Fixing an Apple iPhone SE/iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus that won't charge [Recommended Workarounds]

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This post highlights the recommended procedures and workarounds to diagnose and fix your iPhone SE, iPhone 7, or iPhone 7 Plus that is not charging. When dealing with charging issues in mobile devices like your new iPhone, you need to consider four things. These include, the charger or lightning cable, your iPhone's charging port, the wall adapter you used as power source, and your iPhone's software.

iPhone not charging

A common thought as to what may have prevented your iPhone from charging is most likely due to a faulty hardware like a bad battery. But contrary to that, the actual culprit is your phone's software. The reason why I said so is because the software decides whether or not to charge the battery every time you plug in your device. It makes sense given the fact that what you have is a new device and so there's no way for its battery to get damaged this early. Having said that, replacing your iPhone's battery is most likely not helpful.

So here's what you can do to diagnose and fix your new iPhone that won't charge:


1. Verify if it's a software issue. 

To determine if it's the software that is preventing your iPhone from charging, force your device to restart or do a hard reset by holding down the Sleep/Wake (Power) button and the Home button simultaneously for at least 20 seconds until the Apple logo appears.

This method generally resolves any minor software glitch that caused you this trouble. Why? Because although your iPhone seemed to look like it wouldn't charge, what actually happened is that your phone's software had crashed in the background while the screen was off. This means that your iPhone's still on the reason why it wouldn't charge. Given that your iPhone's software has crashed, it wouldn't be able to function properly and so by the time you connect your device to a power source in an attempt to charge, the software won't be able to initiate the charging process. That's when most users jumped into a conclusion that your iPhone won't charge.

If it is not a software problem, proceed to the next recommended workaround.

2. Check and ensure that the charging port is working or functional. 


Secure a flashlight and use it to inspect your iPhone's charging port. Take a closer look at the charging port located at the bottom part of your iPhone. There might be some debris or gunk that might have prevented the lightning cable from making a solid contact to your device. If any of the connectors is blocked off, your iPhone wouldn't charge at all.

Should you see any debris or gunk in your phone's charging port, brush it out. But before you do, make sure you are using something that won't conduct an electric charge or cause damage to the electronics beneath your iPhone. As recommended by many, use an unused toothbrush and then gently brush out your phone's charging port. But if you can secure a fancy anti-static brush to do the job, then that would be better.

3. Ensure there is no damage to the lightning cable.


To determine whether the lightning cable is damaged or not, you can try to plug your iPhone into a USB port on your computer to charge instead of using the wall adapter that came with your iPhone. If charging to a computer gives you the same output or your iPhone is still not charging, try to use the wall adapter. If it works in one place and not the other, then your cable is not the problem. But the best way to determine if it's a bad cable or not, try to charge your iPhone with a different charging cable. You can borrow one from a family member or a friend. If your iPhone charges using a different charging cable, then apparently, it's your cable that is at fault.

Important Note:

As much as possible, use only Apple charging cables or accessories. Other charging accessories or cables may not be compatible with your iPhone's charging structure. While Apple cables are expensive, they are high quality products. However, there are also some high quality yet less expensive cables you can use as an alternative. Just be sure to know and pick the good ones.


4. Check and ensure no damage to your iPhone charger. 

The easiest way to determine if it's a bad charger that is causing the problem is to try to use other power sources such as wall socket, car charger, speaker dock, laptop, or some other power sources. If your iPhone charges in any one of these alternative sources, then obviously your charger is at fault. Otherwise, try the next workaround.

5. Check for any possible liquid damage on your iPhone.

Your iPhone may not be able to charge because of a liquid damage, which can short out the connections in the iPhone's charging port. If this is the case, then your best option is to take your iPhone to an Apple technician for further inspection and repair. However, if your iPhone is still under warranty, you should contact Apple support and ask for replacement or other best option for you.

6. Restore your iPhone via DFU (Default Firmware Update) mode.

This should be your last resort. After you have eliminated the possibility of a software issue preventing your iPhone from charging and have done scrutinizing other factors such as your USB cable, charger, and the phone itself, then your next option is a DFU restore.

A DFU restore is deemed a special kind of system restore. It erases everything on your device and restore it to factory settings, thereby helps eliminate any existing severe software issues on your iPhone. Here's how to put your iPhone SE, iPhone7 or iPhone 7 Plus in DFU mode:

  • Plug your iPhone into a computer.
  • On your computer, iTunes.
  • On your iPhone, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and Home button simultaneously for 8 seconds.
  • After 8 seconds, release the Sleep/Wake button but keep holding down the Home button until the iTunes screen says, "iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode."
  • When you see that screen, let go of the Home button. 

Hint: If your iPhone screen turns completely black, it means you have successfully entered DFU mode. If it's not, then retry and go back from the very first step.

  • Once you're in DFU mode, restore your iPhone using iTunes.

When you do a DFU restore on your iPhone, your computer will erase and reload every bit of code that controls both the software and hardware of your phone.

Do not perform a DFU restore if your iPhone is damaged in any way (water-damaged or physically-damaged) as it may break your iPhone completely. An existing damage on your iPhone may prevent the restore from completing. If this happens, your supposedly functional iPhone with minor issues can become completely dysfunctional and unusable should a DFU restore fails.

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