So you took a swim with your phone in the sea or ocean, spilled your drink on it, or worse, dropped it in the toilet. Although it may seem like all is lost, don't despair. You may still be able to save it – at least parts of it. If you want to recover your data, however, you need to act fast.
Experts say the first steps after your phone makes contact with water, or any liquids for that matter, can make or break it. People tend to do the completely wrong things because they get caught up in a blind panic and take bad advice. Just remember, the things you do or don’t do can and will have irreversible and permanent effects on your device.
Here’s what you should do when your phone comes into contact with liquids:
1. Remove your phone from the water or liquid immediately. The first thing to do if your phone has been submerged in water is to remove it from the water as quickly as possible. The less time it spends underwater, the less damage it will suffer.
2. Turn off your phone immediately and do not try to turn it on. Even though your phone may seem to be working, you have to consider that this is a risky move due to the water inside the electronic device.
3. Remove the battery, SD card and SIM card to eliminate or lessen the possibility of electrical damage. This will not only give your phone the chance to dry without the parts inside but also could help prevent your data from being lost irrecoverably.
4. Dry your phone with a towel. Try to lightly tap it dry with a soft towel or cloth. The more moisture you can absorb, the better your chances are of drying and saving your phone.
Here’s what you should not do when your phone gets wet:
1. Do not, we repeat, do not, try to switch your phone on. Doing so while the water damage continues will only cause your device to short circuit and accelerate the corrosion of the internal parts.
2. That trick where you dunk your phone into a bowl of rice and let it rest? Don’t do that. Despite being a "well-known tactic" to absorb and draw out excess moisture from your water-damaged phone, there are a few problems with this theory. Yes, rice can absorb some moisture, but it won't be able to reach every nook and cranny of the phone. In addition, you might get starch and powder into your device, which will only cause more damage.
3. Similarly, do not put your phone in cat litter or silica gel. These solutions are only temporary and will not save your phone from ultimate malfunctions. Studies show that leaving your phone to air-dry actually gets rid of more water.
4. Do not use a hairdryer on it. When trying to dry your mobile device, avoid using any sources of heat. This will only overheat your phone, and adding heat to all that water will just cause more electrical problems and further damage its components.
What to do if you can't recover your phone?
Data Recovery Services Manager Serap Günal says that users who cannot recover their phone in any way but still want to reach the data inside should seek professional help to detect and solve all the problems that have occurred. They should wrap the device in some paper towels, make sure it is turned off and put it in a tight enough package that prevents the phone from moving. Günal said the phone should be handed over to an expert as soon as possible. It is also important to send a sample of the fluid the device came into contact with to help determine the steps that need to be taken in the data recovery process.