Horizontal Lines on iPhone Screen After Water Or Drop?

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vertical lines iphone screen

If you’ve dropped your iPhone or submerged it in water, there are a few things you can do about it before you go to the repair store. This is an issue that most iPhone or iPad users have experienced, and it can be a heart-dropping moment after you turn your iOS device over and you notice that the screen is showing rainbow-colored vertical lines.

This issue is very common on older iPhone models but it can happen to all iPhone devices. These are just the devices that haven’t got the strongest screen.

Why Are There Horizontal or Verticle Lines on iPhone Screen?

There are different types of lines that could appear on your iPhones screen and knowing why each one of them is appearing is crucial to know how to fix the problem. In most situations, there is no difference between what happened to your iPhone when it has verticle lines on the screen and when it has horizontal lines. The same impact on your iPhone can produce different types of lines and different colors. Mainly when you do see lines on the screen, it’s down to physical damage such as dropping your iPhone. In rare cases the problem is software-based but you need to try all the solutions to try and fix this problem.

You Dropped Your iPhone On A Hard Surface

The biggest reason why there are horizontal or vertical lines on your screen is that you’ve just dropped your iPhone and cracked the screen. If you’ve dropped your iPhone on a hard surface such as concrete or your home floor, it can cause your screen to crack, which can lead to the LCD display showing horizontal lines. This problem can also happen if you drop your device in water because water damage can cause your screen to become loose which results in the lines.

When your device has lines on the screen, it means that your iPhone has been hit so hard that the LCD cable has managed to disconnect from the logic board. The LCD cable needs to have all the pins connected to the logic board in order for your screen to look normal.

When there’s a loose connection between the cable and the logic board, you’re going to see blurry lines on your iPhone. Chances that you’ll have to repair your screen because getting your iOS device back to normal in this case is a rare thing.

Horizontal Lines on iPhone Screen After Water

Another reason why your iPhone could have lines on the screen is if you dropped it in water. Water and your iPhone are not a good mix and it can cause all sorts of problems. This is more likely to be the case if you have an iPhone that isn’t waterproof. New iPhones tend not to have this problem as they’re waterproof so dropping them in water won’t cause any lines to appear on the screen. But if you have an old iPhone that doesn’t have waterproof features, dropping it in water can cause internal problems.

Software Problem

In rare situations, a software problem can cause lines on the screen. Bugs and glitches are known to cause all types of problems on iPhones and usually, they’re temporarily problems within your iPhone’s software that causes random problems with one of them being lines that appear on your screen. If the cause of these lines is down to a software problem, count yourself lucky because they’re easier to fix compared to if the problem was down to the hardware being damaged. There’s no way to know if the problem is down to a software error on your iPhone which is why you need to try the software-related solutions to see if it gets rid of the lines.

Bad Connection Between Flex Cable and Logic Board

Another problem that could cause the lines on your iPhone screen is a bad connection between the flex cable and the logic board underneath your iPhone’s screen. The flex cable is an extremely important and inseparable part of every iPhone, for example. It’s used to connect the motherboard to the LCD display. The best indication that the flex cable has been damaged is a malfunction of the display and usually, this is indicated by lines or accidental outages.

Damaged IC Connector

A damaged IC Connector could also cause the screen to have a problem. To check for this in particular, look at the upper left and right corners. Any signs of damage in those areas indicate the part is defective and needs to be replaced with a new one. So if you’re seeing that the lines are especially prominent in the upper corners, then you can put the cause down to this. That’s in most cases. The integrated circuit under your iPhones screen is crucial to how it performs so if there are lines, the IC connector could be damaged.

Cracked Screen Protector

If your screen protector has cracked, this can cause lines to appear on it. Sometimes the problem isn’t internal with your iPhone and it’s actually surface level. If you can distinguish between a crack in your screen and internal white lines, then you can put the problem down to your screen protector being damaged. One way to simply fix this would be to take the screen protector off. When you take the screen protector off, make sure to check the screen for damages to determine if the lines were coming from the protect or internally on the screen itself.

White Verticle Lines Or Multi Colored Lines

As well as having multi-colored lines on your iPhone screen, these lines can also show up as predominantly pink. The color of the lines showing up on your screen can be very random and it doesn’t mean much. For example, If there’s a pink line on your screen, it doesn’t mean anything as opposed to other colored lines showing up on your screen such as black and green.

As well as horizontal lines showing up on your iPhone screen after dropping it, verticle lines can also show up. Verticle lines can also show up on your screen after damage due to the LCD cable disconnecting from your iPhones logic board. This can cause the screen to show up rainbow-colored lines.

If the lines appear white on your iPhone screen, then chances are this is down to a software problem. A software problem that’s causing white lines on your iPhone screen means that you’re going to have an easier time fixing the problem. Usually, a force restart can fix this problem as this has been reported by many people in forums.

Do The Lines Keep Appearing on Your iPhone?

If the lines keep appearing on your iPhone screen, then this could be an indication or a minor software problem, or a hardware problem that worsening. Since the lines appear then go away, this means that there could be a glitch on your iPhone that’s causing it to appear and since glitches are momentary and something that usually isn’t permanent, they can be removed with a quick solution. However because these lines keep appearing, it could be a sign that whatever component has been damaged within your iPhone hardware has not resolved itself.

iPhone Didn’t Drop But There Are Lines?

Sometimes when you haven’t dropped or damaged your iPhone, lines can still show up on the screen. For example, you may have updated your iPhone’s software, and now there are lines on the screen. When a line does appear out of nowhere, it usually means that your screen was damaged before, but it has only now started to appear.

Sometimes this damage could have amassed over years of using your iPhone, and not just one sudden drop. These lines are common to appear on older iPhones that have been used a lot. If you didn’t drop your iPhone and there are now verticle or horizontal lines, chances are your iPhone is old and worn.

How To Fix Lines On Your iPhone Screen

If your iPhone screen has lines on it and you didn’t damage it, you can try to get rid of the lines by refreshing your iPhone’s software. However, if you’ve dropped your iPhone, or it’s damaged due to water, it’s not possible to get rid of the lines unless you get it repaired. If you don’t get your iPhone repaired after damage, then these lines are going to start there.

Force Restart Your iPhone

If your iPhone has glitched and lines have appeared on the screen, the best thing you can do in this situation is a force restart. A force restart is a very reliable procedure that can fix a lot of software issues that can cause problems such as lines showing up on the screen.

Things like restarting your phone are only going to fix software issues that are going on within your device such as a freezing device. A force restart, however, only deals with hardware issues that going on within your device.

The hardware issue that you’re experiencing is a problem between the logic board and the cables, and the software part is the lines showing up on your device. The force restart is basically going to shut down the device and try and fix any issues that are going on with the hardware so that software can respond and remove the vertical lines.

For iPhone 8 or Later:

Quickly press-release the volume up button, then press-release the volume down button in quick succession. Once done, press-hold the sleep/wake button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

For iPhone 7 & 7 Plus:

Press-hold the sleep/wake button in tandem with the volume down button for at least 7-10 seconds. Do not release them until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

For iPhone 6 Plus & Previous Models:

Press-hold the home and side/top button (as per the model) for 10 seconds. Do not release them until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Once you’ve done this, you need to check if the lines have been removed after your device turns on. If your phone is still showing the pink white and black lines, you can go to the next step.

Clean the Screen

As ridiculous as this may sound, there are many things that could get underneath your screen protect that could make it seem like there are lines on the screen. Dust or water particles within cracks have a way of making it seem like there are lines whether in fact the screen just needs cleaning and until you’ve made the decision to either replace the screen protector or clean underneath it, the problem is going to persist. To clean it, you need to remove the screen protector and wipe underneath it with a fiber cloth until you’ve gotten rid of the verticle lines.

Reset All Settings

The next thing that I’ll recommend you do is to reset all settings. A good way to clear up software issues within your iPhone is to reset all settings. Resetting all of your settings can get rid of problems with your screen. Glitches are resolved by resettings all settings all the time so it’s worth trying if you want to fix the verticle lines on your screen.

To wipe all settings:

  1. From the home screen, tap Settings
  2. Scroll down to, then tap General
  3. Scroll down to, then tap Reset
  4. Tap Reset All Settings
  5. Tap Reset All Settings to confirm
  6. After your iPhone restarts, check if there are still lines on the screen.

DFU Restore Your Device

The next thing you need to do in this situation is to restore your phone from DFU mode. This is the last step an Apple tech will take when there’s a hardware or software issue going on within your device.

The problem you’re experiencing is hardware-based and restoring from DFU mode is the best way to try and get the software to respond to the hardware. DFU stands for device firmware update and the firmware is the software installed onto the hardware device which is your LCD display.

When you put your device in DFU mode and restore it, it’s going to wipe all of the code off the device, update the firmware, and put the code back on. During this process, you’re going to lose all of your data, so you do need to back up your iOS device.

When your device turns on, you’ll be able to see straight away if the lines have gone from the screen.

Cycle Your Battery

A way that has been reported to get rid of the lines is to cycle your battery. The process of cycling your battery involves you charging your battery to 100% and using it till it drains to 0%. This is a software-related fix that’s known to get rid of the lines so it’s worth the try.

Check the Connection

If you’re able to get underneath your iPhone’s screen using tools, then you need to check the display connections on the cables and the logic board. Sometimes dust, dirt, or debris can cause a faulty connection and this can be cleaned with a soft brush and some ethanol or a high concentration of isopropyl alcohol (at least 90%).

ESD events have been known to damage iPhone screens and cause lines to appear. Electrostatic Discharge is the sudden flow of electricity between two objects, most often caused by physical contact. So before you decide to check the connection, ground yourself and your device to discharge any built-up static charge before repairing your phone. This is best done with an anti-static mat.

Push Down on Your Screen Firmly

Your logic board and LCD cable are located about 2 inches below your camera. The next thing you need to do is to push down firmly on your screen in an attempt to get the LCD cables to reconnect to the logic board.

All the pins haven’t managed to connect to the logic board so pushing down firmly is going to allow the pins to connect. There’s a high chance this isn’t going to fix the problem but it’s a step worth taking.

  1. Place one finger on the screen and one finger on the other side
  2. Push down very firmly but not enough to crack the screen

After you’ve done this, you should see the lines come off of the screen and your display should start to look normal again. If this doesn’t work, it looks like you’ll need to get your device repaired.

Factory Reset

A factory reset will be needed if a force restart doesn’t work. A factory reset involves wiping your device clean and restoring it back to its normal settings. For this to work, you’ll need to be willing to lose all of your data in the process, but if it’s backed up, then you’ll get it back. There are two ways to factory reset your iPhone but the easier way is through the settings app.

To revert to factory settings:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Go to Reset and choose to Erase All Content and Settings
  4. You will be prompted to backup your data at this point. Tap Back Up Then Erase.
  5. Enter your passcode to confirm the factory reset. Once you have entered the passcode and hit OK, then your iPhone will start erasing.
  6. Once the reset is complete, then check to see if there are still lines on your iPhone screen.

Update Your Software

Apple iPhone is continually being improved and enhanced. The hardware is undoubtedly new on the latest iPhone models, but so are new features on the latest iOS versions as a result. When it comes to glitches or problems, it is always a good idea to upgrade your software to the most recent version available on the market. This has been known to fix the lines on iPhones screen that appears after software malfunctions.

Wait

If the issue is software-related and in some cases, if it’s hardware-related, then you can simply just wait. Waiting has to power to fix lots of issues and it has the power to get rid of the lines on your screen. This is especially good if you don’t have the money to repair your screen anytime soon. If you do decide to wait on it, you may one day notice that the lines disappear.

Contact Apple Support

If you have tried all the steps and the lines are on the screen, then it looks like there’s a deeper issue that can’t be resolved with troubleshooting steps. In this case, you’ll need to contact Apple support to get this fixed. Problems with the screen are most likely to happen after having your iPhone for many years. This is in the case that you didn’t physically damage your iPhone in any way for the lines to appear.

If your iPhone has a warranty or is with Apple care, then you should be able to get this problem fixed for free. If not, you’ll need to go to Apple Support and look at ways of getting the lines fixed.

Repair Your LCD Display

The next thing you need to do is to repair your screen. There’s a loose connection between the logic board and the LCD cables and the only way to fix this if the steps above haven’t worked is to get your device repaired.

If you have Apple care plus, you’ll be able to get this repaired for a relatively cheap price. If you have a warrant, it’s now been voided because you broke the device. You can set up a repair with Apple on their website but it’s going to take a few weeks to get the repair done.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Lines on iPhone Screen?

If you want to fix the lines on your iPhone screen, this will involve the full replacement of the screen and its internal components as that’s what has been damaged. The iPhone X and above models start from $279. The iPhone 11 is weirdly lower and starts from $199.The iPhone 6 all the way to the iPhone 8 model starts from $149. The iPhone 5 all the way to iPhone SE modes starts at $129.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.

29 COMMENTS

  1. I dropped my phone in water yesterday. It is functioning just fine now but the screen has a white tint and a few vertical lines sometimes. I can live with this but I wanted to check if you though it would get worse over time. Thank you!

  2. Hello! My girlfriend dropped an iPhone 8. The fall didn’t crack the screen but the display is black with 2 subtitle bright lines. I think it may be a LCD related problem. We are still in the one year warranty. Could you give us an advice? Thanks! Ps it still work because the alarm was set and it goes on and on but the touchscreen doesn’t respond.

    • If you want to fix this Alessandro, I’d suggest you go to the Apple store and set up a genius appointment. You could also do this on their website.

  3. Do you know how much would it cost more or less? Is it by any chance included in the warranty in your opinion? Thank you very much for your answer btw!

  4. Great article. I recently purchased a used iPhone 6 Plus. It has vertical lines on left side of screen only. I opened up iPhone removed the top three cables and pressed on the fourth. Reinstalled three cables being sure all three were firmly seated. The verticle lines are still on the phone. Can you recommend any other solutions or cables to check.

    Also have issue with battery not charging. And phone only turning on when connected to power cable. (Removed battery pin 20sec snd put back on. No change).

    Thanks so much.

  5. My IPhone 6s got dropped on the floor and there’s does white lines and the touch screen doesn’t work.What should i do?

  6. My iphone 6s got dropped on the floor the lines started to pop up, next, it became very blurry because more lines were created, then it glitches even when am texting, and lastly, i have tried turning it on and off. What should i do?

  7. When I was getting my phone from the zipper of my bag it sliped then flyed to the divider and hit the floor then the screen was totally fine but lines white lines show when its white screen then when ur at the lock screen the vertical lines move then the screen of my phone
    Was a bit lifted cause of the impact
    These advices wont work I just want to know how much to have it repaired and get the peices for repairing

  8. So I dropped my (cracked) iPhone 7 in water for about 2 seconds, so I immediately Frye’s it as well as I could and was drying it under my AC vent. It seemed fine, so that night, I was on my phone. HORIZONTAL lines suddenly were all across my screen. I decided to look it up, and here I am. The only thing I haven’t tried is the backup option, as I don’t have enough iCloud storage.

  9. I dropped my iPhone 6 onto a wooden floor. Multiple white lines and one red line appear on my screen but they take a few minutes to fully appear. None of the above worked though.

    • i have the same issue! mine goes fine if the screen is off for longer than 30 seconds, but goes back to lines after being used for 1 min or so (this is when im using it flat out).. then it goes unresponsive! if the screen is off all night (8 hrs) the screen usually works for 10 to 15 mins without lines, then they fade in! the longer i use it the quicker the lines come up! someone pls help!

  10. I was typing on my iPhone 6 Plus and suddenly, the screen display got divided; one side displays normal while the other looks blurry. I can’t remember ever hitting my phone on anything. What could be wrong?

  11. There at least 50 colored lines on my screen. Yesterday I was traveling and once I got back, there were lines and the area behind the lines is tinted yellow. Everything changes color and I don’t have a clue what’s happening. Please, tell me what to do!

  12. I dropped my I phone 6s in water yesterday for about 5 seconds so I put in in rice and plugged in it the next morning and it was making a buzzing noise and the screen turned green

  13. Hello, I think I might of splashed my phone in water, the next day a small diaganal line at the bottom left part of the phone appeared it was quite thick and is transparent, the next day it grew larger and now here I am and it’s half way up my screen! What should I do??

  14. My IPhone 6s was dropped in water during the winter. It has a bid blurry line down the screen and none of the advice works.

  15. I just had this problem recently, so i paid to get my phone COMPLETELY replaced.
    But i’ve had my new phone for LESS than a week.
    I haven’t dropped my new phone, or had it anywhere near water since ive got it.
    But the EXACT same problem is happening.

  16. the push down on screen method was in fact very effective for me after holding it down for 10-20 seconds.

  17. Hi! i dropped my iphone 6s plus into water and on concrete at the same time. My device has a little crack but i’ve seen much worse.I put it in rice already. Half of the left screen is not working too. Pls help me. I do not want to spend a lot.

  18. Hey,I’m also having vertical line on my iphone 5 display.when I increase the brightness it goes away but in low brightness it comes back.what should I do ? Help me please !!!

  19. ok so i dropped my iphone 6s on concrete and it cracked the right side of the phone but it works fine from the top half but the bottom half really does not respond

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