My iPhone Won’t Charge! Here’s The Real Fix.

When an iPhone won’t charge, it’s a big deal. I’m a former Apple employee, and during my time in the Apple Store, fixing iPhone charging problems was a big part of my daily work. The good news is that the majority of iPhone charging problems can be fixed at home. In this article, I’ll show you how to fix an iPhone that won’t charge, step-by-step.

Know This Before You Begin

One of the most common questions Apple techs receive when an iPhone won’t charge is this: “If my iPhone won’t charge, do I need a new battery?”

In spite of what you’ll read on many websites, the answer to this question is no! There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and that was one of the main reasons I wanted to write this article.

As a former Apple tech with experience working with hundreds of iPhones that wouldn’t charge, I can tell you that replacing a battery is the absolute wrong thing to do.

The truth is that most of the time, it’s your iPhone’s software — not hardware — that’s preventing your iPhone from charging. If your iPhone won’t charge, 99% of the time, replacing the battery will have zero effect!

iPhone software decides when to charge your iPhone

And, if there is a hardware problem, it’s much more likely that the issue is with the charging port itself — but we’re not there yet.

If you’d rather watch than read, our YouTube video will walk you through the fixes.

Wireless Charging: A Temporary Fix

While you work on fixing your iPhone, you may still be able to charge it wirelessly. Every iPhone since the iPhone 8 supports wireless charging with Qi-certified chargers. Place your iPhone on the center of a Qi wireless charger and see if starts charging.

If it does — that’s great! However, we still need to address the problem preventing your iPhone from charging with a wired connection.

If your iPhone won’t charge wirelessly either, follow the step-by-step guide below, or check out our other article on how to fix wireless charging problems.

How To Fix An iPhone That Won’t Charge

1. Hard Reset Your iPhone

Sometimes the solution is as simple as hard resetting your iPhone. That’s the first thing an Apple tech would do in the Apple Store, and it’s easy to do at home. Here’s how:

How To Hard Reset Your iPhone

PhoneHow To Hard Reset
iPhone 6S, SE, and older modelsPress and hold the power button and the Home button together until the Apple logo appears on the screen, and then let go.
iPhone 7 and 7 PlusPress and hold the power button and the volume down button together until the Apple logo appears on the screen, and then let go.
iPhone 8, X, SE 2, and newer modelsThere are three steps: 1. Quickly press and release the volume up button. 2. Quickly press and release the volume down button. 3. Press and hold the power button (called the “side button” on iPhone X) until the Apple logo appears on the display, and then let go.

Apple tech tip: The #1 mistake people make while trying to hard reset their iPhone is that they don’t hold the buttons down for long enough. On iPhone 8 or newer, however, make sure you are pressing the first two buttons very quickly and holding the power button down for a long time. Sometimes the process can take 20 seconds or more!

Hard Reset iPhone

If that doesn’t work, don’t worry! We’ll dive into the hardware fixes in the next step.

2. Check Your Lightning Cable For Damage

Take a very close look at both ends of the USB cable you use to charge your iPhone. Apple’s lightning cables are prone to fraying, especially at the end that connects to your iPhone. If you see visible signs of wear, it might be time for a new cable.Lightning cable damage

How can I tell whether my lightning cable is the reason why my iPhone won’t charge?

If there is no visible damage to the outside of the cable, try plugging your iPhone into a USB port on your computer to charge instead of using the wall adapter that came with your iPhone. If you already charge your iPhone using your computer, try using the wall adapter. If it works in one place and not the other, your cable isn’t the issue.

This might seem obvious, but sometimes the best way to determine whether you have a “bad cable” is to try charging your iPhone using a friend’s cable. If your iPhone suddenly springs back to life after you plug it in, you’ve identified the reason why your iPhone won’t charge — a faulty cable.

Don’t forget about your iPhone’s warranty!

If your iPhone is still under warranty, the USB cable (and everything else in the iPhone box) is covered! Apple will replace your lightning cable for free, as long as it’s in decent shape.

You can set up a return on Apple’s support website or call your local Apple Store to make an appointment with the Genius Bar. If you decide to go to the Apple Store, it’s always a good idea to have an appointment at the Genius Bar before you go in. That way, you won’t have to wait in line — at least not for long.

3rd-party cables can charge iPhone charging problems

One of the most common reasons why an iPhone won’t charge comes from low-quality 3rd-party iPhone charger cables that people buy in gas stations. Yes, Apple cables are expensive, but in my experience, those $5 knockoffs never hold up like the real thing. There are good ones out there — you just have to know which ones to choose.

High quality, less-expensive cables do exist!

If you’re looking for a high-quality replacement iPhone charging cable that’s more durable than Apple’s, check out our favorites on Amazon. These aren’t cheap gas station cables that are going to break in a week. I love the 6-foot Lightning cable because it’s long enough for me to be able to use my iPhone in bed.

3. Try A Different iPhone Charger

Do you charge your iPhone by plugging it into the wall, using a car charger, in a speaker dock, in your laptop, or some other way? There are a lot of different ways to charge an iPhone.

Remember that it’s your iPhone software that says ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to charging when your iPhone connects to an accessory. If the software detects power fluctuations, it will prevent your iPhone from charging as a protective measure.Try plugging iPhone into a different outlet

How can I tell whether my charger is the reason why my iPhone won’t charge?

We’ll do the same thing we did when we inspected your Lightning cable. The simplest way to find out whether your charger is bad is to try another one. Make sure you try more than one because chargers can be very finicky.

If your iPhone won’t charge with the wall adapter, try plugging it into a USB port on your computer. If it won’t charge in the computer, try plugging it into the wall — or try a different USB port on the computer. If your iPhone charges with one adapter and not the other, then your charger is the problem.

There are high-quality fast chargers out there, but you have to be careful

If you need a new charger, check out the chargers we recommend using the same link as above (for the cable). The maximum Apple-approved amperage for iPhone chargers is 2.1 amps. Unlike many third-party chargers that can damage your iPhone, these ones will charge your iPhone quickly and safely.

(The iPad charger is 2.1A and Apple says it’s OK for iPhones.)

Hint: If you’re trying to charge using an Apple keyboard or USB hub, try plugging your iPhone directly into one of your computer’s USB ports. All the devices plugged into USB hubs (and keyboards) share a limited supply of power. I have personally seen iPhone charging problems occur because there wasn’t enough power to go around.

4. Brush The Gunk Out Of Your iPhone’s Charging Port

Use a flashlight and take a close look at the charging port in the bottom of your iPhone. If you see any debris or gunk in there, it might be preventing the lightning cable from making a solid connection to your iPhone. There are lots of connectors down there (the lightning cable has 9), and if the wrong one is blocked off, your iPhone won’t charge at all.

If you find lint, gunk, or other debris in the charging port of your iPhone, it’s time to brush it out. You need something that won’t conduct an electric charge or damage the electronics in the bottom of your iPhone. Here’s the trick:Use toothbrush to brush out iPhone lightning port

Grab a toothbrush (one you’ve never used before) and gently brush out your iPhone’s charging port. When I was at Apple, we used fancy anti-static brushes to do this (which you can get on Amazon for next to nothing), but toothbrushes work just as well.

Dealing with liquid damage

One of the most common reasons why an iPhone won’t charge is liquid damage. Liquid damage can short out the connections in the charging port of your iPhone cause all sorts of problems with your iPhone. Even if you’ve dried out the port and brushed out the gunk, sometimes the damage has already been done.

5. Put Your iPhone Into DFU Mode And Restore

Even if your iPhone won’t charge, a DFU restore may still work! You’ve eliminated the possibility of a simple software problem and taken a look at your USB cable, charger, and the iPhone itself, so it’s time for a last-ditch effort — the DFU restore. A DFU restore is a special kind of restore (when you restore your iPhone, you erase everything on it and restore it to factory settings) that can solve severe software issues — if they exist.DFU restore your iPhone

Check out my article about how to DFU restore an iPhone to learn how to put your iPhone into DFU mode, and cross your fingers before you try. When I worked for Apple, this is the first thing I’d try, even when the phone appeared to be damaged. There’s a small chance that a DFU restore will bring a non-functional iPhone back to life.

If it doesn’t work, come back here to learn about some great repair options you may not be aware of.

6. Repair Your iPhone

If you go to an Apple Store to repair your iPhone and there has been liquid or physical damage to phone, the only option they can offer is to replace your entire iPhone. If you don’t have AppleCare+, this can get expensive, fast.

If you had pictures, videos, or other personal information on your iPhone and your iPhone won’t charge, Apple will say they’re gone forever. Get in touch with an Apple representative and see what they can do. If all they can do is replace your iPhone, you may want to consider visiting a local mom and pop repair shop.

iPhone Charging Again!

I hope your iPhone has sprung back to life and you’re on your way back to a full charge. I’d love to hear from you about your experiences fixing the iPhone charging problem, and I’m here to help along the way.

About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

Subscribe
Notify of
971 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Aysya
9 days ago

i have an iPhone 7plus and it won’t charge. I have tried multiple chargers and I have cleaned the charger part. It’s completely dead and won’t turn back on. I tried buying an Eggtronic Wireless Charging Stone and that didn’t work either. It charges my mom’s phone and she has the 8 Plus.

jose
21 days ago

My iPhone 11 stopped taking charges no matter which charger (multiple cable ones, a flat dish) I use.

When I press the right side button for a few seconds, the images of a nearly empty battery and a white charger connector show up, blink thrice, and go off.

The odd thing is that even if the phone is not connected to a charger, that image of a “charging” connector (with the “ray” image) appears. It seems to be stuck in “connecting”.

Another detail: my phone admits fingerprint ID, so the same button functions as a pad.

PhongCurtoise
1 month ago

I’m in a country where the only Apple Store is on one end of the country and I’m in the other end, so i will have to eliminate that choice. I’ve just replaced my phone’s battery because it died and wont turn on again. I’ve just got my phone back today but it connect to the charger even though I purchased the most expensive battery there is. I’m currently using an iPhone 7 which is the subject I’ve been talking about. I hope that there is another way because i don’t want to go back and spill more money on… Read more »

Ann Melott
1 month ago

My iPhone 6s Plus will charge to 100%, but then drops down to 1% in 10 minutes. This started last night at 10 o’clock. What is going on?

etriz1
14 days ago
Reply to  Ann Melott

YouTube a battery replacement and buy a battery on Amazon that includes the needed tools. It’s an easy DIY and affordable price.

Sarim Ali
1 month ago

my iphone 6 isn’t charging and it’s powered off.
Should I get it repaired or is there any solution

Admin
David Lynch
1 month ago
Reply to  Sarim Ali

If the steps in this article didn’t help fix the problem, you should definitely contact Apple.

Sarim Ali
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lynch

OK, thank you.

etriz1
14 days ago
Reply to  Sarim Ali

Mine did that. I opened it up and found that the battery connection to the charger had disconnected. I pressed my finger on the connection and it clicked back into place. Then, my phone was fixed. Easy DIY.

Jamin
1 month ago

I have several of the “good” generic cables and charging blocks. Why does it work fine until a new update then stop charging completely? Then I have to get replacement cables, blocks and charging USB hubs? My USB hub has its own power supply! Apple’s cables are absolute GARBAGE! They fray and bend and crack all too easily and are only long enough to use if you’re not using your iPhone or iPad at the same time you’re charging it. Also, after an update, I am able to charge my iPhone and not my iPad or visa versa. Using the… Read more »

etriz1
14 days ago
Reply to  Jamin

I think Apple makes it happen to inspire customers to buy new phones or new overpriced Apple chargers. Easy fix = buy Android.

Mariah
1 month ago

My iPhone 7 Plus was damaged by water (it was in a pond for 20 hours) but somehow miraculously turns on when plugged into a charger. However, it won’t actually hold the charge or register that it’s plugged in when connected to my computer. I am trying to back everything up (already have a new iPhone but trying to get the old photos and other data) but since it won’t hold the charge, I can’t back it up. Any suggestions with how to either fix the charge or backup my old phone? Any tips or help is much appreciated! Thank… Read more »

joe mama
1 month ago

HOLY IT WORKED FOR ME THANKS THE TOOTHBRUSH WORKED

Ellen R Alvarez
1 month ago

My Apple phone will not charge at all now. Help! I am 72 and need it for bad health problems.

Carole Durham
1 month ago

What if you do a hard reset and everything works out but you’ve got an old used iPhone 5 that you have no idea what the username or password is or how to get in touch with the person who set it up?

joe
1 month ago

Came on here for that exact issue and you solved it thank you!

Grateful
1 month ago

Toothbrush trick worked for me! Thank you so much, I depend on my phone and I really didn’t want to have to take it to an Apple Store and pay their prices!

Admin
David Lynch
1 month ago
Reply to  Grateful

Every time I clean out my Lightning port, I’m shocked by how much debris comes out. Always a good idea to clean your ports regularly. Glad we were able to help you out!

Kali
2 months ago

Hi, so my iPhone 6s won’t charge unless I’m using one of the longer Apple chargers (it’s my moms). I’ve tried every other charger in the house and none of them work. We even got a new one and no luck. What do you suggest doing?

1 15 16 17