Why is My Cell Phone Charging So Slowly?

Fix Phone Charging Slowly Issue Featured

Don’t you hate it when you plug your phone in to charge it before you leave the house, and discover it is not charging? How do you feel when you plug your phone in all night, and it barely charges? These issues are common, and luckily, the solutions don’t require you to run out and buy a new phone right away.

If the drop in phone charging speed is due to an aged or damaged battery, there is nothing much you can do than to change the battery (or phone). But if you notice a drastic change in the charging speed, there are several things you can try to fix this slow charging issue.

Change the Charging cable

USB cables endure a lot of abuse, especially when people living in the same house use the same cord. They are dropped, bent, and stored in places with significant variations in temperature (like your car).

Usb Cable

So if your phone is charging slowly, your first step should be to try a different cord. If your phone charges at different speeds depending on the cord you use, you may want to purchase a newer, better quality cable.

If you are still using the thin USB cable that comes with your old phone, change it. The newer USB cables are often thicker and can carry more power in it.

Change the Adapter

Charging Adapter

While you’re at it, try switching your adapter along with the cable. If you are still using the adapter that came with your last phone, it’s not working as well as the new one would. Newer adapters often have higher power output that can charge your phone faster.

Check the Power Rating

If you switch to another charging outlet and found that it is charging your phone slowly, it could be that the outlet doesn’t provide enough power output. There are also wall outlets with USB charging ports. Check out the power output of these wall USB outlets. Some of them only output 1A of current, which is insufficient to quick charge your phone. Newer phones (with bigger battery capacity) usually require 2 – 3A of current for a fast charge.

The solution for this is simple. Simply move the adapter to a different outlet and see if the charging speed increases.

Charging Port issues

Phone Port

The port can also cause slow charging on your phone. Use a flashlight and look inside the port on your phone, using a magnifier, if possible. Look for small particles that may be trapped inside. These particles prevent a good connection and slowing down the charging process. If you see something in there, use a wooden toothpick or a small soft brush to remove the obstruction.

Close Background apps

If your phone is charging slowly, it probably has trouble keeping a charge during the day too. Extra apps running in the background can be causing this problem. Both Android and iOS have settings you can check to see which apps may be draining the battery. Open your Settings menu and select Battery to see which apps you can close.

Damaged battery

You could remove your battery and inspect it to see if there was damage. Recently, though, manufacturers have switched over to non-removable batteries you can’t see.

Check for damage by inspecting the back of your smartphone. Look for a slight bulge over the battery.

If your phone charge drops rapidly from full charge to half of its charging life, it could also indicate a damaged battery.

Don’t use your phone while charging

Plugged In

Although it’s tempting, don’t use your phone while it’s charging. Instead, leave it alone while it’s on the charger. Even better, consider turning it off. It will charge more quickly because there are no drains on the power.

If your phone is charging slowly, I hope one of these solutions helps speed it up. You won’t be able to get back to the lightning-quick charging you had when you pulled the phone out of the box, but you may be able to make it easier to take your phone and not worry about it dying quickly.

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Tracey Rosenberger Tracey Rosenberger

Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she's excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.

2 comments

  1. I have a very cheap android phone just for phone calls and lessons at Duolingo, nothing else. Sometimes it charges quickly, according to the specification, while other times it does not charge all night or stops charging at 98%. I’ve only had it for a year. I noticed, though, that when I pull the plug and put it back after, let’s say, an hour of ineffective charging it continues at a pace fast like there’s no problem. I don’t know what to think. As you can see, I can’t watch it all night, so…. do you think you have some advice about this problem?

    Be Well
    Kleanthes

  2. Sounds like you have a poor connection or it decides that the charger isn’t connected. It shows a symbol to show it’s charging so look for that. You might try a different charger, slow is better than nothing. Actually, it’s better than fast because it heats up the battery less than a fast charger, which might be overheating the battery. And don’t worry about charging to just 98%, it’s doing you a favor. It prolongs the life of the battery to not fully charge.

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