What if I drop my iPhone 13 in water?

Dropping your iPhone 13 in water can be a stressful and worrisome experience. Water can cause serious damage to the internal components of the phone, possibly rendering it unusable. However, there are some steps you can take right away to try to save your iPhone and minimize any permanent damage.

What to do immediately after dropping an iPhone 13 in water

If you accidentally drop your iPhone 13 in water, remain calm but act quickly. Here are the steps to take:

  • Retrieve the phone from the water as soon as possible. The less time it spends submerged, the better chance it has of surviving.
  • Do not try to turn on the phone or test it in any way. Attempting to power on a wet phone can short circuit it.
  • Dry the phone off with a clean, soft cloth to soak up excess moisture on the surface.
  • If you have silica gel packs, use them to help absorb moisture.
  • Resist the urge to use things like a hairdryer or place the phone in rice, as this can push water further inside.

The key is to resist tampering with the phone until it has thoroughly air dried. Phone repair experts recommend letting it sit untouched for at least 24-48 hours to allow time for water to fully evaporate.

Water damage indicators

iPhones have built-in water damage indicators that can clue you in on whether liquid has infiltrated the internal components. There are a few ways to check them:

  • The Liquid Contact Indicator inside the SIM card slot will turn from white to red if water is detected.
  • Some iPhone models have liquid indicators that can be seen through the earpiece and charging ports. Look for a small white sticker – if it has turned red, then water has gotten inside.

A triggered water indicator means water was detected at some point but does not necessarily mean your phone is ruined. It still has a chance of working if dried thoroughly.

Drying out your iPhone thoroughly

To give your iPhone the best chance possible, you’ll want to dry it out as much as you can:

  • Leave it powered off in an area with good air circulation and airflow for at least 24 hours.
  • You can also seal it in a bag or container with silica gel packs, which will absorb excess moisture.
  • Repeating the drying process several times, replacing the silica gel packs each time, can help draw water out of small crevices.
  • Avoid exposing it to heat sources like sunlight or hairdryers as extreme temperature changes can damage the phone.

Be patient and allow the phone to air dry thoroughly before attempting to use it again. This gives internal components like the logic board time to completely dry out, minimizing any potential water damage or shorts.

Checking for signs of water damage

After at least 24-48 hours, check the phone for signs of water damage. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Functionality issues – If the phone won’t power on, seems unresponsive, or has issues with things like the camera, speaker, buttons, then water may have damaged internal components.
  • Condensation or fogging – If you spot condensation or fog under the lenses/glass, moisture is still trapped inside.
  • Corrosion – Check connectors like the charging port and headphone jack for any signs of corrosion, which can occur when water interacts with metal components.
  • Cracking/discoloration – Water can damage adhesives and seals, so check for any visibly warped or discolored parts on the exterior.

You may need to thoroughly dry it out longer if you notice any of these water damage indicators. Unfortunately, permanent water damage may have already occurred at this point.

Testing iPhone functions

If your phone seems free from any visible water damage, it’s time to test it out:

  • Press and hold the power button to turn it on. If it won’t power on, leave it off and continue drying.
  • Check that the touchscreen and buttons are responsive.
  • Test speakers, microphones, cameras, headphone jack, charging port, and vibration to see if they work properly.
  • Make calls, play videos, and run intensive apps like games to check general performance.
  • Check the battery level and lifespan to see if water may have degraded the battery.
  • Backup your data in case issues arise down the road.

If everything seems normal, your phone may have survived its water incident unscathed. Be sure to continue monitoring it over the next few days for any delayed problems.

Taking your iPhone to Apple

If your iPhone 13 is still having functionality problems even after drying, it’s best to take it to Apple or an authorized service provider. Apple technicians can accurately diagnose any internal water damage and make appropriate repairs if needed.

Be upfront that your phone got wet – water indicators will give it away anyway. Apple may be able to replace water-damaged parts like the logic board without needing a full device replacement, potentially saving you money on repairs.

Keep in mind that liquid damage is not covered under Apple’s standard 1-year limited warranty. Your options include:

  • Repair costs through Apple Support starting at $299 depending on damage.
  • Filing an AppleCare+ claim if you purchased it, which covers accidental damage with a deductible.
  • Using your own homeowners/renters insurance if your policy covers accidental damage to personal electronics.

Water resistance of the iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 lineup has an IP68 water resistance rating. Here’s what that means:

  • Can withstand submersion in up to 6 meters of water for 30 minutes.
  • Designed to protect against common spills, splashes, rain, and accidental drops in water.
  • Water resistance diminishes over time and with wear and usage of the phone.
  • Warranty does not cover liquid damage even if phone is IP68 rated.

While the water resistance can protect the iPhone 13 in many situations, it is not impervious to water damage. The seals and adhesives that keep water out can wear down over time, reducing effectiveness. Significant water exposure can still find its way in and cause issues.

Tips for keeping your iPhone away from water

To keep your iPhone safe, here are some precautions you can take:

  • Use a protective waterproof case when at the pool, beach, on a boat, etc.
  • Keep your phone away from sink areas where it could get splashed.
  • Never charge your phone in areas it could get wet, like next to a bath or shower.
  • Turn off and store your phone in a dry location if severe weather like heavy rain is expected.
  • Don’t intentionally submerge your phone, even briefly, to test water resistance.
  • Avoid exposing your phone to pressurized water like strong jets or showers.
  • Get AppleCare+ if you want coverage for accidental damage, including water.

While the latest iPhones are more water resistant than ever, water is still their Achilles’ heel. Protect your investment by keeping your iPhone away from risky liquid situations whenever possible.

Can rice help dry out a wet iPhone?

You may have heard that submerging your wet phone in rice can help draw moisture out. However, most tech repair experts do not recommend this method.

The properties of rice may help it absorb ambient humidity, but studies have shown that rice does not actually extract significant liquid from an electronic device when submerged.

In fact, getting rice stuck in charging ports or other openings can actually damage a wet phone when trying to remove it. The most effective drying method is simply air drying in an open, well-ventilated area.

Does putting my iPhone in the oven help dry it out?

DO NOT attempt to dry out your wet iPhone by putting it in an oven or microwave. This will almost certainly destroy the phone by melting internal components and adhesives.

Exposing your iPhone to intense direct heat can badly damage the battery and cause safety issues. This method essentially “bakes” the water further into the phone rather than drying it out.

Air drying your phone is the safest method, giving water a chance to fully evaporate without damaging heat or pressure.

Can I speed up iPhone water drying with a hairdryer?

It’s also not a good idea to attempt drying your iPhone with a hairdryer, heating fan, or other heat source aimed directly at it. The concentrated hot air can potentially damage the battery, screen, and other temperature-sensitive components.

Let your phone air dry gradually at room temperature. While passive drying takes more patience, it’s the safest option for preserving your iPhone’s internal hardware and preventing further water issues.

How to backup an iPhone after water damage

If your iPhone did suffer water damage, you’ll want to back up the data before potential issues arise. Here are a few backup options to consider when your phone gets wet:

  • Back up to iCloud if able – As long as your phone still powers on, connect to WiFi and back up to iCloud.
  • Sync to iTunes – Connect your phone to a computer and perform a wired backup via iTunes.
  • iCloud automatic backups – Recent iCloud backups will have your photos/data from before the water incident.
  • Apple Store – Apple Geniuses may be able to help retrieve data from a damaged phone, but results vary.

Backing up right away gives you the best chance of saving your data if your iPhone ends up disabled or damaged by water exposure down the road.

Does homeowner’s or renter’s insurance cover water damage to phones?

If water causes catastrophic damage to your iPhone, you may be able to file a claim through your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Many policies cover accidental damage to personal property like phones and electronics.

Things to consider with insurance claims for water-damaged iPhones:

  • Coverage and deductibles vary widely by policy – check your plan details.
  • Damage must be sudden/unexpected, not long-term exposure.
  • Most plans won’t cover manufacturer defects or faulty water seals.
  • Replacement cost reimbursement is often less than a brand new phone.
  • Too many claims can increase your premiums.

For cheaper, newer phones it may not be worth a claim. But insurance can potentially help recoup costs if your pricey iPhone is destroyed. Just be aware that coverage for water damage is not guaranteed.

Does AppleCare+ cover water damage on iPhones?

AppleCare+ can be a great way to get coverage for water damage and other accidental damage to your iPhone. Here’s an overview of AppleCare+ and water damage:

  • Covers up to two incidents of accidental damage with a service fee.
  • $99 service fee for screen or back glass damage.
  • $299 service fee for other damage like water exposure.
  • Must be purchased within 60 days of getting your iPhone.
  • Lasts for two years total from purchase date.
  • Deductibles are much lower than full replacement cost.

If you know you’re prone to dropping your phone in sinks, pools, etc, AppleCare+ can save you a lot of money compared to paying full price for repairs or replacement iPhones.

My iPhone won’t turn on after water damage – now what?

If your iPhone 13 suffered water damage and now won’t power on, don’t panic yet. Here are a few tips:

  • Let it air dry thoroughly for at least 72 hours, using silica gel to absorb moisture.
  • Check for corrosion in connectors – carefully clean with isopropyl alcohol if present.
  • Try alternative charging methods like wireless charging.
  • If still won’t turn on, take to Apple Store for diagnosis and next steps.
  • Data may still be recoverable even if phone won’t power on.
  • Be prepared for the possibility that logic board or other components will need replacement.

While an iPhone that won’t turn back on after water exposure is concerning, try not to lose hope yet. Successful repair is still often possible with the help of Apple technicians.


Dropping your iPhone 13 in water can be stressful, but staying calm and following the right steps can save your phone and avoid costly damage. Remember to:

  • Retrieve it quickly, dry it off, and resist the urge to turn it on or charge it.
  • Allow plenty of time to thoroughly air dry – don’t use heat methods.
  • Inspect for damage once dry and test functionality before regular use.
  • Consider insurance claims or AppleCare+ if repairs are needed.
  • Backup data right away in case problems arise later.

While no phone is impervious to water, the iPhone 13 has impressive water resistance that can protect it in many common situations. But significant submersion can still cause problems over time. By responding appropriately, you can help your iPhone survive its unexpected dunk with hopefully minimal disruption or permanent damage.

Leave a Comment