10 Ways to Fix It When Your Android Phone Won't Charge

Power sources, frayed or old cables, charging ports and more could be the culprit

This article explains what to do when your phone won't charge.

Reasons Why Your Android Phone Isn't Charging

There are several causes for this problem including, but not limited to:

  • There's a hardware issue with your cords or charger.
  • There's an issue with your power source. This can be the outlet, USB port on your computer, or a drained powerbank.
  • The apps on your phone could also be preventing it from charging, since they may be using a lot of power because you have too many open.
  • There's an issue with a specific app.
  • There could be an issue with an Android OS update preventing your phone from charging properly. 

What to Do If Your Phone Won't Charge

To find out why your Android phone isn't charging, begin troubleshooting from the outside in.

  1. Check the outlet or power source. The outlet you've plugged your phone into may not be working for some reason, so try a different one. Likewise, try a different powerbank or USB port on your computer to see if that solves the issue.

    USB ports on computers are notorious for being slow to charge phones since they're multi-use ports. Try charging the phone directly from a power outlet or powerbank.

  2. Check your charger and cable. A frayed or old cable could also be the culprit, so try a different cable. Your charger also might not be working properly, so try a different charger. Check the prongs on the charger and the connection port for the cable. 

  3. Check the charging port on your phone. Inspect the port on your phone to see if it looks damaged. If there are any issues here, it'll stop the charge from passing from the cable to the phone. Try blowing into the port to clear out any dust or particles. 

    Don't stick anything into the charging port. You can damage it further and injure yourself.

  4. Check the Case on Your Phone. Some cases prevent the cable from being fully inserted into the charging port. So, if your phone isn't charging, check out the port and see if the case is preventing it from being fully plugged in. If so, remove the case.

  5. Close all apps while charging. There could be apps open using a lot of power as the phone charges. This includes you using the phone while it's charging, since any app might use more power than what's available from the depleted battery. 

    Close all apps while the phone is charging and don't use it while charging. Check back regularly to see if the charging progresses at all. 

  6. Clear your phone's cache. Sometimes an app will continue to run in the background, even if it appears you've closed it. The app could also be malfunctioning and continue running incorrectly when it shouldn't. Clearing your phone's storage cache might fix this issue, so it's worth giving a try.

    Depending on your phone, you can find this option under Settings > Storage, or you may have to look at each app individually. For example, in Android 10, it's found under Apps & Notifications > App Info > [app name] > Storage & cache > Clear cache.

  7. Restart your phone. In some cases, your Android OS might somehow be stuck and causing your charging problems. Turn off your phone, wait a minute or so, then turn it back on. 

    If you think an app is consuming all the resources on your device, you can try booting it into Safe Mode to troubleshoot the issue.

  8. Turn your phone off or use Airplane Mode. There are a number of background services that continue to run while it's charging—even if you've closed all the apps on it. For example, leaving Bluetooth enabled can prevent a phone from charging quickly as it uses a lot of power. So does Location Services and Wi-Fi services. 

    To see if these are preventing your phone from charging, try turning your phone off completely or turn on Airplane Mode. Airplane Mode prevents most of these services from working, so you'll know pretty quickly if they were the culprit.

  9. Your battery might be toast. For some Android phone owners, it might be the physical battery in your phone that's the problem. Depending on the phone you have, you may be able to inspect the battery yourself, but most people will have to take it in to a retailer to have this done. 

    Check your phone manufacturer's website for an official service center location so a certified technician can take a look at it. 

  10. Your phone might be dead. There are other hardware components in your phone that could also prevent it from charging. Only a certified technician from your manufacturer's official service center or your mobile phone provider would be able to tell you this. 

    If you've tried all the previous fixes and it's still not working, it's time to take it into the repair shop to see what can be done. 

  • How can I tell if my phone is charging or not?

    You'll know your Android phone isn't charging when it's plugged in and:

    • No charging icon appear on display.
    • It didn't make a sound when you plugged it in as some phones do.
    • The battery icon continues to show low charge, it's still red, or it's still blinking.
    • Nothing happens, because the battery is completely dead and the phone turned off.

  • What can damage a phone's charging port?

    Over time, simply using a phone's charging port can lead to wear and tear that can damage the port. Loose connections and using incompatible chargers can also cause damage so be sure your cable fits snugly into the port and that you are using only charger recommended for your specific phone.

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