6 reasons your iPhone won’t charge when plugged in

When your iPhone doesn’t start charging when plugged in, there are many causes of why this problem happens. Maybe the particular cable is damaged, or the charger itself is broken. All iPhone devices use a reversible lightning cable, meaning you can use either side of this cable. 

Article summary

The most common reasons your iPhone won’t charge when plugged in include the charging port being dirty or the battery being damaged.

On the other hand, we’ll also take a look at other reasons that include the following:

  • A bad button
  • A broken logic board
  • A frozen phone

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After the release of the iPhone 8, wireless charging was introduced by Apple. Newer phones can charge their batteries without the need for a cable that can get damaged over time. Even for the simple process of charging your phone, there are many parts involved that work together for this operation.

Wholesale iPhone 2 Meter charger cables

Table of Contents

To identify the cause of the problem, you should individually check every component. Look for broken parts or any other damage. This way, you can eliminate potential problems until you reach the cause. Be advised that iOS 13 introduced a feature named Optimized Battery Charging. It stops the charging process when the battery reaches 80%.

If this happens on newer models such as iPhone X or iPhone 12, there is nothing wrong with the charging process. The cable is damaged when your phone charges well with one cable but doesn’t work with your own. You will need to replace it.

If you are wondering why it doesn’t charge when plugged in, look below. We help you identify problems and find solutions. 

Reasons your iPhone won’t charge when plugged in

iPhone 11 64gb

If your iPhone ran out of battery, charging it is the only solution. If this process doesn’t work, there is a problem with your phone or charger. Many causes are responsible for this inconvenience. Here are the reasons your iPhone won’t charge when plugged in.

1. Your phone is frozen.

Your phone’s battery might be dead and completely drained of charge. The screen might not immediately turn on when you plug it into a power source. Leave it for at least 30 minutes before powering up the device.  

2. The charging port is dirty.

Maybe your phone doesn’t turn back on after 30 minutes of charging. You should check the cleanliness of the charging port and the cable. The charging process can be interrupted if they are dirty and full of debris. You can use a toothpick to clean the port or take your phone to a specialized workshop that will clean your phone for you. 

3. The battery is damaged.

Apple iPhone 11

The previous solution should easily fix the problem. If your phone still doesn’t power up, it may have a bad port or even a dead battery. You should replace the battery with an already charged one and check if the phone turns on. If it still doesn’t turn on, you might have a problem with the power button. 

4. Bad power button

If your phone is charging and receiving power and the screen turns on, your battery works perfectly. But if it still doesn’t start when you long-press the power button, there might be an issue with this key. 

5. The display is malfunctioning.

The opposite can also happen when your phone starts charging, but the display is not working. You can listen to the sound your phone makes when it turns on. If this sound is audible and the screen is still turned off, consider purchasing a new display and getting a screen replacement. 

6. The logic board is broken.

If you still cannot identify the cause of your problem, the logic board might be damaged and needs replacement. Get your phone to an electronic repair shop, and the staff there will help you. 

Here’s a list of everything to check for when the phone doesn’t charge:

Phone frozen Charging port dirty Logic board broken Display malfunctioningBad power buttonBattery is damaged

If even a simple box is checked for you, there’s a reason for your phone to not charge.

Why do chargers stop working?

Retractable iPhone Charger

Even though Apple manufactures gadgets that can cost well over $1,000, they use cheap charger designs intentionally. It is part of their business tactic that convinces customers to buy more from them. It is a strategy employed by many big companies. 

These cables are cheap, and you can purchase multiple ones for a single phone. If they were expensive, you’d have to pay a large sum every time your cable got damaged or when you forgot it somewhere during a trip. 

When you purchase a new lightning cable, make sure to use the ones that are certified by Apple. Your phone can get damaged if you use products that are not certified by this manufacturer. It is recommended to stop using them immediately. The battery’s health might be at risk if it gets charged through methods it was not designed to. 

The age of your device influences the battery performance as well. Older phones will struggle to function properly when the battery drops below 30%. 

While this problem is common in older models, the same effect can be seen in newer ones if they are being charged with a non-certified charger. It is also recommended to stop using your iPhone when it is charging. It is the reason why cables are so short nowadays. 

The reduced length discourages you from using the phone while it is charging and plugged into a power source. With fast charging technology, you can use it again in as little as 40 minutes if you don’t want a full charge. 

The cable is not working.


If your iPhone suddenly stops charging, you might wonder what the problem is. It could be related to the phone, the power source, or the lightning cable itself. This cable connects your device to a power source to charge the battery. 

Additionally, you can connect your phone to a computer for transferring files. While doing so, your phone will also charge at a slower speed. If you think something is wrong with it, check for problems and eliminate them one by one.

Firstly, you should check the port for debris or other obstructions. The accumulation of dust and dirt often happens over time, so it is ideal for cleaning your phone at least once a month. You can try blowing into the port to remove debris, but use toothpicks or cotton swabs to clean the area properly.

Sometimes the power outlet can be defective, and your phone won’t charge properly. Check the power source as well and test it with different devices. If it still doesn’t work, you should change the wall outlet or USB port and plug your device elsewhere. 

Lastly, the cable might be damaged. Check it thoroughly from top to bottom and identify dents or scratches on the outer layer. This layer is highly resistant and will protect the cable itself, but it can weaken over time. 

Any damage to this cable will prevent your phone from charging. If you notice yours is damaged, you will have to purchase another one. Luckily, they are cheap. You can find them anywhere. Here are the ones that will probably be compatible with your device.

TypeWorks with
USB-CiPhone X series, II series, 12 series and above.
Micro-USBNo iPhones compatible
Lightning cableiPhone 5 series, 6 series, 7 series, 8 series, SE series, X series, iPad 4 series, iPad mini – 2,3,4. iPod Nano 5th, 6th and 7th generation.
USB to lightningiPhone 8 series, X series, II series, iPad newer generations, Siri Remote

Pros of Lightning cable

  • Good protocol for charging
  • Handle tip breakage better than the USB-C
  • MFi certification program


  • Slow data transfer
  • Specific only to Apple

Pros of USB-C

  • Fast data transfer speeds upto 40GBPS with USB4
  • Faster device charging
  • Backward compatility


  • Confusing specifications

It is not charging but turns on when plugged in

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max 64GB

You might see the lightning symbol on the battery when you charge your phone, notifying you that the phone is charging. However, the percentage stays the same or even decreases. When it is dead, maybe plugging it in will turn the screen on. However, the battery will not get charged. 

This means the power chip or port is damaged, and many solutions exist to fix this issue. Let’s take a look at some of them. 

Clean the port

Because of debris and dust, your phone might not get charged properly. That is why you have to clean the port. You can use a bobby pin or a thin toothpick. Be gentle with the cleaning procedures as you don’t want to damage any internal components. Be advised that toothpicks can break easily, and you don’t want more debris stuck inside the charging port. 

Here is the detailed list of the procedure:

  • Purchase an air compressor online or at a store.
  • You don’t want to mess around with tools you aren’t aware of, so playing with air is your best bet.
  • Loosen the big bits of dirt with a toothpick just outside the port.
  • Hold the can upright but not too close to the port. 10-15 cm is a safe distance.
  • Now spray a few short blasts of air into the port.
  • You should see the particles waving about and this should have done the trick.

Plug your phone in and wait

20W Iphone fast charger

If your phone completely drained the battery, it depleted the entire device. Plug it in and let it charge for at least 30 minutes without performing any actions during this time. Sometimes, the phone might lack the necessary power to fulfill basic operations. It is why you have to leave it to charge for a while before using it again.

Defective power button

This button is responsible for turning your phone on and off. If it is malfunctioning, you will not be able to start up your phone manually. Sometimes the button can be loose and pushed inside, getting blocked. In this case, you should take it to a repair shop and have an expert look at it. 

Check the Liquid Contact Indicator

Iphone 13, 128gb Unlocked

This is an indicator present on your iPhone that tells you if water has damaged the device. Depending on your model, it is located on the right, left, or bottom side. If you struggle to see this indicator, a magnifying glass will help you identify the LCI light easily.

Here is where you can spot the LCI on your iPhone.

iPhone Location of LCI
iPhone SE, 5S, 5C, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 7, 7Plus, 8, 8 Plus XR, XS, 11, 11 Pro Max, 12, 12 Pro Max. At the sim card slot. Underneath the volume buttons.
iPhone 4/4s and earlierNext to the charging port and headphone jack.

Here’s how you know something is wrong:

  • If the LCI is Red, there is damage for sure.
  • If the LCI is White or Silver, there is no damage and you are good to go.
  • If the LCI appears Yellow, there is no damage.

There are multiple ways to fix your phone if it doesn’t charge. Below, we will show you the most efficient ones you can try now. 

Why trust us and how we picked?

90% of people in our team have an iPhone with them. And people around us also mostly own one. The problem of not charging has been recurring and common. So we examined ourselves as well as the experts at the service center were also consulted to figure out the possible causes.

Factors to consider


Make sure the charger you are using to charge your iPhone is compatible with the model you are using. Sometimes the problem lies with the charger and not the phone.

Electrical socket

The socket in which you have plugged in the charger, make sure it is working. Quite often it is seen that people keep finding faults with chargers and phones but the culprit comes out to be the electrical socket.


Make sure you give your phone enough time to start up. Do not try to hurry up things and be patient. Sometimes the phone takes longer than usual to boot up.

Charging cable

Very often we have seen that to save a few bucks, people tend to buy local products. The same goes for the charging cables. The result is that your phone refuses to get charged. So keep that in mind. Always.

How much do it cost to fix?

If the problem gets solved at home only with a hard reset, it will save you all the bucks. But if the problem persists and you have to take your phone to the service center, then it will cost you around $10-$150.

Green Iphone 13 Pro

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