Why isn’t my portable charger charging

We’ve all been there — your phone is plugged in to your portable charger, but it’s not charging! Naturally you want to find out what’s wrong right away. Modern portable chargers are very convenient and are a must on any trip or in any space where you want flexibility with where you can charge up. It can be upsetting when they fail to get the job done, but the good news is that most cases of non-charging are quick fixes caused by external circumstances. 

Now, the vast majority of portable chargers are fairly simple in design and don’t give off any visual indicators of whether they’re working. So, you’ll have to check for various other signs to know if the issue is with the charger itself or the result of other factors. Keep reading to learn more about the things you should check in order to troubleshoot the issue as swiftly as possible.

Make Sure Everything is Fully Plugged In

An incomplete connection is one of the most common causes of a portable charger that’s not working. Before trying anything else, your first move should be to make sure the phone (or whatever device you’re charging) is securely plugged in and the charger itself is fully plugged in to the outlet. Nothing should be loose or slipping out. 

During this check, it’s also a good idea to try removing the charger completely and plugging it back in fresh. 

Check to Make Sure Your Using the Right Charger with Your Device

While there is a shift towards more universal charging connections these days, different devices and brands still typically use different chargers. Even if the charger appears to fit your device, double check to make sure they are an actual match. Even if the type of plugin appears the same, you may be using a charger that is the wrong voltage for your device. 

Try a Different Outlet

Especially if you’re traveling and are in an unfamiliar space, there’s a good chance that the outlet itself is dead or otherwise malfunctioning. If you’ve made sure everything is connected and secure, it’s time to try plugging in to a different outlet. Try finding an outlet on a different circuit (most likely on a different wall) just in case the problem is a broader electrical malfunction.

Take a good look at the actual type of outlet you’re trying to use as well. Keep in mind that if you are traveling internationally, you may actually need a wall adapter in order for the portable charger to work properly.

Make Sure There is No Dust or Debris in the Way

If your phone or other device still isn’t charging, unplug everything and look closely for any dust or debris that may have gotten in the way. Use a small can of compressed air (available at most tech and gadget stores or online retail sites selling other tech items) to clear out any debris. Avoid using your own breath, as this can cause moisture to get trapped inside the device and cause further issues.

Never stick your hands into an outlet without proper electrical gloves on. Never use a metal stick or other metal object to clean out debris from an outlet. 

Try Charging Via USB or With a Different Wall Box

Most portable chargers come with a “box” that either connects directly to a wall socket or detaches to reveal a USB connector. If you are having difficulties, you may want to try using the charger in a different way than what you’ve tried already. For example, try charging via USB to your computer or USB charging station (now common in airports) if you’ve already tried the wall socket. 

Try Using a Different Charger

If you have one available, it’s always a good idea to try a different charger if your current one still isn’t charging. This may not be a feasible option if you are currently traveling, but if you can get hold of a different charger it will help determine whether the problem is with your current charger or your device. 

What Should I Do if Nothing is Working?

If the portable charger still isn’t working in spite of your efforts, then it’s possible that it’s dead and you need a new one. Likewise, if using a different charger doesn’t work and you’ve ruled out external electrical issues, then the issue could be with your device itself. If this is the case, make an appointment with your phone provider or device help desk as soon as possible. 

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