Friday, July 19, 2024
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Is your Android phone not charging? Here’s how to fix it


Name it, and you can probably use your smartphone to do it. Booking appointments, snapping photos, playing games, keeping up with work, watching TV — your smartphone can easily become the center of your work and play. It’s too easy to base your life around your smartphone, which makes it doubly devastating when something goes wrong.

The battery is the crux of a smartphone, and most people will need to charge it at least once a day — so if it starts being unable to charge, you only have a narrow window of time before your device is unusable. Thankfully, all may not be lost, as there are a number of reasons your phone may be refusing to charge. Here’s what could have gone wrong and how to fix an Android phone that isn’t charging.

Samsung Galaxy S24 (left) and Google Pixel 8 in hand.

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Why your Android phone isn’t charging

Before we can fix your phone, we need to figure out why it’s not charging. There are a number of reasons why it won’t charge, and we’ll be running through them below.

In short, you’ll need to be prepared to check a few physical elements of your smartphone, including inspecting the charging port. But we’ll also ask you to dive into your phone itself (if it’s still on), clear out active apps, and a few other quick checks. It’s also good to check your charging apparatus, as well as the outlet where it’s plugged in. Finally, keep in mind certain cases could be hindering the phone’s ability to charge.

The physical environment could also be responsible for your phone’s inability to charge, so you’ll also need to be prepared to move it or wait a little while.

How to fix your Android phone that’s not charging

Ready to go? Alright, let’s take some actions to try to fix your phone.

Step 1: First, check to make sure nothing is blocking your charger from your charging port. Cases can often present an issue here, especially if they have protection around the charging port. If a cable is particularly chunky, it may not be able to connect properly with the charging port. Try removing the case and try again.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra in its plastic case.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Step 2: Check the physical condition of your phone. Has it been submerged in water recently? Even water-resistant phones will refuse to charge if moisture is detected in the charging port. Usually it will notify you if this is the case, but if your phone has fallen into water recently, then try leaving it aside for a day to let the water evaporate.

Step 3: Similarly, if it’s a hot day, that can trigger a phone to stop charging. If a phone detects it’s too hot, it will cut off charging in order to safeguard the battery. Move your phone into a cooler location, let it cool down, and then try charging it again.

A smartphone immersed in rice.

tuastonvilla / 123RF.com

Step 4: Have a quick check over of your charging block, including the cable. Replace it if there’s damage to either, as a broken charger can be far more dangerous and worrying than just charging issues. If everything looks fine, try using a different charger and cable, if one is available.

Step 5: It’s also worth checking out the wall outlet as well. If it has visible damage, then it could be at fault. If you can see damage, don’t use that outlet, and book an electrician to take a look at it. If it seems fine, try plugging something else into it, like a lamp, to see whether it’s working.

A white Belkin charger plugged into an outlet on a desk.

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Step 6: The charging port is a common point of failure on smartphones, especially older devices. Give your charging cable a gentle wiggle when it’s in your phone — does it feel loose? Does it start charging if the cable is held in a specific place? If so, your charging port could be faulty.

Step 7: As a second point to the charging port, take a flashlight and have a quick look into it to see whether any debris is lodged in there. Have a little poke around with something relatively soft, like a plastic toothpick, to see if you can dislodge anything. Alternately, try spraying into it with a can of compressed air. Never use anything metal for this, and be very careful, because charging pins can be fragile.

The Google Pixel 8a's charging port.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Step 8: If your phone is on, close any open apps. Demanding apps could be pulling more power than your charger is capable of supplying, which could mean your battery is discharging even when technically receiving power. If in doubt, turning your phone off or restarting is always worthwhile.

Step 9: Does your phone have wireless charging? If it does, see if it works. If nothing else, this could be a good stopgap to keep your phone running while you fix your wired charging problem.

The Twelve South PowerPic Mod on a desk.

Twelve South

Step 10: Finally, how old is your phone? Could your battery need replacing? If your phone is older than three or four years old, it may need to be replaced. Likelihood is there’s nothing you can personally do if this is the case, as most modern phones have a sealed casing, and you won’t be able to simply swap in a new battery without breaking out more specialized tools.

What to do if your phone still isn’t charging

If there’s nothing you can do, then it’s time to bring in a professional. Here are some options you should explore.

Step 1: If your phone is currently under warranty or contract, then speak to the retailer you bought it from. They should be able to find out if there’s a fault and hopefully fix it for you.

A person repairing a Samsung phone.
A uBreakiFix expert repairing a Samsung phone

Samsung

Step 2: If a warranty repair is out of the question, perhaps due to age, then check out getting it repaired at your own expense. You have options for this, either going the official route (which will be more expensive), or finding a third-party repair shop that may be able to help (more economical). Whichever route you go, make sure to check out reviews for your chosen shop, so you can be sure you’re going to a good one.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra's screen, resting on a bench.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Step 3: The final solution is to get a new phone. If your phone is on the older side — so anywhere north of three years old — then your phone not charging might be a sign to grab an upgrade. The bonuses from upgrading will depend on the differences between your new and old phone, but it’s usual to expect a faster processor, better display, and a better camera, all of which can give your smartphone use a new lease on life. Check out our list of the best Android phones for some great options.

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