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Why does my phone only charge when it’s off? Quick Fix

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  • 4 min read
Why do smartphones explode? A nerd guide

Smartphones have undeniably become an essential parts= of our lives, which makes keeping them powered up extremely important. Now modern-day phones don’t run into many problems, but it can be terrifying when they do. 

In this article, we’re taking a look at what to do when your phone only charges when it’s switched off.

Why does your phone only charges when off?

There are several reasons why this might happen. The most obvious one could be a bent charging pin or any other hardware faults in your phone’s charging circuitry, but a software issue is just as likely to cause this problem.

Also read: Is charging your phone overnight bad? 5 ways to improve battery life

How to fix this charging error?

Here are a few simple fixes you can try out.

Try and push the charging pin

If the issue is happening because of a bent charging pin, try taking a flat head screwdriver small enough to fit in your phone’s charging port and bend the pin a bit. Be very careful while doing this, though, a little too much force, and you’ll find yourself looking for a repair centre to get the port changed.

Clean your port 

One of the reasons your phone isn’t charging could be because the charging plug and the port don’t have proper contact. This is a prevalent issue as dust and debris creep up in phone charging ports. 

How to charge your phone with a broken charger port?

So clean the port on your phone. All you need is a toothpick or anything that you can stick inside your phone’s charging port. Just stick the toothpick in and gently clear out any dust you might have jammed in the port.

Be sure to turn off your device and remove the battery if possible before you stick anything inside the charging port. If you suspect there’s water inside the port, refer to this guide on how to get water out of your phone’s charging port

Also read: Why is my laptop plugged in and not charging?

Try another cable 

Broken cables are often one of the more obvious causes of your phone not charging. Try swapping out your cable to see if that makes a difference. Be sure not to use too thin a cable as most phones these days use fast charging that can move some pretty serious wattage through cables, leaving the thin (or cheap) ones unusable.

Use another power source

It might sound silly, but perhaps the reason your phone isn’t charging is that it isn’t getting any power in the first place. Try switching the AC port you’re plugging your phone’s charger in or even switching to a power bank to check and see if your phone gets power.

Another thing that could potentially be at fault here is your power brick. Phone chargers rarely ever fail, but they can be pretty hard to diagnose when they do. So try swapping out your charger to see if that helps. 

Update your phone’s software

Issues in your software can also cause your phone not to charge when it’s running. Try checking for an update and if it’s available, install it as soon as possible. Once updated, try charging again.

Get your phone repaired

If nothing else works, your last resort is to get your phone looked at by a qualified technician. Several hardware faults such as a damaged battery, broken charging port, damaged motherboard, among others, can only be fixed by taking your phone apart.

Also read: How to get water out of the charging port?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: