iPhone Not Charging But Turns On When Plugged In: Troubleshooting Tips

Picture this: You plug in your iPhone, expecting it to charge, but nothing happens. The screen lights up, yet the battery percentage remains stubbornly unchanged. It’s a scenario that can spark a mix of frustration and urgency, especially when you’re counting on your device to stay connected. This common yet perplexing issue of iPhone not charging but turns on when plugged in can leave you feeling helpless. 

If your iPhone turns on when plugged in but doesn’t charge, check for debris in the charging port and ensure the cable and adapter are working. Try a different charging method, like a computer USB port or a different charger. If these steps don’t work, a software issue or battery problem might be the cause.

But fear not! The solution for iPhone not charging but turns on when plugged in might be simpler than you think. Let’s delve into why your iPhone might not be charging and unveil practical solutions to get you back to full power in no time.

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Basic Troubleshooting Steps

Below are some basic troubleshooting steps.

  • Examining Your Charging Cable And USB Adapter: Start by scrutinizing your charging cable and USB adapter. Look for any visible signs of wear, fraying, or damage. These are often the culprits behind charging woes of iPhone not charging but turns on when plugged in. A compromised cable or a faulty adapter can prevent your iPhone from charging properly, even if it turns on when plugged in. Ensure they’re Apple-certified or from a reputable brand for optimal compatibility and safety. For more insights on this issue, check out why do iPhone chargers crack, which delves into common problems with iPhone chargers.
  • Cleaning The Charging Port: Dirt or debris in the charging port can obstruct the connection. Power off your iPhone and gently clean the port using a soft, dry, lint-free cloth as iPhone turns on but won’t charge. Be cautious not to damage the internal components. A clean charging port can sometimes make all the difference in ensuring a stable and effective charging process. If you’re curious about other ways to maintain your iPhone, you might find how to get sand out of iPhone speaker useful for dealing with another common iPhone issue.
  • Trying A Different Lightning Cable: If your current cable doesn’t do the trick, try using a different Lightning cable. Cables can degrade over time, and using a different one can help you determine if the cable is the issue. Always use a cable that’s in good condition and preferably Apple-certified to avoid any compatibility or safety issues.

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Advanced Software Solutions

Here are some advanced software solutions for as iPhone not charging but turns on when plugged in:

  • Performing A Hard Reset: It can often resolve charging issues. It reboots your iPhone’s software and can fix minor glitches. Press the power button along with the volume button (for newer models) or the home button (for older models) until the Apple logo appears. This process doesn’t erase your data, but it can refresh your system and potentially solve the charging problem.
  • Putting Your iPhone In DFU Mode: Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode is a deeper type of reset. It reloads your iPhone’s software and firmware. This step is useful if a hard reset doesn’t solve the issue. To enter DFU mode, a specific combination of button presses is required, which varies depending on your iPhone model. This mode should be used cautiously as it completely wipes and reloads your device’s software as iPhone turns on when plugged in but won’t charge
  • Preparing For DFU Mode: Before entering DFU mode, back up your iPhone to avoid data loss. Connect your iPhone to a computer and use iTunes (or Finder on macOS Catalina and later) to create a backup. Then, follow the specific steps for your iPhone model to enter DFU mode. Once in DFU mode, you can restore your iPhone using your computer as iPhone not charging when plugged in.

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Seeking Professional Help As iPhone Not Charging

If your iPhone still isn’t charging after trying all the above solutions, it may be time to explore professional repair options. Several avenues are available, from Apple’s own repair services to certified third-party technicians. When choosing a repair service, consider factors like warranty coverage, cost, and turnaround time. Ensure you opt for a reputable service provider to avoid further damage to your iPhone as iPhone plugged in but not charging. In the meantime, if you’re looking to sell your device, you might find who buys locked iPhones helpful for understanding your options.

Professional technicians can diagnose and resolve hardware issues that aren’t fixable at home as iPhone turns on when plugged in. Additionally, using authorized services ensures that your device’s integrity and any remaining warranty are maintained.

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Is it a software issue if my iPhone won't charge when plugged in?

It could be a software issue. Performing a hard reset often helps. For iPhone 8 or later, quickly press the volume up, then down, and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears. For iPhone 6, 6S, or 7, hold the sleep/wake and volume-down buttons together until the Apple logo shows .

How do I check if my Lightning cable is damaged?

Inspect your Lightning cable for damage, even if it's not visible. Cables, especially non-Apple ones, can wear internally. Try swapping it out with a different cable to see if that resolves the issue .

Should I try a different charger if my iPhone isn't charging?

Yes, try using a different charger. Often, the problem is with the cable or charger. Testing with another charger can help determine if the issue is with your current charger .

What should I do if the problem is with the charging port or outlet?

Check the power source. Make sure the wall switch is on and the outlet works. If using a power bank, ensure it's charged and on. For charging via a computer, ensure the computer is awake and try different USB ports. Sometimes, the issue might be with the power outlet, especially in public places like planes or trains .

How can I clean my iPhone's charging port?

Clean the Lightning port using a soft brush or toothpick, taking care not to use excessive force.


Navigating the issue of an iPhone not charging but turns on when plugged in can be a challenging experience. However, by methodically working through basic troubleshooting steps like checking the charging cable and cleaning the port, advancing to software solutions like a hard reset or DFU mode, and finally considering professional help, you can effectively tackle this problem. 

Remember, each step is crucial and might hold the key to resolving the issue. It’s essential to approach this situation with patience and a willingness to explore different solutions. If all else fails, seeking help from an Apple Store or an authorized service provider offers the assurance of expert assistance. Keep in mind that technology, while advanced, can have its moments of fallibility, and having a structured approach to troubleshooting can save time and reduce stress.

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