Two years ago I had to buy a new iPhone and since I am in area where iPhones are very expensive and hard to get I actually bought two devices -- iPhone Mini 13.

Both of them were configured in the same way and one was stashed away in a water and dustproof bag as a backup, the other has been in use ever since.

The main iPhone has now stopped working.

When trying to activate the backup it does not start.

The Apple logo sometimes flashed quickly but I cannot get it to force restart using the volume up, volume down, long press side button routine.

Now I am wondering if the long time without use might have discharged the battery to a state that's unusable?

Any tips greatly appreciated.

A quick update: After a lot of different tries to get the device to boot it at some point showed the computer connect icon and my mac did recognize it and offered an "update" to restore the device.

While downloading that update however the phone shut down again at some point and went into the short boot loop again.

  • 3
    Have you charged the battery? Li batteries don't like sitting for long periods at 0% or 100%. Commented May 26 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


Apologies if this is too late, you likely missed the long term storage guidance in your preparation to have a backup device.

  • If you plan to store your device for longer than six months, charge it to 50% every six months.

Depending on how long you store your device, it may be in a low-battery state when you remove it from long-term storage. After it’s removed from storage, it may require 20 minutes of charging with the original adapter before you can use it.

Since the time to save that device’s battery around half storage every 6 months is lapsed, the main thing is to ensure a good charger can’t get enough voltage to boot the device. I would take it to a sequence of chargers and cables for 20 minutes each to see if one can get enough power to run a proper battery diagnostic and update the device for service.

While it’s on a second charger, arrange battery service or general service. The device may be pristine and just need a battery.

If you can get it to boot, I would put it in airplane mode and turn on battery percentage and see what 2 hours of charging is able to put on the estimate. The estimate will be not reliable until you get a couple, charge and discharge cycles and the battery still has some amount of capacity left to take a charge.

  • Thank you. Yes, I should have followed that guidance.... Alas I did not. Now trying what you suggested and charging the device on various chargers and cables. The device is definately pristine. Never used except that shoirt time to set it up with all apps and data.
    – zantafio
    Commented May 26 at 16:10
  • Don’t try to update until you’re sure the power is good. The Mac can’t give as much power as the Apple wall adapter. It will need to be at least 40% full to attempt a restore I believe.
    – bmike
    Commented May 26 at 16:52
  • ah. i see. however, when i plug it into the wall charger it starts the boot loop :/ maybe that loop is draining the reminder of the battery? The phone does get warm.
    – zantafio
    Commented May 26 at 17:37
  • I'm curious... Was it an option to remove the battery before putting it into storage? Is the non-volatile memory in one of these phones actually non-volatile - or does it require power?
    – Seamus
    Commented May 27 at 22:00
  • No - you would need to watch the charge level - stop it at 50% and then set a reminder to check every 6 months to bring it back to 50% and repeat @Seamus The only issue here is the device can't keep enough voltage to run - not that anything else needs fixing.
    – bmike
    Commented May 27 at 22:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .