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Why isn’t my phone charging? Top tips for iPhone and Android users

In this guide, we look at the question why isn't my phone charging? And try to offer a variety of solutions for both iOS and android users

Why isn't my phone charging - a thinking face in front of a iPhone

One of the most frustrating issues that you can face as a smartphone owner is when you go to charge it and for some reason it’s not working. Usually, if you’re plugging your phone in to charge, it’s because it’s about to run out of battery or it already has, so you need to fix it and fast. Luckily, we’ve put together our top tips for both iPhone and Android users below on how to breathe life back into your phone.

We can’t promise a miracle cure, and if all else fails, your phone might have to head in for a service. But before we leap to that conclusion, it’s worth following our tried-and-tested methods of getting that phone charging again from trying different cables, turning it on and off again, or rebooting into safe mode to rule out any untrusted third-party apps lurking in your software – used alongside our how to delete apps on iPhone guide.

We’ll jump into the iPhone first, but you can find Android further down in our why isn’t my phone charging guide.

Without further ado, here’s our suggestions for what to do when your phone isn’t charging.

An iPhone charging

Why isn’t my iPhone charging?

Take a look at our top tips below on how to go about troubleshooting the problem, from what it could be to how to fix it.

  • Turn it off and on again

It may sound simple and maybe even silly, but sometimes hardware just needs a reboot to kick it back into action.

  • Check your iPhone’s charging port

Admit it, your iPhone comes pretty much everywhere with you and oftentimes, this can include your pocket, bag, car, bed, and anywhere in between. These places can cause the port to become clogged with unwanted dust and dirt. Give it a quick blow, try gently with a toothpick or other thin soft object, and see if you can clear any debris in the way.

  • Try a different cable

Sometimes cables just stop working either through wear and tear or from constant use. It might be time to purchase a new one, and if you bought a third-party one before, maybe it’s time to invest in Apple’s own stock or a different brand.

  • Try charging it elsewhere

You might be used to plugging it into your laptop or PC, but maybe it’s worth trying it with an AC adapter or if you’re already doing that, try a different one. It’s not always the phone that’s the problem, it might be the kit you’re using.

  • Make sure your iPhone is updated

Apple sporadically releases new iOS updates all the time and it’s worth making sure that your iPhone has the latest software onboard. Sometimes these iOS updates are essential fixes to known bugs that, for some reason, may well cause your iPhone not to charge properly. For this, head to Settings > General > Software Update and let your iPhone check if there’s anything that needs downloading. If there is, install it. Note: You’ll want to do this when you have charge on your phone, so don’t leave these updates until the last minute

  • Leave it plugged in for longer

It’s sometimes easy to panic and think your phone isn’t charging because it’s taking a while to turn back on. Leave it for at least a couple of hours to make sure, as you can’t quite tell if it’s connecting when the phone has died. If it does come back to life, check if the lightning bolt is present on the battery bar. If it’s not, it’s not charging.

  • Check it’s not because you’re charging wirelessly

Similarly to trying different cables or charging ports, if you like to charge your phone wirelessly, it’s still worth checking that if you try and plug it in directly to source from the iPhone’s charging port that it still doesn’t work. It might be your wireless charger that’s given up.

  • Try a factory reset

This option is a bit of a last resort because it takes a bit more effort, and you want to make sure your phone is backed up correctly before attempting this step.

If all the above steps fail, it might be time to take your phone to an Apple Store or send it back to your provider for a service.

A Samsung device charging

Why isn’t my Android charging?

Your Android phone has decided it doesn’t want to charge. Why? It’s infuriating, but there’s still a fair few things you can try before you have to call up your provider or send your phone in for a service. Here’s our top tips for what to do if you notice your Android isn’t charging anymore.

  • Turn it off and on again

It may seem like a simple solution, but sometimes there are things going on behind the scenes with your phone that need rebooting. A brief downtime can breathe life back into your phone, ridding it of any glitches, or at least giving its hardware a chance to refresh.

  • Reboot in safe mode

When turning most Android phones on and off again, you get a prompt with the option to press your power off button again to reboot in safe mode. This gives your phone a chance to load up without your downloaded apps and perhaps figure out if it’s one of those third-party apps that’s causing the problem. If your phone does charge in safe mode, you know what the issue is. Finding it has to be done through power of elimination though, so delete any recently downloaded apps, or any that you don’t trust or use is always a good place to start.

In the Google Play Store, there’s an app called Ampere that provides you with some very telling data about the way your phone charges. With over ten million downloads, it’s a top pick for Android users that want to know how well their phone is charging/discharging battery. First and foremost, it tells you if your phone is charging at all, but you can also use it to see if one charger works better than another.

  • Try a different cable

Sometimes the cable is the issue, not the phone. So, plugin with a different cable to rule this out.

  • Try a different charging port

The same can be said from where you’re charging your phone from. Try to plug it in elsewhere, a different USB port or AC adapter, to rule this out too.

  • Check the phone’s charging port for debris

Your phone goes to a lot of places, and it’s no surprise that these places can cause dirt and dust to gather inside the little hole present at the bottom of your phone. Try to blow gently, scrub with a gentle cotton swab, or even something more intricate like a toothpick to remove anything gathering there.

If the above steps can’t fix your charging problem, it might be time to take your phone in for a service to see if there’s anything a professional can do to fix it.