Power Bank Not Charging? A review of Effective Troubleshooting Methods

It can be frustrating if lights are out, your phone runs out of juice, and your power bank can’t save the day. Power banks are designed to recharge your devices while you are on the move. They’re small and fun-sized for easy portability, but you can also purchase larger sizes with higher capacity.

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However, as much as your power bank solves your phone charging problems, the device can also malfunction and not take in any charge at all.

There are several reasons why your power bank is not charging:

  • The battery is out of charge
  • Your micro USB cable has malfunctioned.
  • A defective power plug
  • A poorly inserted power connector
  • Internal failure that requires replacement

The issues listed above can be addressed in different ways. Sometimes, you may need the help of an expert or manufacturer. Tag along and discover how you can easily troubleshoot these issues and get your power bank working again.

Power Bank Battery Technology

Before we go into the remedies for a”power bank not charging”, you need to know what exactly takes up the energy when you charge the device. There are two leading battery technologies used in power banks you ought to know. Remember, the type of battery used determines its charging and discharging capabilities. 

  • Lithium-ion – Li-ion batteries have been in the market for a while, and most power bank companies embrace them. Additionally, they are cheap to produce, have a significant energy density, and are durable. Demerits of lithium-ion power bank batteries are decreased efficiency, fragile and unsafe to use at extreme temperatures. 
  • Lithium polymer – The Lithium polymer battery uses polymers instead of liquid electrolytes. Lithium polymer batteries are safe, lightweight, and versatile with a larger charge capacity. However, the demerits of lithium-polymer power bank batteries are short-lived, low-efficiency, and high cost. 

Consumers assume the larger the battery capacity, the more durable the power bank. However, that’s not always the case. The technology used in your power bank will affect its durability and charging capabilities. In addition, you can have the batteries replaced when your power bank won’t charge. 

Now, let’s jump into troubleshooting your power bank.

Troubleshooting your Power Bank Under Various Circumstances

When your Anker power bank or any other type is not charging, it doesn’t mean the charging device has died completely. Sometimes you will notice the LED indicator lights blinking, but your power bank won’t charge

The best way to deal with this scenario is to troubleshoot your power bank before throwing out a perfect portable charging device.  

Here is how to troubleshoot if your power bank is not charging.

1. Insert the Power Plug Correctly 

With a faulty connection, your power bank can’t charge. Ensure the power plug is inserted correctly and the power connector fits in its socket on the power bank. In addition, the presence of debris in the charging port can interfere with the connection. Make sure there is no sand or dirt in the port causing poor links. 

2. Switch Power Cables

Ensure your connection is made correctly and if your power bank still won’t charge, the other possible issue is the power cable. Some power banks come with low-quality power cables and require replacing every once in a while. When upgrading your power cable, get a fast-charging one, so your power bank battery is full in no time. Damaged power cables may also give you trouble when charging your power bank. 

A damaged charging cable

3. Charge Source of Power

When you charge your power bank from the USB port on your computer or laptop, it won’t work. Power banks need direct charging from the primary source, like a wall socket. The voltage from your computer is not enough to fully charge power bank batteries. 

4. Switch Adaptors  

The problem may be the adaptor you are using. Try switching adaptors and see if your power bank will charge. Your adaptor may be faulty and need replacing, or you can change adaptors and see if that works.

5. Check Connected Devices

Sometimes, you may want to charge your devices at the same time as your power bank. Some people even connect to multiple devices. Although this may certainly work depending on the brand, it may slow down the charging process of your power bank. Charging your power bank before connecting to any device is the best way to ensure no charging issues.

6. Confirm Battery Age

The duration of time you’ve had your power bank is essential. Most batteries die in two to three years. The outdated batteries may be the reason your power bank won’t charge. Power bank battery technology improves with time. It is best to update your power bank so you can enjoy new technology.

7. Contact the Manufacturer

Maybe your power bank won’t charge due to manufacturing defects. After trying the steps above and your power bank won’t function, it may be time to consult customer service. If you bought it in a store, customer service would recommend you return the power bank and the receipt. From another retailer, email the company concerned and send your order ID.

Is Your Power Bank Battery Dead?

If your power bank is not charging or turning on when connected to a power source, and the LED indicator lights don’t turn on, internal damage is likely. Internal failure may result from a hard fall, contact with metal objects, or storage in a hot or cold environment. 

A standard power bank has approximately 300-1000 power cycles. If you use your power bank often, you have likely exhausted your cycles, and your battery has reached its lifespan. When used regularly, most power banks last an average of 18 months, and a good brand can carry a charge for 3-6 months with minimal loss. 

Overcharging your portable charging device will damage it. For instance, lithium-ion batteries charge right below their maximum capacity to protect the battery. Fully discharging and overcharging may be why your power bank battery is dead. Once you confirm other reasons that may have resulted in your power bank failure, here is what you do:

  • Check your warranty – Most power banks have a 12-36 months warranty if you bought them from a genuine seller. If your power bank stops working, return it and get a replacement. 
  • Visit a repair shop – Go to a local electronics repair shop and see if the issue with your power bank is fixable. Before taking this step, ensure you have exhausted other avenues because once the electrician opens the power bank, your warranty is null and void. 
  • Consult the manufacturer – Renowned brands have websites and customer service centers. Contact them, and you may get your device replaced. However, smaller brands lack reliable customer service platforms. 
  • Dispose of your power bank– If none of the steps listed above works, it may be time to dispose of your power bank and get a new one. You can take it to the local recycling or dispose of it your way. However, be careful as lithium batteries contain toxic substances that can harm the environment. 

Functions of the LED Indicator Lights When Charging Your Power Bank

Standard power banks have four LED indicator lights to help you know the charging state of your battery. Here are the functions of the indicator lights:

  • The first indicator blinks at a 0%-25% charge.
  • The second indicator blinks at a 25%-50% charge.
  • The third indicator blinks at a 50%-75% charge.
  • The final indicator blinks at a 75%-100% charge.

To confirm the charging state of your battery, double click the side button on the power bank and observe the number of flashing indicator lights. All four indicator lights flash when the battery is fully charged

A Fully Charged Power Bank with its LED lights on: 

Power bank fully charged

When only one LED indicator light blinks, consider disconnecting your phone, tablet, or laptop to prevent your power bank from discharging completely. Power bank batteries damage when repeatedly drained of charge entirely. Sometimes the LED indicator lights blink, but your power bank won’t charge. In such circumstances, consider troubleshooting your power bank and identify the problem. 

Cheap power banks have no LED indicators. So you have to connect the power bank to your phone to determine whether it’s functioning alright.  

What Are Power Banks Charging Protocols?

Charging protocols are put in place to make your power bank durable. Here are some helpful dos and don’ts when charging your pocket power cell. 

  • After purchasing a power bank, manufacturers recommend that you charge it to the total capacity. Charging before use will help you know the state of the battery. 
  • Keeping the battery charged as a power bank won’t serve its purpose without charge. It is essential to make a habit of keeping it charged.   
  • Don’t overcharge your power bank. Some power banks damage when overcharged as continued charging causes overheating, and it may even explode.
  • Overcharging reduces battery capacity and its lifespan as well.
  • Charge your power bank even when it’s not in use. Some batteries often need recharging to keep them in working condition.
  • Keep your power banks away from moisture as it can cause irreversible damage to your portable charging device. 
  • Avoid dropping your power bank. Dropping it can damage the circuit boards incorporated into the battery or the lithium rechargeable battery element, and your power bank won’t charge. 
  • Power banks should only charge the electronics intended as electronic devices have varying voltages and draw different levels of current from the power bank. Power banks can charge devices with USB port connections like speakers, laptops, tablets, and cell phones. 
  • Keep your power bank at room temperature because excessive heat or cold damages the lithium battery. Lithium rechargeable technology performs best at room temperatures. 
  • As you carry your power bank, keep it off metallic objects as they create a short circuit. Putting it in the pocket or bag with your keys and other metal objects could short the output and damage your power bank.
  • Avoid charging your devices and your power bank at the same time. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some questions people often ask regarding power bank charging:

Can power banks be repaired?

Yes, if your power bank is still under warranty, you can have it repaired by the manufacturers. In addition, you can take it to your local electric shop and have it opened, and it will take a professional about three hours to fix your power bank. 

How long should I charge my power bank?

Most power banks charge fully in 1-2 hours. When purchasing the portable charging device, read through the warranty as manufacturers have written down instructions and estimated charging time. Overcharging the battery can lead to overheating, and finally, your power bank may explode. 

Do power banks stop charging when the battery is full?

New models of power banks are equipped with technology to stop charging when fully charged. The presence of small circuits in the battery controls the charging and an independent integrated circuit, both of which automatically stop the power bank from charging when fully charged. However, older models tend to overheat when charged despite incorporating the technology.  

Which power bank is better, 10000mAh or 20000mAh?

The better of the two depends on your preference. Power banks with higher mAh have a bigger charge capacity than those with lower mAh. In addition, the 10000mAh power bank is slim and lightweight, while the 20000mAh is bulky. 

How should I charge my new power bank?

Manufacturers recommend charging your power bank to total capacity before using it. Some power banks come with some charge while still new, and even then, first, charge it fully. It takes approximately two to three hours, and then you can give your new gadget a try.

Brett Jones
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