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

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

Know This Before You Begin

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

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

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

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

iPhone software decides when to charge your iPhone

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

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

Wireless Charging: A Temporary Fix

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

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

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

How To Fix An iPhone That Won’t Charge

1. Hard Reset Your iPhone

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

How To Hard Reset Your iPhone

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, X, SE 2, and newer models 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 iPhone X) until the Apple logo appears on the display, and then let go.

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

Hard Reset iPhone

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

2. Check Your Lightning Cable For Damage

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

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

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

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

Don’t forget about your iPhone’s warranty!

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

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

3rd-party cables can charge iPhone charging problems

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

High quality, less-expensive cables do exist!

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

3. Try A Different iPhone Charger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dealing with liquid damage

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

5. Put Your iPhone Into DFU Mode And Restore

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

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

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

6. Repair Your iPhone

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

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

iPhone Charging Again!

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

About Author

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

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Gloria Williams Tran
5 years ago

I just did step one, and it started charging again! Thanks for great advice!

Teresa Schwingel
5 years ago

Thanks a million! Brushing out the port fixed my problem!!! You’re a lifesaver! Whoop! Whoop!

Jasdeep Singh
5 years ago


Atharva Fadnis
5 years ago

My phone would’t charge at times & it would in a jiffy otherwise. I have discovered that it’s the IOS uprgade which has made my phone ‘Obsolutele’. Since the hardware is in top condition, the only issue has to be the software which Apple releases to weed out the older models in circulation. It’s an unfair practice, we all agree but there’s no solution around it. We just gotta succumb to the pressure and buy new phones periodically.

Susan Williams
5 years ago


Aaliyah Jacobs
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan Williams

Hi, my phone is doing the same thing at the moment. Did you manage to find a way to fix it?

William Ford
5 years ago

After trying three different charging cables (and blocks), I knew that my problem had to be with the phone itself. Sure enough, all I needed to do was clean out the charging port.
Thank you!

Paul Burch
5 years ago

Just did the hard reset and the phones now charging. Great advice.

Arvind Dhavala
5 years ago

Thank you very much . May god bless you. You solved my problem. Thanks again

Syrine Baccar
5 years ago

my phone is already dead i didn’t think there was an issue until it actually died and wouldn’t charge again i tried different cables plugged it to my computer nothing i noticed when my phone was still on that it seems to be charging you know the small lightening bult on the upper right corner but instead of going higher it went fromm 22% to 2% in 3 minutes

Donna Jones
5 years ago

Thanks David – really helpful!

Sandra Heading
5 years ago

Very helpful thankyou for writing all this 🙂

5 years ago

Hey Anne, what app did you use plz? Thanks

Kathleen Henderson
5 years ago

Just wanted to say thank you for being here. My iPhone wouldn’t charge yesterday and I came in from work last night thinking it was probably needing a new battery but googled it. Thankfully I came across your site and read a bit then powered off the phone, powered it back up and success! I was so pleased and so relieved, so thank you again.

Colin Hamel
5 years ago

If anyone can solve my problem pls tell me
Ive had 3 apple devices and they all had one common issue after a while.
They all stopped wanting to get charged and ONLY when i switched out the cable it would work again. But the old cable would still work on other phones.
This is probably apple’s way to scam some money off of people.

5 years ago

Thanks, David. You’re the apple we deserve. They should give you money to make their customers happy.

5 years ago

This fixed my problem, I had tried all i could think of but it was simply a system error! Thanks mate, very useful and easy to understand

Jeff Moise
5 years ago

how does it work?

Gerry Howe
5 years ago

David – THANK YOU! Major panic over thanks to reading your article. This has now happened twice on my iPhone 6 and each time the same remedy has saved the day. i.e. get the gunk out of the charging socket with a toothbrush! This time I had forgotten the toothbrush bit – I knew it was the charging socket after swapping cables etc., and I bought a can of compressed air and blew it down the socket – no good! It was a cheap and cheerful – AND DRY ! – toothbrush that saved the day. Thank you again David… Read more »

5 years ago

bingo hard reset worked – thank you so much!

Mubashir Hussain
5 years ago

It is a very helpful article. It saved both my time and money. Thanks mate

Xeng Vang
5 years ago

You saved my life!! I was scared to death because my phone won’t charge but I restart it like you said and it work. Thank you

Traci S
5 years ago

My husband’s iPhone 6 stopped charging. As he always carries it in his pocket, I turned it off and very gently used a pair of tweezers (probably not the best idea) to remove 4 large clumps of lint. Problem solved.

Petra Loreen
5 years ago

Thanks for your help.

Laura Parsensen
5 years ago

Thank you!

John Smith
5 years ago

Thank you just fixed the problem.

5 years ago

omg thanks! “fixed” my iphone before I even finished reading #1. THANKS A MILLION. Thought my phone was gone for good!

5 years ago

When I took my bricked phone to apple, they told me the charging port was ruined and that I was just Sh*t outta luck and needed to replace it. Since then, I see it’s NOT and there are options to replace the charging port, and for hopefully about $100 bucks… Which is far less than replacing the phone through the carrier OR the apple store.

Thanks for the information.

George Reitsma
5 years ago

The toothbrush did the trick! Thanks for the advice. I knew it had to be the port but I wasn’t sure the smartest way to clean it. Blowing and digging in there with a wire wasn’t doing much good.

Sara Makahleh
5 years ago

Im having a problem where my iphone sometimes charages and at other times it doesn’t, when I plug it into a computer, the computer doesn’t recognize the phone attached to it yet it does say that a USB is attached, yet my phone still wont charge

Patricia Loreen
5 years ago

Thank you a lot!

John Smith
5 years ago

Thanks man.

Ella Lener
5 years ago

Thank you, just fixed the problem.

5 years ago

My Iphone 6 wouldn’t charge. I tried your trick regarding holding down the power button and the home button down at the same time and it worked! Thank you so much. I thought something had gone wrong with the port or I needed a new battery. My phone is now charging.

Ann Rg
5 years ago

I replaced my Iphone 6 screen and it did turn on, everything was working as usual but then I ran out of battery and it died, and after that it won’t charge.

Tim Mason
5 years ago

Hard reset did the trick for me, thanks.

5 years ago

hi, i’m from the Bahamas and don’t have any apple places to go to. I had my iPhone 5s for about a month and a half after awhile (after i updated my software) I’ve had the problem of charging my phone because the phone would often say that the charger is not a supporter. My phone died about two days ago and i took it to a repair store down here but hey told me that the battery nor the charger port is the problem. They didn’t know what else to do, can someone please help me !?!?

Shavonne Morain
5 years ago

Thanks David, I’ll be sure to “payette” forward! My iPhone 6s fell in the sink while I was listening to music with my air plugs in and washing a few mason jars. I quickly pulled it out, but it appeared to late. The screen color changed to very faint and pale with white lines up and down while flashing. I removed the phone form it’s case, took out the sim card and put the phone in a jar of rice. Several hours later it came back on perfectly. The screen was completely fine, with vivid colors and no traces of… Read more »

Betty Lyttle
5 years ago

Wow. Thank you so much. I’m really stressed about my iPhone 6s. it’s been “throwing fits” with charging. I have an external battery and thought the connection between the two was the problem. Through trial and error I realized it was the phone. I bought my phone outright ($700 ) and purchased a square trade warranty in November, 2015. I contacted square trade for a replacement and was told the phone is covered by the 1 year warranty from apple (which makes me wonder why a warranty is offered during the first year of ownership if a phone is covered… Read more »

5 years ago

OMfg thank you!! I did this and it came back on w/ 100% battery

akhil kumar
5 years ago

my iphone is not charging instead it gives that it is charging and it remains only 15% someone help

Don Corleone
5 years ago

Thanks a lot dude. My adapter didn’t go all the way in for some reason and I had to keep pushing in order to makenit charge. After that I used a pin to scrup some stuff out, I didn’t find anything inside it but I could plug it in succesfully. Sadly enough charging didn’t work, so I did the reset thing like you said and now it’s 100% working, thanks!

izzy Robson
5 years ago

Hello, My i ph wont charge and i tried the “30” second thing but when you press the lock button it comes up with the low battery sign and charger cable ive plugged it in numerous places and the cable it brand new and was working fine. What do i need to do?

Luis Rueda
5 years ago

I have an iPhone 6. it didn’t charge and so didn’t start at all. I tried all these tricks. I even tried heating it up with a hair dryer for a few minutes, several times. It didn’t start. It was under warranty and took it to apple, but they said it’s not covered because the phone has some bumps. The phone was intact and there were only minor scratches in the phone. Apple only replaced the phone after paying 400 bucks. Shame on apple. You may try the hair dryer trick — it may work for you if you are… Read more »

5 years ago

For thepast few months my iphone battery has been really crazy. Sometimes it is on 1% for about 1-2 hours or its on 100% and then 5 minutes later its dead. I have to charge it several times a day and the charge never lasts long. Now I woke up this morning and my phone is out of charge so naturally i put it on the charger and starts to charge but an hour it still says its out of battery but thats its charging i tried a hard reset but it still doesn’t work.

5 years ago

I did the hard reboot and it solved my problem

Stephen Haynes
5 years ago

I was getting ready to buy a new phone! Did the hard reset as stated, and the problem is solved. You saved me a pretty chunk of change. Thanks man.

5 years ago

I have an iPhone 6s. My phone battery had died and wouldn’t charge. I tried different outlets and chargers. Nothing. So I googled to see what can be done. I came across your website and tried the hard reset. Thankfully, it worked. Phew! I was beginning to panic! I just saved myself embarrassment and gas! Thank you so much! 🙂

5 years ago

my iphone 5 is off and it says that it is charging but wont turn on , i bought a new charger and still isnt working .what should i doo?

joe catalano
5 years ago
Reply to  haaris

i have the same problem. i got it to turn on and charge fully at an outlet but the problem was the outlet wasn’t in my house, it was in public. sometimes it works in the car as well. it doesn’t work for me in my house tho. i would try different outlets and car charging ports and see how it works

Emily Marie Antipala
5 years ago

this is very 2% my bat is dying and i just had the same problem..turned out a hard reset is all that i need, meaning a software crash. thanks heaps man!

5 years ago

Thanks a lot for the simple toothbrush tip! it saved me 🙂

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