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Smartphones & gadgets

iPhone acting up? 4 steps to fix a misbehaving battery

It happens to the best of us. One fateful day, you notice your iPhone is slowly losing the ability to hold a charge. Perhaps it’s a percentage here and there, or a trickle-down effect you only notice when you’re in desperate need of a quick charge. Whatever the case may be, it’s a huge annoyance.

Dealing with an iPhone that won’t charge is one of the most frustrating issues that comes with being a smartphone owner. Luckily, there are a few things you can try to resuscitate your battery without having to spend any cash or consult AppleCare (if you have it). Tap or click here for iPhone repair tips.

If you’ve recently noticed you can’t charge your phone, or maybe you can’t get it to power on, try these steps to see if there’s a simple solution. You never know – one of these fixes could end up saving you a pretty penny and an exhausting trip to the Apple Store. Let’s start with the basics.

1. Check your charging cable and electrical outlet

This step may seem like a no-brainer, but if you find your phone isn’t charging, the first step is to inspect the equipment you use to juice it up. Check your charging cable and USB adapter for signs of damage, and if there are any major signs of wear and tear, it’s time to replace it.

The last thing you want is a fire or electric shock due to a damaged cord or exposed wires. Electricity and broken equipment are no joke. Tap or click here to read about the girl who was thrown “across the room” after receiving an electric shock from a phone charger.

Make sure you inspect your cable for frayed edges or exposed wires. If you have another cable handy, try swapping it to see if the charging issue persists. And don’t forget to check your charging brick for bent prongs.

If you’re using third-party equipment and there’s a light indicator on your phone that comes on when it’s charging, see if the light comes on. Once you’ve checked the cord and brick, ensure everything is connected securely and try a different outlet to see if your phone responds Should your issue persist, move onto the next step.

2. Check your charging port

If your charging cable isn’t damaged, and moving to a new outlet didn’t resolve your problem, it’s time to inspect your charging port. Take a look at the part of your phone where you plug in the charger. Make sure it’s free of debris or anything that could be impeding your cord.

Sometimes dust or dirt can get caught in the small area, or if you throw your phone in a pocket or purse, even lint can get stuck and keep your device from being able to charge. To fully ensure there is nothing stuck in the port, try using a can of Falcon Dust-Off compressed air.

Never insert safety pins, needles or any other object into the port. Not only may it prove ineffective, but it could also damage the device, which would immediately void your phone’s warranty. Apple will not fix a phone that has been tampered with.

If you do see something trapped far in the back of the port, take your phone to an Apple Store so a professional can clean it without you having to worry about breaking the warranty. But if the compressed air does the trick, try plugging your phone in to charge. If this doesn’t work, move on to the next step.

3. Try a force restart to kickstart your phone

If you’ve checked your phone charger, cable and charging port, but nothing has helped, it’s time to force restart your device. How you do this depends on the kind of iPhone you have, and what iOS version you’re running. If your device has at least iOS 13, here is how you restart your phone.

To force restart iPhone 8 and later:

  • Press and quickly release the volume up button.
  • Press and quickly release the volume down button.
  • Press and hold the side button.
  • When the Apple logo appears, release the button.

To force restart the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus:

  • Press and hold both the volume down button and the Sleep/Wake button.
  • When the Apple logo appears, release both buttons.

To force restart the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus or the SE:

  • Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button.
  • When the Apple logo appears, release both buttons.

Once your phone turns on again, try charging it. You’d be surprised how many issues can be fixed with a simple restart. If your phone still won’t charge or if it still dies quickly, move on to the final step.

4. Check your apps

If you’re able to get your phone charging, but the battery continues to drain at an exponential rate, you may have an app-related issue. If you’re running iOS 13, you can check your battery by heading to Settings and tapping Battery.

Scroll down to see the battery usage by app. You’ll notice some apps take up a larger percentage than others. For the apps that are a higher percentage, try using them less often, or while your device is charging, to encourage a longer-lasting battery.

Some apps are already known to drain your iPhone’s power. Tap or click here for 5 apps draining your iPhone battery. How you decide to handle these apps is up to you.

Now that you’ve cycled through these troubleshooting options, you’re hopefully able to get your phone charged back up and working properly. If not, your next move might be to seek out professional assistance with repairing the phone or possibly purchasing a new battery.

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