5 Reasons Why Your Charger Keeps Going On and Off

These are 5 reasons why your charger keeps going on and off.

Clean power ports to struggling batteries.

So if you want to know why your charger keeps going on and off, then you’re in the right place.

Keep reading!

Table of Contents

Charger Keeps Going On and Off

Electronic devices are so amazing that we take them for granted by default. We expect them to work all of the time, even though we can be pretty hard on them. When they don’t work, it’s the most frustrating thing in the world. That’s why we all need resources to help resolve tech issues.

Have you ever had a phone or laptop that would charge for a little bit and then stop? It’s bizarre behavior, and it’s not one of those things that get fixed when you turn the device off and on again. But, if you know the most common reasons for this issue, you’ll have a lot of options for resolving it.

For the most part, on-again-off-again charging happens because of a poor flow of electricity. This can be tied to your power port, charger, power source, or battery, and we’ll go over all of these issues in detail.

#1 Your Power Port Is Dirty

Close-up of USB type c charger.

In order to get electricity into the battery, a charging cable has to connect to a charging port on the device. In other words, you have to plug it in. That’s simple enough, but sometimes the connection isn’t very good. Things can obstruct that connection, and you get intermittent connectivity. The thing charges, and then stops, and then starts again.

The vast majority of the time, this problem is from dirt or dust in the charging port, and it’s very easy to fix. First, turn the device completely off. Then, use a canned air sprayer to get the dirt and dust out of the port. Make sure there is no moisture in the port, and then try charging again. 

If you think the port is dirty and the air sprayer isn’t enough, consider taking the device to a shop. Deep cleaning electronics is a risky venture if you don’t have experience.

#2 You Have the Wrong Charger

Different electronic gadgets connected to chargers.

Obviously, you aren’t trying to plug your laptop charger into your smartphone. That’s not the point here. The issue is that chargers that seem to be designed for your device aren’t always a good choice. Mostly, that means third-party chargers. They’re nice because they’re usually cheaper. You can find them in longer cables or different colors or all kinds of changes that are convenient. But, third-party chargers have issues.

Mostly, the third-party engineers don’t have access to all of the proprietary design information for your device. Because of that, these chargers won’t charge as fast. They won’t fit as well, and they tend to wear out faster. If a third-party charger is on and off again, try using an original charger for your device. If it works, you just solved the problem.

#3 Your Charger or Cable Might Be Damaged

Angry man looking at his broken charger cable.

It seems obvious that the charger can be the problem, but it helps to know the common ways that they break down over time. One of the most common is for the cable to get damaged. People roll over charging cables with computer chairs. 

The cables can get stuck on corners, pulled accidentally, and face any number of other problems. A damaged cable will usually produce a short, and this can lead to inconsistent charging. 

One of the best ways to identify a short is if the charging is worse in cold temperatures than warm temperatures. Metal shrinks when it’s cold, and that can exacerbate a short and prevent a device from connecting.

Your charger also probably has an inverter. This is the block part of the charger with a cable coming out of each end. Its job is to convert the power coming out of the outlet into electricity that is more usable for electronics. For the science nerds among you, inverters change AC current into DC current. 

These inverters work pretty hard, and they wear down over time. When that happens, they’ll struggle to provide consistent electricity to your device, and you get this annoying charging problem. The only real solution here is to get a new charger.

#4 There Is a Problem With the Power Source

Laptop plugged into wall charger with cable organizer.

Sometimes, the problem has nothing to do with your device. Instead, it’s not getting stable electricity. This can happen with battery packs, USB ports and wall outlets. Wall outlets are the most common, so we’ll use that as an example, but this is true for any power source.

The outlet itself can have a problem. You might think that outlets are either on or off, but a number of circuit issues can cause them to have inconsistent power output. Since this is a circuit problem, simply going from the top outlet to the bottom isn’t a good enough check. 

You actually need to plug into an outlet in a different room. This will test a completely different circuit and let you know if the power source is the real issue.

#5 Your Battery Is Struggling

Frustrated man looking at his broken smartphone.

Newer devices have smart charging systems. They’re designed to shut off the charging port connection when the battery is fully juiced. This prevents overcharging, which can shorten a battery’s lifespan. There are a number of issues with the device that can make this malfunction and produce your intermittent charging problem.

The first is a bad battery. As batteries age, they can’t hold as much charge. It’s just the nature of electricity. Chagrin ga battery slowly breaks it down at a chemical level, and eventually, that means it can’t hold as much charge.

When the battery is on its last legs, it will fill up very quickly. You will get the intermittent charging issue because the smart charging system will notice that the battery is full and shut off charging. Despite that, your battery won’t last very long. The best way to identify this problem is to look at the battery level. If it claims to be full but doesn’t last very long, you need a new battery.

It’s also possible for the smart charging system to fail even though your battery is fine. There are several components at play here, and any of them can cause a problem. Unfortunately, this is very difficult to diagnose. Basically, if you thoroughly test every other common cause and still can’t find a solution, this becomes the assumption by the process of elimination.

When charging controllers fail, they can be easy or difficult to fix depending on the device. The best bet is to contact tech support for the device. They can walk you through a few resets that might help. In a worst-case scenario, you might need a new device, and you can discuss warranty options with the manufacturer.