Thursday, December 7, 2023

How to Fix an iPhone that won’t charge

You plug your iPhone in at the end of the day, and wake up to find it still at 1% charge. Why isn’t your iPhone charging? Will it need to be repaired? Perhaps replaced? Or could you fix it on your own? For most iPhone charging issues, the solutions are far easier than the initial problem makes them out to be. Here, we will take a look at several reasons why your iPhone’s battery isn’t full and how to fix them, free of charge.

iPhone Won’t Charge Reason #1: The Port is Obstructed

If a Q-Tip isn't your style, there are tools specifically for cleaning the ports
If a Q-Tip isn’t your style, there are tools specifically for cleaning the ports

This may sound silly, but look at the bottom of your phone. Is it dusty or dirty? Perhaps there’s some lint or mystery goo in the main charging port? If this is the case, they it’s more likely than not that the reason your phone isn’t charging is due to debris buildup acting as an insulator and not letting the battery charge. To fix this, simply turn off the phone, and either take a Q-Tip and sweep the inside of the port gently, or calling upon the good tradition of a malfunctioning game cartridge, blow on the port until it’s cleaned out. Before plugging in the iPhone again, also do a quick check of the male end of the plug. If it also has some gunk on it, it’s well advised to clean that off as well. As a bonus, if you were experiencing trouble finding your iPhone on your computer and connecting it to iTunes, this should also help that problem.

iPhone Won’t Charge Reason #2: The Cord Went Bad

If the above method didn’t seem to solve your battery woes, take a quick look down the length of the charging cable. Are there any spots that are sharply bent or twisted? Worse yet, is any of the cord exposed from under the protective cover (which is usually found near the origin of the cord and the male port)? If this is the case, then swapping out for a new cable is going to be your best bet. While some cords can survive a few weeks longer with expert use of electrical tape, this is a very temporary fix for a rather permanent problem in regards to the equipment. If a replacement cord does need to be purchased, make sure it’s an Apple verified product. These are incredibly easy to find on Amazon for under $10, and ensure proper function.

iPhone Won’t Charge Reason #3: The Outlet May Be The Issue

If your cord looks like it has been cooked, it could be the problem.
If your cord looks like it has been cooked, it could be the problem.

Sometimes, a charging problem has nothing to do with the cord, or even the iPhone. Sometimes, instead it is part of a much bigger issue, namely that the outlet itself isn’t working. Now, depending on your residence, this may be as easy to fix as a flip of the switch on a fusebox or a light installment, or require a significant amount of home improvement know-how. Therefore, the easiest solution is to simply move the outlet to somewhere which you know can supply power.

iPhone Won’t Charge Reason #4: The iPhone Software is Buggy

Though this typically isn’t the case, iOS, just as any other operating system can have bugs, despite the best intentions of programmers. This can easily be resolved in three different methods. The first is by far the simplest, which is to update the phone if it is currently turned on. To do this, plug your iPhone into your computer, run iTunes, and go to the phone tab. Select update, and wait a few moments. In many cases, known bugs are patched in upgrades to iOS and this may solve your problem by the next time you restart your iPhone. If this doesn’t work, performing a hard reboot may be needed. To do this, press the power button on top of the iPhone and simultaneously hold the home button for about 10 to 15 seconds. The Apple Logo should then appear and you should be good to go, as the system should now recognize the charge. Oddly enough, if you find you can still use your phone despite the apparently low charge, but either your power or home buttons are dysfunctional, you can also do this by going to the Accessibility menu under General Settings, and turning on Bold. This will cause a reboot to occur. The final method we can use if software is to blame is the hard reset. To do this, first make sure all your data and contacts are backed up either to iCloud or to your computer. Then, select settings and go to the bottom. There, you should find a Reset button. Go ahead and select that, and it will wipe your phone completely. This can sometimes alter certain files so that the phone functions properly thereafter. Be sure to restore the iPhone data using the back up you created so as to not lose anything.

iPhone Won’t Charge Reason #5: The iPhone Has A Hardware Issue

The hardware of the iPhone, which can rarely be seen by the user.
The hardware of the iPhone, which can rarely be seen by the user.

If all of the above methods have failed you, then it is likely that a hardware issue may be to blame. This could be caused by having the phone overheat, chronically keeping it in under freezing temperatures, or water damage. While the first two aren’t possible to repair yourself without voiding warranty (and thus it’s recommended you bring the device to an authorized retailer), if you’ve had to recently bob for your Apple product, you can try the 48 hour drying method. Be sure that your phone is fully powered off, then submerge the device in Isopropyl Alcohol. This will displace the water in the iPhone and also has a lower vapor temperature, meaning it will dry faster than water alone. Next, place the phone in a ziploc bag with enough rice to cover the iPhone completely. Then wait around two days for all the liquid to have fully evaporated. At the end of this time, you should be able to restart the phone and it will most likely return to normal function. That being said, if there has been extended use of the phone after water damage, a hardware short is highly likely, and this too will need to be repaired by a trained technician.

Cody Carmichael
Cody Carmichael
University graduate in Psychology, and health worker. On my off time I'm usually tinkering with tech or traveling to the ends of the globe.


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