How To Troubleshoot Nexus 5 or 5X Wont Turn On Before Sending It Away For Repair

There were a lot of reports from Nexus 5 owners saying the phone won’t turn on. Others reported the problem occurred after it has automatically shut down while some said their device seemed to have warmed up then refuses to come back on. A smartphone that doesn’t have power is only as good as a paperweight–an expensive paperweight.

In this post, I will guide you through properly troubleshooting your Google Nexus 5 that won’t turn on. The very purpose of troubleshooting is to know what the problem is and find solutions for it. Of course, there’s no guarantee that it will be solved especially if it’s a hardware issue. However, just by knowing it’s a fault in the hardware that’s causing it is enough to get the phone fixed by describing it to the technician.


How To Troubleshoot Nexus 5 or 5X Wont Turn On Before Sending It Away For Repair

Step 1: Plug in Nexus 5 to see if it charges

There’s a possibility that the battery is just drained. Plugging the device in to charge will answer some questions critical to knowing what the problem really is.

Once plugged in, try to see if the charging indicator shows on the screen. If it does, then our suspicion that it’s just a drained battery issue is confirmed. Leave the phone to charge for at least an hour and then attempt to turn it back on. A phone that charges, turns on.

However, if your Nexus 5 didn’t charge or didn’t show signs that it was charging, then you need to troubleshoot that one first. You cannot troubleshoot power-related issues if you don’t exactly know if the phone charges or not. As I said earlier, the battery might just be depleted that’s why the phone won’t turn on.

Step 2: Troubleshoot charging problems (optional)

You need to know if the problem is with the charging unit or power adapter, the USB cable or with your phone. You already tried charging the phone using its original charger to no avail, now it’s time you connect the device to your computer.

Since your device won’t turn on, it couldn’t be detected by the machine. However, the current your computer generates must be enough to slowly charge it. If it charges successfully, then you need to buy a new charger, otherwise, find a new USB cable and try it out.

If the phone still refuses to charger even with different charger and USB cable, there’s still a possibility that it’s just a firmware issue. When the phone is plugged in, the electric current doesn’t go directly to the battery; it will pass through a logic board and a series of chips. In short, the firmware still plays a big part in this process so if it’s faulty, it may affect the capability of the phone to properly charge and that leads us to the third troubleshooting step.

Step 3: Boot the phone in Recovery Mode

Even if the firmware has issues, you may still be able to boot in recovery mode where you can restore your phone in factory settings and get rid of inconsistencies that might be causing the problem. Here’s how you do it…

  1. Press and hold the Volume Down and Power keys together for 10 seconds or until the phone turns on.
  2. If the screen lit up and display some text, it is almost certain the problem was with the firmware.
  3. Press the Volume Down button twice to highlight the option Recovery mode.
  4. To select it, press the Power key.
  5. Hold down the Power button and press the Volume Up key to display the Android system recovery menu.

You may go as far as doing the master reset on your phone but the point of this troubleshooting is to find out if the phone is still capable of turning on, so you might save that procedure for later especially if you have important data in your device.

However, if your Nexus 5 couldn’t boot in recovery mode, proceed to the next step.

Final Step: Send the phone in for repair

There’s not much you can do for a phone that won’t turn on. You’ve tried all possible troubleshooting procedures just to bring it back to life to no avail. Therefore, it’s time you seek professional help as it is almost certain that it’s a hardware issue.


  1. my Nexus 5 shut down while phone was in use. I was able to reboot and it powered back up and operated normal for about a hour then shut down again. Since then it would not come back on or could not get tt to recovery mode. Took it to a phone repair center. They thought it was the battery but at time it last shut own was about 71% charged. New battery ordered and replaced but that was not the problem. So here I am needing a phone and not sure what to do next

  2. My Nexus 5X will not start after freezing with low battery (about 14%). I plugged it in to charge it, but it still will not start. I can boot into recovery mode, and have done a factory reset, but still only gets to the white “GOOGLE” text and then shuts off. Just after the reset, it got to the swirling color orbs but then shut off. What’s the next step? No battery issues before this.

  3. I got it to turn on with recovery mode, but it is still turning itself off. Should I factory reset my phone?

  4. Hi – I tried all the steps to power up my Nexus 5X phone but no luck based on your website for troubleshooting. The final recommendation is to send in for repair. Do you have recommendations as to places for repair and if it is a dead battery, do you recommend having it serviced locally?

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