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Ask Arthur

Ask Arthur: My phone won’t turn on

A reader wants to know what to do about a completely dead phone. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK has a checklist.

Q: My phone is dead and won’t turn on. What can I do?

A: The most obvious issues are sometimes overlooked. For example, did you let the battery run down completely and then not give it a chance to pick up charge again? 

Many people think that the phone should start working the moment they plug it into a charger. However, if a battery is allowed to die completely, it can take a while before it picks up enough charge even to show that it is charging. The best solution is to plug it in and leave it overnight. If it is still dead in the morning, it’s time for plan B, C and D.

Plan B is resorting to the Boot, so to speak, to “force restart” your phone. This can usually be done by holding the power button and the volume down button simultaneously for about 10-15 seconds. It’s like rebooting a computer and can help to clear software glitches that may be preventing the phone from turning on, such as software that has become corrupt and forces the phone into dead mode.

Plan C is Check your charging port. Make sure it is clean and free of gunk. If it does seem blocked, go to a filling station and ask them to blast compressed air into the port to clean it out. Of course, do so carefully and in very short bursts, to avoid damaging the handset.

Plan D is to use a Different charger. Your current charger may well be faulty.

If none of this works, you may have to move to plan F for Fix, by taking the phone I to the service provider or store from which you bought it and ask if they can fix it. Some do, some don’t, some can, some can’t. Good luck!

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