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.

iphone wont charge fix youtube thumbnail

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

Phone How To Hard Reset
iPhone 6S, SE, and older models Press 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 Plus Press 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 & Newer There 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 iPhones with Face ID) 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 make 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, third-party iPhone charging 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.

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.

The important thing to look for is a Made For iPhone (MFi) label on the box. MFi is essentially Apple’s seal of approval — it’s an accessory that meets Apple’s software and hardware requirements.

Made for iPhone MFi-certified logo

If you plug a non-MFi charging cable into your iPhone, you may see a message that says, “This accessory may not be supported.”

this accessory may not be supported by iphone

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.)

Tip: 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 fixing a hardware problem.

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.

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Joe Cooly
6 years ago

Class action lawsuit is what we really need

Vicki Tippets
6 years ago

THANK YOU!!!! It is 2am and I couldn’t sleep because when I looked at my phone before going to bed, the screen was black !!!!! I plugged it in and nothing happened!! I tried to sleep, but ended up worrying that I had lost a lot of valuable pictures, so I went to the computer and plugged it in, still nothing!! Luckily I found your valuable site on Google and went through the steps you gave!! All I can say is Thank You!! I didn’t know that a hard reset on the Iphone 7 was different than I had always… Read more »

Gerald Kent
6 years ago

I have found that applying wd 40 to end of lightening cable and wiping dry then another application leaving connector moist insert into phone turning back to front acouple of times then wiping dry sometimes does the trick

Meike J Murone
6 years ago

THANKS!!! Verizon didn’t even try to help me – they just told me I needed to buy a new phone!! There was junk in the charging port 🙂 all charged up now!!! AWESOME

Michelle Dinelle
6 years ago

Thx so much. #1 solved my issue. I’ll be sure and keep this page handy.

Peter Fynney
6 years ago

Tried all above, only fix for me unfortunately was a DFU, iPhone 6 now charges, but got the big job ahead to reinstall everything, saved my ass that I dont need the expense of buying a new iPhone, thanks for all your help excellent guide.

Hazel Holden
6 years ago

Thank you so much your advice was spot on

Jamie Guidry
6 years ago

I just got me another I phone it was dead when I got it I am u as ing one ofy old charges its not charging when ivhold volume down and home button they show Lita lightning on my screen would that mean there’s something wrong with my charger please help thanks.

Adam Addison
6 years ago

Your awesome thanks. mine is a 5s started not charging like usual after the last IOS update. Took the step and it’s charging again. It must be the software. Just to be safe I uninstall my apps and reinstalled them. Will update after a few complete charges to let y’all know if it is still charging.

Lou Bader
6 years ago

I followed your advice, changed my cable & socket adapter and it’s charging like a champ! Thanks much. I was afraid I’d have to buy a new phone buy my iPhone 6 Plus is charging great. Many thanks!!!

Bruce Burgeson
6 years ago

Your first suggestion (a hard start) solved my problem with my iphone6,

Julie Giles
6 years ago

Phew – thank you so much!

Marcela Estrella
6 years ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Solved my charging problem.

Julian Barraclough
6 years ago


Michael Gordon
6 years ago

Fixed my black screen, wouldnt charge all nite did the hard reset and its fixed the problem! Thankyou v much, Saved me a from a long drive to the city

Dawn OConnell
6 years ago

I found that my iphone6 only charges when I plug the USB into the power supply after I have connected the cable to the phone. Took a while for me to realise why charging seemed temperamental.

Kevin Harvey
6 years ago

my iphone 6 wont actually turn on during a charge. instead it just loads up to the apple logo and then turns off
any idea whats wrong with it and how to fix it? please and thank you in advance.

Peter Clark
6 years ago

Many thanks David – my phones up and running again! 🙂

Ellanti Murali
6 years ago

Very informative

Grace Rueda
6 years ago

Thank you this was very helpful! I also have a question on updates I heard that with older models when you keep updating it slows down your phone and it won’t work right?

Paul Murphy
6 years ago

David, just home from work to be told by partner that her i5 won’t charge! Que panic as she thought she lost all photos of our child.
I googled help and followed your instructions for a hard reset end bingo!!!!
Thanks for the advice!
Much appreciated

Judy Cairns
6 years ago

Thanks for your help

Michael Ramsey
6 years ago

I have a 6 that was used 2 months then restored to factory settings after upgrade to 7 and turned off the 6 and put away. Got 6 back out to sell it and wont turn on. Used different chargers, both original Apple, tried restarting, have it plugged into laptop now, nothing. Any suggestions?

Mona Hariri
6 years ago

I was starting to panic. Thank you!

Liana Dagmar
6 years ago

Thank you~

Angela O'Hearn
6 years ago

Omg thank you! I had tried the hard reset but never knew it could take up to 20 seconds. After nearly 10, it worked! I have never held it down that long until hearing it from you. You’re the best, thanks! 🙂

Madison Brown
6 years ago

I have one question that wasn’t answered
My daughter spilt root beer on my phone and it completely stopped working. However I put it in a bag of
Rice and 24 hours later, it would charge until it was turned on but once it’s on, it stops charging. Is there any explaining this?

Debbie Templeton
6 years ago

Thank you so much for this information. My iphone charger cord fell in an empty cappicino coffee cup. I did not notice that there was still some residue in the cup that got on the phone cord as I removed it from the cup. I plugged the charger into my phone and the iphone charging port got milk, coffee, chocolate and etc on it. The phone went dead and would not charge. I followed all the advice on this website and cleaned out the port with a toothbrush, blew compressed air and picked out the little pieces with a pin.… Read more »

Logan Brown
6 years ago

My phone will charge to 1 to 2% then lose power in about thirty seconds if its running I tried all your-steps but still won’t change resetting it just kills the battery restoring it from iTunes it tells me error 4013 happened

Logan Brown
6 years ago

My phone will charge to 1 to 2% then lose power in about thirty seconds if its running I tried all your-steps but still won’t change resetting it just kills the battery restoring it from iTunes it tells me error 4013 happened

Anna Morales
6 years ago

when im phone is on it doesn’t charge but when i shut it down its start charging. is there a problem with my phone?

Jennifer Maier
6 years ago

This is the best article on a specific problem, diagnosis and fix for an iPhone problem I’ve ever read. I like the simple, specific instructions. The explanations helped me understand WHY certain fixes didn’t work so I knew what to look for. This is basic stuff… if you know it. I sometimes get stuck on the basics and it was nice that I didn’t have to look for several forums to piece things together. What a relief!

Can you please write the next iPhone For Dummies book!!!

Todd Huhtanen
6 years ago

Thank you for the advice!! My iPhone 6 seemed dead and wouldn’t charge. The hard reset fixed the issue!

Matthew McTavish
6 years ago

Thanks, the toothbrush removed a bit of gunk and all was fine. I was getting quite worried.

Julie Gamelin
6 years ago

My iPhone will only charge when shut off. How do I fix this? When plugged in when on I get this message This accessory may not be supported

Hayden Gab
6 years ago


Lisa Berniece Bean
6 years ago

David THANKS a MILLION for rescuing my non-charging iPhone 6!! After thinking that I was going to have to rush out tomorrow to an Apple Store in order to but a new phone I am super pleased to report that my phone is now speedily charging after I followed your advice. The lightning symbol on my phone had showed that it was charging but the % kept falling. So I tried a hard reset like you suggested which didn’t rectify the problem. Then I tried my charging cable in another iPhone and it worked but when I put the cable… Read more »

Kate Lee
6 years ago

thanks, brushing out the charging port solved the problem.

Keith Townsend Jr.
6 years ago

I just moved my phone cover a bit because I guess a new cable i was using wasn’t long enough on the tip to charge. Not the most convienent but I thought I would just post in case in helps. Pun intended.

6 years ago

Just tried the “hard reset” you suggested on my son’s i-Phone; looks like that may have done the trick. Thanks so MUCH!

Максим Кармалинский
6 years ago

Just f*** Apple.

Rick Stokes
6 years ago

Thanks for the useful, well-written info.

David Kelln
6 years ago

Thanks, I needed that.

Megan Jonas
6 years ago

my iphone 6s plus is horriable. I have repkaced it 5x since bjying it in january of 2015. I go threw apple chargers(yes even apple chargers monthy) iv nvr gotten it wet either but the last time was about 6 months ago and I paid 399.00 at apple to replace it cause yet agin it wouldnt charge. I keep having these issues and it went dead and it says its charging but its been on that red battery sign for over 2hrs now! what do i do? my bf went to go get a new cord but im so tired… Read more »

Raymond Getzlaf
6 years ago

Won’t enough power to do checks anymore

Elizabeth Stacey
6 years ago

It charges to 100percent but next minute it’s a blank screen, not working at all. Plug back into charger it says 93% ??? Any ideas? Thanks

Amaro Vieira
6 years ago

Thanks for the advice. I used the toothbrush and it is working.

Cindy Johnson
6 years ago

I think what happened to mine is that I bought a little fan that plugs into the USB port area of the phone. As soon as it kicked on, it went back off. I think that stupid fan ruined the port some how. NOw it won’t charge – so none of these options are going to help me. I guess I am going to have to go to apple!

Imsopangla Ao
6 years ago

Thanks a very helpful article. I was able to fix my phone by doing the hard reset.

Jake Fox
6 years ago

the only thing ive found that will charge my i6 is one of thoes power hit disposable battery packs.. the only problem is it will only charge to around 10% on that so ive had to work out a way to charge these disposable chargers (easy as they have a 500mha lithium bat hope this helps

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