You probably don’t think much about the process of charging your phone: plug in the cable, listen for the little tone, and walk away. But due to any number of reasons, your phone’s battery might refuse to charge even when you swear you’ve done everything right.
Fortunately, you don’t have to immediately rush to a service center when this happens. Here are a couple of fixes to try if your Android phone is not charging.
1. Reboot Your Phone
Often, smartphone issues such as this are caused by a simple hiccup. To rule out that a temporary glitch is the cause, a reboot should be your first step.
Restarting your phone will kill all background services. This also refreshes your phone’s core components, in case one of them had crashed while performing a task. To perform a reboot quickly, simply hold the Power button and tap the Restart option.
If your phone’s charging abilities work properly again after a reboot, you should review all third-party apps and uninstall ones you don’t trust.
2. Try Charging Your Phone in Safe Mode
As a next step, try booting your phone in safe mode. Essentially, safe mode is a sandboxed environment that restricts your phone to just the software it originally shipped with. This means any third-party apps you’ve downloaded won’t run in safe mode.
If you’re able to charge your phone in safe mode, you know for sure that the culprit is a third-party service. Once you’ve confirmed that, consider any apps you’ve downloaded recently. One of those could be the cause of your charging issues.
Try uninstalling recent apps and any that you don’t trust or haven’t used in a while. Then reboot your phone normally and see if it charges again. If you can’t fix the problem with this method, a factory reset is the most efficient fix.
To enter safe mode on most new Android devices, press and hold the power button. In the resulting prompt, touch and hold the Power Off button. After accepting the prompt, your phone will soon restart in safe mode. To exit safe mode, repeat the procedure, selecting the Restart option instead.
Since not all Android skins function the same way, the process might be different on your phone. If the steps outlined here don’t work, try visiting the support website for your device or Googling the button combination for safe mode.
3. Switch to a Different Cable/Socket/Adapter
Your phone’s charging woes could be the result of a faulty accessory. The cable might have a loose wire, the adapter could have malfunctioned, or even the socket could be failing to transmit the current properly.
Hence, you should attempt to charge through a different cable, adapter, or power source. The easiest way to check whether the cable is good is to connect your phone to a computer via USB.
If your phone is able to charge via a PC, you can narrow the troubleshooting down to the adapter and socket. In case an alternative cable or power brick did the trick, invest in a new one. We recommend purchasing either original, first-party accessories or those from trusted third-party names like Anker—avoid junky knockoffs.
4. Make Sure It’s Not a Software Bug
A common bug found on mobile operating systems prevents the charging icon from showing up when you plug your phone in. Installing an app called Ampere lets you find out whether your phone has this issue.
Ampere allows you to view how much current your phone is discharging or charging with at the moment. So once you connect it to a power source, fire up the Ampere app and if it says your phone is charging, you can breathe easy. As a software bug is at blame here, you can either wait for an OS update or try a hard reset to fix it.
Ampere comes with a couple of other features you might also find handy. It tells you whether your phone’s battery is in good condition, the available voltage, and current temperature.
Another way to test this problem is to turn off your phone and then insert the charging cable. Your phone’s screen will flash with a charging animation if it’s working properly.
Download: Ampere (Free, premium version available)
5. Clean the Charging Port
As it’s always exposed to debris, the charging port is one of the most vulnerable elements of your phone. Dust particles can quickly accumulate and hinder your phone’s connection to a power source.
Inspect your phone’s charging port and if you notice a buildup of dirt or other grime, clean it. You can do so at easily by scrubbing it with a dry cotton swab. As it’s a little delicate, you should approach it with a gentle hand.
To have a better look, use a flashlight to fully inspect the charging port area. If you notice any foreign debris stuck inside, you can do heavier cleaning using a SIM ejector tool or a toothpick. After giving your port a good cleaning, try to charge your phone again.
For more help, take a look at our guide to cleaning the iPhone’s charging port. It’s of course tailored for iPhone users, but most of the advice applies to Android phones as well.
6. Dropped in Water? Dry It Off
You shouldn’t charge your phone at all if there’s a possibility of water damage. First, you have to make sure your phone’s internals are completely dry.
There are various methods to save a phone dropped in water. You can blow hot air into it with a hairdryer, dump it in a bowl of rice, or try other methods. You will, though, have to wait at least a day before plugging your phone in again.
7. Visit a Service Center
If all else fails, your last resort is to have your phone examined by a professional. Since none of the above techniques resulted in success, you most likely have a hardware failure.
Hopefully your phone is still in warranty so you don’t have to pay anything for the repair. Otherwise, you may have to pay to replace the charging port.
Should You Splurge for Smartphone Insurance?
Given how many little components are responsible for charging your phone’s battery, charging issues have become more common, especially as phones get even thinner. But with these troubleshooting methods and fixes, you should be able to solve your phone’s charging woes in most scenarios.
For the extreme cases, you will have to shell out some money for a replacement if warranty has expired. If you’re worried about affording this, you might want to consider insuring your smartphone.