Dropped your HTC One M8 in water? This tutorial will teach you how to fix water damaged HTC One M8 smartphones. Because, let’s face it, we drop our phones in pools, rivers, oceans and the toilet. Strange enough, there was one report where someone sent their HTC One M8 through the car wash and then there’s the, I washed my device in the laundry. Whatever the case may be, this guide will help you fix a water damaged HTC One M8, even if it won’t turn on.
I just dropped my HTC One M8 in salt water!
If you just dropped your phone in salt water, then you should try to act quickly and proceed with the following advice. If you have dried your phone in rice already and it’s not working properly despite being completely dry, then this guide is for you.
Try to act fast
Take your phone out of the salt water! Remove your HTC One M8 from the salt water as quickly as possible if for some reason you have not done so already.
Don’t press anything!
As hard as it is you must try to resist the urge to see if your smartphone is still working:
- Don’t try to turn the phone on
- Don’t try to use its touch screen
- Don’t press any buttons
- Don’t use the phone at all
The first thing that you should do, if you have not already done so, is try to revive your cell phone using 99% isopropyl alcohol. This little trick is very effective at fixing a wide range of problems which can result from exposing a cell phone to moisture, water or some other liquid. If you are considering the idea of trying to use isopropyl alcohol on an HTC One M8 that doesn’t seem to work quite right after taking a dip in liquid, then these tips will help. This guide discusses and answers some commonly asked questions about using isopropyl alcohol on an HTC One M8 smartphone and contains advice on other things that you might want to consider before doing it.
Can alcohol fix my HTC One M8 problem?
Alcohol can help resolve many different types of issues that often occur to an HTC One M8 after exposing the smartphone to liquid. This includes and is not limited to problems with the:
- Touch Screen (unresponsive or responding incorrectly to your touch)
- Display Screen (whether its distorted, has lines, discoloration, or won’t work at all)
- Charging or Charging Port (if your HTC One M8 doesn’t recognize a charger or refuses to charge correctly)
- Holding a charge (although this is often a battery issue as opposed to a phone issue)
- Powering off (sporadically powers itself off for no particular reason)
- Rebooting (restarts itself, gets stuck in a boot loop, or will not power on properly)
- Loud Speaker (which is used for the Ringer, Music, hands free, etc.)
- Internal Speaker (which you hold up to your ear on a telephone conversation)
- Microphone (used so that other people can hear you talking to them during a telephone conversation)
- Wi-Fi (HTC One M8 Won’t connect to Wi-Fi or stay connected to a Wi-Fi network)
- Service Issues (poor or no service)
- Sensors (proximity sensor or fingerprint scanner etc.)
- Audio Jack (for a plug in headset)
- Bluetooth (has issues paring with Bluetooth devices)
- Nonresponsive (if your HTC One M8 is dead and totally unresponsive)
- (Basically, if moisture or liquid is responsible for the malfunction, there is a chance that isopropyl alcohol might be able to fix it)
Alcohol can’t repair physical damage
While alcohol is an amazing and useful tool to fix a water damaged HTC One M8 it, unfortunately, cannot fix any piece of hardware on your HTC One M8 that has physical or liquid damage. Typically, any piece of hardware damaged (like an electrical short for example) will need to be replaced with a working piece of hardware. If soaking your HTC One M8 in alcohol doesn’t seem to help resolve the problem that your phone is experiencing (whatever problem that may be) then it may be that that piece of hardware has experienced damage and will need to be replaced.
HTC One (M8) Water Test – Water Resistant?
The HTC One (M8) Water Test is meant to display what would happen if you dropped your phone in water. Typically the phones died at the 5 minute mark, but something much more interesting occurs here. Does the phone turn into a Samsung Galaxy S5? Lets dig in!
Consider checking the LDI first
Before soaking your HTC One M8 in alcohol you may want to check your phones LDI (Liquid Damage Indicator) first. Chances are that the phones LDI has been activated turning from its natural white color to a pink or red color which would indicate possible water damage and voiding the phones warranty.
HTC One M8 water damage indicator
In order to find your HTC One M8 water damage indicator, use the image below. (The LDI is located in the same place on both the HTC One M8 and HTC One M8 devices. Isopropyl alcohol is still a type of liquid and will activate an LDI sticker. If your HTC One M8 LDI is still completely white, then you may be able to look into possible warranty options. If not (most likely in many types of circumstances) then you will have almost nothing to lose by trying this little trick and by submerging your HTC One M8 in alcohol.
How To Check Water Damage Sticker HTC One M8
This is where the LDI is. Kind of a weird place. HTC One M8 model number 0P6B160.
What kind of alcohol should I use?
I recommend that you use 99% isopropyl alcohol when trying to fix your HTC One M8 with alcohol. It’s typically inexpensive (very affordable online), it’s none conductive, and it is very effective. If you don’t have any isopropyl alcohol available around the house and since you may have a difficult time locating it at your local grocery store (make sure to check the pharmacy section) then you may want to consider ordering it online and then waiting for it to arrive. You may be without your device for a few days while it gets mailed to you but it’s usually worth the wait.
Note: Whatever you end up choosing to do make sure that you don’t try to use your HTC One M8 until it dries out completely. You don’t want to accidently cause an electrical short to occur or cause permanent damage to your smartphone.
Why 99% Isopropyl alcohol?
Since isopropyl alcohol is a solvent you are probably wondering if it’s safe to use alcohol on your HTC One M8. More specifically if isopropyl alcohol can have an undesirable effect on things such as the adhesives or glues used to assemble the smartphone?
While isopropyl alcohol is technically a solvent I have used 99% isopropyl alcohol to revive multiple cell phones which had been exposed to moisture or dropped in water or submerged in some other type of liquid and have yet to see any negative results indicating that isopropyl alcohol does not have any adverse effect on any of the glues or other materials which hold the device together or allows it to function properly.
Quite the opposite in fact; I have seen isopropyl alcohol revive malfunctioning speakers, charging ports, touch screens and display screens as well as solve common power issues that often occur from exposing a smartphone to moisture. So, while it’s not a guaranteed fix (since isopropyl alcohol cannot repair physical damage such as an electrical short), isopropyl alcohol can and often does help in these types of situations and is a good tool to use when combating the effects that moisture or liquid damage can have on an electronic device.
How should I do it?
Some other questions commonly asked include how to actually soak an HTC One M8 in 99% isopropyl alcohol. Here are a few common questions and some recommendations that you may find helpful.
Should I take the parts off of my HTC One M8 before I soak it in alcohol?
Yes, I recommend that you take off all of the removable parts from your cell phone before submerging it in alcohol. These removable parts can vary depending on your particular cellphone and service provider but these parts may or may not include the phones back plate, battery, external memory card (aka MicroSD Card), SIM Card(s), etc.
I recommend that you take all of these pieces off of your phone and wipe those pieces down with a clean cloth dampened with 99% isopropyl alcohol. Then set all of those pieces to dry. As a wrap up of what exactly needs to be removed:
Take off all of the removable parts
Note: These options may or may not be available to you as they are general options. Perform the ones that are applicable to the HTC One M8.
Take the back cover off of the phone
Not every phone has a back plate but if your phone has a removable battery then go ahead and take the back plate off.
Remove the battery
If your cell phone allows you to remove its battery, then take the battery completely out of the phone and set it aside. Salt water is very conductive and this should help to avoid an unnecessary electrical short. Make sure that you don’t plug your phone into a charger either until you’re sure that your phone is completely dry.
Take it out of its case
Chances are you have done this already but if you own a protective case for your cell phone then take it out of its case and let your phone breathe a little bit.
Remove the SIM card
Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards are very common on cell phones these days and help phones sync and communicate with their wireless service provider properly. If your phone utilizes a SIM card (which is pretty likely) then remove it from the phone.
Remove the SD card
If your phone is making use of a Memory card or a Micro SD card to be specific, then take it out of the phone as well. Most quality SD cards can be pretty resilient to such situations but take it out so that we can treat the SIM card slot as well.
Leave these parts off of the phone for the time being. If there is any liquid or moisture on these items, then I recommend that you try to dry them off with a dry cloth. An Anti-static cloth or wipe would be ideal but shouldn’t be necessary and a regular dry cloth should be sufficient. After all of the removable pieces have been removed from your phone the alcohol will be able to work its way into all of those areas of the phone.
Bathing your HTC One M8 in 99% isopropyl alcohol
Here are a few things to consider when attempting to save your HTC One M8 using isopropyl alcohol. Don’t worry there is a video tutorial that you can use to help you later on in the post. Before you watch the video (which is highly recommended) you ought to read through the instructions first to get an idea of the process.
Finding a good container to soak it in
The most important thing to consider when choosing a container is to make sure to locate a container which will allow you to completely submerge your HTC One M8 in alcohol. Some other minor things that you might want to consider is the size of the container. It will need to be big enough for you to soak your HTC One M8 in of course but you don’t want it too big or else you’ll end up needlessly wasting alcohol.
You shouldn’t really have to worry about evaporation and whether or not the container should be seal-able or not because you won’t be leaving your HTC One M8 in the alcohol long enough for it to evaporate. Use a small Tupperware container or a Ziploc bag for this task but as long as the device is completely submerged it shouldn’t make much of a difference.
Submerged in alcohol
Once you have submerged your HTC One M8 in alcohol you’re going to want to try to get that isopropyl alcohol to go into the phone and fill every nook and cranny within the phone which any water (or other liquids) may have entered earlier. You want the alcohol to clean out the entire phone. The best way to do this is to let the phone soak for fifteen or so minutes and then, while the phone is still submerged, take hold of it and gently shake it, then let it sit for ten or fifteen minutes and do it again. You want to make sure that you try to get the isopropyl alcohol into the phone and any leftover minerals or calcium deposits or water out of the phone as best as you can.
After about an hour take a look at the isopropyl alcohol in which your phone in soaking. Does it look dirty? If so you might want to wiggle and shake your phone one more time under the current batch of alcohol, then remove the phone from the alcohol and let it drip dry a bit. Try to get the majority of the alcohol out of your phone, set the phone aside for a moment, clean out the dirty alcohol, and then refill it with a fresh batch of isopropyl alcohol, and submerge your phone in the fresh and clean alcohol to give it another good cleaning.
Note: remember that if you decide to rinse the container with water while cleaning it you should dry it out removing any water before refilling it with alcohol.
How long should I soak my phone in alcohol?
The length of time that you should soak your HTC One M8 in alcohol is not fixed. It is going to depend on a few different factors including the particular circumstances that lead to having the need to try and fix or revive your malfunctioning HTC One M8.
Rain water, River water, Toilet water, Sea water, Dish water, Shower or Bath water, Laundry detergent water, Soda, Soup, Milk and cereal, Wine, Beer, whatever liquid that may have found its way into your phone you are going to need to soak your device long enough to try and remove that particular substance from the inner workings of your HTC One M8.
Some substances are going to be more resilient than others however, in most circumstances, you should be able to get away with soaking your smartphone for a good couple of hours.
Drying your cell phone
Once your HTC One M8 has had time to soak and you feel that the alcohol has been able to get into the HTC One M8 and give it a good cleaning you can remove the device from the alcohol. Afterwards you should gently try to get as much of the alcohol out of the phone as you can manage and then dry the outside of the phone with a clean dry cloth as best as you can.
Dry Water damaged HTC One M8 with rice
Use dry rice when attempting to accelerate the drying process The more rice the better as the device tends to dry out faster. You can use another Tupperware container or Ziploc bag for this purpose but this time you may want a container that you can seal. That way the rice can absorb any leftover moisture from the phone a little more effectively.
Isopropyl alcohol should dry relatively quickly but for good measure you may want to let your HTC One M8 dry for a good 24 hours or at the very least let it sit and dry overnight. After your phone has had time to completely dry take it out of the rice, remove any rice that may have stuck to it (check all of the ports to make sure that no rice has found its way into the device), put the phone back together, and try to start it up.
Hopefully with any luck your phone will power on properly and be back to 100% functionality again. If this is the case, then enjoy your working HTC One M8 and don’t hesitate to share this article and information with your friends through Google + or Facebook etc. If your HTC One M8 is still having issues and still doesn’t seem to want to work correctly, then you may yet have some options available depending on what your phone is doing.
Possibility of liquid damage
If your cell phone is still malfunctioning even after bathing it in isopropyl alcohol then, as mentioned at the beginning of this guide, this could indicate that part(s) of your HTC One M8 have experienced moisture or liquid damage and will most likely need to be replaced in order for your device to function properly again.
What to do if Liquid Isopropyl did not work?
If this applies to your current situation, then I highly suggest that you review what to do if your HTC One M8 has liquid or moisture damage which includes additional advice on this topic including suggestions on how to pinpoint which piece(s) of hardware might require servicing or replacing.
Dealing with liquid and moisture damage
So you ended up trying to fix or revive your HTC One M8 in isopropyl alcohol and unfortunately your phone still seems to be experiencing issues and a part or parts of your phone seem to be malfunctioning. The following is a list of common problems resulting from liquid or moisture damage and what you might be able to do in order to fix it.
Water damaged HTC One M8 won’t turn on
This is one of the more severe issues that your HTC One M8 can experience after being dropped in water. After all you won’t be able to use your mobile phone if it won’t even power on. There are a few possible scenarios that might involve the phone not powering on properly.
Only responds when being plugged into a charger
If you cannot get your HTC One M8 to power on but it seems to recognize a charger and the charging light will come on when the phone is plugged in, then this is a good sign as it indicates that there is at least some life left in your phone. If your device falls into this category, then I recommend that you try to locate and then attempt to utilize a replacement battery. The battery may have been damaged by the moisture as opposed to the phone and a replacement battery may be the key in getting your phone to start up and work again.
Any battery that you know is operational and is functioning properly should work. You can barrow one from a friend or family member or if your phone is still relatively new you might even want to consider going down to a local retail location to borrow a battery from one of the phones on display at that location. Just temporarily to see if it works of course. If it another battery does work, then you will have successfully located the cause of the problem and you can look into purchasing a replacement battery.
If you determine that your HTC One M8 requires a replacement battery or if you are unable to find a working replacement to use as a test, then I suggest that you consider checking online to see what a replacement battery for your particular device is selling for. Typically, replacement batteries are pretty affordable and are relatively easy to acquire from online stores like Amazon.
Note: If your particular model of smartphone was designed with a non-removable battery then this task is going to be a little more difficult for you but will likely require you to take apart your phone in order to remove and then replace the battery. If your phone falls into this category, then you may want to save this step in troubleshooting as the last and final solution for your cell phone.
HTC One M8 is completely unresponsive
If your HTC One M8 is totally unresponsive and won’t even respond when being plugged into a charger (and you made sure to try the alcohol trick mentioned at the beginning of this article) then I recommend trying another battery (just like the suggestion above). If another battery doesn’t help to get a response out of the phone, then chances are good that you’re going to need to look into replacing the phone.
HTC One M8 stuck on startup logo
This issue is a little tricky and isn’t too common when it comes to moisture damage but it does happen occasionally. If your device will boot up but seems to get stuck on its startup logo, or begins to boot but before it turns on all the way it will power off, or if it gets caught in a boot loop and seems to restart over and over again nonstop then you might want to consider trying to troubleshoot the phones software before looking into replacing the unit. Check out how to fix an HTC One M8 that’s stuck in a boot loop for some advice on how to try and troubleshoot this particular issue.
HTC One M8 will not charge
Charging a phone is just as important as being able to power a phone on. Here are some common charging related problems that can often creep up on a cell phone which has been exposed moisture or dropped in liquid.
HTC One M8 powers on but will not charge
If your phone will turn on but doesn’t want to charge or even recognize a charger, then the very first thing that you should do is backup as much of the information on your phone as you can before the battery runs out of its current charge.
Create a copy of your phones information to a computer, to the phones memory card (if it has one), save your information online through the cloud or other storage platform, save its contacts to its SIM card (if available). If you cannot get your phone to charge again you do not want to lose your phones important data if you don’t have to.
That being said, as far as troubleshooting your phone, for good measure I recommend that you attempt to try to use a different charger or chargers to see if your phone will take a charge from another charger. Try a different charging source, for example try charging your phone through a wall outlet as well as through a computer USB port, etc. You can read more at, Fix: HTC One M8 Not Charging
Important Tip: If you can turn on your phone properly but you cannot get your phone to recognize a charger and your phone is designed with a removable battery you might consider investing in an external charger. This would allow you to remove the battery from the phone, plug it into that external charger, charge it up to full, put it back into your phone, and then you could turn on your phone and use it as usual.
An external charger may not be available for every phone on the market but if one is available for your phone make and model then it is going to be a much more affordable option than buying a replacement phone and will allow you to charge your battery and continue using the phone you know and love.
HTC One M8 shows charging when not plugged into a charger
This is another issue that isn’t too common but can happen depending on what kind of liquid the phone was dropped into amongst other things. If your phone seems to be beeping as though your phone is being plugged into a charger, removed from the charger, plugged in, unplugged, over and over again or if your HTC One M8 simply shows that its charging even though it isn’t plugged in you might be able to fix it in a matter of seconds by following the advice on: Fix: HTC One M8 charging when not plug in
Phone gets hot when plugged into a charger
If your HTC One M8 is getting hot when plugged into a charger, then chances are you might need to look into your replacement options as this issue can be difficult to pinpoint much less repair. You can look into replacing the charging port on the phone but it’s not going to be a sure fix and like I said repairing this issue can be a real hassle.
If your phone begins overheating even when not plugged into a charger, then this would likely indicate a hardware malfunction and like the previous issue this too can be difficult to locate much less repair.
Some common areas to overheat on a smartphone include its earpiece speaker area, its battery area (which could indicate an issue with the battery so make sure to check the batteries temperature as well), it could include a problem with the screen(s) getting hot, the back of the phone above the battery compartment is a common area, or around the phones charging port. You can learn how to troubleshoot/fix this issue by reading, Fix: HTC One M8 battery drain/overheating
Moisture can affect a cell phones display screen in many different ways including:
If your screen looks like a rainbow of colors or just doesn’t look right, then that would indicate that your HTC One M8 display screen has been affected by the moisture and will likely need to be replaced.
Horizontal or vertical lines
This issue is a little tricky. While it indicates that there is an obvious problem it might be fixable with a little bit of tinkering. There is a good chance that those lines on the screen indicate a problem with the flex cable that connects the display screen to the phones motherboard. If you take your phone apart, you might be able to check that cable for abnormalities and correct anything that seems out of place. The flex cable might need to be unplugged, cleaned with alcohol (along with the port on the phone that it plugs into), given time to dry, and then reconnected. It might be as simple as that and not even require a replacement display screen.
If that doesn’t seem to work (which you should certainly try if you haven’t already) then the display screen or its flex cable has been damaged, is malfunctioning, and will need to be replaced with a working unit.
Dim or faded
If you can see your phones screen but it’s really faded or dim or a little darker and difficult to see, then the phones backlight on its display screen has malfunctioned and your phones display screen will need to be replaced in order for your phones screen to work properly again.
Don’t forget to access your phones Settings locate the Display option within those settings and then crank up your phones Brightness to its maximum output. This may help in some cases but if it is in fact a hardware issue then this suggestion may have little to no effect and the defective hardware (the display screen) will need replacing.
If you can hear your phone boot up and your phone will receive calls and it seems to be working fine apart from being able to see anything on the screen, then a replacement display screen should get your phone up and running in no time.
You might want to try the same advice given above (in the display section) and try cleaning that flex cable and its connections for good measure but if the alcohol bath mentioned at the start of this guide didn’t help then chances are your display screen will need replacing. Give it a try though; you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by trying.
Moisture trapped underneath the screen
If you notice that your cell phone seems to have moisture or liquid trapped underneath your screen, then there is hope. Start out by NOT turning your phone on to see if your screen is working or not. If you have turned your phone on (very common don’t get scared) turn it off and if possible, remove the battery from the phone until that moisture has had time to evaporate and dry out completely.
A common tactic that you can use is to put your phone in a window seal to sunbathe or put it under a lamp to bask in the light that way. You want a little heat on it BUT not too much heat. You do NOT want to accidentally cause damage to the phone by applying to much heat to the screen. Do NOT use a blow dryer for this task as it can apply too much heat at once along with some other possible side effects.
Use a low but constant heat source that will cause the moisture to evaporate a little faster than it would at room temperature. You can try using dried rice too but underneath a desk lamp seems to work pretty well. Remember that if you used 99% isopropyl alcohol (as I recommended at the beginning of this article) not only should it dry faster but it also has a lot lower chance of leaving behind spots from any calcium or mineral deposits…
Audio problems are another common problem resulting from liquid or moisture damage. No volume, low volume, crackling, muffled sound and other audio distortions can be quite annoying, frustrating and troublesome. Luckily these replacement parts can often be found online, are not typically too expensive (depending on the make and model of phone and when it was released) and can often be replaced by the user with minimal difficulty.
One of the most important pieces of hardware as far as audio is concerned is the phones Earpiece Speaker. This is the main speaker that most people use when having a telephone conversation and it is the speaker that is located on the top of the phone and is what you hold up to your ear on a call.
Sometimes this speakers sound gets muffled distorted or just totally malfunctions and won’t work at all. If it seems distorted, then it could mean one of two things. The first is that there is still moisture in the speaker and the phone needs more time to dry out completely. The second is that the speaker is in fact damaged and will need to be replaced in order to function properly again.
If you cannot afford a replacement, cannot locate a replacement, or simply don’t have the time to bother with it then you can attempt to plug in an external headset for telephone calls, use a Bluetooth speaker, or even use the phones loud speaker on your telephone calls. The loud speaker will allow others to hear your conversation but you won’t need any other hardware so long as it’s still working properly.
The loud speaker is another speaker on your cell phone and is used for the phones ringer, notifications, its alarm clock, its hands free speaker option, etc. If you can no longer hear these features, then the phones loud speaker is no longer functioning and will need to be switched out for a working unit.
If you call someone and you can hear that person speaking but the person on the other end cannot hear you speaking and cannot hear what you are saying to them then your cell phones speaker is working but your cell phones microphone is not working.
Microphone replacements are another piece of hardware that can be found online are often affordable and are not too complicated to swap out yourself. Replacing a microphone is going to be way more affordable then purchasing another phone and since this can often be done yourself you should be able to save some money by going this route as opposed to taking or sending your phone in for someone else to repair it.
Don’t forget that your phones Headphone Jack can be affected by moisture as well. If your phone is no longer recognizing any wired headsets OR if your other speakers are not working because your phone thinks that there is a pair of headphones plugged into it when there really isn’t then your phones Headphone Jack is malfunctioning.
Try plugging in and then unplugging a headset a few times to try to get your phone to recognize the plug properly. This might take a good few attempts to be successful and is not a guaranteed solution. If you cannot get it to read your headset(s) through the Headphone Jack and isopropyl alcohol didn’t help the situation and you absolutely need to use a wired headset as opposed to a wireless Bluetooth headset, then you will need to exchange the Headphone Jack on your cell phone for a working unit.
This is one of the more annoying issues that can occur to a smartphone that’s been dropped in water or which has had an incident with moisture as the phone will appear to be working properly but it actually won’t respond to your touch or won’t respond correctly when trying to select something on the screen.Since the majority of smartphones these days depend on a working touch screen in order to function properly a malfunctioning touch screen can leave you with little more than a paperweight.
So make sure to try the alcohol (I know I have mentioned this a bunch of times already but 99% isopropyl alcohol is an amazing tool to use when trying to combat the effects that water can have on an electronic), you can check the flex cable for your touch screen (just like when troubleshooting a display screen) but if checking and cleaning the flex cable and the phones touch screen has little or no effect and your touch screen continues to malfunction and continues to respond incorrectly or not at all then chances are the phones touch screen is in fact damaged and will need to be replaced.
Where to get replacement parts for your HTC One M8
If a piece of hardware on your phone is damaged and needs to be replaced where is the best place to look for and purchase replacement parts? While prices can often vary depending on what make and model of phone you have you’re going to want to do your shopping online. Some good places to start looking for the best deals available include and are not limited to:
Amazon is one of the most successful online stores to date and for good reason. They carry just about everything, including cell phone parts; they have wonderful customer service, and have some of the lowest prices available. As such Amazon is typically my number one stop when buying something online and is where I recommend that you start your search for whatever replacement parts that your phone requires.
eBay is another good place to buy replacement cell phone parts. Like Amazon it has good deals on just about anything including new and used replacement phone parts, you can review sellers before making your purchase, and making a purchase is secure, safe and easy.
#3 Repairs Universe
Repairs Universe is a site devoted completely to replacement parts and repairs for mobile devices. Not only can you find a wide range of replacement parts through this site but typically when you purchase an item through Repairs Universe you also receive a free repair guide and free pry opening tool to help you get the job done. This is not a huge thing of course but is a nice little touch and the site usually has some pretty decent prices as well.