Phone not charging when plugged in
Phone not charging when plugged in

Is your phone not charging even when it’s plugged in? If you plug your phone into the charger, you expect the familiar battery icon to show that it’s charging. When that doesn’t happen, there’s cause for some concern. The good news is that it’s not always a physical (hardware) issue with your phone. You’re going to want to start off by trying things like force restarting, powering on/off, letting the phone and its battery cool down, trying a different charger, etc. We’ve provided a full step-by-step troubleshooting list below.

Once you’ve exhausted all the non-hardware possibilities, you can move on to troubleshooting the phone itself. For power-related issues, you’re going to want to consult with a professional as they usually are related to the charging port and replacing it. Cell phone repair shops do these types of repairs all the time but if you’re a first timer it can be very difficult. Charging related issues are some of the most common problems you’ll face with your phone so let’s go over several of the potential scenarios.

Understanding the Charging Process

Before diving into solutions, it’s essential to understand the charging process. Your phone, the charging cable, and the charger (or charging block) all play a role. If any of these components aren’t functioning correctly, it can disrupt the charging process.

Common Reasons for Charging Issues

  • Faulty Equipment: Your charging cable, adapter, or even the socket could be the culprit.
  • Dirty Charging Port: Dust, lint, or debris can block the connection.
  • Software Issues: Sometimes, third-party apps or even the phone’s software can interfere with charging.
  • Power Source Problems: The outlet, USB port, or even a drained power bank might not be delivering power.

Potential Causes and Solutions

  1. Faulty Charging Cable: Over time, charging cables can wear out, leading to fraying or internal damage. The first thing you should do is check the charger and cable to make sure they’re not damaged. Look for any tears or breaks in the cable, and make sure the connector is securely plugged into both the charger and your phone. If you’re using a third-party charger, try using the original charger that came with your phone.
    Solution: Try using a different charging cable. If your phone starts charging with the new cable, it’s time to replace the old one.
  2. Dirty or Obstructed Charging Port: Dust, lint, and debris can accumulate in your phone’s charging port, preventing a proper connection.
    Solution: Gently clean the charging port using a soft brush or compressed air. Ensure the phone is turned off while cleaning.
  3. Defective Charger: The charging block or wall adapter can malfunction or become damaged.
    Solution: Test with a different charger. If your phone charges with the new charger, consider replacing the old one.
  4. Software Glitches: Sometimes, software issues can prevent your phone from recognizing the charger.
    Solution: Restart your phone. If the problem persists, consider resetting your phone’s settings or updating the software.
  5. Battery Issues: An aging or faulty battery might struggle to hold a charge. If the power outlet and charger are working properly, then the problem might be with your phone’s battery settings. Check your battery settings.
    Solution: If your phone’s battery is user-replaceable, consider getting a new battery. If not, consult a professional or the phone’s manufacturer. To check your settings Go to Settings > Battery. Make sure that Battery Saver is turned off, and that Fast Charging is turned on if your phone supports it.
  6. Damaged Charging Port: Physical damage to the charging port can prevent the charger from connecting properly.
    Solution: Inspect the charging port for any visible damage. If damaged, it might need professional repair.
  7. Check the power outlet: Make sure power is flowing from the wall to the device. Try plugging in another device, like a lamp or a clock, to see if it works.
    Solution: If the other device doesn’t work, then the problem is with the power outlet and you’ll need to have it fixed.
  8. Next, check the power outlet to make sure it’s working properly.
  9. 3. Check your phone’s battery settings
  10. 4. Restart your phone
  11. 5. Reset your phone’s network settings
  12. If restarting your phone doesn’t work, try resetting your phone’s network settings. To reset your network settings, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will reset your phone’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular settings.
  13. 6. Take your phone to a service center
  14. If you’ve tried all of the above steps and your phone still isn’t charging, then you’ll need to take your phone to a service center. A technician can diagnose the problem and repair your phone.

Troubleshooting Steps

You’re going to want to check the charger, cable, power outlet, and battery settings to rule out the possibilities of what could be happening. Before doing anything, restart your phone to see if that causes the issue to go way (hold down the power button until you see the power off slider). Make sure you wait a few seconds before turning it back on to allow time for the phone to clear.

a. Check the Power Source

  • Ensure the outlet is functional. Try different outlets or power banks.
  • If using a computer’s USB port, remember they can be slow. Direct charging from an outlet might be faster.

b. Inspect the Charger and Cable

  • A worn-out cable or charger can be the issue. Always check for visible damages.
  • Ensure the charger delivers the required power. Most phones need at least 5 watts. The charger’s output is usually mentioned on it.
  • Test with different cables and chargers to rule out any defects.

c. Examine the Charging Port

  • A damaged port can prevent charging. Look for any visible damages.
  • Clean the port gently using a soft brush or compressed air. Avoid inserting sharp objects.

d. Software and Apps

  • Some apps can drain the battery faster than it charges. Close all apps while charging.
  • Restart your phone. Sometimes, a simple reboot can solve the issue.
  • Update your phone’s software. Outdated software can sometimes cause charging problems.

e. Battery Issues

  • If none of the above solutions work, the phone’s battery might be the problem. Consider getting it checked or replaced.

Pro Tips

  • Safe Mode: Booting your phone in safe mode can help identify if a specific app is causing the issue.
  • Airplane Mode: Turning on airplane mode can speed up charging by disabling background services.
  • Wireless Charging: If your phone supports it, try wireless charging as an alternative.
  • DIY Hacks: Sometimes, a simple trick like cleaning the port with a toothpick can solve the issue. But always be gentle to avoid damages.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you’ve tried all the solutions and your phone still isn’t charging, it might be time to consult a professional. Consider visiting the phone’s official service center or a certified technician.

Preventive Measures

  1. Use Quality Chargers: Invest in high-quality chargers and cables from reputable brands. This can reduce the risk of electrical issues and improve charging efficiency.
  2. Avoid Physical Stress: Pulling the charging cable out forcefully or at an angle can damage both the cable and the phone’s charging port. Always unplug gently.
  3. Keep the Charging Port Clean: Regularly check and clean your phone’s charging port to prevent debris buildup.


A phone charger that’s plugged in but not charging can be a source of frustration. However, by understanding the potential causes and following the suggested solutions, you can often resolve the issue without much hassle. Remember, regular maintenance and using quality charging accessories can prevent many charging problems in the first place.

Charging issues can be a real headache, but with the right troubleshooting steps, they can often be resolved at home. Always start with the basics, like checking the power source and charger, and work your way up to more advanced solutions. If all else fails, professional help is just a visit away.


  1. Can software updates affect my phone’s charging capability?
    • While rare, some software updates might cause temporary charging issues. Always ensure your phone’s software is up-to-date.
  2. Is it safe to charge my phone overnight?
    • Modern smartphones are designed to stop charging once the battery is full, making it generally safe to charge overnight. However, it’s good practice to remove the phone from the charger once it’s fully charged.
  3. Can third-party apps affect charging?
    • Some apps, especially those running in the background, can consume battery faster than it charges. If you notice slow charging, consider closing unnecessary apps.
  4. How do I know if my phone’s battery is faulty?
    • Signs of a faulty battery include rapid battery drain, the phone getting excessively hot during charging, or the battery bulging.
  5. Can wireless chargers cause charging issues?
    • Wireless chargers can sometimes charge slower than wired ones. Ensure your phone and the wireless charger are compatible and positioned correctly for optimal charging.
  6. How can I tell if my phone is charging?
  7. What can damage a phone’s charging port?
    • Regular wear and tear, using incompatible chargers, or forcefully inserting the cable can damage the port.
  8. Can software updates affect charging?
    • Yes, sometimes an OS update might cause charging issues. Always keep your phone’s software updated to avoid such problems.
  9. Why is my phone charger not working?
    There are a few reasons why your phone charger might not be working. Here are some of the most common causes:
  • The charger or cable is damaged. If the charger or cable is damaged, it won’t be able to transfer power to your phone. Check the charger and cable for any tears or breaks, and make sure the connector is securely plugged into both the charger and your phone.
  • The power outlet is not working. Make sure the power outlet is working properly by plugging in another device, like a lamp or a clock. If the other device doesn’t work, then the problem is with the power outlet and you’ll need to have it fixed.
  • Your phone’s battery settings are incorrect. Make sure that Battery Saver is turned off, and that Fast Charging is turned on if your phone supports it.
  • Your phone’s software is outdated. Make sure your phone is running the latest software update. An outdated software update could be causing problems with your phone’s battery.
  • Your phone has a hardware problem. If you’ve tried all of the above steps and your phone still isn’t charging, then you may have a hardware problem. A technician can diagnose the problem and repair your phone.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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