Why Your Phone is Charging So Slowly (Or Not At All)

smartphone cable

In the digital age, we rely on our smartphones for just about everything. Around 8.1% of all smartphone sales in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2017 involved the iPhone 7, and countless other tech-savvy consumers are loyal to Apple, Samsung, Google, and other companies that make these gadgets. But because we use these devices so much, we’re prone to using up their battery charges quite quickly. In previous posts, we’ve covered the best tips for charging your phone and things you should never do to your phone’s battery. But if you’re struggling with a slow-charging device — or one that refuses to charge at all — you probably want to know why.

Here’s Why Your Phone Might Be Charging More Slowly

  • Your port might be dirty: It’s possible that the port on your phone itself could be to blame for your slow charging time. If it’s gunked up with dust or debris, it won’t charge as effectively. Use an anti-static brush, compressed air, or even a new toothbrush or a paper clip and carefully clean out the port. You might find this fixes the problem completely; if it doesn’t, you may want to keep reading.
  • You’re using the wrong amperage: When you buy a smartphone cable and charger, you need to pay attention to the amperage. iPhones and other Apple devices will charge only at specific voltages or amperages; if your charger has a particularly low amperage, charging will take a lot longer. Be aware, though, that a high amperage charger might not be safe for your phone.
  • Your cell phone charging cable or power source is bad: Smartphone cables don’t last forever. While buying them from a reputable source will help ensure they don’t break down prematurely, it’s possible that any damage done to your lightning cables will slow down the power flow. In addition, pay attention to where your smartphone cables are plugged in, too. If you’re charging through another device (like your laptop), it’s going to take longer to boost your battery. Usually, plugging in directly to a wall outlet will provide the fastest charging time.
  • Your activities may be to blame: If you use a lot of apps that run in the background (and don’t take steps to avoid this), you might need to charge more often and it might take longer to charge. In addition, using your phone when it’s charging will result in prolonged charging times (particularly if you’re using apps like Facebook that drain the battery). Force quit any apps that you aren’t using and go into your settings to determine which apps are draining your battery. And while your phone is charging, vow not to use it unless absolutely necessary. Take a break and get off the screen for a while.

What If Your Phone Won’t Charge At All?

If switching out your smartphone cable, cleaning out the port, and changing your activities doesn’t do the trick — and your phone won’t charge at all, you might need to replace your phone’s battery entirely. But before you opt for expensive repairs or replacement, make sure you’ve tried everything else first! It’s possible that a quick fix like powering your phone on and off could work, or a quick trip to an electronics or phone store could sort out a solution. But if you’ve tried every other possibility on this list, your device might be on the outs. Hopefully, it won’t come to that point. But at least now you know the other techniques to try before you panic and assume you’ll have to pay hundreds of dollars for a working device.

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