In this day and age, we use our phones for everything, from staying in touch with friends and family to taking photos or videos, browsing the internet for information, and everything in between.

But, when your iPhone won’t charge, it can make those tasks a whole lot harder to manage. While some iPhone problems warn you, charging failure is often a surprise. 

Many factors work together to make charging possible. So, when your iPhone isn’t charging, there are many possible reasons. Fortunately, most charging problems are fixable without getting an iPhone technician. 

Read on to understand seven possible reasons why your phone won’t charge and some troubleshooting tips.

History of the iPhone Charging Port

Like the iPhone, the charging port has also evolved over the years. The first generation of iPhones used the 30-pin dock connector. These models range from iPhone 2G, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S.

It wasn’t until 2012 when Apple introduced the lightning port with 8 doc pin connectors instead of 30. This port was used by the next generation of iPhones from the iPhone 5. It enabled faster charging to meet the rising demand for more rapid charging by iPhone users.

The iPhone charging port for the following models after the iPhone 5 has remained the 8-pin dock connector, though there have been changes in the size of the adapter and charger.

There are speculations that Apple will switch to USB-C in 2023, promoting faster charging. Moreover, it will enable users to charge their iPhone, iPad, and Mac with a single USB-C.

Why is Your iPhone Not Charging?

There are many possible reasons why your iPhone charging system has failed. Understanding possible reasons why it isn’t charging will help you troubleshoot and get it functioning again.

Let’s look at each problem in depth.

There Are Loose Connections

Did you leave your phone to charge for hours only to realize that it didn’t charge at all? There could be loose connections between the cable and USB charging port or the adapter may not be firm enough. 

Besides, the adapter may be loosely connected to the wall outlet. Loose connections aren’t a big deal since you can double-check, connect correctly, and get the phone charging. If it still doesn’t charge, move on to the next reason.

Dirty Charging Port

The charging port is exposed to a lot of dirt and debris. Think of how often you put your iPhone in your pocket or bag with the port end. The dirt and debris that gets to the charging port can block one or several charging pins, thus interfering with the whole charging system. Sometimes you can quickly fix this by gently blowing air into your iPhone charging port.

Broken Charging Port

The charging port is also exposed to several other factors besides dirt. For instance, if the phone is exposed to water and you connect it to a charger too soon, you may ruin the charging port. A ruined charging port requires an iPhone tech to repair or replace. If your phone has been in or near water, you should make sure the insides are completely dry before trying to charge your phone.

Busted Cable

Although iPhones are designed to be durable, the charging cable may break too easily since it’s prone to tension and pressure. 

While it is possible to continue charging your iPhone even if the cable is busted, unfortunately, you may never know when the cable will fail you and suddenly stop working. In this case, you can try using a new cable.

Damaged Outlet

Your iPhone port and charger could be okay, but there might be a problem with the power outlet. Tell-tale signs of a damaged outlet can be that it feels hot when you touch it, the charger falls out easily, it has burn marks, and it doesn’t work when you connect other appliances to it.

Try charging your phone elsewhere and have the outlet replaced.

The Wireless Charging Pad Has Malfunctioned

Your Qi-enabled wireless charging pad can fail if your iOS software is outdated or if your iPhone model doesn’t support it. Also, wireless charging could be interrupted by phone covers or dirt. In this case, try using a cable to charge the iPhone to verify if the charging pad is the issue. 

Software Problems

It’s rare, but iOS software glitches and bugs can affect the phone’s functions, including charging. Besides, the iPhone software can stop the phone from charging if power fluctuations are detected to protect the phone. 

iPhone not charging
There are several reasons why your iPhone may not be charging, from issues with the port to outdated software.

Wrong Charging Accessories

Are you using the correct charger for your iPhone? Your charger needs to be Apple certified. Apple-certified products have the label ‘Made for iPhone.’ If you are buying a charger, ensure that they have these labels. 

Additionally, your iPhone might send an alert message if your charger is not Apple-certified, usually saying, “This accessory is not supported.” Get an Apple-certified charger to get the phone charging.

How Do You Fix An iPhone That Isn’t Charging?

Although it is inconvenient to find your iPhone not charging or your battery depleted, most causes have an easy fix. Also, you don’t always have to visit a technician to have the issue fixed. 

Here are easy fixes that will get your iPhone charging again, and you can get on with your day.

Hard Reset Your iPhone

If your phone battery isn’t dead, try resetting it to fix minor system issues. A hard restart also refreshes the system and resolves any software problems that could cause the problem.

How Do You Hard Reset Your iPhone?

You can hard restart your iPhone using the on-screen menu. However, the process of hard resetting an iPhone when pressing buttons differs for different iPhone models.

Let’s take a closer look.

iPhone ModelHow to Hard Reset It
iPhone 8 and the newer versionsPress and release the volume up button and then do the same for the volume down button. Next, press and hold the power button until you see the Apple logo.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 PlusHold the power button and the volume down button simultaneously until you see the Apple logo. Release the buttons when you see the Apple logo.
iPhone SE and iPhone 6S and the older versionsHold the power button and the home button (at the same time) until the Apple logo appears.

Don’t be worried if hard resetting doesn’t fix your charging problem. Instead, proceed to the following steps.

Try Using a Cable Instead of Wireless Charging

If you are used to charging your iPhone wirelessly, try using a cable instead. If it charges, you are assured that the wireless charging pad is the problem.

Next, reposition the iPhone on the charging pad to see if it works. You can also try removing the cover and other accessories since they may not be compatible with the pad. If the phone doesn’t charge, take the charging pad to a technician for repair.

Clean the Charging Port

Dirt in your lightning port could affect the electric signal and prevent your phone from charging. Thankfully, you don’t always need an Apple expert to clean the charging port.

How Do You Clean The Charging Port?

  • Remove the phone case, and use a flashlight to see any potential debris inside the charging port.
  • Turn off the phone to make sure you do not damage it as you clean the port.
  • Use soft cotton wrapped around a toothpick and carefully brush out all the debris while avoiding damaging the pins.
  • After brushing, try charging the phone and see if it works.
  • If the phone doesn’t charge, gently use a toothpick to get the hard debris. Plug in the phone and see if it charges.

If your phone does not charge after these attempts, there may be a bigger problem with the port that may need the attention of a technician.

Try a Different Cable

Get a friend with a similar phone as yours and borrow their cable. If the cable charges your phone, then your cable is the problem. You can get a new cable from the store; be sure that it is Apple-certified. A charger that is not Apple-certified will most likely not work on your device.

Additionally, if your iPhone is still under warranty, you get a cable replacement for free. Visit the Apple store and get your replacement.

Change Your Source of Power

Try charging the iPhone on a different socket. If you are charging through a USB port, use a different port. Ensure that the computer is on and not in sleep mode. Additionally, don’t charge the phone using the ports on the keyboard.

Look for Software Updates

It’s easy to ignore software update notifications until you realize they are necessary. As we mentioned earlier, outdated iPhone software might cause glitches, including charging issues. So, if your phone is still on, check whether there are recent updates that you need to install.

How Do You Update Your iPhone?

  • When updating your iPhone, connect to the internet and back up your information to iCloud.
  • Go to Settings, then General, and tap on the Software Update option.
  • Tap Install Updates and the updates will download and install.

Factory Reset the Phone

You can try factory resetting the iPhone as the last resort if all other processes have failed. Factory resetting means restoring the phone to its default settings. You will lose all your data after this, so ensure that you backup all important information to iCloud. 

To factory reset your iPhone, go to Settings, General, then tap on Reset or Transfer iPhone. This will erase all the content on your phone and restore the phone to its default settings. The iPhone will charge if the problem is a setting on the phone.

Go for Service

If your iPhone doesn’t charge even after many attempts, there is a bigger problem than you can solve. Therefore, contact Apple service or visit an Apple shop to have it checked by a technician.

How Can You Prevent Future Charging Problems?

Charging problems can be inconvenient, especially if the battery is completely dead. To avoid these inconveniences in the future, you can:

Take Care of Your Cable

Although the cable is fragile, it can serve you for a long time if you take good care of it. For instance, be careful when unplugging the charger, as doing it roughly will damage the cable. 

Moreover, always unplug the cable from power when you are not charging. You can also install a spring along the cable, so it doesn’t easily bend and break.

Regularly Check the Charging Port

Make it your habit to check the charging port and remove any debris present. This will save you the frustration of cleaning the port when charging fails.

Stay Updated on Your Software

Don’t ignore any software update notifications. In addition to slower or failed charging, outdated software can have other repercussions. For instance, you risk security threats and may miss out on some necessary features. Therefore, ensure that your iPhone is always using the latest iOS.

Final Thoughts

If your iPhone isn’t charging, there is a problem with the cable, adapter, or the phone’s hardware or software. Otherwise, there is an issue with the source of power you are using. Try troubleshooting in the ways mentioned above to get it working again. If this doesn’t work, get an Apple technician for professional help.

Up Next 

7 Reasons Your iPhone Isn’t Charging FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Why is the iPhone charging up to 80%?

Your iPhone can charge up to 80% due to an optimization feature set by the iPhone manufacturers to preserve the lifetime of the battery. When it stops charging at 80%, it helps avoid overstressing the battery.

Besides, it may charge to 80% if your phone is too warm or when the iPhone or the charger is damaged. You can fix this by moderating the temperature when your iPhone is charging or turning off the optimized battery charging in battery settings.

Why does iPhone say that accessory is not supported?

iPhone says that the device is not supported if the charging port is dirty or damaged or if the charger is damaged or not Apple-certified. It can also say so if the USB cable you use isn’t meant for charging.

You can restart the iPhone and try using a different cable to solve this. You can also try cleaning the charging port and updating the iOS version on your iPhone.

Can you turn on an iPhone with a dead battery?

You can’t turn on an iPhone with a dead battery. You need to give it some time to charge before turning it on.

How can you tell if an iPhone is charging?

You can tell an iPhone is charging if there is a lightning bolt in the middle of the battery icon. The icon is also usually green in color. If the iPhone is off, you will see an empty battery icon on the screen.

Which is the best way to charge an iPhone?

Ideally, charge your phone up to 80%. Although charging it to 100% does not harm it, Apple recommends charging to 80% since 100% isn’t always good for the battery. Similarly, letting the battery drain to 0% can lead to a short battery life.

Can you charge your iPhone overnight?

You can charge your iPhone overnight. However, if you wake up in the middle of the night, unplug it.

Is it possible to overcharge your iPhone?

You cannot overcharge your iPhone since it is designed to stop charging at 100%. You can also optimize it to stop charging at 80% if you are worried about overheating it.

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