Our phones are now pretty essential for getting through the day, so it can be unsettling when one of these ever-present pocket companions refuses to charge normally.
It’s a common issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
However, before you hand over your handset to a professional for repair, go through the troubleshooting steps below. They will also apply to other devices, such as tablets, that use similar charging methods.
Experiment with various charging methods
As with any technical issue, the first step should be to determine what went wrong.
If your phone isn’t charging, it could be the phone itself, or it could be the charging cable or power plug you’re using—trying to charge the battery with a different cable or from a different power socket should rule out these possibilities.
If you’re charging your phone with a USB cable connected to a spare USB port on your laptop, for example, experiment with changing both the cable and the port to see if it makes a difference.
Ideally, use a cable and a plug to connect the phone to a power socket in the wall—the extra voltage may be needed to start the charging process, especially if your phone has been dead for a while.
Another approach is to use the same charging setup on a different phone or tablet—if that device charges normally, you know there’s a problem with the original smartphone rather than the equipment you’re using to top off the battery. It’s one of the steps Google recommends for dealing with these kinds of problems, and it can save you a lot of time.
If your phone supports wireless charging, you can ensure that it works—it won’t fix whatever is wrong with the charging port or the connecting cable, but it will tell you whether or not the battery in your device is charged.
Clear the port
It’s possible that your phone’s charging port is damaged, or that it’s simply clogged: With your phone turned off, use a toothpick or a small piece of cloth to carefully clean out any debris that has accumulated in the port.
Even a quick blow of air on the port may be enough to clear whatever is blocking the charging cable and the charging port (and considering the amount of time we keep these devices in bags and pockets, dust and other particles can quickly get in).
This is official advice from Apple and others, but you must exercise caution to avoid causing any damage to your phone.
Avoid using any water or cleaning agents, and use a gentle touch—it may help to examine the port with a magnifying glass of some sort to see if anything has been collected.
Speaking of water, another possibility is that the charging port is too damp to be used properly, though this will only apply if your phone has recently been wet.
If this is the case, allow the phone to fully dry out in a warm, well-ventilated environment before attempting to charge the battery again.
While not connected to power, you might also want to clean the charging cable and the charging plug—though presumably, if there were any issues here, you would have discovered them when testing different cables and charging options. Again, use dry items without any liquid, and proceed with caution.
To read our blog on “How To fix iPhones frozen on the Apple logo,” click here