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How to Fix a Broken Charger

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

Your charger is essential to keeping your electronic gear charged up and ready to go. Whether you’re using a phone or tablet, or any other device that has a charger, a broken charger can be a pain. There are a few simple steps that you can take in order to fix a broken charger.

How to Fix a Broken Charger

You're not alone if you're wondering, "How do I fix a broken charger?" This simple and effective guide will help you take a look at a few simple steps to have your charger in working order.

Reasons Why a Charger Stops Working

There are a few basic reasons why your charger would stop working: The wall socket is off or damaged. A damaged charger. There is damage to the device power port. If any of these problems occur, you'll need to replace the charger to resolve them.

How to Fix a Broken Charger

can you fix a broken charger

As with any broken gadget, there are a number of fixes you can try to get your broken charger up and running again.

Make sure the outlet is turned on.

In some European-style outlets, you'll find individual switches to control the power going to the wall outlets. American homes might use switched surge protectors, a light switch that controls the wall outlets, or a breaker. Some breakers reset automatically if they trip—others may need to be manually reset after they've tripped.

Make sure the cables are connected correctly.

Make sure you unplug all the cables and wait a few minutes before you reconnect them. When you reseat them, make sure they're all tight and accurate.

Look for lights.

If your Mac charger isn't working, check the status light on the charger's plug. The same goes for laptop computer chargers and portable charger battery packs.

Reboot the charging device.

The device controls its own charging behavior, so you may need to reboot the device if it stops charging.

Try a different outlet.

Outlets are sturdy, but they can fail. Before using an outlet to power your electronics, test it with the multimeter tips below.

Check for damage to the charger.

how to fix a charger cord that keeps turning on and off

If you see bare wire, stripped insulation, or wire shielding, that could be the source of the problem. Plug the cable in and wiggle it. If it works intermittently as you move it, the cable's copper wiring is damaged. If possible, replace the wire with a new one.

Check the components.

If you're having trouble with your charger, try removing all the extra components you have attached to it: adapters, outlet splitters, power strips, and surge protectors. If the charger still won't work when plugged into a working outlet, then the problem lies with one of the removed pieces. Try adding the pieces back one by one until you find out what's causing the problem.

Check the fuses.

When you open the fuse box, look for a flipped breaker and flip it back. Each switch typically points in the same direction (up or down). If you see a fuse with its handle pointed in the other direction, it has likely been tripped. Find the fuse associated with the outlet you're using and reset it. It pops back into place with a springing sound.

Clean the charging port.

If the charging cable doesn't make a click sound when it connects and you aren't charging, look inside the charging device. With both Lightning and USB-C charging ports, users have found that anything from pocket lint to a grain of rice caught in the port can prevent the phone from charging. Remove any garbage with plastic tweezers, a cotton swab, or a toothpick.

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Try a different cable and power adapter.

The most common cause of charging cable failure is a bad charging cable. The cable takes the most stress over time, so it tends to fail first. The charging brick connecting the wire to the wall can also fail, though it's not as common. Use a different USB charging cable and adapter and see if the problem resolves itself. Replace one at a time to pinpoint the culprit.

Clear the USB port.

If a USB port is physically prevented from making good contact, try removing the obstruction. You can bend the sheet metal housing of a USB port back into shape if it has been deformed over time. With modern USB Micro and USB-C devices, bend the small tongue inside the charging port if it's out of place.

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Test with a multimeter.
With a multimeter, you can check the cable and wall outlet to narrow down potential problems. To check the outlet, connect the probes to the multimeter and set it to AC voltage, then insert the black probe into the neutral port, and the red probe in the hot or positive side of the outlet. If the outlet works, check the cable. To check the cable, turn the multimeter's central knob to the resistance setting (Ohms, or Ω). Then, touch one pin on opposite ends of the cable with one probe from your multimeter, and another pin with another probe from your multimeter. If you get no reading from your multimeter, this means there is an open circuit somewhere along this section of wire that prevents current from flowing . Check for broken sections of wire or damaged pins on connectors.
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