You plugged your iPhone into the wall or your computer, and your iPhone isn’t charging. When an iPhone won’t charge, there’s a problem with one of the four things involved with charging your iPhone: the wall adapter, the charger cable (also known as the lightning cable), the charging port on the bottom of your iPhone, or your iPhone’s software. In this article, I’ll start by clearing up some very important misinformation about what causes iPhone charger problems and show you how to diagnose and fix the reason why your iPhone won’t charge.
When I worked as a technician in the Apple Store, the second most common complaint I heard was, “My iPhone Won’t Charge!” — right after people who asked for real fixes for their terrible iPhone battery life. Let’s dive in:
Do I Need A New Battery? No! Let’s Clear Up Some Misinformation, Right Away!
I’ve seen plenty of misinformation on other websites about how handle an iPhone that won’t charge. Another article recommends replacing your iPhone’s battery if it won’t charge, and as a former Apple technician, I can tell you that this is absolutely incorrect advice. Here’s why:
Believe it or not, a lot of the time, it’s your iPhone’s software — not hardware — that’s preventing your iPhone from charging! (See Tip #1)
When you plug your iPhone into a power source, you’re not hooking it up directly to the battery. Think about it — you’re connecting a cable to a port on the bottom of your iPhone, and even the charging port isn’t directly connected to the battery. When you plug in your iPhone, its software decides whether or not to charge the battery.
If your iPhone won’t charge, replacing the battery inside of your iPhone will most likely have zero effect! If there is a hardware problem that is causing your iPhone battery to not charge, it is much more likely that the problem is with your charging port, not the iPhone battery itself.
How To Fix An iPhone That Won’t Charge
1. Determine Whether Your iPhone Won’t Charge Because Of A Simple Software Problem
A all-too-common Genius Bar appointment went like this: A customer would bring in their iPhone and explain that they have been trying to charge their iPhone all night but that their phone was still dead. They plugged their iPhone into the wall, into their car, switched out cables, but their iPhone’s screen was still black. “See?”, they’d say. “My iPhone won’t charge!”
They’d hand me their phone and I’d do a hard reset by holding the power button and home button together for what seemed to the customer to be too long — sometimes 30 seconds. The Apple logo would appear and the customer’s iPhone would reboot.
If that doesn’t work, don’t worry! We’ll talk about the hardware fixes on the next page, but first, let’s learn what really happened to our customer in the Apple Store.
So What Really Happened?
Even though it looked like their iPhone wouldn’t charge, what actually happened is that their iPhone’s software had crashed in the background when the screen was off. In other words, their iPhone wouldn’t charge because the phone was still on!
Remember, it’s your iPhone’s software that recognizes that it’s connected to power and the software that begins the charging process.
What If It’s Not A Software Problem? Here’s What To Do Next.
On the next page, we’ll take a look at each piece of the “iPhone not charging” puzzle. We’ll walk through each of the three physical components that are involved when your iPhone won’t charge: the charging port on your iPhone, the USB cable (either a lightning cable or 30-pin dock connector cable), and the power source.