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.
Table Of Contents
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!
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
|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!
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.
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.
If you plug a non-MFi charging cable into your iPhone, you may see a message that says, “This accessory may not be supported.”
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.
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:
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.
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.
Okay this is going to be a rare case for you to solve. My iPhone 6s Plus will not charge at all. I have bought two new chargers. I have cleaned the charging port in the phone, no go.
Hi there, I’ve been having problems with my iPhone 6+. Over the last 2 – 3 months it seems that the charging cable moves about in the charging port and l have to move it about before it starts charging. Normally it will start charging but over the last couple of times I’ve had to hold it manually in the port and keep it there to charge. I wondered if Its possible to get the charging port replaced. Can you please give me your advice? I live in Scotland.
You may also try a wireless charger if you have an iPhone 8 or later.
Not a bad idea, Judah!
Brilliant, Judah! I hadn’t thought of trying that! I set my iPhone XR on my wife’s wireless charger and it began charging immediately. None of the other fixes worked. Thank you so much.
My iPod Touch 6 won’t charge at all unless i do a hard reset every time. I’ve had it for over 4 years now this is the first time I’m having this problem. Earlier, I found some black gunk in the charging port when I cleaned it. Another site said something inside might have burned. Is it worth a repair? What else can i do to resolve this?
Hi Ezra! First, I’d suggest trying a different charger and charging cable. If your iPod Touch starts charging, then the problem was your old cable!
If you’re interested in having your iPod repaired, here’s a link to a page on Apple’s website about their iPod Services: https://support.apple.com/ipod/repair/service/pricing
It’s entirely up to you whether you think investing in the repair cost is worth it! Hope this helps!
I had tried all of your hints to get my 6s phone to charge before I encountered your site. BUT NOT THE NEW TOOTHBRUSH TIP. Worked like a charm. Thank you so very much for sharing your wisdom! BTW, I just purchased an SE phone to replace my old one and with my AT&T service I got it for .99cents!!!
I managed to get my Iphone 5 to start charging again using DFU update after trying everything else. But battery runs down quickly so it may be at end of its life unloess I want to buy a new battery for it. Anyway I feel more comfortable junking it after having done a reset to wipe the phone clean. Thanks
My iphone 6 battery is about toast. But today it would not charge at all, tried to charge it for 8 hours. No luck, all I got was battery icon. I thought of one last trick. I heated back of phone with blow dryer, tried charging again, bingo. It turned back on. tomorrow I will get new phone and transfer data. careful with the heat! Fred
Hi Fred, I’m glad you were able to find a solution for your problem! However, we’d recommend against using a blow dryer on your charging port in the future. The air pressure can cause debris and liquid to get lodged deeper into your iPhone and cause more problems. As you observed, and heat isn’t great for the device either! Good luck with the new phone!
My iPhone 7 won’t charge at all but it has no water damage.
hi Aaliyah, have you tried performing a hard reset on your iPhone? This can get rid of a lot of small software problems. To do this, press and hold the power button and volume down button until the Apple logo shows up on your screen. Once you see the Apple logo, let go of both buttons and give your iPhone a minute to turn back on. Once it powers on, try plugging it into a charger and see if that does the trick. Hope this helps!
My old trustworthy iphone 6 wont charge now and have cleaned out the port. Only shows a black screen with red bar. Tried to do a hard reset to no avail. What can I do? Need to retrieve some precious photos. Any suggestions appreciated. Many thanks
Hi Cecilia, these problems are beyond what we can troubleshoot over the internet. I would recommend doing a Google search for “iPhone Data Recovery Service”. Avoid downloading or purchasing any software. We recommend reaching out to a local iPhone data recovery service and speaking to someone to ask what they can do.
I had similar frustration and after trying everything else, I put the phone (Apple XR) on a wireless charger and it charged up right away…as the various cables and charging blocks that I tried DO work on other devices, I can only assume it’s an issue with the charging port. Props to “Judah da boi” for the suggestion.
My iPhone x Says its charging i but keeps on charging the percent doesn’t go up its been dead now the battery it for sure right and good percentage hard reset doesn’t work changed chargers still nothing i was working in the morning when i woke up but now it dead
Hi Jason! I’d suggest trying to carefully clean out your iPhone’s charging port. Sometimes, dust and other gunk can get trapped in the Lightning port and prevent an iPhone from charging. To clean your charging port, we recommend using an unused toothbrush and lightly brushing out the inside of the port. If you try this, do not use anything metal / anything that could conduct electricity, as this can damage the charging port even further. We also recommend against using something like a toothpick, as they can break apart and splinters can get stuck in the port as well. Hope… Read more »
Hello, i have an iPhone 8 and after using it in water it stopped charging. I tried all the tricks in your article except repairing it and it still doesn’t charge, although the wireless charging still works. Also, when I connect my phone to my MacBook with the USB port, it understands a device is connected but does not charge it. At first it charged it for only 1 percent before stopping, but now it does not charge at all. (I tried with multiple apple chargers)
Unfortunately, it sounds like your iPhone has retained some water damage. We actually have an article with everything you need to know about water damaged iPhones. Here’s the link: https://www.payetteforward.com/iphone-water-damage-ultimate-guide-how-to-fix-liquid-damage/
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!
I’m glad that we were able to help you out! Thanks for stopping by the site! ?
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.
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.
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
Did you get an MFI certified iPhone charger?
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!
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?
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 !
Thank you ..The toothbrush seems to work:)
BTW.. Used a brand new toothbrush:)
hi my i phone 7 plus keeps detoriating the charger cable is it issue with the charging port ?
Is changing charging port expensive ?
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.
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
This article I’m linking you to might be able to help you if your iPhone 8 won’t charge. I hope this helps! ?
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.
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!
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
You might need to explore your repair or upgrade options. Also, check out our article about to hard reset an iPhone X.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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?
Well….It WAS working but now it’s not.
I’m seeing INSTANT results!! Thank yoy
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 »
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.
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 »
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!
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
Hard Reset worked for me, thank you!
Helped getting it charged 100% but will not stay charged for very long. Then I have to hard reset again.
Sounds like there’s a problem with the battery. You should consider getting the phone repaired or replaced.
This helped me, thank you much!!!
I’m glad you got your iPhone charging again! ?
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 »
OK so my iPhone 6 won’t charge but the charger works on my tablet and my sisters phone how can I fix it
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.
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 »
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?
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.
My iPhone7 plus won’t turn on or charge, please what is the reason why?
Well I don’t get what they are talking about?
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 🙁
cannot hold charge iphone 6,and cannot stay on without being plugged
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?
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
My phone dies even when it’s charging and the next minute I take the plug off it still dies less than a minute.
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 »
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
Hi David, I ve tried severally to power my iphone 6s but to no avail, pls what else can I do?
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