Moto G3 will not charge if powered on

As the subject line indicates my Moto G (3rd gen) will not charge when it’s powered on. It did get below 5% charge last night. I plugged it in and noticed it wouldn’t charge. When the phone got down to 4% it shut down and I was able to charge it.

The phone will charge when powered off - I’ve gotten it charged up to 51% - but still will not charge when powered on. I’ve tried using several different chargers and the phone has the same problem with all of them. To date I’ve tried powering off/on the phone and clearing the cache partition.

Should I try letting the battery drain fully and then try again? Any and all helpful feedback or questions would be most welcome. Thanks in advance!

Have you tried placing the phone is safe mode while connected to the charger? Safe Mode

Do you have any camera or photo apps that didn’t come with the phone? Try uninstalling them if you do, and test.

Have you tried factory resetting the phone? Factory Reset

Thanks! I just tried rebooting in safe mode and the problem persisted. The battery icon will change to “charging” but the phone doesn’t actually charge. Also, if you unplug the charger the battery icon remains stuck on “charging”. I uninstalled Snapchat (which I put on a day or so ago) and rebooted the phone but the problem persisted.

At this point I’d like to try and save a factory reset as a last resort and am hoping others will chime in with additional ideas.

You mentioned trying different chargers. Did you try different cables? I’ve seen this problem with longer cables that have thin strands of wire. Also, if you have a magnifying glass, look in the charging port for pocket lint.

Thanks Bill. I did try different chargers and cables - a mix of factory chargers, various cables, a charger with and integrated cable, and a car charger. I also blew out the charging port with canned air.

I think it is important to determine if the inability to charge while powered on is

a) The discharge rate is faster than the charging rate…because of a runaway app or service

b) Hardware issue or maybe even some debris between the D- and +5V pins on the USB interface that would prevent the charger from working correctly. When the phone is powered down the D- pin could be floating and so it might not matter that it has a weak connection to the +5V pin. Check if you can transfer any data while connected to USB as that could help you pinpoint if there are issues with the USB interface.

I’m thinking you have a hardware issue. The phone seems to be thinking it’s connected to a computer and shouldn’t be charging. A factory reset should confirm that if the issue still persists.

Having tried different chargers/cables, Safe Mode to see if an app is running wild, clearing the cache and cleaning the port it would seem all that remains is a hardware problem. Since the behavior mimics a cable problem it might be a bad solder joint where the charging port connects to the circuitry inside the phone. I suppose the phone is no longer under warranty.

The batteries in cell phones don’t have a “memory” like NiCad batteries do hence bringing it down to a zero charge level and then charging it all the way back up won’t fix a battery problem but it can, in some cases, re-calibrate the charge level circuitry. Frankly, I’m suspicious of that theory. I think all that remains is a factory reset and if the problem persists after doing that either repairing or replacing the phone.

A phone connected to a computer will charge - slowly, but it will show as charging. A plugged-in phone will also show the charging indicator even if the phone is discharging at a faster rate than it’s charging. So when the phone doesn’t show the charge indicator while it’s booted up & plugged-in, and Recovery mode cache clear didn’t help, all that’s left is the factory reset. If the factory reset doesn’t fix this, the phone is defective and needs to be replaced.

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