Are you plugging in your phone, watching it charge, only to be left baffled when it stops at 85%? You’re not alone. Many smartphone users have faced this particular issue that leaves them scratching their heads.

Welcome to our deep dive into the perplexing world of the 85% charging conundrum. We’ll uncover the potential causes and solutions to this phenomenon, so you can enjoy a fully charged device and not have to worry about running out of juice when you need your phone the most.

Why is my Phone Only Charging to 85%?

The inability of your phone to charge beyond 85% is likely attributable to one of three factors: a battery-saving feature, a calibration problem, or excessive heat generation during charging. Battery-saving features such as optimized charging are designed to prevent overcharging and thereby prolong battery lifespan. Calibration issues, conversely, can result in erroneous battery level indications, causing your device to stop charging prematurely. Similarly, if your phone produces too much heat while charging, it may automatically cease to charge as a safety measure.

Because of a Battery Saving Feature

Your phone might stop charging at 85% due to a battery-saving feature, designed to prolong battery health. This feature prevents overcharging, which can degrade a lithium-ion battery over time. It’s an intentional design by manufacturers to extend battery lifespan. Though you can disable this, doing so may impact your battery’s longevity in the long run.

Your smartphone is a fairly smart cookie. It’s packed with features designed to keep it running smoothly, and one of them is a battery-saving feature that can stop charging at around 80-85%. This feature, often found in modern smartphones, is intended to prolong the lifespan of your phone’s battery.

Lithium-ion batteries, the kind found in most smartphones, don’t particularly like being charged to 100% all the time. It can cause stress and degrade the battery’s health over time. To prevent this, some manufacturers incorporate a battery-saving feature that intentionally stops charging at around 85%, especially when the device is plugged in for extended periods. The aim here is to reduce battery wear and extend its overall life.

Even when you use fast charging under normal circumstances, you’ll find that charging slows significantly before your phone’s battery reaches 100%.

So, the next time your phone stops charging at 85%, don’t fret. It’s likely your device trying to keep its battery in top shape.

The battery feature will certainly prolong the life of your battery and if it’s stopping you from getting a full day’s usage from your device, you could always grab yourself a power bank. However, if you find it inconvenient, you can typically disable this feature in the settings menu.

On OnePlus and iPhone, it can be disabled by turning off Optimized Charging in battery settings, and on Samsung, the feature can be toggled on and off within battery settings under a setting called Protect Battery

But remember, while disabling this feature might give you more power in the short term, it could impact the longevity of your battery in the long run.

Calibration Issues Stopping Your Phone Charging Past 85%

Your phone might stop charging at 85% due to a battery calibration issue. This happens when the phone’s software misinterprets battery signals, assuming it’s fully charged prematurely. Recalibration, done by completely discharging and then fully recharging the battery, can correct this miscommunication. However, this process should be infrequent as full discharge cycles can harm lithium-ion batteries over time. In essence, a simple recalibration could solve the 85% charging mystery.

Consider your smartphone’s battery and its software to be like two friends who need to communicate well for things to work as they should. They rely on each other for accurate information. Your battery sends signals about its charge level, and your phone’s software interprets these signals to display the correct percentage on your screen.

Sometimes, however, these two friends have a misunderstanding, and that’s where calibration problems arise. If your phone’s software misreads the battery’s signals, it might think the battery is fully charged at 85%, stopping the charging process prematurely.

Fortunately, recalibrating your phone’s battery is usually straightforward:

  • Allow your phone’s battery to drain entirely until it shuts down on its own and allow it to rest for a couple of hours.
  • Then, power it back up and let it turn off again due to low battery.
  • Connect your phone to a charger and let it charge undisturbed. Don’t turn it on during this time. Allow it to charge until the on-screen or LED indicator signifies a 100% charge.
  • After achieving a full charge, unplug your phone from the charger.
  • Finally, switch on your phone.

Your Phone May Not be Charging Past 85% Because it is Overheating While Charging

Overheating can sometimes be the unseen culprit stopping your phone from charging beyond 85%.

Smartphones come equipped with a built-in safeguard – a safety mechanism designed to prevent your phone from going up in smoke. When your device gets too hot, this system kicks into gear, and one of these protective measures is usually to stop or limit charging. Overheating while charging can degrade your battery life over time, and to prevent this, your phone might just stop charging at around 85%.

This overheating could be due to several reasons. Perhaps you’re running power-hungry apps while charging or your phone is sitting on a blanket, blocking effective heat dissipation. Even high ambient temperatures from something like a gaming PC running nearby can heat your device up.

So, the next time your phone refuses to charge beyond 85%, touch it. If it feels hotter than usual, it might be trying to tell you something. Give it a break from charging, close unnecessary apps, and move it to a cooler environment.

If that doesn’t solve the issue, you should get your phone checked out just in case it has a faulty battery.

Here are a few other – not so common – causes for your phone not charging past 85%.

Software Glitches and Operating System Bugs

It’s not unheard of for software glitches or operating system bugs to be at the heart of your charging woes. A minor hiccup in your smartphone’s OS could be miscommunicating with your device, causing it to prematurely halt charging before it’s full. To troubleshoot this, try checking if there are any pending software updates for your device. Patching up your OS can often iron out these charging bugs.

Third-Party Apps Interfering with Charging

Surprisingly, that cool new app you recently downloaded could also be meddling with your charging process. Some rogue apps can interfere with system processes, including charging, resulting in your phone stopping at 85%. If you’ve recently installed a new app and noticed this charging issue, try uninstalling the app to see if it makes a difference.

Hardware Issues

It’s also possible that there are physical, hardware problems at play. If your phone has suffered a fall, there could be internal damage impacting the charging circuitry. If you suspect hardware issues, it might be best to bring your phone to a professional for a thorough check-up.

Faulty Battery

Your battery itself could be the source of your problems. Over time, batteries degrade, and their capacity diminishes. If your phone consistently stops charging at 85%, it might be that your battery can no longer hold a full charge. In this case, replacing the battery could be your best bet.

Damaged Charging Port or Cable

Last but not least, let’s not overlook the charging port and cable. Dust or debris in your charging port, or a frayed cable, could be interrupting the charging process. Try using a different charging cable and ensure your charging port is clean. If this solves your problem, you’ve found your charging demon! If not, it’s back to the drawing board, exploring other possible causes.

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How to Identify and Fix the Issue Causing Your Phone to Not Charge Past 85%

Here’s how you can play detective and pinpoint the cause of your charging woes.

Battery-Saving Feature

If your phone has a battery-saving feature that limits charging to around 85%, it’s usually something you can toggle on or off in your settings. To check if this is the case, navigate to your battery settings and look for any options related to battery protection or longevity. If you find such a setting and it’s enabled, simply turn it off and your phone should start charging to 100% again.

Calibration Problem

For a battery calibration issue, the solution is relatively straightforward but requires patience. Here’s what you do:

  • Drain your battery completely until your phone shuts off.
  • Plug your phone into the charger and let it charge uninterrupted to 100%.
  • Once fully charged, restart your device.
  • This process should recalibrate your phone’s battery and hopefully solve your 85% charging limit issue. Remember, you should only do this occasionally as frequent full discharges can harm your battery in the long run.

Excessive Heat Generation

If you suspect that your phone is overheating during charging, there are several steps you can take:

  • Avoid using your phone while it’s charging. This reduces the strain on your battery and helps keep the temperature down.
  • Never charge your phone on a blanket or anything that can inhibit ventilation.
  • Charge your phone in a cooler environment. High ambient temperatures can contribute to overheating.
  • If your phone feels hot to the touch while charging, remove any cases or covers which could be trapping heat.
  • Consider using a lower-wattage charger if you’re using a fast charger, as these tend to generate more heat.

Restart Your Phone

First things first, try the universal solution to most tech problems: the humble restart. It’s a simple yet effective step to fix any potential software glitches causing the charging cap.

Check for Software Updates

Operating system bugs can sometimes meddle with charging processes. Check if there are any pending system updates for your device. If there are, install them. Updates often come with bug fixes that could potentially resolve your charging issue.

Monitor App Behavior

If the issue persists, start observing your app’s behavior. Have you recently downloaded a new app? Sometimes, third-party apps can interfere with system processes, including charging. If your phone’s charging habit changed post a new app installation, try uninstalling it to see if the problem resolves.

Test With Different Charging Equipment

Let’s move on to hardware checks. Try charging your phone with a different cable and adapter, preferably one that you know works fine with other devices. This can help you rule out any issues with your charging equipment.

If your phone comes with built-in battery health monitoring tools, now is the time to use them. Check for any irregularities in your battery health or usage patterns. If you see your battery health significantly degraded, it might be the root cause.

Professional Inspection

Finally, if you’ve gone through all these steps and your phone still stops charging at 85%, it may be time to bring in the experts. Visit a professional service center for a thorough inspection.

They can help identify if the issue is due to a faulty battery, damaged charging port, or some other hardware problem.