Figuring Out Why Your Battery Won't Charge

A handful of batteries.
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What You'll Need
Battery Battery charger
What You'll Need
Battery Battery charger

Battery charge issues can be due to a number of different problems. Some of them are preventable, some are technical issues with the battery itself, and some have absolutely nothing to do with the battery. Before assuming that you just need to replace your battery, consider some of these troubleshooting tips.

Battery Won’t Start Charging

There are numerous reasons for this to happen. If your battery isn’t charging at all, the first thing you should do is check to make sure it is seated properly in the charger. If so, remove it and inspect the contact points for dirt and debris. If it looks like it needs cleaning, brush it lightly with a soft cloth and set the batter back on the charger.

If your battery still isn’t charging, a common problem is that the charging device is faulty. To further narrow down the problem, try placing the battery on a different charger if one is available.

Even if you determine conclusively that the battery is the root of the problem, that battery may not be lost. Even when a battery is supposedly “dead,” it should retain some small charge. This is because most chargers work by detecting that small charge when the battery is placed on the charger. Once it detects the minimal remaining charge, it will begin charging the battery back up.

Occasionally the battery will become completely drained. If you don’t want to replace the battery when this happens, you will have to take the battery to somebody that has a professional-caliber charger to recharge it. This may not be worth the money, depending on where you take it, and you may simply be better off purchasing a new battery, so long as you are sure the battery is the problem.

Battery Won’t Retain a Charge

This is most often a sign of old age. Rechargeable batteries will not last forever. Eventually, they will begin to noticeably hold less and less of a charge. When this happens, there is no way to fix it, you’ll simply have to replace the battery with a newer one. Luckily, batteries are being designed to last longer and longer and to hold much more charge, therefore, running a device for much longer time periods before losing all their charge.

Battery Won’t Charge All the Way

This is often an issue resulting from not properly charging it, to begin with. When a rechargeable battery is charged for the first time, it needs to be left on the charger until fully charged. Removing it before it is charged could result in your battery never reaching its full charge level. Also, if you frequently start to charge it after that without fully charging it, the battery’s charge could be similarly reduced.

Determining exactly what the problem is with charging your battery is important, especially so you know whether to buy a new battery or replace your charger. Unfortunately, for the majority of the charging problems out there, fixing the battery just isn’t worth it even when it is possible.