Next time you drop, dunk, or otherwise damage your precious smartphone, don’t panic. Follow this basic advice to quickly restore enough function for a short-term fix. In a pinch, one of these remedies should buy your phone enough time to reach the professionals who can perform more extensive surgery.
Protect your phone preemptively
Before we get into emergency phone fixes, here are some ways to stop damage from happening in the first place.
The first digit, which covers your phone’s ability to resist solid particles, ranges from 0 (completely vulnerable) to 6 (completely protected). Most modern phones will achieve at least a 5, which means small dust particles might creep into your phone, but they won’t interfere with its normal function.
If that’s too clunky for you, screen protectors—thin film that stick to the front of your phone’s display—claim to be a cheaper, lighter form of protection. However, they don’t offer the all-around protection that a case does, and will mostly just protect the screen from scratches. That said, they can come in handy if your phone screen has already suffered minor cracks. Read on for more information.
Deal with cracks
Your phone slips out of your hand, tumbles towards the ground, and lands with an unnerving smack. There’s a wide spectrum of possible outcomes—everything from minor scuffs on the case to a device smashed into smithereens. As a first step, check for any signs of damage by eyeing your phone’s exterior and by unlocking the device to make sure it still works.
Cracks on the screen fall somewhere between those two situations. If the cracked phone still functions, then slap an adhesive screen protector or even a piece of tape over the damage. This will keep the pieces of the display in place so you can continue using the phone. However, if you notice discoloration around the damage, then your phone will require a proper screen replacement.
Tackle water damage
When you accidentally drop your phone in liquid, such as a sink of soapy water or a pint of beer, your first step should be to pick up the sopping device and turn it off. Next, pat it dry with a clean cloth or towel and place it on a flat, solid surface to dry out completely. Until all the moisture has dissipated, you should avoid turning on or charging the phone. Optionally, if your handset allows you to remove the SIM and memory cards, this can help protect them from damage.
If you’ve given your device two days to dry and it still won’t turn on, then it’s time to get in touch with a professional repair shop. The staff there will be able to completely dismantle and reassemble your phone, drying the parts individually and replacing the ones that sustained damage.