Some iPhone XS and XS Max Units Won't Start Charging While Screen is Turned Off [Fix Coming in iOS 12.1]

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A number of iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max owners in the Apple Support Communities and MacRumors Forums report that the devices fail to start charging when a Lightning cable is plugged in while the screen is turned off.


As with many crowdsourced issues, experiences vary. In most cases, the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max begins charging once the user wakes the device by tapping or raising the screen. However, some users report having to both wake the iPhone and disconnect and reconnect the Lightning cable to get a charge.

In rarer cases, the iPhone stops responding entirely at some point after a Lightning cable is plugged in while the screen is turned off.

Lewis Hilsenteger demonstrated the issue on his popular YouTube channel Unbox Therapy today by plugging a Lightning cable into one iPhone X, four iPhone XS, and four iPhone XS Max units. While the iPhone X began to charge, it appears two of the iPhone XS units and three of the iPhone XS Max units did not.

Unbox Therapy's video uses the hashtag #ChargeGate

Affected customers have documented the issue in at least a dozen discussion threads across the web, including the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, and other forums and platforms. It's unclear how widespread the issue is at this time, but not everyone is affected.

Some users have speculated the issue could be related to USB Restricted Mode, introduced in iOS 11.4.1, which prevents an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from communicating with USB accessories via the Lightning connector if one hour or longer has passed since the device was last unlocked.


However, while USB Restricted Mode is enabled by default in iOS 12, Hilsenteger and others say disabling the feature does not help. Apple also has a support document that ensures "your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch charges as usual when it's connected to a USB power adapter" with the feature toggled on.

In the YouTube comments on the Unbox Therapy video, some users claim to be experiencing the same issue on older iPhones and iPads, so there is a decent chance this is a software issue that could be addressed in a future iOS 12 update. In the meantime, there does not appear to be a workaround.

If you are affected by this issue, we recommend contacting Apple Support. Apple frequently passes on device information and diagnostics to its engineering teams to address potential bugs like these, so all feedback helps.

Apple did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but we'll update this article if we receive any information.

Update: Apple has confirmed that this issue will be addressed in iOS 12.1.

Article Link: Some iPhone XS and XS Max Units Won't Start Charging While Screen is Turned Off [Fix Coming in iOS 12.1]
 

Nanotyrns

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2012
1,334
1,177
Denver
I was able to plug in my Lightning cable and not have it indicate it was charging until I tapped the screen but was only able to get it to do that once. I don't think I noticed this before because at night I have it AirPlay music to my HomePod while I sleep so it's not 'asleep' that whole time. Hmmmm...

P.S. I love the dark, disturbing music in the background of this video. I was expecting something to explode or one of the phones to accuse someone of murder.
 

JohnApples

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2014
1,517
2,371
So glad I passed on this unfinished product!! The 2019 iPhone is the one to go with as all these bugs will be worked out. Good luck beta testers! /s

In all seriousness, I’m sure this is a relatively minor issue that can be easily fixed through a software update.

EDIT: Because people keep quoting me: I had no idea that so many people were unaware of what the “/s” tag meant.

This post is sarcastic and not meant to be taken literally. I was merely poking fun at those who were calling the X a beta product last year when a small bug was discovered.
 
Last edited:

yes3sir

macrumors newbie
Apr 25, 2018
15
243
So glad I passed on this unfinished product!! The 2019 iPhone is the one to go with as all these bugs will be worked out. Good luck beta testers! /s

In all seriousness, I’m sure this is a relatively minor issue that can be easily fixed through a software update.
Neither is this an unfinished product nor a beta. Technology has bugs, even if it costs a lot you cannot possibly predict the behavior of a gadget on such a larger scale use. Plus, millions of iPhones are sold in weeks (on launch) so it is inevitable that some issues surface however they get blown more out of propotion just because the press and YouTubers get more clicks/views with thumbnails and captions that are against Apple even if a few hundred out of millions are facing it. Plus, Apple cares and has a 14 day replacement and an exchange policy if you face any issues which is highly rare. To top it all most of these issues like the WiFi/LTE reception issue, beauty mode issue and charging problem will be solved in the next software update. Last year a lot of people called the screen unresponsiveness in iPhone X a hardware issue and it turned out Apple fixed in within the second week of announcement. Remember?
 

lax28

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2014
276
151
New Jersey
I have been unable to duplicate the problem on my phone, my wife phone (both new Xs Max). Had almost a dozen others try, other family and work colleagues and fortunately none of them have the issue either. I hope that a software fix is out soon for anyone who does have the issue, but in my experience I wouldn't call it wide spread. Maybe just a full clean reinstall of the iOS would help. IDK, I will just be double checking to make sure my phone is in fact charging every night.
 

Flight Plan

macrumors 6502
May 26, 2014
319
246
Southeastern US
So glad I passed on this unfinished product!! The 2019 iPhone is the one to go with as all these bugs will be worked out. Good luck beta testers! /s

In all seriousness, I’m sure this is a relatively minor issue that can be easily fixed through a software update.
I'm cornfused by your post.

I’ve experienced this with my Xs Max.
Under what circumstances? How often, and can you "make" it happen, or is it mostly randomish?
 
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