It’s frustrating when you plug your phone in to charge but it seems to take forever to charge up. A smartphone charging slow can happen for a variety of reasons – some are easy fixes while others may require replacing parts. 

Sometimes, when you buy a new smartphone, you can face the slow charging issue. And sometimes, after a few years that happens.

In this article, we’ll go over the main reasons why your smartphone might charge slowly and then provide solutions on how to fix a slow charging smartphone.

man experiencing charging issues in his smartphone

20 Reasons Why Your Smartphone is Charging Slowly

Let’s see what actually causes the smartphone to charge slow. Here are 20 reasons so that you can analyze what might be causing the issue in your device:

1. Faulty charging cable

A common cause of slow charging is a defective or low-quality charging cable. Over time, cables can wear out, get damaged, or fray. This leads to poor connections and reduced charging efficiency. Sometimes, the issue is not visible externally. This is why it is always worth trying a different cable to see if it resolves the problem.

2. Damaged charging port

The charging port on the device itself can become damaged or dirty, leading to poor contact with the charging cable. Dust, debris, or even corrosion can obstruct the connection, resulting in slow or intermittent charging. In some cases, physical damage to the port can also hinder the charging process.

3. Incompatible charger

Using a charger that is not designed for your device can lead to slow charging. Different devices have different power requirements, and a charger that does not meet these requirements won’t charge the device efficiently. This is especially true for devices that support fast charging but are paired with chargers that don’t provide enough power for this feature.

4. High battery usage while charging

If you are using your device heavily while it’s charging, it can slow down the charging process. Activities like playing games, streaming videos, or using GPS can consume a significant amount of power, counteracting the charging speed and leading to longer charging times.

5. Outdated software

The software on your device plays a crucial role in managing battery life and charging. If the software is outdated, it might not be optimized for the best charging performance. Manufacturers often release updates that can improve charging efficiency, so keeping your device’s software up to date is important.

6. Degraded battery

Over time, the battery in your device will naturally degrade and lose its capacity to hold a charge. This degradation can lead to slower charging times and reduced battery life. Battery degradation is a normal process, but if it becomes significantly degraded, you might need to consider replacing the battery.

7. Extreme temperatures

Electronic devices are sensitive to temperature extremes. Extreme cold can slow down the chemical reaction within the battery. Whereas extreme heat can cause the battery to degrade more quickly. It’s best to charge your device in a moderate, stable temperature to ensure optimal charging.

8. Background apps consuming power

Apps running in the background can consume power, even while the device is charging. This includes apps that update in the background, music or video streaming services, or active GPS services.

9. Poor power source or outlet

The quality of the power source or outlet can significantly impact charging speed. An outlet with low voltage or unstable power supply can result in slow or intermittent charging. Similarly, using a power strip with multiple devices plugged in can also reduce the amount of power available to charge your device.

10. USB connection to a computer or low-power source

Charging your device through a USB port on a computer or other low-power sources can be much slower than using a wall charger. USB ports on computers often have a lower output compared to standard chargers. This means your device will take longer to charge.

11. Software glitches

Software issues can sometimes affect how your device manages power and charging. Glitches or bugs can prevent the device from charging efficiently, or even misreport the actual battery level. Keeping your device’s software updated is crucial as updates often contain fixes for known issues.

12. Hardware malfunctions

Internal hardware problems, beyond just the charging port or battery, can also lead to slow charging. Issues with the power management system or other internal components can affect how the device charges. These types of problems typically require professional repair.

13. Dust or debris in the charging port

Accumulation of dust, lint, or debris in the charging port can obstruct the connection between the charger and the device. This leads to slow or intermittent charging. Carefully cleaning the port can often resolve this issue, but it should be done delicately to avoid further damage.

14. Use of wireless charging (generally slower)

Wireless charging tends to be slower than wired charging. The energy transfer efficiency via induction is lower than the direct connection in wired charging. Although wireless charging offers cable-free convenience, it often results in slower charging. This is particularly the case if the charger or phone doesn’t support fast wireless charging standards.

15. Battery saver mode

Battery saver mode aims to prolong your device’s battery life. However, it may slow down charging. This mode typically cuts power usage by dimming the screen, restricting app activity, and occasionally limiting charging speed. The extent of its impact on charging differs based on the device and its power management settings.

16. Faulty or low-quality battery replacements

Substandard or defective batteries often charge inefficiently or may not align well with your device’s charging system, causing slower charging. For optimal performance, it’s advised to use high-quality or OEM batteries for replacements.

17. Active GPS, Bluetooth, or data connections during charging

Similar to running apps, active connections like GPS, Bluetooth, or cellular data can also consume power, impacting the charging speed. For instance, if you’re using GPS navigation while charging your phone in the car, you might notice that the charging process is slower due to the high power usage of GPS services.

18. Physical damage to the phone

Physical damage to the device, such as from drops or impacts, can affect its internal components, including those involved in charging. Damage can manifest in various forms – from visible harm like a cracked screen to internal issues like a loosened battery connection or damaged circuits. Such damage can impede the flow of electricity to the battery, resulting in slow or inconsistent charging.

19. Overuse leading to battery exhaustion

Continuous or heavy use of a device can cause battery exhaustion. Batteries have a limited number of charge cycles and overuse speeds up their capacity loss. An exhausted battery holds less charge and charges more slowly. This is due to the degradation of its chemical components over time.

20. Manufacturer’s limitations on charging speed

Manufacturers often cap device charging speeds to extend battery life, ensure safety, and prevent overheating. Fast charging generates heat, potentially damaging the battery and electronics. This speed limit, integrated into the device’s software and hardware, balances charging efficiency with protection and can’t be changed by the user.

Now let’s move ahead with fixing slow charging on your smartphone.

How to Fix Your Smartphone Charging Slow

Here are some fixes for slow charging phone:

1. Replace Your Charging Cable 

If your cable is frayed or damaged, replace it with a high-quality new cable designed for your phone model. This is often an inexpensive fix that instantly improves charging speeds.

2. Clean Out Your Charging Port 

Carefully remove any lint or debris that may have collected inside your phone’s charging port. Avoid metal tools and don’t damage the port. Compressed air blows out dirt efficiently.

3. Get a New Wall Charger 

Replace an old, worn down charger with an official new wall charger ensuring a perfect match with your phone for fast charging.

4. Close Background Apps While Charging 

Apps running in the background divert energy from charging. Close all apps before plugging the phone in to maximize charging speed.

5. Charge Your Phone on Room Temperature 

Extreme external temperatures lead to slow internal chemical reactions. Charge in average room temperature around 65-75°F for fastest charging.

6. Consider Replacing an Aging Battery 

If your battery is over 2 years old, has fewer than 500 charge cycles or is under 80% capacity, replacing it will greatly speed up charging.

So, what is making your smartphone charging slow?

A slow-charging smartphone can disrupt your daily routine.

Luckily, most common causes of slow charging are easy to identify and fix without professional help.

Start by checking your hardware, like cables and ports. Then, look into software issues. 

Replacing old batteries and chargers can bring charging speeds back to optimal levels, allowing for faster phone charging.

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