Does your phone say it’s charging even when it’s not plugged into a charger? Does the charging light or battery icon show that the phone is constantly charging whether or not your cell phone is actually connected to a charger? Looking for a solution? Then look no further this article lists some common reasons as to why this can happen as well as some advice which should give you an edge in resolving this issue on your cell phone.
Hardware vs. Software
This issue can happen on almost any type of cell phone and can be extremely frustrating as it can cause other problems to occur as well. It can be equally frustrating when trying to diagnose the reason and cause to this problem because it can be either a software or hardware related issue.
As it can be an issue with the software (how the phone thinks) as well as a possible hardware issue (actual physical pieces) we are going to start the article with the basics and work our way up from there.
Take a good look at the phone itself, especially inside of the charging port where the charger connects to the phone.
Verify that nothing is bent
This is actually one of the leading causes as to why a phone will show that it’s charging when not plugged into a charger, or constantly beeping as though the charger is being plugged into the phone and then removed from the phone continually.
Look inside of the charging port on your phone, towards the bottom of the port there is a small metal strip which enters the charger when the phone and charger are connected. This little metal piece sometimes gets bent downwards and causes the phone to believe that the charger is plugged into the phone even though it isn’t.
So here is the first thing you should do, power the phone completely off and if possible remove the battery from your cell phone (some phones have a non-removable battery and do not allow it to be removed, so if you cannot take the battery out of your phone don’t worry too much about removing it but definitely make sure that your cell phone is powered off completely). This will help rule out any chance of an electrical short when putting this piece into its proper place.
After the phone is powered off get a needle, small paperclip, or plastic toothpick and gently insert it under that metal strip and lightly pry it up and back into its proper place. All you need to do is move it slightly so that it no longer touches the bottom of the charging port. So be gentle, you won’t need to use too much pressure, you just don’t want to accidently bend it too far or break that piece. It’s pretty sturdy for the most part but just exercise caution when bending it as you just need to move it upwards so that it no longer rests on the bottom of the charging port. Chances are that adjusting this piece will resolve the issue and get your phone to show a proper charging indicator.
Once that metal piece is back in its proper place put the battery back into the phone (if you need to) and then power the phone back on. Test the phone to make sure that it no longer shows the phone as charging when the charger is unplugged. Test the charger as well by plugging it into the phone a few times to make sure that it charges properly and that everything is working as it should be. If everything works as it should and this trick fixes your issue (as it often will) then enjoy your working phone. Don’t hesitate to leave a friendly remark in the comment section at the bottom of this guide or press the Facebook Like button or Google + button below.
If your phone is still acting up and it’s showing that it’s charging even though there is no charger attached to it, then keep reading for some additional suggestions.
Check for physical damage
If you look into the charging port on your phone and you see anything that looks broken, chipped, warped, burned, or damaged then that would likely be the cause of the issue and you would most likely need to look into your repair or replacement options as it’s a hardware problem and an actual piece on the phone will need to be replaced.
Make sure it’s clean
Check for any dirt or unwanted material inside of the charging port as well. If it seems like it could be a little dirty then go ahead and clean it, power cycle the phone (turn it off and on), and then check to see if cleaning it helped.
Cleaning your charging port
Most of the time simply blowing some pressurized air into the charging port should be sufficient in cleaning out anything that can cause this problem on your cell phone. If you can see that the port requires a more thorough cleaning then you should first try and power off the phone (if your device will let you, as some phones won’t allow you to power them off when charging. Just one of many additional annoyances this problem can cause). Once you have powered off the phone (or tried to power off the phone) you can use 99% isopropyl alcohol and a Q-tip to give the charging port a good cleaning.
As isopropyl alcohol is a non conductive liquid there will be little to no chance of an electrical short and it will not inadvertently cause serious damage to the phone. Isopropyl alcohol also dries quickly, leaves zero residue and it helps dissolve grease, removes dirt, dust, oils, lint, flux and other contaminates making it a perfect cleaning solution for this issue.
Before cleaning your charging port keep a few important things in mind.
If using isopropyl alcohol make sure to use 99% as it will not be diluted. If you choose to use the more common 70% isopropyl alcohol (or an even lower percentage) then the other additive(s) are likely going to be conductive liquids, such as water, and you increase the chance of an electrical short as well as other undesirable consequences. So stick with 99% isopropyl alcohol and avoid any issues later on down the road.
It is also important to use caution when cleaning your charging port as you do NOT want to accidently activate your LDI (Liquid Damage Indicator). Most cell phone manufactures include one or more LDIs on their product which change colors if exposed to any liquid or moisture. If an LDI is activated then the warranty on the phone is VOID as it indicates that any problems with the device are likely due to liquid damage and not the consequence of a manufacture defect.
Checking your LDI
While on the topic of liquid damage and LDIs (Liquid Damage Indicators)… liquid damage or exposing a phone to moisture (such as listening to music on your phone while taking a shower) can cause many types of power related problems. Including and not limited to charging problems like a phone showing that it’s charging when not plugged into a charger.
As such I recommend that you try to locate the phones LDI and verify that it is still white and has not been activated. If exposed to moisture or liquid the LDI will change from white to either a pink or red. LDIs are small stickers that can be round, squire or rectangles and are often located in the battery compartment on the phone itself. Manufactures often included an additional LDI sticker on the battery as well. The location of the LDI is going to depend on your make and model of phone and can also be located in or near SIM card slots, memory card slots, or be located out of site within the phone itself.
Just take the battery out of your phone (if possible) and visually inspect the device for any signs of a really small pink or red sticker. If you discover that your phones LDI is activated and had turned pink or red then liquid or moisture damage is likely causing the phone to show that its charging even though it’s not plugged into a charger and as I mention in How to fix a water damaged phone you might want to consider bathing your entire phone in 99% isopropyl alcohol to give your device a good and proper cleaning which may help revive a liquid damaged device. Note: you can wait to try bathing it in alcohol as a last resort as you may want to try some of the software troubleshooting tips that will be mentioned soon in this guide.
If you do not see a pink or red sticker then chances are your phone does not have liquid or moisture damage and you should try to keep it that way as your phone may still be covered under the manufactures warranty and if unsuccessful at finding the proper resolution in this guide then you can look into filing a warranty claim. We’ll get to that a little later though; let’s proceed with some other possible causes and of course what can be done to try to fix them.
Possible software issue
If this issue occurred after downloading an application or performing a software update or uploading a custom ROM onto the phone then there is a high possibility that it’s a software related issue that’s causing this problem.
If your charging indicator started giving you trouble around the same time that you downloaded or updated an app on your smartphone then try uninstalling that specific app, power cycling your phone, and then checking to see if removing the application(s) resolved the problem. If it does then you might consider re-downloading the app(s) to see if it will work properly as a fresh install or choose to not to re-install the app(s) until the program(s) software is updated to work properly. Don’t hesitate to write to the app developer to let them know of the issue as chances are you will not be the only one experiencing these problems, and by making them aware of the issue they will be more likely to fix it faster.
If this happened after updating or upgrading your phones software, which is extremely uncommon but can happen, then the most likely cause is an outdated application that causing problems and if this is the case then a simple update or uninstall of the app will usually fix this problem. If your device is having problems after upgrading or updating its OS (Operating System) then check out How to fix a phone that doesn’t work right after upgrading as it should get you pointed in the right direction and get your phone working properly in no time.
The ultimate software solution
If you have tried all of the suggestions so far and believe that there is a possibility that your charging problem is the result of a software glitch or malfunction then one of the best ways to resolve the issue for good is to backup your entire phone and then perform a hard reset which will put the phones software back to like new condition. A hard reset will remove any viruses, bugs, glitches, hiccups, bad applications, and will usually fix the majority of software related issues on a cell phone. If you have an Android phone and would like a step by step guide on how to do this then check out How to backup and reset an Android smartphone for detailed instructions.
If your phone got stuck charging after you flashed a custom ROM or rooted your device then it’s possible that the software wasn’t installed as smoothly as it was supposed to be and it’s just a minor hiccup. Simply re-flashing the phone should get it to work properly again.
Recap and conclusion
So if your phones charging indicator is active and your phone is not plugged into a charger then you should:
- Visually check the phone – looking for anything bent which can be corrected as well as searching for any possible liquid or physical damage in which case you could look into your repair or replacement options.
- Check for dirt or unwanted materials – making sure that the charging port is clean for a proper connection with the charger and that nothing unwanted is in the port causing problems.
- Check for software issues – that can be caused by a bad app, program, or an unsuccessful root or flash which can typically be resolved with a hard reset or by re-flashing the device.
If you try the advice listed in the article above and your phone is still incorrectly showing that its charging then there is not too much more that you can do on your end and I recommend that you should look into your repair, replacement or some of these other options that might be available in order to get a phone that’s working properly.
Thank you for reading, I hope this guide has helped you resolve this annoying charging problem and that your phone is back up and running properly again.
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Thanks again for reading and have a fantastic day.