How to Tell If iPhone or iPad Are Charging When Off or On (2022)

Is your iPhone charging? What about your iPad? I’ll teach you how to decipher the iPhone charging symbol when dead from battery drain and in general.

Long battery life and quick charging are two features that iPhone and iPad users like me enjoy on a daily basis. There are various ways that an iPhone can be charged. When your phone is on, it's easy to confirm that it's charging by checking the battery icon. However, if your phone is completely out of juice, how do you know if your iPhone is charging? What about your iPad?

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How to Tell If Your iPhone Is Charging When Off

If your iPhone has run out of battery completely, plugging it in will begin the charge, but the screen will remain off until there is enough charge for it to power back up. It may seem like your iPhone won't charge after the battery is drained completely. Don't panic, here is how to check:

  1. Make sure your iPhone is plugged in, and that the charger is plugged into a power source, such as a wall outlet.
  2. Check the large battery icon in the middle of your black screen.
  3. If the icon only shows the empty battery as shown in the image below, then your iPhone is charging and will power on soon.
  4. If the icon shows an almost empty battery and a charger as seen below, then your phone is not charging and you may need to verify your charger cable and power source.

Pro Tip: Did you know that there are many ways to charge your iPhone? Learn how to charge it wirelessly, without a charger, and more.

Related: How to Check Your iPhone's Battery Health

Comparison of battery icons between charging and not charging

How to Tell If Your iPhone Is Charging When On

  1. Make sure your iPhone is plugged in, and that the charger is plugged into a power source, such as a wall outlet.
  2. Check the battery icon on your screen.
  3. If the icon is green and there is a lightning bar in the middle, then your iPhone is charging.

    is my iPhone charging
  4. If the icon is white, yellow, or red, then it is not charging.

    is my iPhone charging

If you find that your iPhone is not charging at this point, check all cord connections to verify that everything is as it should be and that there are no problems with the charger cable itself. Another tip is to try another power source, and remember that certain outlets may only be powered when light switches are on!

How to Tell if iPad is Charging When Off or On

You can use the same steps to check if your iPad is charging as you would for iPhone. The iPad charging symbol when dead looks the same:

how to tell if dead ipad is charging
Image credit: aiconsmith / Shutterstock.com

Just like on iPhone, a dead iPad screen that shows an almost empty battery and a charger is not charging. If you only see the battery and no charging chord, it is charging. A dead iPad screen may take a while to turn on even while charging. Be patient and it will happen! Voila, now you know how to tell if your iPad is charging when dead! Once your iPad is on, you can check the battery icon on your screen. If the icon is green and there is a lightning bar in the middle, then your iPad is charging.

As you can see, knowing whether your iPhone is charging can be simple. However, it's one of those things that many people would never recognize unless they had already learned what to look for! Next, learn how to know if your Apple Watch is charging!

Top image credit: dan.nikonov / Shutterstock.com

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Author Details

Olena Kagui's picture

Author Details

Olena Kagui

Olena Kagui is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life who lives in Hawaii. With a BA in International Relations from Anglo American University, Olena traveled the world. She has lived in Ukraine, the Czech Republic, China, and the USA. Olena won an excellence award for a controversial article, got a grant to blog from a war-zone, and published a short fictional story. She hopes to publish a full-length novel and continue writing up a storm on her blog The Travel Bug Bite! When she’s not typing or flying, she is loving on animals, crafting bizarre creations, and devouring all-you-can-eat sushi.