What to do when your iPhone gets wet? Apple warns against common advice

Trick ‘could allow small particles of rice to damage your iPhone’, company warns

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 21 February 2024 09:05 GMT
(AFP via Getty Images)

Everyone who has ever got a gadget wet has likely heard the same advice: switch it off, and place it in rice so that it can dry out.

But that common fix is actually dangerous and could damage the iPhone, according to Apple.

“Don’t put your iPhone in a bag of rice. Doing so could allow small particles of rice to damage your iPhone,” an article on the company’s support site reads.

The page, published earlier this year and spotted by Macworld, instead advises letting the phone dry on its own.

That warning comes from Apple’s page about its “liquid-detection alert”, which can show on phone since the iPhone XS and XR. If that happens, a warning will come up telling users that liquid has been found, and that the device will not charge.

The main function of that warning is to advise people that they cannot charge their device, to try and keep it safe. It warns that charging a wet device might damage the connector or cable, potentially causing problems for both the iPhone and any accessory it is connected to.

Instead, Apple warns users to unplug their iPhones, and unplug the other end of any cable too. It should not be plugged in again until everything is dry, though Apple does give the option to overrule that in an emergency.

As well as warning against using rice, users warns those with wet phones not to dry th device using an external heat source or compressed air. It also says not to insert a foreign object, “such as a cotton swab or a paper towel”, into the connector.

Instead, the device should be tapped against your hand to allow any excess liquid to come out. It should then be placed in a dry area with s ome air flow.

It should be left alone for at least 30 minutes, when Apple suggests trying again charging again. If the alert comes up then it might still be wet – and should be left to dry some more.

Apple notes that the wet device warning might occasionally appear on devices that have not actually got wet. In that case, the phone or the accessory might be broken, and Apple advises contacting the manufacturer.

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