Why Is My iPhone Losing Battery While Charging?

Low Battery

Unlike older generation battery technologies, iPhone batteries are made with lithium-ion, which charges faster and has a higher power density. Hence, when you plug your iPhone into a power source, it is expected to have recharged significantly within a couple of minutes. But coming back to find the battery drained could leave you asking, why is my iPhone losing battery while charging? 

Quick Answer

The most common reason your iPhone might be losing battery while charging could be using an incorrect or faulty power adapter or cable. A defective charging port, running power-intensive apps, or having optimized charging enabled could also cause this issue. And in some cases, it could be that your iPhone battery is bad or your iPhone misread the battery capacity. 

If you are experiencing this issue, there are a few troubleshooting tricks you can try out to pinpoint the fault. This article explains more about why your iPhone might be losing battery while charging and how you can fix it. 

Reasons Your iPhone Is Losing Battery While Charging and How To Fix It

If your iPhone loses battery while plugged into a power source, it can make it impossible for you to use your device. Hence, it is crucial to figure out the issue and try to fix it. 

Below are some of the reasons your iPhone is losing battery while charging.  

Reason #1: Incorrect Power Adapter or Cable

The reason your iPhone is losing battery while charging could be as simple as a fault or incorrect charger or USB cable. If the USB or power adapter you use is not compatible with your iPhone, you may experience this issue. This issue could also arise when you plug your power adapter into a faulty power outlet

While some iPhones don’t come shipped with a power adapter, it is best to buy an Apple charger to avoid this issue. Or, if you want to buy a third-party charger, ensure it meets Apple specifications, as not all third-party chargers work on an iPhone. 

Here’s how to fix it when your iPhone refuses to charge due to an incorrect power adapter or cable.

  1. Get a new Apple power adapter and cable.
  2. For iPhone 12 or later versions, the adapter should have a minimum of 20 watts
  3. If you are getting a third-party power adapter, it should have a single phase 50 to 60 Hz frequency, an output voltage, and a current of 9 volt DC and 2.2 amp

Reason #2: Faulty Charging Port

Several things can damage the subboard of your iPhone, like water, overheating, voltage fluctuation, and overcharging. Depending on the damage’s severity, it is repairable; otherwise, you will have to repair it completely. In most cases, it could also be that your iPhone has a bad subboard or charging port.  

Here’s how to fix it when your iPhone refuses to charge due to a faulty charging port.

  1. Use a flashlight and magnifying glass if you have one to inspect the lighting connector. 
  2. Use a toothpick and a compressed air canister to clean any dust or debris
  3. If the problem persists and you have Apple Care+, take your iPhone to an Apple service shop to fix it. Taking it to a technician not affiliated with Apple might cost you less, but it would void your warranty with Apple. 

Reason #3: Optimized Charging  

If you have the optimized charging feature enabled on your iPhone, it could be the reason your charging routine is delayed. This feature is not a fault but purposely designed by Apple to help extend the diminishing effect on your battery, resulting in increased battery life. In most cases, when this feature is enabled, your iPhone would delay charging at 80%. Optimized charging works with an algorithm that engages in locations where you spend the most time, like work and home. 

Here’s how to disable optimized charging.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone. 
  2. Scroll down, tap on the “Battery” option, and select “Battery Health” from the list of options. 
  3. At the bottom of the Battery Health menu, toggle the switch off for optimized battery charging. 

Reason #4: System Error 

Sometimes your iPhone may encounter a system error which may cause it to misread the battery. Most smartphones, including iPhones, that use a lithium-ion battery are commonly associated with this issue because of how they discharge and recharge. This explains why your battery may jump from 100% to 50% in less than a minute.   

Here are things to try when your system reads an error.

  • Rebooting your iPhone will often fix most system errors, including misreading battery percentage. 
  • If the problem results from overheating, turn off your iPhone for a couple of minutes to allow it to cool down
  • If there is a system update, downloading and installing it might fix the bug. 

Reason #5: Faulty Battery

If your iPhone’s battery is faulty or aged, it would most likely lose battery while charging. Thankfully, Apple allows you to view your battery healthily on your iPhone. If the health of your iPhone is higher than 80%, then it is still in good condition. Anything lower than that means the battery has aged and would not function as intended. 

Here’s how to fix it when your iPhone refuses to charge due to a faulty battery.

  1. Drain your battery completely, wait for about 2 hours, and then try to recharge it. 
  2. If the problem persists, close power-intensive apps while recharging. 
  3. If you have Apple Care+ and your iPhone battery holds less than 80%, take it to an Apple service shop to get your battery replaced at no additional cost. 
Quick Tip

If your iPhone supports wireless charging, and you are experiencing the issue of it not charging while plugged in, take it to a technician for inspection.


The issue of your iPhone losing battery while charging is a severe one that must not be overlooked as it can affect other components in the phone. However, the good thing is that the issue is possible to resolve. 

With the few tips in this guide, you should be able to get your iPhone charging again in no time. You could even use a battery saver app to get more out of your battery. 

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