Your smartphone falls in the water: how to make it work again

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Manuel Moreno Molina
@manuelmorenomolina
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A smartphone falling in water is the fear of many people. While the newer and more expensive ones are, not all smartphones are waterproof. Suddenly, a little clumsiness can very quickly "plunge" you into a state of panic. Here's how to get the device working again in case it freaks out. 

Comment restore a smartphone that has fallen into water ? How can I be sure it still works and how can I make sure I don't damage it further? This is the kind of research we do when our phone happens to come into contact with water.



The chances of recovering your smartphone after a fall in water depend on the extent of its immersion, even for smartphones certified waterproof. Indeed, certifications are not necessarily all-risk insurance and it is important to have the main steps in mind to save time if this happens to you. Here are a few tips.

My smartphone has fallen into the water, what should I do?

Swimming pool, toilets, shower, cup of coffee… So many everyday enemies for your smartphone. If he finds himself a victim of drowning, you still have a chance to give him first aid thanks to these 5 steps, the application of which must remain rigorous when a smartphone falls in the water. Like spilling coffee on a computer, every second counts.

1. Turn it off immediately or remove the battery from your smartphone

The first thing to do is turn off your smartphone to avoid creating short circuits. If you feel motivated (and your smartphone allows it), try removing the battery from your smartphone. If fewer and fewer smartphones are equipped with a removable battery, yours may be. If you can't remove the battery, just turn off your smartphone as soon as possible.



2. Disassemble the smartphone

Most smartphones are now impossible to repair. But, that doesn't mean they can't be dismantled, at least partially. On some iPhones, it may be the screen, for example.

The ideal is to do research in advance. Look at how you could disassemble your smartphone, see if it's feasible... Be careful, however, on some models, disassembling it voids the warranty. If your phone is still under warranty, you should therefore skip this step.

3. Use a can of compressed air or a hair dryer

Whether or not you were able to disassemble your smartphone, you can start this step. Only the way will be different. The idea now is to dry your smartphone as gently as possible. It will of course be easier if it is open.

If you have a can of compressed air on hand, this is the best solution. Otherwise, a hair dryer can also do the trick, although you will have to be extremely cautious (do not blow too hot air on it at the risk of permanently damaging the battery or the components). Furthermore, always use cold air !

4. Dip your smartphone in rice

The fourth step is to immerse your smartphone in a certain amount of rice. Alternatively, use quinoa or couscous. Pour the food into a plastic box (for example) that allows you to draw air. Then slide your smartphone in the middle. If it is possible to make a draft, do it to leave as little air as possible inside. Now you have to arm yourself with patience. At least 72 hours are advised before opening this box again. A time during which the rice will absorb moisture and, perhaps, save your smartphone.



5. Contact the after-sales service, the manufacturer or a repairer

If nothing has worked, the best thing is now to contact someone to take care of the repair or exchange of your mobile. Generally, if moisture or water is found inside the components, the repair will be chargeable (unless you have insurance provided for). In any case, if nothing has worked, you must contact either:

  • Le after sales service from the manufacturer of your device or its customer support (Apple Care or an Apple Store for an iPhone, for example).
  • Le dealer of your device (Boulanger, FNAC, Darty, etc.).
  • Preferably if the warranty is no longer valid, a repairman.

Finally, if you are the type to regularly drop your smartphone in water, then it is probably easier to take a suitable model. First, check the IP certification. While this is not an absolute guarantee, it still protects in most situations.


The best solution often lies in prevention, with external protection, for example. It can be a waterproof shell for everyday use, a specific bag for when you go to the pool, or dedicated insurance.

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