How to tell if your iPhone has water damage — even if it's water-resistant

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderThere’s a simple method to tell if your iPhone has water damage.
  • You can tell if your iPhone has water damage by removing the SIM tray and looking for a red colour inside the SIM card slot.
  • If it’s red, that means the Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) has been activated and there is water damage. It should appear white or silver if there is no damage.
  • Apple’siPhone warranty does not cover water damage – and even though newer models have increased water resistance, continued exposure to water can still damage your device over time.
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With its brand new iPhone 11 Pro, Apple has increased water resistance from previous models.

An iPhone 11 Pro is now supposedly resistant in up to four meters of water for 30 minutes, compared to two meters for 30 minutes with an iPhone XS. But that doesn’t mean you should go around submerging your iPhone in every liquid you find.

Just because your iPhone might be water resistant under certain conditions doesn’t mean it won’t affect your device – continued exposure to water can still lead to damage over time, and other liquids like coffee or soda can also damage your phone.

And if your iPhone does experience water damage, you’re going to be left holding the bag. Apple’s warranty does not cover water damage, so that one little drop that manages to find its way in may lead to hundreds of dollars less in your bank account.

If you think it’s already too late and your phone has been damaged by water, here’s how to check.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone 11 Pro (From $US999.99 at Best Buy)

iPhone Xs (From $US899.99 at Best Buy)

How to tell if your iPhone has water damage

1. Remove your iPhone case and locate the SIM card tray, which will be on the right side of the phone, an inch or so below the side button.

Steven John/Business InsiderThe SIM tray has a small hole and is located under the side button.

2. Using a SIM tray removal tool or a straightened paper clip, press into the small hole at the bottom of the SIM tray and gently remove the tray.

Steven John/Business InsiderInsert the paper clip into the small hole.

3. Shine a light into the empty SIM slot and look for a red colour (you may need a magnifying glass).

If you see red … that’s bad. That means the phone’s Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) has been activated and that water or another liquid (looking at you, coffee) did get into the phone, likely damaging it. Otherwise, you should see white or silver, and your phone is likely not damaged.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

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