Your iPhone X is not charging and you're not sure why. Whether you're using a Lightning cable or wireless charging pad, this is one of the most common problems iPhone users experience. In this article, I'll explain why your iPhone X won't charge and show you how to fix the problem for good!
Table Of Contents
iPhone X Won't Charge? Here's The Real Fix!
Is My iPhone X Broken? What's Really Going On?
At this point, we don't know if your iPhone X is not charging because of a software or hardware issue. When your iPhone charges using a wired connection, there are four main components working together:
- Your iPhone's software
- Your Lightning cable
- Your iPhone charger
- Your iPhone's Lightning port
If any one of these components isn't working properly, your iPhone X won't charge, or it'll charge slower than normal. In our step-by-step guide below, we'll show you how to diagnose and fix the component that's causing the problem with your iPhone X.
I'd also like to point out that if a hard reset (step 1 in the guide below) works for you, then the issue wasn't that your iPhone X wouldn't charge! The software on your iPhone crashed, making it look like your iPhone X was not charging. In fact, your iPhone was on and charging the entire time — you just couldn't tell!
My iPhone X Won't Charge Wirelessly!
One the biggest changes from the iPhone 7 and earlier to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X was the innovation of wireless charging. However, like most other iPhone features, wireless charging is still far from perfect.
If your iPhone X won't charge wirelessly, here are a few tips:
- Take off any case or other accessory that may be obstructing your iPhone X from your wireless charger.
- Turn your iPhone off and back on. This can fix minor software glitches.
- Update to the latest version of iOS. Wireless charging was implemented via software updates, and subsequent updates could impact how your iPhone X charges wirelessly.
- Make sure your wireless charger is plugged in. It may sound silly, but if your wireless charger is not plugged in all the way, it could be the reason why your iPhone X won't charge wirelessly.
- Make sure you're charging your iPhone X with a Qi-enabled wireless charging pad. Other pads may not be compatible with your iPhone X. On Apple's website, they recommend Qi-enabled pads produced by mophie and Belkin.
- DFU restore your iPhone (step 6 in the guide below).
How To Fix An iPhone X That's Not Charging
1. Hard Reset Your iPhone X
If your iPhone X is frozen or unresponsive, a hard reset allows you to restart your device. It's important to note that a hard reset is only ever a temporary fix to a software problem because it doesn't address the underlying cause of the issue.
How Do I Hard Reset My iPhone X?
- Press the volume up button.
- Press the volume down button.
- Press and hold down the Side button until the Apple logo appears on the display.
- Your iPhone X will turn back on shortly after.
- Whenever possible, turn off your iPhone X the normal way rather than performing a hard reset. When you perform a hard reset, the programs running on your iPhone don't get the chance to shut down properly, which can cause further software issues down the line.
- You may need to hold down the Side button for 15-30 seconds.
Learn more about how to hard reset your iPhone x.
2. Inspect Your iPhone Cable (Lightning Cable)
Damaged Lightning cables are a common reason for iPhone problems, especially related to charging and transferring data between iPhones and computers.
Lightning cables can be tricky to diagnose because when they start to go, they usually don't break all at once. Sometimes an iPhone will continue to charge but won't sync data properly, or vice versa, because of the construction of the cable. Make sure to take a close look while you're troubleshooting!
How Do I Inspect My iPhone Cable (Lightning Cable)?
- Use a flashlight and look closely at both ends of your Lightning cable. These cables can become worn and tend to fray, especially at the end with the Lightning connector.
- If you see no visible signs of damage, try charging your device using both a USB port on a computer and the wall adapter which came with your iPhone. If your Lightning cable works with one, but not the other, then your cable is not the problem.
- Try charging your device with a friend's or family member's Lightning cable. If their cable works while yours doesn't, then you've identified that the problem is your Lightning cable.
- If your iPhone or other Apple device is still under warranty, your Lightning cable is too! You can make an appointment at the Genius Bar or set up an online repair for a Lightning cable, just like you can with your iPhone.
- Be very careful about buying low-quality third-party iPhone charging cables, like the ones you find in the gas station. Apple has a special MFi certification that you should look for before you purchase any non-Apple cable.
- Now that you've been warned about low-quality cables, there are high-quality alternatives to Apple cables. One of my favorites is this MFi-certified, extra durable Lightning cable that's guaranteed to last. It's MFi-certified so you know it's high-quality, and it's backed by a 1 year warranty.
Learn more about how to inspect your iPhone cable (Lightning cable).
3. Inspect Your iPhone Charger
There are many different ways to charge your iPhone — plugging it into your laptop, wall adapter, car charger, and more. As a precautionary measure, the software of your iPhone will prevent charging if it detects fluctuations from the power source.
How Do I Inspect My iPhone Charger?
- Charge your iPhone with multiple different power sources. If you normally use your wall charger, try using a USB port on your laptop, and vice versa.
- If your iPhone charges with one power source but not the other, then you know that the charger is causing your problem.
- If you're attempting to charge your iPhone using a USB hub or Apple keyboard, plug your iPhone directly into the USB port on your computer. USB hubs and keyboards only have certain amount of power which has to distributed between any of the devices connected to them. If the other devices connected to your USB hub or keyboard are using up too much power, then there may not be enough left to charge your iPhone.
Learn more about how to inspect your iPhone charger.
4. Inspect Your iPhone's Charging Port (Lightning Port)
You should frequently inspect your Lightning port, also known as the charging port, to make sure it is clean. Lint, gunk, and other debris can prevent your Lightning port from making a solid connection with your Lightning cable.
How Do I Inspect My iPhone's Charging Port (Lightning Port)?
- Use a flashlight to see if there is lint, gunk, or any other debris in your iPhone's Lightning port.
- If you find debris in your iPhone's Lightning port, gently brush it out with a new toothbrush or anti-static brush.
- Don't have an anti-static brush? We recommend this two-pack of high-quality anti-static brushes available in the Payette Forward Shop.
- Do not brush out your device with anything that will conduct an electric charge or damage the electronics in the bottom of your device.
- The Lightning cable has nine connectors. If any one of those connectors is blocked by debris, your device may not charge at all.
- Often times, a dirty charging port will cause your iPhone to get stuck in headphones mode. Read our guide to more about this problem and how to clean your charging port.
Learn more about how to inspect your iPhone's charging port (Lightning port).
5. Back Up Your iPhone
It's important to back up your iPhone before doing any major restores (such as a DFU restore). If something goes wrong while you're trying to fix your iPhone, having a back up means you won't lose any of your data (such as contacts, photos, apps, and more). Restoring from a back up is a lot more convenient than having to go and reenter all the information that was saved on your iPhone.
How Do I Back Up My iPhone?
There are two ways to back up your iPhone:
Backup Your iPhone Using iCloud
- If you have a WiFi connection, you can back up your iPhone using iCloud.
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap iCloud (I blacked out my iCloud email address in my screenshot, but you'll see your iCloud email address there!)
- Tap Backup.
- Make sure the switch next to iCloud Backup is on. You'll know the switch is on when the switch is green.
- Tap Back Up Now.
- A status bar will appear to tell you how much time is remaining.
Backup Your iPhone Using iTunes
- Plug the Lightning connector on your Lightning cable (charging cable) into the Lightning port on your iPhone.
- Plug the other end of your Lightning cable into a USB port on your computer.
- Open iTunes on your computer.
- Click on the iPhone icon in the upper left hand corner of iTunes.
- Click the circle next to “iCloud” or “This computer” to select whether you want to backup your iPhone to iCloud or your computer.
- Click Back Up Now to backup your iPhone.
- When the backup is complete, you'll see the time and date updated under Latest Backup.
Learn more about how to back up your iPhone.
6. DFU Restore Your iPhone
A DFU restore has the potential to fix software problems by completely erasing the code which may be causing your problem. The code is rewritten as if your iPhone is brand new, so the software problem may get solved.
Think of it like a house that has cracks in the foundation. Rather than try and fix the cracks, we are building an entirely new foundation.
How Do I DFU Restore My iPhone?
Watch our DFU restore video walkthrough on YouTube, or follow the steps below:
- Using a Lightning cable, plug your iPhone into a USB port on your computer.
- Open iTunes. It doesn’t matter if your iPhone is on or off.
- On an iPhone 7 or newer, press and hold the power and volume down button.
- After 8 seconds, release the Power Button, but continue to hold the volume down button
- Let go of the volume down button when iTunes says “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.”
- Your iPhone’s display will be completely black if you’ve successfully entered DFU mode. If it’s not, try again from the beginning.
- Restore your iPhone using iTunes.
- If you can, back up your iPhone before completing a DFU restore. Any time you do a restore, it erases everything from your iPhone. However, after the restore is completed, you restore all your backed up data back onto your iPhone.
- Learn more about DFU restores in our article: How To Put An iPhone Into DFU Mode, The Apple Way.
- A damaged component can prevent your iPhone from fully completing the DFU restore. If your iPhone is damaged in any way, a DFU may break your iPhone.
- In Apple jargon, the power button is also known as the Sleep / Wake Button.
Learn more about how to DFU restore your iPhone.
7. Repair Your iPhone With Puls
Puls is a “we come to you” iPhone repair service that will meet you at your home, office, or Starbucks to repair your iPhone in as little as 30 minutes. Every Puls repair is backed by a lifetime warranty and their prices tend to be a lot less than Apple's.
Puls repairs broken iPhone screens, batteries, speakers, cameras, charging ports, and more. The only drawback at this point is that Puls isn't available everywhere (they're mostly in major US cities).
How Do I Repair My iPhone With Puls?
- Visit Puls.com.
- Select iPhone.
- Select the model of your iPhone.
- Enter your ZIP Code.
- Select the color of your iPhone.
- Select the repair you need completed and fill out any additional information you want the technician to know.
- Schedule a repair time and date.
- Enter your address and personal information.
- Click “have a coupon code?” right above Submit Repair Request.
- Enter the coupon code PF10ND18 to save at least $10 on your repair.
- Click the button that says “Submit Repair Request”.
- Every certified Puls technician has passed a background check, so you'll know they'll do a great job!
Learn more about how to repair your iPhone with puls.
8. Repair Your iPhone With Apple
Apple repairs iPhones at the Genius Bar in Apple Stores and through their online mail-in repair service. Apple repairs are high-quality, but out-of-warranty repairs can be much more expensive than third-party solutions. If you're looking to save some money you're not covered by Apple's warranty, you may want to check out our other recommendations.
How Do I Repair My iPhone With Apple?
How To Repair Your iPhone With Apple's Mail-In Service
- Visit Apple's support website to begin the online mail-in repair process.
- Alternatively, call 1-800-MY-APPLE (1-800-692-7753) to set up a repair.
How To Repair Your iPhone At The Genius Bar Inside Your Local Apple Store
- Visit Apple's website to make a Genius Bar appointment before you go into the store. Apple Stores are extremely busy, and if you don't have an appointment, you may have to wait for hours or end up being turned away. (Editor's note: I'm a former Apple tech and we're not exaggerating — please, do yourself a favor and make an appointment first!)
- When you arrive, go to the Genius Bar to check in for your appointment.
- Genius Bar appointments always include free diagnosis. If you're under warranty, many repairs can be done on the spot, but it all depends upon which parts are in stock. If you're not under warranty, the Genius will give you a quote for the cost of a repair.
- If you're not sure whether your iPhone is still under warranty, you can find out on Apple's website.
- Apple repairs are covered by a 90-day AppleCare warranty.
- If you've ever used a 3rd-party service to repair your iPhone, or if you've ever replaced a part of your iPhone with a non-Apple part, then the Apple Store may not repair your iPhone. (Shhhh!)
- In some cases, Apple will not repair devices that are older than five years old. These devices are classified as vintage or legacy.
Learn more about how to repair your iPhone with Apple.
Charging Once Again!
Your iPhone X is charging once again, whether you're using a Lightning cable or Qi-enabled charging pad. Next time your iPhone X won't charge, you'll know exactly how to fix the problem! If you have any other questions about your iPhone, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!