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 fix.

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, 6S Plus, 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, 8 Plus, X, XS, XS Max, and XRThere 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 and X, 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. Fortunately, there are other options:

Another Repair Option

If you need to fix your iPhone today, Puls is a great, affordable, in-person repair service. They’ll meet you at home or a location of your choice in as little as 60 minutes.

Puls offers a lifetime warranty on parts and labor, and you only pay after they complete the repair. They also offer the option to repair your iPhone’s charging port and other smaller components that Apple won’t touch. There’s a chance you’ll be able to recover your data and save money too!

Full transparency: We receive a referral fee if you choose to repair your iPhone with Puls. That said, I truly believe they are best and easiest option for many people.

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.

All the best,
David P.

About Author

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

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Judy Neuhauser
15 days ago

THANK YOU!!!!! The hard reset fixed the problem. I went from thinking I needed tobuy a new phone to happily continuing with my old one. You are worth your weight in gold. My deepest gratitude!

Admin
Liam Shotwell
15 days ago
Reply to  Judy Neuhauser

I’m glad that we were able to help you out! Thanks for stopping by the site! 😊

Ashley Marie finch
17 days ago

I had trouble charging my phone last night & I was peeved, because I need it for in case there is an emergency & my family can’t call me & I can’t call them. Plus, I admit I’m a little too heavily reliant on my technology to entertain me too. I can’t even record videos without my iPhone because I don’t have any other camera that’s accessible for blind folks like myself.

Lily
22 days ago

Hi, so my iPhone does actually charge, and my mum got me an actual apple charger, which does work most of the time. However when I plug the phone in the lightning bar goes up, right, and then most of the time it stops charging again, it also for some reason stops charging when I open Snapchat.

Mohammad
1 month ago

i was charging my iphone 7 whike it was dead and my charging cable got burned so after that i replaced it with a different cable and now myy phone is not even showing charging symbol while its dead please help what to do

Admin
Liam Shotwell
1 month ago
Reply to  Mohammad
kim
1 month ago

my 2016 SE keeps saying it needs its origanal charger and i dont have that i went to the store to buy one and it dosent seem to work it powers off and when i take pictures on SnapChat it dies right away and it over heats. idk what to do!

Admin
Liam Shotwell
1 month ago
Reply to  kim

Sounds like there’s something wrong with the hardware. It’s been about five years since the first-generation iPhone SE came out. Maybe consider the second-generation iPhone SE or the iPhone 12?

Bryan Castro
2 months ago

Thanks, David. Your article did it — the tooth brush scrub solved what was a very frustrating problem ! i venmo’ed you a tip — the least i can do is buy you lunch … much appreciated !

dave
2 months ago

Thank you ..The toothbrush seems to work:)

BTW.. Used a brand new toothbrush:)

Tash
2 months ago

hi my i phone 7 plus keeps detoriating the charger cable is it issue with the charging port ?
Is changing charging port expensive ?

Admin
Liam Shotwell
2 months ago
Reply to  Tash

It’s probably not that expensive, but upgrading to a new device will definitely keep all the parts on your phone lasting longer. If your charging port is deteriorating, something else may go wrong next. Upgrading to the latest hardware and software support will definitely safeguard your experience.

Risa
2 months ago

Hello,
I am having a hard time charging my iphone 8. On the 8 when you press the button to shut it down, there is a slider to come on…i dont see the apple logo….unless i am suppose to hold the button in longer, nt i never did see an apple logo come on when i was shutting down..HELP please , i am so very frustrated.
Thanks so much
Risa

Admin
Liam Shotwell
2 months ago
Reply to  Risa

This article I’m linking you to might be able to help you if your iPhone 8 won’t charge. I hope this helps! 😊

Sylvia
2 months ago

Hello
So ma iPhone 12 max blacked out and I plugged in to charge but till now it has refused to charge yet the cable can charge other phones what could be the problem since morning the screen is black.

Admin
Liam Shotwell
2 months ago
Reply to  Sylvia

You may still want to try a different cable, a different power adapter, and maybe even a different socket to plug into. It’s possible that your iPhone 12 Max isn’t getting enough power to charge properly. The other phones that you tested may not have needed as high of a voltage. I hope this helps!

Mary Buchanan
1 month ago
Reply to  Sylvia

I have the x and it also refused to charge. My cable charges everything else. I tried the hard reset but it doesn’t come on. It’s completely dead

Admin
Liam Shotwell
1 month ago
Reply to  Mary Buchanan

You might need to explore your repair or upgrade options. Also, check out our article about to hard reset an iPhone X.

Ben
2 months ago

After replacing the battery my iPhone 6s did not charge over night.After reading the forums
i opened up the phone and found out the metal cover over the battery connector was not put in the wright way.
After correcting the cover the phone started to charge normal.
Thanks to the forum
ben

purity
3 months ago

After my iPhone powered off I tried to charge it but it won’t charge and i already tried everything in the article now my iPhone won’t even switch on

Admin
Liam Shotwell
3 months ago
Reply to  purity

If you can, try a DFU restore to rule out any software issues. If that doesn’t work, you may need to explore your repair or replacement options.

Kira Weir
3 months ago

My iPhone was charging lastnight and first thing this morning but 20 minutes later it wasn’t charging anymore, what do I do? I just got my iPhone and still trying to figure everything out

Lynwood
3 months ago

All of a sudden, my phone would not charge through a powered hub but WOULD with a direct USB connection to my desktop computer. Did not consider the powered hub an accessory but evidently the phone can.

skander
3 months ago

Hello sir, i have a 6s and my home button is broken and after i did a reset it requires a tap on the home button but i cant do this because its broken, is there any solution because i don’t want to lose my touch id

Admin
Liam Shotwell
3 months ago
Reply to  skander

I recommend backing up your iPhone through iTunes or Finder first before you do anything else. The iPhone 6S is about six years old now, so it’s probably not worth getting your iPhone fixed. Continued repairs to older devices can cost you a lot more than upgrading in the long run. I recommend upgrading to either the iPhone SE or the iPhone 12 if you’re looking to stay within the Apple ecosystem. The iPhone SE is a great device, but if you have a little extra money to spend I highly recommend the iPhone 12.

Su L
3 months ago

I have an iPhone SE that ‘died’ suddenly. It won’t charge or even start up. I’ve tried all the methods mentioned and even had Apple checked it out. Apple says it’s the capacitor and it’ll cost about $350 Cdn to repair! What’s your opinion?

JDN
3 months ago

Well….It WAS working but now it’s not.

JDN
3 months ago

I’m seeing INSTANT results!! Thank yoy

Evelyn Salvador
3 months ago

I tried all of the things you said in the video, but they didn’t work. You mentioned I could lose all of my data if I restore it. I don’t even know how to do that since it isn’t charging. But will I be able to get all of the data (especially photos and apps) back if they replace my phone? And would I have to pay for an entirely new phone?? Note: Though my photos are in the Cloud, they do not come up on my computer at all. I’m totally stumped and worried since I have no use… Read more »

Admin
Liam Shotwell
3 months ago

If you are going to attempt to restore the device, check out our article about how to put an iPhone in DFU mode. If you had your phone set to back up to the cloud before this problem started happening, you should be able to download the data that was backed up onto a new device. If you are using an older iPhone, it might be time to upgrade.

CJ Jacobs
3 months ago

Hi, I was just wondering if you could tell me if you think my problem is the battery… or something else? When I try to charge it I just get the red battery icon. I’ve tried different chargers, & they seem to work fine with my other older iphone. I’ve also tried a hard reset, but at the point when I would normally get the white screen & apple icon, the battery icon just pops up again and nothing happens. I also tried cleaning the port, and no change. The phone is an iphone 6 that I mostly just use… Read more »

Admin
Liam Shotwell
3 months ago
Reply to  CJ Jacobs

There is definitely something wrong with your battery, but I wouldn’t get it replaced if I were you. I would get a new iPhone. It’s less expensive in the long run, as you won’t be paying for repairs quite as often. Plus, you’ll be getting a bigger and longer lasting battery, better software support for years to come, and more. My recommendation is for you to grab the iPhone 12 or the iPhone 11. The iPhone SE is also a good choice if you are looking for a less expensive solution. I hope this helps!

Angela
3 months ago

Hi
wondering if you can help. I have an iPhone XS Max and it went off-tried charging it it with cable and it wouldn’t – put it on a wireless charger and no icon….I tried to rest by pushing the buttons as you described – nothing (sigh)…
didn’t think would be battery since it was about 90% good when I looked other day on phone …
I am gutted – can’t afford another rams stuck as to my options

Kayra
3 months ago

Hard Reset worked for me, thank you!

Lawrence
4 months ago

Helped getting it charged 100% but will not stay charged for very long. Then I have to hard reset again.

Admin
Liam Shotwell
4 months ago
Reply to  Lawrence

Sounds like there’s a problem with the battery. You should consider getting the phone repaired or replaced.

TheErks
4 months ago

This helped me, thank you much!!!

Admin
Liam Shotwell
4 months ago
Reply to  TheErks

I’m glad you got your iPhone charging again! 😃

Lucía
4 months ago

I’m very frustrated with my lightning cable because i bought it some months ago, it’s original so i paid a lot and it broke without a reason. I take care of it as if it was a new born baby, i would treat it kindlier than the way i treat myself and yet it broke down. It doesn’t have physical damage, nothing visible, so that’s what pisses me off the most. The worst part is that it gets connected, but doesn’t charge, I’ve plugged it into the wall and the computer, there’s the sign that shows the phone is charging… Read more »

Shiii
4 months ago

OK so my iPhone 6 won’t charge but the charger works on my tablet and my sisters phone how can I fix it

Mel Santos
4 months ago

Tried the DFU. Everything looked okay, but right after the “your phone has been restored to factory setting and is now restarting … “ I’ve been waiting for almost an hour now, but nothing is happening.
ill try to leave it overnight and see what happens tomorrow morning.

Talana
5 months ago

I had to get a replacement phone because my mom accidentally dropped it in water, and I got the replacement a few days before thanksgiving (iPhone 6s) and it worked fine for a day, I charged it that night and it worked fine, but once the battery went down by the end of that day I went to plug it in, and when I tried to plug it in again it wouldn’t charge, and it was fully dead so I can’t reset it or anything, I even kept it plugged in for three days to see if it would do… Read more »

Bae
5 months ago

My iPhone 7plus was totally dead now coz it’s not charging..I don’t think I can follow your steps… Are there any ways to fix this on my own?

Admin
Liam Shotwell
5 months ago
Reply to  Bae

If you have tried all the steps in this article, including using different charging cables, adapters, and sockets, then it sounds like there was something wrong with your battery. Explore your repair options first. However, it might be more worth it to you to upgrade to a new device. In the long run, it might cost you less money to get a new phone than it will to continue paying to have your old phone fixed. UpPhone’s cell phone comparison tool can help you pick a phone that’s right for you.

Collins
5 months ago

My iPhone7 plus won’t turn on or charge, please what is the reason why?

Maybel
6 months ago

Well I don’t get what they are talking about?

Eva
6 months ago

Hi, so I have an iphone 7 plus and it has work fine til march, it doesn’t want to charge. They have change the battery and the charging port and still nothing. Can it still be fix? Should they be looking for something else? Please help, I don’t want to buy a new phone 🙁

stanley
6 months ago

cannot hold charge iphone 6,and cannot stay on without being plugged

Nicole
6 months ago

My daughter has an iphone 6s. The battery was changed a few months ago. Today it will not charge I have tried several iphone chargers and cleaned the port. The phone is dead so I cant try to reset it. What can be done?

chase
6 months ago

so whenever i get a new charger itll work for a couple weeks then the charger part that you put in the iphone starts to look burnt and stop working

Random
7 months ago

My phone dies even when it’s charging and the next minute I take the plug off it still dies less than a minute.

Admin
Liam Shotwell
7 months ago
Reply to  Random

The problem could be caused by several issues. Your cable and adapter may not have enough power to charge your device. You’ll have to get new ones. Do you use a lightning connector or USB-C? There may not be enough power from the outlet you are using. Try using a different outlet and see if that helps. There may be something wrong with your phone’s battery. In that case, I recommend seeing if you can get the battery replaced. If the phone is older than a few years, you’re definitely better off getting a new device. It will cost less… Read more »

Shadin Hamada
7 months ago

hello,
my iPhone8 won’t turn on or charge after I downloaded the IOS 14 and it gives me iPhone cannot determine battery health, then run out of power.
please help me

Omolara
7 months ago

Hi David, I ve tried severally to power my iphone 6s but to no avail, pls what else can I do?

Jeremy
7 months ago

i got my phone to turn back on but now it’s acting right funny, it won’t hold a charge and only seems to charge up when I’m using it if I shut it off and leave it it dies

Lawri
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy

Same here!

liam
7 months ago
Reply to  Lawri

same

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