Solved: 2 fixes for Android phone that only charges when it’s off

Have you ever plugged your phone into a laptop, wall, or even a portable charger and just had nothing happen? It’s almost like your Android isn’t being recognized at all, unless you turn it off first, and then it charges just like it normally would. This is extremely frustrating when it happens to me, and I bet you feel the same way.

There are a few different reasons why this can happen, some more common than others, and one of the only ways to figure out what’s the deal is to go down the list of problems and see which one fits your phone best. It can take some time to sort out, but by the end of this you’ll either fix your charging problem, or know where to start.

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How to charge your phone with a broken charger port

5 Best Android Charger – Fast and Reliable Chargers for Devices

Why is My Phone Only Charging When Off?

Let’s look at the why first, so that way we can easily figure out how to fix it. While there are a few reasons why this can happen, it’s usually a problem with the pin or connector inside your phone.

Port Off Charge

Depending on the model, this pin sometimes get bent to a different position that makes charging a hassle, and changes how the phone is recognized if at all. Because of that, you can only charge the phone when it’s off.

Port Off Charge

While it sounds like this is the last type of problem you’d like to deal with, it’s actually one of the easier ones to fix. Other charging problems are either because of the battery, the cables, or the power source itself, and those can thankfully be troubleshot until you reach a solution.

How to Get Your Android Charging Correctly Again (Bent Pin)

Since the pin problem is the most common, I’ll go over that first, and then talk about how you can troubleshoot the other issues if this doesn’t fix your Android. All you’ll need for this is a flathead screwdriver, plenty of light, and a steady hand.

Step 1: Power Your Phone Down

Before you start poking any connectors or pins, turn your phone off first. Power it down completely, and wait around fifteen seconds before you start getting setup to fix the issue.

Step 2: Examine the Port

Before we try and fix this, make sure you’re in a well lit room so you can see what you’re doing. You don’t want to bend the pin the wrong way, or somehow miss it completely.

Port Off Charge

You’re going to need a pretty thin flathead screwdriver for this, but anything just as small should work.

Step 3: Straighten out the Pin

Now I’m going to warn you, I’m not responsible for any damages or voided warranties because of this, so be careful. Hold your phone with the charging port pointed towards you, and use your screwdriver to push the pin up just a smidge.

Once you do this, remove the screwdriver and power your phone back on to test it. If the pin was the problem, this will fix it almost instantly.

How to Get Your Android Charging Correctly Again (Troubleshooting)

If after a few pin adjustments your Android still isn’t charging while turned on, then the problem lies somewhere else. From this point on, you need to examine three different factors: the cables used, the power source, and your battery.

Port Off Charge

There’s something wrong with one, two, or all three of these if you can’t charge your phone while it’s on, so let’s look at how to identify the problem.

Step 1: Different Cables

It’s possible your cable is the problem, so here’s what you can try to see if it is:

  • Try the cable with a different phone.
  • Use the cable with a new device.
  • Use the cable with a new power source.
  • Try a different cable.

If you get a different result with another Android or a different cable, the cable you’re using now is definitely the problem.

Step 2: Use a Different Power Source

Sometimes where you’re plugging your Android into is the problem, so if it only charges when it’s off with one power source try a different one. I usually charge my Android through my laptop, but I could try charging it with a wall charger, or even one of my consoles.

Related: 5 Best Android Phones with Fast Charging to Keep Your Battery Full

Try as many different sources as you can to see if one works!

Step 3: Remove / Refresh Your Battery

If you have a removable battery, I recommend you swap it out if you have a different one available. If you can’t remove it, without voiding a warranty, use a battery checker app to see if there is anything not working as it should.

Accubattery

AccuBattery Download

Google Play download button

Step 4: When All Else Fails

At this point, if nothing else has solved the problem, you only have two options left. It’s not likely, but still possible that a factory reset could fix the problem. Or, if you still have an active warranty, see if your issue is covered under it, or if your manufacturer has any additional information available.

Having to charge your Android only when it’s off is an annoying problem, but it’s thankfully one with a few fixes.

Suggested reads:

4 Best Portable Solar Chargers for Android Phones

5 Best Fast Chargers for Android – Quickly Juice Up Your Phone!

5 Best Android Car Charger — The Best Fast Chargers for Cars

Conclusion

Most of the time, if your Android is only charging when it’s off, it will only take a few seconds, and a small adjustment to fix it. If the pin isn’t the problem, slowly go through everything involved in the charging process until you find out what’s causing the charging issue. As long as your Android hasn’t always malfunctioned in this way, it can still be fixed.

If you’re still having trouble, please leave any questions down below!

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82 Comments

  1. I have a related issue: I use a tablet heavily, once while plugged into a wall charger we had a power disruption. Now my tablet (know to have battery issues by consumers) only charges from a DC source, like an external battery (or a battery that charges the cells before sending output). Just though I’d pass this along, there is no need to respond, as your article mentions using mutiple charging sources.

  2. hi, my Infinix hot 4 fell into the water, and after drying it, it started having charging issues. It has an inbuilt battery. It only charges now when it’s off. And the battery quickly drains. Help please

    1. Hi Vanessa!, this is a physical harm as advice earlier. The best solution is to see an expert to change your changing system for you, it doesn’t cost much though. Thanks

  3. Hello! Please add ‘cleaning up of the phone’s port for dust and debris stuck around the metal flap’. My Galaxy note edge was not charging unless it was turned off. Cleaning up the USB port with a toothpick from under the metal stip (I had already tried straigtening it using a small flat screwdriver) helped.

    1. Hi Sayam! A dirty port can certainly cause charging problems, but we encourage readers to not mess with the delicate hardware of their devices unless they’re experts. Great tip, though!

  4. Hi, I decided to clean off the dirt in my phone’s charging port with some spirit, it stopped working since then though I never tried charging while it was off, got the port replaced when the battery was already dead so I discovered it only charged while switched off

  5. Ok so won’t charge on, turn off will not charge with factory turbo charger but will with less amp charger… Tried wireless charger and the charger recognizes the connection but still will not charge while phone is on

  6. My infinix hit 4 charge’s only when it is switched off, and it’s very slow and easily run down thought it is the charger had to change d charger but the problem remain the same

  7. my inifinix note 3 only charge when off
    I don’t know the cause of this problem but it’s annoying

    It takes close to 8hours to charge my phone full

    Please help

    The pin are perfectly okay

    1. Hi! Did you try all the methods listed in this post? Did the methods you try simply not fix the problem, or did you have issues while attempting them?

  8. My tablet works great and charges but it charges really slow like 10-15 minutes for 1% of Battery increase it has had the charging port and battery replaced I tried all the methods listed above any suggestions?

  9. Please help pls – My tablet is only working when its off… I’m using Asus me173x … it got a little wet on its charging port but i already use the rice but its not working i try to charge to other types of charging but it doesn’t work and i use on the pc but same its not working please please help i really need help dude (sorry for the grammar i hope you understand it 🙂 )

  10. Thank you!! The first exercise fixed it..all i did is used a flat object to slightly smudge up and ….vwalla, its bk charging! Tx folks!

    1. Glad we could help, Alex! Isn’t it a relief when the fix for such a frustrating problem is so simple?

  11. I used a cheap data/charger cable to charge my cell phone as the original one was misplaced. But the charger was original one only. Soon the display began flash and only lines were appearing on the display. Immediately i disconnected the charging cable and the display returned to normal. Now my cell phone is not getting charged/charging indicator does not light during cell phone switch on condition even though i use original data cable. If I switch off the cell phone and connect to the charger it displays battery charging status and charging indicator gets on and it takes charge normally and charges to full extent. I tried all the above tricks but without any success.

    I use a small gadget named “charger doctor” which displays charging voltage and current when used in series between charger and cell phone. Using this, I notice during cell phone switch on condition and charger switched off condition the voltage from the cell phone is being fed back through charger cable to this gadget and the display shows 5.12 to 5.20 volts. Earlier it was not happening. What could be wrong ? is there any solution to set right this problem.

    1. It appears that the cheap cable damaged charging hardware in your device. It will need to be serviced by a technician.

  12. Used this fix to solve the problem, thanks. At the same time I used a needle to poke around in the socket and clear it out of accumulated ‘pocket’ fluff’ which I believe also caused the charging cable to not sit properly in the socket.
    Cheesr

  13. I think you are missing something here. An update was pushed several month ago that affected the charging and battery programming. When people write that their tablets will only charge when the tablet is off, assume that the same cable/charger/battery are being used and all work and the problem is just that. WHEN THE TABLET IS ON IT WILL NOT CHARGE, WHEN IT IS TURNED OFF IT WILL CHARGE. Therefore it is not the cable, not the battery and not the plugin. Now, if someone has an actual fix, please publish. Thank you.

  14. Thanks very much…. I used a small flat metal to raise the pin at the charging port up a bit and later when I switched the phone on and I plug in the charger to my greatest surprise, it charge well.

  15. Pals my techno l9 plus can’t charge when it’s on but perform well when it’s off please help me out guys

  16. I tired everything mentioned but it didn’t help.
    Charger tester results show fluctuating current like +600, -300, +1200, -900mA nd so on. As a result phone status on constant battery percentage when on and charges only when switched off.
    Device: Moto x play
    I even tried changing the battery.

  17. My phone Intex Aqua Power+ only charges when its switched off. I tried everything from changing the cable, charger, power source, charging pin and even the battery but the problem is still there. The technician who changed the pin (entire charging flex cable) says that it cannot be repaired. Do you guys have any fix for that?

  18. I have the Samsung J7 prime, it only charge fully when i turn the phone off , and everytime i plug it in the percentage of the battery goes down. I have shown my phone company, and they say it was cause by water damage, but if that was the case , the phone would not work property.

  19. i have a charging problem too and i have tried d pinup but now am trying to reset factory setting .i hope it will work
    i use tecno l8 to change screen requires a overall change of the fone it self
    and have done tthis but unfortunately the phone only charge when swithed off .
    as said earlier have done the pin up method but nopw reseting my fone.
    how else can i do it to charge successfully

  20. Hi there can anyone please help me out with my phone (A5) can’t charge while using it but only if I off my phone just start charging I leave it till I think the battery charge but when I on my phone not full charge just 86% battery, so please can anyone know how to fix this kind of problem. Thank you.

  21. Everytime I plug my phone to charge the percentage goes down while it’s charging. When it dies that is when it actually starts charging.

  22. My phone was just fell into water and within second or two i picked it up and then i cleaned and dried it as it did fall vertically and the bottam side was charging socket which was in water my phone was half drawm anf then after drying everything was good but last evening it stopped charging in ON mode and charges only in OFF mode and also takes around 10 hours to full charge the phone and discharges within 4 to 5 hkurs of continous use i tried methods above but still same problem ???

  23. Since I started using an OTG cable ..my tablet only gives out charge it does not accept charge except when switched off

  24. I have an Excelvan MT13 9.6″ phablet. it charges quite quickly when powered off but still discharges when in use and on charge makes no inroad to battery charge.

    I have a 6 port self regulating power charger with max output of 7A regulated to demand and high quality cables, (3 x .5m) and the original usb cable. Also on car USB socket charger at 2A and one for the cigarette socket charger so I guess it’s not the charging that’s the problem, must be internal.

    I have checked the port and pins look fine and a good fit, battery is recent too. a 3,700. all cables inside are good as are the red and black cables to the battery.

    I tried the “hold button for 30 seconds, plug in cable while continuing to hold button for further 30 seconds. no change..
    Factory reset, no change

    Such a pain being out of contact phone wise whilst charging. The phablet gives me a full days standby and at least 3 hours use but even a simple game like “Woody” or patients reduces charge by about 1% a minuet with charger pluged in.

  25. I am using Panasonic Eluga Raymax having non-removable better it starts miss behaving the only charge due to power off and only upto8-9% battery .how can I fix this problem.

  26. Hi Vanessa!, yours is a physical damage as advice earlier. The best and possible solution is to see an expert to change your changing system for you. It doesn’t cost much though, thank you.

  27. I have the same problem with my Infinix hot6. I just followed the steps and it worked perfectly. Many thanks

  28. I have an Alcatel Tetra that will not recognize the charger when it is turned on but if you cut the phone off it will charge normally the back camera will not work nor will The Flash holiday started at the same time

  29. I have a Samsung S4 and it stopped charging when on but gets very warm. If I charge it while turned off it is fine and not warm. Could it be the pin problem or a software problem. I have had the phone for years without issues and this situation just started in the last couple of days?

  30. okay this is really weird. my LG stylo3 was just fine then it started this charging problem. when it is on it will not charge but i can turn it off plug it in and boom it charges but heres the weird part. while showing it is charging i can turn it back on and it keeps charging but as soon as i unplug it and plug back in it stops. whats really going on?

    1. Problem Fixed. I turned phone Off, plugged it into my computer then turned phone back on. went to settings and turned on tethering then after a few minutes selected back to charge and chose always. now it charges normally.

  31. I have a problem. My phone will not charge if I let it go dead. What causes that. It is dead now.

  32. So with a bent pin it will charge when the phone is off. But will not charge when the phone is on.
    Doesn’t make sense.

      1. Please my infinix hot s3 felled inside water and it started having issues with charging when is on it will not charge but when i turn it off it will be charging and when I turn it on when I must have plug it off it will be also charging Plz help

  33. My infinix Hot 4 stopped charging except for when i switched it off, i just read the instructions on this site and uses a flat objective to straighten the pin and now the problem is fixed. In so grateful for the information.

  34. Systematic, short n step by step approach for zeroing in the problem. After following the steps I could solve my problem within few minutes.
    You are really great! Thanks buddy

  35. Hi, I have used every steps to make my phone charge while is on but it refused, what my phone normally tell is Android system p. Charging connected device via USB and when I enter everything is un able to touch really need your help

  36. I wonder how to fix mine. My Samsung Tab S3 stopped charging one day. I did notice that all this time the charging head is never plugged perfectly due to my flawed case design.

    Now when turned on, plugging does nothing.
    But when turned off, plugging does trigger vibrate and charging logo. But then it goes off again, acting like I unplug the cable ( I didn’t ).
    And then I was stuck in charging loop.
    Surprisingly the battery goes up even tho very slow.

    Any idea what part should I replace?

  37. Wow,thanks guys,my infinix note6 just stopped charging while its on all of a sudden except I turn it off,got me really worried.I just blew air into the port with lot of pressure and boom,it started working back again,just like magic….I’m really very grateful guys,good one….thanks

  38. My infinix 6 is displaying constant OTG SUCCESSFULLY CONNECTED pop up and since then the phone charges only when switched off and very slow and also runs down very fast.

    What can I do?

  39. I used a small non-conducting screwdriver to carefully scrape around the USB-C port of my Pixel 2 XL (while powered off). Started charging while powered on again! Thanks!

  40. Is there any problem if we let it charge while its turned off.. I mean if we dont fix the aforementioned problem will it hamper the phone in any ways?

  41. Hi, I have a samsung galaxy s7 which doesn’t charge enough to charge at all. It only drains when it is turned on and it happend sudden. Now i have an app installed callled : ampere. It shows that device gets enough power in, but it just won’t charge anymore. This has to be a software problem or an malware app I did install by accident. Anyone has a simular problem and found out what program causing this?

  42. Hiii……, My mobile charging port is not bend even though my mobile will get charge only when it is switched off …….Is there any solution to this problem???????

    1. Hi Mamatha! Have you tried using different cables on your phone? This may be caused by a hardware problem and you may need to get your phone serviced.

  43. Great article.
    I downloaded AccuBattery. Everything is fine.
    Obviously I’m afraid to use a screwdriver to uplift the port- although I did use it slightly.
    The only way to charge my phone at this moment is either when it’s off or on the pad of my desk lamp -which luckily charges phones.
    You are very good. Thanks a lot.

    Tony Murillo

  44. I have a galaxy s6 edge+ and it doesn’t wireless charge unless it’s turned off. This only started after I factory reset it. If I put it on the charger while it’s on, the phone doesn’t read the charger and the little lightening bolt that usually appears in the battery doesn’t appear at all, however the wireless charger says that it’s charging. So my question is, is it possible that there is something wrong with the coils?

    1. Hi Henri! Are you using a charger that didn’t come with your phone? If so, this might be the one causing you problems. If it charges your phone while it’s off, it means that the current draw of electricity is only powerful enough to charge your phone while it’s off.

    1. Hi Candace, are you using a genuine charger from your phone’s distributor? If not, your current charger may not be supplying enough energy to your phone.

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