Is your iPhone not charging, but the screen turns on when plugged in? This is a common problem that old iPhone users face.
Last week, a friend’s iPhone XR was not charging, but the screen turns on when connected to the charger.
It was a frustrating moment for her. She sent me her iPhone for troubleshooting, and I checked and found the issue after trying a few troubleshooting steps.
If your iPhone is not charging but turns on when you insert the lightning connector, this guide will help you to fix the issue.
Also Read: How To Improve iPhone 14 battery Health
Why iPhone Not Charging But Turns On When Plugged In?
If your iPhone is older (iPhone X, XR, 8, 7, etc.), then a faulty adapter, frayed lightning cable, overheating, outdated software, degraded battery health, dirty lightning port, etc. are the most common reasons why your iPhone screen turns on when plugged in but the battery won’t charge.
1- Faulty Adapter
iPhone 11 or older series comes with a 5W power adapter. After using it for so many years, the current output capacity decreases and doesn’t provide sufficient current to charge your iPhone.
2- Broken Lightning Cable
Due to continuous plugging and unplugging of charging, the lightning connector gets damaged and won’t pass current at its full capacity.
Because of low current output, your battery won’t charge but the display turns when connected.
Heat is the biggest enemy of Li-Ion batteries, and iPhone has an inbuilt safety feature to cut off charging activity if battery temperature increases to a certain level.
If your iPhone is overheating because of any reason, it won’t charge when you plug in the lightning cable.
4- Dirty Charging Port
The lightning port attracts dust and debris from our jeans pocket, couch, or environment. A layer of dust blocks the charging pins and prevents the current flow.
If your lightning port is dirty or clogged with debris, it won’t charge when plugged in.
You need to unclog and clean the charging port with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol.
5- Degraded Battery Health
Apple battery health decreases to 80% of its full capacity after 500 charge cycles. However, it also depends on your charging pattern and usage.
If your iPhone is more than three years old, then there is a chance that its battery health is degraded.
In this case, your iPhone display will turn on because of current input via the charger, but the battery won’t charge.
6- Buggy Software
Buggy software is another common reason why your iPhone faces charging problems.
It usually happens when you’re using an older-generation iPhone. However, Apple frequently releases iOS updates to fix the reported bugs.
Also Read: Why My iPhone Touch Won’t Work When Charging
7- Damaged Lightning Port
A damaged charging port is the strongest reason why your iPhone is not charging but turns on when plugged in.
You should get your charging port replaced at the Apple service center or any professional repair shop.
Also Read: Why My iPhone Won’t Charge Past 80
How To Fix an iPhone That Won’t Charge?
If your iPhone is not charging when plugged in but screen turns on, then try the following solutions-
1- Try a New Adapter
A faulty power adapter is the most common reason any smartphone faces charging-related problems.
So, first, ensure that your adapter is functioning properly. Plugin your iPhone into a new power adapter and check if it’s working.
You can also try charging your iPhone with a laptop USB port or a power bank. If you have a wireless charging pad, check if your iPhone is charging wirelessly or not.
If it charges with other power sources, it means the issue is with the adapter only.
You can buy an Apple 20W original power adapter replacement from Apple Store or Amazon.
2- Try a New Charging Cable
Your lightning cable works as the current carrier, but it gets frayed and damaged with regular use.
A damaged or frayed lightning cable doesn’t carry current to your iPhone lightning port.
Inspect the cable and buy a replacement cable if you notice any damage to it.
3- Cool Down Your iPhone
If your iPhone is overheating, you may face problems with charging. So, cool down your iPhone and plug in the charger.
You can leave your iPhone in a well-ventilated area to cool down. Once the temperature drops to normal, connect it to your charger.
4- Clean the Charging Port
The next thing you should do is, inspect your charging port. Any dirt or debris in the charging port prevents current flow, and iPhone won’t charge.
Use a flashlight to check if your charging port is dirty. If debris blocks the charging port, remove it carefully with a toothpick or sharp non-metal objects.
Dip a cotton swab into the isopropyl solution and thoroughly clean the dust. Let it dry for 45 minutes, and then connect the charger.
Most probably, your iPhone will start charging. If it doesn’t, try the next solution.
Also Read: How To Fix iPhone XR That Won’t Charge
5- Check Battery Health
After completing 500 charge cycles, the iPhone battery loses its 20% capacity, and battery health reaches 80.
So, if your iPhone is more than 2 to 3 years old, you could have completed more than 700 to 800 charge cycles.
Degraded battery health will not charge, and Apple recommends battery replacement once battery health reaches below 80.
Reach out to any nearest Apple care and get your iPhone battery replaced.
6- Update the iOS
Some people reported their iPhone is not charging after battery replacement. If you’re also one of them, check for an iOS update in Settings > General > Software Update.
If any update is pending, download and install it on your phone. The charging issue will be resolved.
7- Factory Reset Your iPhone
A factory reset fixes many software-related problems on any smartphone. If your iPhone battery is not charging after trying all the above solutions, I recommend a factory reset.
Connect your iPhone to your MacBook and take a backup of your files and media.
Now, go to iPhone Settings > General > tap on Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase All Content and Settings.
Follow on-screen instructions to factory reset your iPhone. Once it is finished, power off your iPhone and connect the charger.
Most probably, the battery charging issue will be resolved.
Also Read: How To Fix iPhone 13 Pro Max Not Charging
8- Contact Apple Support
Have you tried all the above fixes, but your iPhone still won’t charge? There might be some major hardware fault (maybe a burnt capacitor) or a completely dead battery.
Take your iPhone to the nearest Apple care center and get it repaired.
Why My iPhone Stops Charging After a Few Seconds?
Your iPhone will stop charging after a few seconds if you use a third-party adapter or charging cable and if there is any debris clogging the charging port.
It’s better to use the original Apple 20W adapter and MFI-certified lightning cable to charge your iPhone.
Why does iPhone 7 Not Charging But Turns On When Plugged In?
Your iPhone 7 will not charge if battery health is degraded below the recommended level.
But, if you’ve replaced your iPhone 7 battery, then there might be an issue with the software or the power source.
You can update your iPhone 7 software to the latest version and try a different power source to charge it.
Why iPhone X Not Charging But Turns On When Plugged In?
A faulty power adapter and frayed charging cable are the most common reason why iPhone X users face charging issue.
Try charging your iPhone X with your MacBook or utilize its wireless charging feature.
If both don’t work, take it to the nearest Apple care and get the problem resolved.
Also Read: How To Fix iPhone XS That Won’t Charge
Why iPhone 11 Not Charging But Turns On When Plugged In?
iPhone 11 comes with a 5W power adapter, which loses its current output capacity with time.
When your 5W adapter doesn’t supply enough current, your iPhone battery will not charge, but because of some current flow, the software alerts the screen, and it turns on.
Also Read: How To Fix iPhone 11 That Won’t Charge
Why iPhone 12 Not Charging But Turns On When Plugged In?
iPhone 12 series has the poorest battery health (specifically iPhone 12 Mini), and 5G support drops the battery backup further.
Because of less battery backup, iPhone 12 users frequently connect it to the charger. Due to this, battery health degrades, and the chances of port damage increases.
Check your iPhone 12 battery health from settings and get it replaced if it’s below 80.
Also Read: How To Fix iPhone 12 Battery Not Charging
An iPhone won’t charge, but the screen turns on when the charger is inserted because the charger supplies current to the motherboard. But, if the current supply is below the rated level or battery health is dead, it won’t charge your iPhone.
You can clean your charging port, try wireless charging (if your iPhone 8 or newer), and update the iOS version to fix it. If nothing helps, take it to the nearest Apple service center for repair.