Restarting the Phone via Soft Reset
A restart could be the best option if your phone doesn’t appear to charge when it is turned on.
The system may have crashed, leaving the phone unresponsive when charging. This is a simple solution, but it could resolve any issues with little to no stress. A soft reset usually consists of holding the Power and Volume keys for up to ten seconds to power down the handset.
Once powered down, plug in the phone to see if it charges.
Charge with a Mains Adaptor
If you often use a laptop, console or something similar to charge your phone, switching to a mains adaptor can give a noticeable boost to your devices charging speed.
This is because different chargers have different power outputs, and that influences how quickly your phone can get its juice.
Power Bars can be useful for a quick charge, despite the worrying news that an EE branded bar was recently recalled because it caught on fire, injuring the owner in the process.
Note: Official adaptors are the safest option, and they should charge your phone quickly when compared to other methods.
Close Background Apps
Closing any unnecessary applications running on your phone should help to boost your charging speed, as well as general battery life.
Some applications (like dating apps and social media) can use a significant amount of battery power while running in the background. If you can bear to be without Facebook and Instagram, you can close background apps by opening the Recent Applications button located at the bottom right of your screen, and swiping right to close the app.
Alternatively, go to:
- tap Apps or Applications
- and check the Running tab
This will let you see which apps are in use. Tap a specific app and tap Stop to end the process.
This should stop the app entirely until you choose to run it again.
Replace the Battery
If all else fails, replacing the battery might be the best option if you want to keep using your phone.
Of course, many phones (such as the Samsung Galaxy A5) don’t allow you to remove the battery because of the way the phone is built, but it can still be sent off to be replaced if it’s insured or under warranty.
If the battery can be removed, a replacement can usually be ordered online. However, 3rd-party batteries can also be faulty, like the one that caused this Samsung Galaxy S4 to set its owner’s pillow on fire while she slept.
(Source: KDFW Dallas)
Make sure to purchase your battery from a reputable source to minimise any risk.
Gently Clean the Ports
Lint or fluff can get stuck in the charging ports. This blockage causes connection errors as it gets caught between the connectors in the phone and the charger. You can gently blow into the charging port (inside the phone) to clean them of any blockage.
If that doesn’t work, a can of compressed air can be used to clear the port at no risk to the handset itself. Resist the urge to jam anything solid in there. There is always a chance you could do serious damage to the device if you go poking around.
Sometimes the blockage won’t be visible, and the tiniest piece of dirt can cause trouble in the right spot.
Try a Different Charging Cable
A new charging cable is cheaper than a new phone, so it’s worth checking to see if a replacement charging cable will do the job. Official cables tend to be of a higher quality compared to their knockoff counterparts, and it’s not advisable to buy an unofficial charging cable for a variety of reasons.
Cheaper cables tend to break a lot faster, and there are additional safety issues. 3rd-party chargers have been known to damage the handset and have even caused house fires in some extreme cases. Make sure to cross-check the amp or watt rating with your device specifications to avoid these issues.
If possible, try to borrow a charging cable from someone first to save yourself the expense, but if you do buy third-party make sure the source is reputable. Samsung and other handset makers certify many 3rd-party charging cable manufacturers. These cables should be considered as a safe bet.
Update or Rollback
When Android rolled out 5.0 Lollipop for the Galaxy S5, Nexus 5 and other flagship devices in 2014, many owners noticed issues with poor battery life that seemed to stem from the update itself.
Updating or rolling back the phone may be useful if there’s a noticeable difference in power consumption and battery charge.
Check to see if there’s an update available for your device. Here’s an example of how to update the Samsung Galaxy S4.
If it’s possible to rollback your device, you can also downgrade to see if it improves battery life. Here are some examples of how to downgrade various Android devices along with a few different methods.
Avoid Intensive Tasks While Charging
Streaming videos, graphically intensive games, and other heavy tasks can use more power than some forms of charging can provide. When streaming video on Twitch, my device will eventually tell me that my games console can’t charge it fast enough to keep the battery from draining.
Switching to a plug socket provides my device with enough energy to stream at length.
Calibrate the Battery
Calibrating the battery capacity could be a useful solution if you want a better gauge of how long your device will last uncharged. To do so:
- Wait for your device to run out of charge.
- Switch the device on again and wait for it to turn off to completely drain the battery.
- Plug the device into a charger and without switching it on, wait for it to get to 100% charge.
- Unplug the charger and turn your device on. If the battery is lower than 100%, continue to charge until it’s full.
- Unplug the charger once more and restart the device.
- If it isn’t 100% charged, plug in the charger again and repeat this process until your device gets close to maximum charge without being plugged in.
- Once completed, let the battery drain until the device switches off.
- Charge the device to 100% one final time.
- You should now have a calibrated battery for your Android device.
A fully calibrated phone battery will give you a more accurate reading of your remaining battery life in the future. It could even keep it going a little longer if the Android OS was incorrectly identifying the battery life of your device, causing it to shut off with a small amount of power remaining.
Toggle Airplane/Flight Mode
If you can manage without your phone for an hour or so, turning on Flight Mode will charge your phone more quickly than usual. However, you won’t be able to receive calls or messages while Flight mode is active.
You can turn on Flight mode by accessing the quick menu available on most Android devices. It is also known as Airplane Mode, and it has an airplane icon.
Alternatively, you can access Flight Mode by going to the Settings Menu and tapping on the More tab.
Perform a Factory Reset
WARNING: The following method will erase all data on the device.
If all else fails, it could be time for a factory reset, but this should be done as a last resort. A factory reset will restore your device, but it will delete all of the data on your device.
It’s advisable to backup all data, which can be done with apps such as Helium. You can also copy your data to PC if you prefer. This can be done by:
- Connecting your device to your computer via USB.
- Open your device in My Computer
- Copy All Files (CTRL+C)
- Paste in preferred destination (CTRL+V)
To perform a factory reset on most devices:
Go to Settings
- tap Backup and Reset
- tap Factory Data Reset
- tap Reset Device
- and finally tap Erase everything
If problems persist after the reset, it’s likely to be an issue with the phone or charger itself.
No matter how well you take care of your device, all phones have a finite number of charge cycles and batteries will eventually need to be replaced if you want to keep using your favorite handset.
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