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Released September 21, 2018. Models A1920, A2097, A2098, A2100. Available as GSM or CDMA / eSIM or nano-SIM / 64, 256, or 512 GB / Silver, Gold, or Space Gray. (Pronounced "iPhone 10 S.")

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iPhone black after ios 16.5.1 update

Hello. Recently i updated to the newest ios 16.5.1 on my iphone xs. During the update it seemed a bit weird as the screen remained black for a while and did not reboot per the norm. after waiting several minutes thinking maybe it is just taking longer? i finally went to restart it myself and found that it was actually already on. The screen just wouldnt show up. Ever since this, I can force restart and the apple logo will appear as it normally does during startup and then nothing. It just goes black and stays black. The screen itself is working (even touch works since i can hold power and swipe right and it will turn the phone off).

I have tried force restarting, i have tried a full restore through itunes and still nothing. The screen comes on when put into restore mode as well.

Anyone have any similar experiences or have any suggestions? thanks in advance!

Answer this question I have this problem too

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This sounds very similar to an issue that occurs commonly with the iPhone 12 (and newer). It could be that there is an issue with your ambient light sensor. Your screen may not actually be off, but extremely dim.

The apple shows up normally because this shows at full display brightness regardless of settings. Once the phone boots your brightness settings would kick in (potentially auto brightness) and if there is an issue with the phone's ability to tell how bright the environment is, it may assume the surrounding area is dark and turn brightness down to minimum. See if you can see an image if you shine an image at the screen, or if you go into a dark room.

It may have been this issue was underlying, but the software update pushed it over the brink of failure, or the iOS update reset your brightness settings, etc...

If that's the case you'll need to replace this receiver speaker and its attached flex cable. You'll lose your Face ID functionality without some programming, or transplanting the flood illuminator, which is paired to your logic board, to the new flex.

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I have actually already considered this and tried pretty much what you are suggesting. The screen is completely black with no picture at all.


@recoveryfai9731 Sorry to bother you, but I got same exact problem (iPhone XS working alright and stopped after update to iOS 16.5), and was wondering if you managed to diagnose and fix the problem?


@lukepo What exactly stopped working?


@flannelist Screen is completely black after booting OS, but everything works. When I turn on phone, Apple logo shows, and after a while screen still is black, but after I connected it to Mac and did screen sharing, everything underneath seems working, it's just that display is black. It all started after update to iOS 16.5, before that everything worked OK.


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(The strikethrough'd text (and other mentions of "backlight" below) is irrelevant because I forgot to consider this was the generation of iPhone that switched to OLED. See the explanation from Jerry Wheeler below. I am leaving it here for posterity but do not rely on this advice unless your screen was replaced with a cheaper aftermarket LCD screen.)

Are you completely sure that the screen is BLACK and not that the backlight is off but the screen is displaying an image? To test this go into a dark room and shine a bright flashlight (not a cell phone ideally, if you have it a flashlight is better) at the screen from different angles. Can you see the image kind of "ghost reflected" in the light of the flashlight?

If this is the case, it is a backlight not turning on. If the entire screen has no image, it likely means the chip that processes images on the logic board is fried and needs replacing. (See last paragraph.)

Since the backlight works (i.e. you stated the apple logo will be lit up), if it is simply not turning on to help you see the image then it is a different problem. It could be a ambient light sensor issue, or it could be a failure of a chip on the motherboard, or it could be yet another failed and faulty install of iOS 16. Alternatively, there is a small (but not zero) chance the backlight is failing and only has enough "oomph" to turn on for a second or two during boot up before it overheats a component and just can't do it anymore.

Depending on where your situation is with data and backups and such, it may be worth it to try either hardware repairs (simply disconnecting the earpiece speaker can help diagnose the first option), or deleting data and resetting the device to get a freshly reinstalled version of your current iOS (since Apple unsigns all old iOS once you've upgraded, you cannot ever go back to an older stable build without violating ToS), and that could possibly fix the issue if it is a bad install.

Finally, if you have access to a new screen it wouldn't hurt to try replacing the screen just in case it is that unlikely strange backlilght failure.

If all else fails, that iOS update probably fried a chip on your logic board that controls the backlight so it never gets the proper signal to turn on and control the backlight part of the screen. A phone repair is possible at a dedicated board repair specialist, but it is definitely the kind of thing that most users here (myself included) cannot do. You can find a dedicated board repair specialist in your area, though be advised that it often costs more than the phone is worth to get it repaired. MDRepairs on YouTube has many short-form videos, and Louis Rossman has long-form videos with amazing explanation and questions answered, of these types of repairs, so you can get an idea of the work involved and why it costs so much.

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I know this is late to the party, but I'd like to clarify an issue here. The main problem is the iPhone XS uses an OLED display, which means the pixels themselves generate light rather than turning transparent to let light through as with the older technology LCD displays. Since the pixels are capable of creating light, there's no need for a backlight on this phone so the backlight test Justin is describing won't help. In a dark room you may be able to see the display if it is on very dimly, but a flashlight won't help the situation.



This is absolutely correct and I forgot to take it into account. Unless OP had their screen replaced previously by an LCD alternative, my advice is not relevant to this case. Thank you for the correction.


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