhone has water damage. 

Perform the following checks to determine if your iPhone has water damage or not.

  1. Look for discoloration, corrosion, or frizzy growth on the charging set.
  2. Look for any discoloration or corrosion present on the headset.
  3. Look for discoloration or corrosion on the SIM or memory port
  4. Look for signs of moisture under the display screen.

By performing these checks, you can determine if the iPhone has sustained damage from water or not. 

Dos and Don’ts if You Drop Your iPhone in Water

In the unfortunate event of dropping your iPhone in the water, you can perform simple tasks to ensure that you keep the water damage to a minimum. 

Do the Following

  • Turn off your iPhone immediately and do not turn it on unless you are confident there was no water damage.
  • Wipe the iPhone thoroughly with dry wipes, and make sure you absorb all the moisture present on the surface of the phone.
  • Remove all accessories such as headphones and chargers from their ports. Also, remove the SIM and memory cards from their slots.
  • Place the iPhone in a bag of rice as rice grains are excellent water absorbents. Rice can absorb the moisture pretty fast and help dry the phone. But if there has been internal damage due to water contact, it will not fix it.

Don’t Do the Following

  • Dry the phone with a hairdryer as the heat from the hairdryer is too much for the electrical components present in the phone, and it can further damage the iPhone instead of fixing it. Also, do not place your phone near any other heat source such as a stove to remove the moisture.
  • Plug in your iPhone as it can cause a short circuit and fry the electrical components completely. Also, do not plug in other accessories like headphones, etc.


The best method to check your iPhone for water damage is the LCI inside its SIM slot, as the manufacturer has added it. Check if the LCI has changed its color to red, and you’ll know that the iPhone has sustained water damage.

We also learned about some of the visual signs to assess that can help you determine whether your iPhone has water damage, but these signs may not be apparent and therefore are not as reliable.

At last, we went through some steps you can perform to keep the damage to a minimum and also what not to do in the unlikely event of dropping your iPhone in the water.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *