Some of you may have suffered from this problem and rushed out to buy a new charger when the solution was at hand with only a tiny bit of effort and only a little bit more know how. This has been one of our longest running forum topics, appearing over a year ago in answer to the problem that the Galaxy Nexus wouldn't charge. One of our industrious readers, Marchino, shared the first fix and has had pages of thanks dedicated to him ever since. Here's five tips to fix a phone that won't charge.
Either your phone won't charge at all when it is plugged in, or the connection drops out or only charges very slowly, sometimes only just faster than your device's battery is discharging. This is actually a very common complaint, and one I suffered from with a device myself. There's a few things that could've gone wrong.
DIY USB port fix
The quickest and easiest, and often most successful, solution is simply to do a little DIY repair on your actual hardware. The problem is quite often that the metallic surface inside the USB port and the microUSB charger are not making good contact, either through a manufacturing defect or because of the continual plugging and unplugging of the charging cable. All you need to do is shut down your device, remove the battery if possible and use something small, like a toothpick, to 'lever up' the little tab inside the USB port on your smartphone or tablet. Do so very carefully and gently, then reinsert your battery and plug it in again. Nine times out of ten this is all that is required.
The flimsiest part of a charger is of course the cable, not the adapter that plugs into the wall socket. So if your device is having charging issues and the previous solution hasn't helped, you might have a faulty cable. Before you rush out to buy a replacement, just grab a spare USB cable from another device and try it instead. Quite often the cable will fray inside because it is constantly being curled up, stood on or whatever. Rather than buy a complete new charger you may only need a new cable. Likewise, if the cable doesn't seem to be the problem, check the wall plug adapter, that may be the issue instead. Also, check the same charger/cable combination on a different device and see if it works normally. iPhone users have their work cut out for them with the incredibly flimsy Lightning Port charger.
Clean up your act
Sometimes the reason a device is not charging correctly is because there is something lodged in the port, or there is just a lot of debris blocking the connection. Pocket lint, dirt and other minute rubbish can get into all sorts of nooks and crannies on a smartphone, so take a look to make sure there isn't something lodged inside the microUSB port (or in the charging cable either). Of course, also make sure to never charge your phone near water or in excessively hot or humid conditions. Also, do not overcharge your device, charging overnight when your battery only needs 2-3 hours is a very bad idea and can lead to a battery exploding or damaging your phone.
Replace the battery
If your device is old, or seems to be acting very strangely where the battery is concerned, you might have a defective battery. If your Android has a removable case, take the battery cover off and ensure the battery isn't bulging or otherwise deformed or leaking. If it is, remove it immediately and clean the area carefully to avoid corrosion. If your cover is non-removable, you can lay the phone on the table and try spinning it, if the battery is bulging it will spin (this could just be the design of the phone though too, so don't be alarmed). Replace the battery with a manufacturer original or respected third party power source. A new battery should last at lest two years before it needs to be replaced, although this depends on the number of charge and discharge cycles. If this seems necessary too soon, check your warranty, you may be eligible for a free replacement.
Up against the wall
Charging from a wall socket is always going to charge faster than via PC or laptop. Likewise, the current is different, with a wall socket putting out potentially double the power of a laptop or computer. Of course, if you're using a different charger cable and adapter than the one the phone came with, it might also be the case that your charger is not sufficiently powerful for your device. For example, if you're using a charger that came with a Bluetooth headset it may simply not have the guts to be able to charge your phone. There might also be a problem with your wall socket, but that is much less likely. To charge faster, switch on airplane mode or turn your phone off.
If all else fails, just double check that you actually have the power point switched on. That is the first thing they will ask you if you call your manufacturer for help, which might need to be your next step if none of these solutions have worked for you.
Have you suffered from a smartphone that won't charge? What was the culprit and how did you fix it?