How To Fix An iPhone That Won't Charge

Most iPhone users have probably been there at some point. You plug your phone into an outlet, hook it up to your computer, or connect it to a charging station, walk away for a bit, and come back to find that the battery percentage has either barely gone up or not increased at all. Your iPhone just isn't charging.

It's a pretty annoying inconvenience at best, and a major problem at worst. What if you've been traveling and need to text someone to pick you up or call for a car service? What if you're expecting an important call but you have to keep your phone plugged in so it won't shut down, which prevents you from being able to go anywhere?

There are several reasons why your iPhone may not be charging properly, but fortunately, not all of them require repairs or new accessories. Though that might also be necessary for some situations.

Why isn't my iPhone charging?

One of the simplest explanations could be that the physical connection between your iPhone and the charging cable — or the charging cable and the outlet or charging station it's attached to — isn't solid. It's also possible that the cable you're using is not working optimally, either because it's not a "certified Apple product" or because it's worn down over time. There could also be dirt or dust that's collected around the charging cable's connections or inside your iPhone's connection port.

At times a lack of proper charging could also be caused by software problems with your iPhone, or it could be temperature-related. Recent models automatically limit charging when the phone gets too hot as a way of preserving the battery's overall lifespan. And if you're using iOS 13 or later, it could simply be the result of Optimized Battery Charging not adjusting for a change in your routine.

While the previously mentioned scenarios are most likely the cause of your charging issues, you might just be one of the few iPhone users with a malfunctioning or otherwise faulty battery. Worst case scenario, your iPhone's battery might be on its way out the door.

How to fix the problem

If your iPhone isn't charging (or is charging really slowly), the easiest thing to test would be the software. Restart your iPhone, wait for it to finish, then plug it back in and give it a half-hour. This could be all you need to get things working properly again.

After that, you can experiment with the physical charging situation. Try disconnecting and reconnecting the cable from your iPhone, from the power outlet, from your computer, or from the charging station. If you're able, see if you can borrow someone else's charging cable in case yours might be wearing down. And if you do believe that your cable is the problem, consider buying a replacement.

Even if things look fine, try cleaning off the connections on both ends of the charging cable, and check your iPhone's port for dust, dirt, or pocket lint. You should also inspect the ports on your computer, and carefully clean them if they look dirty or clogged with anything.

Pay attention to the temperature of the environment in which you use your device. If the area around you feels warm, or if your iPhone feels somewhat hot to the touch, unplug it and give it a few minutes to cool off, then find a spot with a lower temperature to plug it back in.

Though hopefully, it won't come to a last-resort situation, you can always call Apple. In the event that you think your iPhone's battery is faulty, you can contact Apple Support to try and verify the problem, then set up an appointment to fix or replace it.