What To Do If Your iPhone Won’t Charge

No matter how close the technology in your pocket is to the cutting edge, it’s rendered useless unless the battery has charge. Remembering to keep your charger with you and having access to a power outlet is tricky enough when you’re out and about, but if your iPhone won’t charge even when plugged in, you can quickly become frustrated.

Fortunately, there are a number of common reasons that answer the question: “Why won’t my iPhone charge?” – and we’re here to give them to you. Often the issue has nothing to do with the phone itself – unless it has been severely damaged.

How Can I Be Sure That The iPhone Is Not Charging?

You’ll know that your phone is charging if you can see a small lightning bolt beside the battery icon when you plug the phone into a power source. It should be able to charge using a USB cable plugged directly into a wall plug, or from an intermediary source such as a laptop or computer. Once plugged in, double check that the source is on – i.e. check that the wall plug is switched on – and check for the small lightning bolt. If it’s not there but the power source is definitely on, then you should consider the following issues and steps.

Restart Your Phone

Sometimes your iPhone won’t charge because of a software issue, rather than a hardware issue. In other words – there’s nothing wrong with the external elements like the wire, ports or plugs – but rather the software on the phone itself is preventing the phone from charging. It’s possible that an error in the software is making the iPhone unable to detect that a charger is plugged in. A simple restart may correct this issue and is quick to implement.

You can force the iPhone to reboot by holding down the power button and the home button together, until you see the Apple logo. The phone should restart, and once it has, plug it in again and check to see if the error has been corrected. If you can see the lightning bolt charging icon once you’ve plugged the phone back in, then this quick fix has worked.

Check Your Cables

While it can be a pain to replace broken charging cables, they are possibly the number one culprits when it comes to faulty charging. Check that there is no clear, visible damage to the cable – particularly at the ends where you plug the wire into ports at the wall or USB port and at the end that plugs into the iPhone itself. If the damage is at the ends, it’s possible that a quick fix of wrapping electrical tape might help, but if the damage is within the cable itself, it’s less likely that you will be able to repair it yourself.

If the cable itself is frayed or torn, the safest option is to purchase a new cable. While the Apple brand cables are undoubtedly expensive, you can purchase cheaper Lightning USB cables – some of which have been certified by Apple – to replace your current wire.

Check Your Ports And Plugs

In order to charge your phone, there needs to be an unobstructed connection from the power source to the phone. In other words, there shouldn’t be anything blocking the flow of electricity. It sounds simple because it is. Dirt, dust, debris, lint and any small object can block the port on your iPhone and prevent the transfer of electricity, and prevent the charging cable from fitting flush in the port.

Take a look at the port at the bottom of your iPhone – you’re looking for any small item that may be stopping the cable fully clicking into place. Look for build-up of dust, dirt or grime. The best tool to use to clean out dirt from a port is a can of compressed air to blow the dirt or obstruction out. If you don’t have a can of compressed air to hand, however, you can also use a cotton bud, toothpick or small brush to gently remove any obstructions. This can often solve connectivity issues and get your phone back to normal.

If this hasn’t corrected the problem and your iPhone won’t charge after you have checked the iPhone port, be sure to take a moment to inspect the plug that you’re inserting the other end of the cable into. If it’s a USB cable, check that the port that you’re plugging the USB cable into is cleared of obstructions too. The same applies to wall plugs – switch off the power and check if there is anything obstructing or blocking the wall plug that you are using.

Try A Quick Change

If cleaning out your ports and the wall socket hasn’t worked, it’s possible that there is a problem with the device or power source you have plugged your iPhone into. It may be that there is something wrong with the plug socket in the wall, or that the USB port you’re plugging your phone in to is broken.

This could be caused by anything from faulty wiring to a bent pin in the port. A simple solution is to change the power source you’re plugged into – switch to a different USB port or plug your phone into a different electricity socket.

Last Resorts

After being damaged, your iPhone may not charge. If you have damaged your phone and find that the above tips don’t help to get your phone charging again, it’s worth observing what kind of damage your phone has suffered. Cosmetic or aesthetic damage won’t usually affect your iPhone’s charging capability – so you should still be able to charge your phone if you have a cracked screen or have dented the case.

If your phone has had water damage – for example it was dropped in water and was immersed for a significant period of time – this can often stop the phone from charging. One way to fix this is to ensure that your iPhone is completely dried out. It may appear to be dry on the surface, but often internal elements can remain wet and damaged. One way to help repair water damage is to completely dry out your iPhone in silica or raw, uncooked rice for 48 hours. During this period, do not attempt to charge the phone at all.

If the iPhone still won’t charge after this period, or if it has been dropped from a great height and won’t charge, it may be worth contacting Apple support or a certified support service and having your phone serviced directly. Our iPhone insurance will cover you against accidental damage and you can even opt in for repairs at Apple Genius Bars. Some things can’t be fixed at home, unfortunately.