Why Does Your iPhone or Android Smartphone Battery Discharge While Charging

Sometimes your smartphone has charging problems where the battery keeps on discharging even though you have plugged in your phone to charge.

In this article, I’ll explain why your iPhone or Android Smartphone discharges while charging and how to fix it.

Page Contents

How Does Charging and Discharging Work?

Every battery has three important components the Positive Electrode(+ve) called Cathode, a negative electrode(-ve) called Anode and an electrolyte. An electrolyte is a solution that allows the flow of ions through it. Both Cathode and Anode are dipped inside the electrolyte.

lithium ion cell

The ions move from one electrode to the other electrode depending on the situation. The electrolyte acts as a medium for the flow of ions.

All Smartphones use a specific type of battery called the Lithium-Ion battery. This battery has a unique ability to stop itself from charging anymore when the battery reaches 100% charge.

When you plug in your phone to charge, the Lithium Ions move from the Cathode(+ve) to the Anode(-ve). This process is called the Charging of the Battery.

When all the ions have moved from the Cathode(+ve) to the Anode(-ve) then your battery charges completely and it shows 100% charge.

When the phone reaches 100% charge then a signal is sent to the charger in order to stop the charging process and the flow of ions stops. Also, when you disconnect your charger from the phone then the circuit is broken and the flow of ions stops.

When the charging is over and you start using your phone these Lithium ions move from the Anode(-ve) to the Cathode(+ve) in order to supply power to the smartphone. This process is called the Discharging of the Battery.

When all the ions have moved from the Anode(-ve) to the Cathode(+ve) then your battery discharges completely and it shows 0% charge.

Reasons Why Your iPhone Or Android Battery Discharges While Charging

There are three main reasons why your Smartphone battery drains while Charging.

Your Battery Is Too Old

Lithium Ion batteries used in Smartphones have a certain number of Charging-Discharging cycles after which it becomes useless. Generally, it has a lifetime of about 300-500 Charge-Discharge cycles or 2-3 years.

If you have been using your smartphone heavily then there’s a chance that you have used up most of the charge-discharge cycles of the battery. Another reason could be charging your phone when the battery reaches 0%. This consumes the charge-discharge cycles more quickly.

If your battery is too old then the number of charge-discharge cycles left is very few and your battery cannot hold the charge for a long time. The battery also discharges while plugged in to charge.

In some cases, you’ll find that the battery cannot hold charge for more than 5 mins. You charged your phone to 100% and after you disconnect the charger, your battery charge falls down to 10%. This is a damaged battery and needs immediate replacement.

There’s A Fault In The Charger, USB Data Cable or The Charging Port

faulty charger

Sometimes there may be a problem in the circuit connection of the charger and it cannot charge the battery properly. There may also be a fault or some kind of damage in the USB data cable which connects your Charger to Your Smartphone.

If you don’t find any fault in the charger then there may a problem with the Supply Voltage. If the Supply Voltage of the Charger is less than what the battery requires then your phone will keep on discharging even if it is plugged in to charge.

Another reason may be a fault in the Charging port of Your Smartphone. Sometimes, a faulty charging port causes your phone to leak charge even when it is plugged in. This causes the battery to discharge slowly even when your phone is charging.

You Are Heavily Using Your Phone While Charging

Certain apps and games consume a lot of charge on smartphones.

If you’re using your phone to run these apps or games while it is charging then the rate at which the battery discharges is higher than the rate at which it charges. So, your battery keeps on discharging while it is plugged in to charge.

Also, if the charger operates at a lower voltage, then the rate of discharging is higher than charging and your battery loses charge when it is plugged in.

How To Fix This Battery Discharging Problem

You can fix this problem by the following four methods.

Replace Old Battery With A New One

If your battery has gotten really old and showing signs of damage like charge falling to 0% immediately after full charge, swelling, battery disconnections then you immediately need to replace the old battery with a new one.

If you have a removable battery then you can replace it easily but if you have a non-removable battery then you need to take it to a specialist repair center or the customer care center.

Buy A New Charger or USB Cable or Fix The Charging Port

new charger

If your charger is faulty or it doesn’t have enough voltage to power the battery then you need to replace that charger. Make sure to use a charger of an ideal voltage. Too low voltage can cause battery discharging and too high voltage can cause Swelling of the battery.

A faulty USB data cable can be replaced easily by buying a new USB data cable.

If your USB Charging Port is faulty then you need to immediately take your phone to a repair center or customer care center.

Don’t Use Your Phone While It Is Charging

A lot of people have this habit of playing games and using other battery draining apps while the phone is charging.

It is very important that you leave your phone alone when it is charging except for emergencies. Make this a habit and you’ll find that your phone will charge much quicker and doesn’t discharge quickly.

Take Your Phone to the Customer Care Center or A Repair Center

If any of the above methods haven’t worked for you then it is highly advisable that you take your phone to the customer care center or a well known repair center near you.

There may be a fault in the circuit or some other fault which they can find out with their experts.


Your iPhone or Android smartphone battery is discharging while charging because there may be a problem in the battery, Charger, USB Data cable or the Charging Port. Another reason might be that you are using battery draining apps when your phone is charging.

You can fix those problems by removing the battery, fixing the charging port, getting a new charger or USB cable and refraining yourself from using the phone when it is charging.

If these fixes don’t work then you need to take your phone to the customer care center or a good repair center.

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