You come home from a hard day of work, your take out your brand new iPhone 6 from your pocket – like you it has had a long day too, and the battery has died, you plug it in for charging, and – nothing happens! You take out the cable, plug it in again, press the home button and the unlock key – but your iPhone refuses to show any signs of life. Panic attack? Look for the nearest Apple store? Check for the warranty?
The problem is probably far simpler than a faulty battery or a hardware failure. Let us understand what are the ways in which your iPhone can refuse to charge.
The Software: The modern smartphone is an extremely complex equipment. Its battery is not charged like a car battery – by connecting the leads of a naked wire to its two terminals. The iPhone’s battery is one of its most expensive and crucial components, and it is protected behind layers of hardware and software. Yes, Software. The moment you plug in your phone to a charger, it is the software that determines what to do with the incoming power. If the voltage is fluctuating or the power source is deemed to be unreliable, it will prevent the phone from charging.
In some rare cases, your iPhone’s software may crash. In such a case, it would not respond to a power source, since the software that recognises the power and starts the charging process isn’t functioning. Do a system reset by pressing the home key and the unlock button together and your phone should spring back to life.
Hardware: Most charging problems are software driven. But in rare cases, there might be a hardware issue. There could be three possible culprits. The charging port, the charging cable and the power source.
The Power Cable: The most common cause for unreliable charging is the cable. The $5 piece of plastic that you bought out of the seven-eleven is bad for the health of your phone. Spend that extra buck and use an original Apple charging cable. In some cases, your iPhone might show you an â€˜Unsupported accessory’ sign, in which case it is definitely the cable. Replace it.
Even your original Apple charger might easily get damaged. Check for frayed ends near both ends of the cable. In case you are not sure if the cable is the problem, try using a friend’s cable and see if it works.
The Power Source: The power source is another source of problems. Now the iPhone can be charged from a variety of sources – a wall socket, a laptop, a power bank, a car charger etc. Not all of them are equally reliable. If the phone’s software detects an incompatible source of power, something with a high amperage or fluctuating voltage, something that may be damaging to its circuitry, it would not allow the phone to be charged. Also check for loose connections. Lot of wall sockets do not allow for a snug fit of your two-pin wall charger. A power bank that is nearly drained would also not be recognised by your phone.Try plugging in your phone to a different power source to identify the problem.
The Phone: Sometimes the problem may be in the phone itself. The charging port may get obscured with dust or mud. Cleaning it with a non-conducting brush (a new toothbrush will do) usually solves the problem. A more serious problem would be liquid damage, in which case your charging port gets short-circuited, and becomes virtually useless. In such a case, replacing your phone would probably be your only option!
So next time your phone refuses to charge, don’t panic. Work through your options, before running to the Apple Store!