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How To Hard Reset Apple’s iPhone SE (2020)

The iPhone SE (2020) uses a different method to hard reset than the original iPhone SE, so be sure to use the correct button clicks and holds.

The iPhone SE (2020) is a very reliable device, but since Apple's smartphones are closer to computer-like power and complexity than ever before, the need to reset does occur from time to time. A hard reboot should start a device up with its memory cleared, but everything in storage intact, so it doesn’t take long to return to normal and get back to where things left off before the glitch took place.

The 2020 iPhone SE is somewhat remarkable, matching the A13 processing power and f/1.8 12-megapixel main camera of the iPhone 11. Its battery lasts all day and it is nearly as small as the iPhone 12 mini. Despite the low-cost, this tiny powerhouse offers a high build-quality with an aluminum body and an LCD display with P3 color and True Tone ambient-light matching. The second-generation iPhone SE is water-resistant to a depth of one meter for up to 30 minutes, though its IP67 rating is a bit lower than that of the iPhone 12’s IP68, so some caution must be taken. Its fast and reliable Touch ID makes unlocking quick and even when wearing a mask. The 2020 iPhone SE starts at just $399, making it a real bargain and a great introduction to Apple's products.

If an iPhone SE has a major glitch that causes a black screen, or if the phone freezes and becomes unresponsive, a hard reset may help. Since this is the second-generation iPhone SE, instructions for the first generation won’t work with the newer model. A forced restart on an iPhone SE (2020) requires a short sequence of physical button clicks and a hold to initiate the reboot. To begin, the user will need to press and quickly release the ‘Volume Up’ button on the left side of the phone, followed by clicking ‘Volume Down,' which is located just below the first button. Finally, press and hold the sleep button on the right side of the phone and within about one minute the Apple logo should appear on the screen. The sleep button can then be released while the iPhone SE continues its startup process. If this doesn't work, some troubleshooting is likely to be required.

Troubleshooting The IPhone SE

If a 2020 iPhone SE still has a black screen after performing the restart button sequence described above, the phone may simply have a completely drained battery. If there is no charge remaining, the iPhone can’t even show a charging symbol since that takes a tiny bit of power to display. The solution may be to plug the iPhone into a charger and let it build power for half an hour or longer. Lithium batteries can lose charge quickly in cold weather or if the screen is set to high brightness levels and the automatic display-sleep setting is switched off. After charging, the user can try holding the sleep button again for up to one minute to check if the Apple logo will appear on the screen.

If charging the iPhone SE doesn’t help with a black screen, or if the screen remains frozen after trying to force restart, it may be time to contact Apple, as it may need to be repaired. A dropped iPhone SE can be significantly damaged, preventing operation. Exposure to forceful water or long-term water exposure can also cause enough damage to prevent the display from turning on. On rare occasions, a software glitch or malware infection can cause some malfunction that can’t be resolved easily. In any of these circumstances, Apple may be able to repair or clear the problem and get the iPhone SE working again.

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