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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Sanasam Dayarani
5 years ago

Thanks a billion I tried one of your suggestion and it worked. Youre toooooo god

Jens Langer
5 years ago

Thanks. The hard reset fixed my iPhone 6S charging issue.

Mario Bandal
5 years ago

absolutely fantastic article. I have read numerous articles on how to get the iPhone charging again and not a single one worked. Guys, this one will work. David is the real master

Molly C Miller
5 years ago

Came here after the PULS guy refused to fix the charging issue with my husband’s phone, insisted it was a problem with the new battery we had installed. I let him login to my iPad and now *it* stopped charging too… on the same brand new, highly rated power cord that charges my phone just fine. No one mentioned a software issue at all until our fourth attempt at hardware repair and the PULS guy was unbelievably terse and unhelpful. Thanks for the good info, maybe not the best referral though.

Kitty Dunn
5 years ago

At 82 I’m about as dumb as they come but tried the first idea and it WORKED. Thanks so much.

Monique Allen
5 years ago

THANK YOU DAVID

Biž Žhû
5 years ago

In my case,Hard reset works like a magic. It has fully charges my iphone but only for once. So I have figured it out; Its a simple software problem. I have done no.5 “Put Your iPhone Into DFU Mode And Restore” and It works. Thank You!

Alice Bottrill Watercolour Art
5 years ago

Thanks David the tooth brush did the trick.

Chelsea Parsons
5 years ago

My phone wont charge or even show the battery sign

Lynn Tanner
5 years ago

I used a toothbrush, and then my 12 year old sucked on it. Then it changed. Thank you

Sal Spaltro
5 years ago

Thank you ! You saved me the cost of a new phone. I was going to buy one this morning when I decided to give this site a chance. Thank ,Thank you again !

Irene García Muñoz
5 years ago

Great. You saved me 🙂

Nancy Mindes
5 years ago

Got a new battery for my 6 S was doing fine but today after a couple of month. Discharging. Tried a hard reset and the cable is fine. I think it is just time for a new phone so that is what I did. Hope everyone has better luch

Alejandro Tamargo
5 years ago

I tried everything from steps 1-4, so then wanted to try Step 5, the DFU restore, and even watched your video on it. The problem is, with my phone not taking a charge, that means it is also not recognized by my MAC, or my Itunes, and the DFU restore depends on the phone showing up in your iTunes. So then what?

Ashlekha Jain
5 years ago

Hi David
I updated my i6 with latest iOS ..was working fine till last night ..morning it was dead so kept on charging .not charging tried all options cables ..port cleaning even DFU but it is not coming up 🙁

Sonia Barnes Stevenson
5 years ago

d in so much i cant even flippin spell !

Sonia Barnes Stevenson
5 years ago

harge help I stupidly had my iPhone 6 in my back pocet and sat on a hand break in a van I know I know please don’t say it I will irresponsible behaviour ithen noticed top of screen was cracked ok could fix that was still working BUT this morning bat died says its charging but wont hold the charge tried diff chargers even let a shop try I bought it second hand with 2 yr warranty I can get screen fixed go back with warranty an tell them theres a prob b4 I pay out can they fix it… Read more »

Debbie Avis
5 years ago

Thanks, the reset brought my phone back to life!

Emily Mays
5 years ago

Thanks!!

Rhys Lennox
5 years ago

ta honey 🙂

Nellie Galyauv
5 years ago

It works! I mean pressing the buttons and making hard reset. Thank you very much!

Mohd Sahrum
5 years ago

Absolutely helpful. Thank you Sir.

Brian Dumigan
5 years ago

Brilliant fix thanks a million

Charina Vidal
5 years ago

i feel better with this thank you so much…

Olah Mba
5 years ago

good day all
please my iphone5 is charging but not powering on
whats the problem please need help ASAP

Trish Tylim
5 years ago

Thank you. My phone is now charging!!!

Jboy Quavo
6 years ago

wow this waz very helpfull i just fixed my
iphone by myself thenks very much.

Janelle Walter
6 years ago

Non of these worked for me.

Sheri Helseth
6 years ago

Did everything and still not charging, took it to Apple store. He said hes not sure what is wrong with it. Ill try calling Apple and see if its under warranty. It quit working on a Friday and my 7( this is a 6) was coming to my house on Monday. Changed carriers and thought I would upgrade, upset because I wanted to sell it, hard to sell when it wont turn on. I dont think its under warranty still, any suggestions? Can I sell it somewhere if it doesnt work?

Tim Formosa
6 years ago

Your toothbrush tip just saved me $1000 and a lot of daily frustration; thanks!

Janice Jordan
6 years ago

whew–what a life saver! many thanks for sharing your knowledge about the frozen blank screen on my iphone 6!

Sheri Cater
6 years ago

Thanks so much for posting! The first step ( reset) worked for me

Kevin Smith
6 years ago

Hard reset did the trick! Thanks for the great advice!

Jennifer Easton
6 years ago

Perfect thank you

Lynn Spinella Pagans
6 years ago

So, I updated the most recent iOS 11 last night, and had no problems with the phone. This morning I wake up and its dead. I tried three different cables, different chargers, everything -nothing works. I thought I needed a new battery for sure or needed to do the complete reset and start over. But just for the heck of it I decided to try and clean the charging port… A teeny speck or two of lint came out. I plugged it in, and lo and behold, I heard the chime! Thank you!!!

Gemma Hazlewood
6 years ago

Perfect, thank you!

Mark Louie Tadem Ajoc
6 years ago

can u please help me.. if I turn off the iphone and plug the charger, it will display the logo and then it will turn on.. but the battery is not charging, no charging sign..how to fix it?

Kiera Tottenham
6 years ago

oh thank god my iphone will be okay! Such a lifesaver

Eric Tomalewski
6 years ago

I found that using a small bungee cord and pushing the charger in with a little force gets mine going 🙂 the bungee cord keeps the small amount of pressure to charge it sucks but it is what it is
Your friend Eric

Dona Nazareth
6 years ago

My Hubby’s phone was on charge all night, and when he picked it up this morning to use it, it had no charge at all, and refused to start up. I tried the hard reset as you mentioned and it din’t work. I hadn’t read your whole article as we had errands to run, but deep down I knew there were options to bring it back to life that iphone 6Plus. He was upset all through our errands… so I came back home to read thee rest of your article and Boom, came to the toothbrush part, and cleaned it… Read more »

Laura Echevarria
6 years ago

So yesterday I was using my iPhone 7plus and everything was fine,the battery was at 1% so I put it to charge the phone die and was not taking any charge we tryed using different chargers and nothing but sometimes u see the red battery sign and the connector sign on the screen but not charge at all the screen totally black,this morning I went to iPhone fix in Tampa and this guy came and open my iPhone and after 5 min came out and told me the screen cable was broken inside and that was the problem,honestly to me… Read more »

Barry Delano
6 years ago

Held both buttons on my I6 and presto, back to life! Thank you so much!

David W. Eastridge
6 years ago

help,,, a iPhone 6 that drains the battery, even with a new battery,,, have to keep the phone on a charger all the time ,,,,,,, any ideas????

Phil Gray-Bimpson
6 years ago

Yo David

Thank you for saving my phone with your great advice.
Peace and love from Liverpool England. Phil Bimpson

Nemo Kcirreh
6 years ago

I have a cable that wont charge my phone but i know it still works for my friends phone

Wesley Gish
6 years ago

That was very thorough, I was using cheap charging cords on my old iPhone 5 . I hope my port isn’t damaged. Just wanted to compliment you on a very cohesive and concise, understandable and well ordered delivery of instruction and information.

Sat Kaur
6 years ago

thank you so much!!!

Alexandra Roldan
6 years ago

Please help. I’ve tried the tooth brush trick and it didn’t work. I’ve resetted my phone already, and have updated to the latest software. I’ve also tried several different chargers, and only one worked and my phone currently charges only on that “one” cable. What should I do?

Luis Echenique
6 years ago

The toothbrush trick did it on my 12 y/o daughter’s phone, and tragedy was averted. From all the options, that was the simplest. THANKS!

Tom Lo
6 years ago

Restarting does work. It is unbellievable

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