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What It Means When Your Phone Won’t Charge

Is there anything more frustrating than when your phone won’t charge?

Before you opt to send the phone back to your provider, make sure you check what the problem is first. You can troubleshoot your phone and charging equipment and run a few tests to see the issue. This will give you a good ballpark understanding of what needs to get done and even save you some money.

If you’re lucky, you can fix your phone charging issues yourself. At the very least, you’ll know if the repair shop is pulling your leg. For a breakdown of how to solve the problem of your phone not charging, read on.

First Thing’s First: Check Your Phone

It can be frustrating to find out your phone stopped charging. You need your phone on a daily basis, and the last thing you want is to deal with a failing battery. Before you give up and take the expensive route of replacing your phone, there are a few things you can check.

Give it a Power Cycle

Start by holding down the power button to force restart your phone. Sometimes all you need is a good power cycle to fix things. It isn’t uncommon for your phone to display the wrong battery percentage or think it’s full when it’s not.

These tend to affect older phones and batteries, but they can happen to anyone. Restarting your phone or letting it drain before you recharge it could work. Look for software and firmware updates as well, as these could be factors.

Plug Your Phone into Your Computer

If your phone has already gone blank and seems unresponsive, check if it’s still alive. Connecting your phone to your computer via Bluetooth or cable can let you test this. You’ll be able to see if your computer recognizes your phone and lets you transfer files.

This is a common problem for many older devices. After a certain number of cycles, the battery can’t recharge. The problem starts by holding less and less power, making it appear like your phone is dying faster.

One day, it won’t charge at all but will still work if you keep it plugged in. While you might be able to work around keeping your device plugged in with a laptop, this is unacceptable for a mobile phone. If your phone is alive or can turn on under certain conditions, troubleshoot your battery and charging equipment.

Do Some Troubleshooting With Your Charger

One of the most common phone issues related to poor charging isn’t even the phone’s fault. Your charger or charging port could be to blame. Start by inspecting your equipment.

Take a Look at the Cable

A frayed or bent charging cable is one of the most common culprits of charging problems. Many of us have been in that situation where we have to wiggle a cable to get our headphones or charging cable to work. This is a sign that the electrical connection isn’t as solid as it should be.

The cable doesn’t need to have obvious fraying or damage for this to happen. Try charging another device with that cable or using a different cable altogether. If the other device charges, you know it’s not the cable, and if your phone charges with the new cable – problem solved.

You could also try to fix the cable yourself if you know it’s frayed, but that might not be enough.

The Power Brick

Try a different power brick if you have one, or try charging on your computer using a cable. The computer charging approach will be very slow but should still work. If you give it an hour or two on the PC and you aren’t gaining any percentage points, then it’s unlikely to be a problem with the brick.

Those who don’t have spare bricks or cables lying around can try a different power outlet as a last resort. However, getting a 2nd cable you know works is the best strategy, assuming you have a computer. It will let you check if your phone charger stopped working or if your phone did.

Troubleshoot Your Phone

Look for any obvious signs of damage, especially near the charging port. If your phone doesn’t charge despite your equipment looking like it works, you can try a few tests.

The first thing you can do is try calling your phone to see if it rings or gets notifications. This is to test if the screen is dead, but the phone still holds a charge. Be sure to leave your phone plugged in with your charger or PC while you run this test.

You should also pay attention to any icons or lights you see and note them down. For example, many Android phones will show a solid red light if the phone is fully dead once you plug it in. This is a sign that your phone is receiving a charge, even if your battery can’t seem to store it.

Under normal circumstances, you could leave it for 30 minutes, and if it charges, the battery charging icon should appear. If the red light is flashing, then there isn’t enough power to turn on. This is a sign that your charger isn’t pumping enough juice, or your phone can’t receive enough of it.

Going to A Specialist

It’s rare for the battery to malfunction so severely that your phone doesn’t show any signs of life. If that happens, the problem could be with your screen or the phone itself.

Companies like Fruit Fixed can open up your phone to take a deeper look. Good technicians will know how to fix a phone with charging issues. It could be that minor corrosion around one of the charging pins is interfering.

What to Do If Your Phone Won’t Charge

When your phone won’t charge, it can feel like the end of the world. Before you take it in to get replaced, see if you can figure out the problem yourself. Sometimes the phone is glitchy or needs an update, and sometimes the charger is faulty.

Your phone could have an issue storing power or receiving it in the first place. If you can figure out what the problem is, then even if you take it to a repair shop, you won’t get fooled by them. Check out our other blog posts for more troubleshooting guides.