iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max Users Haunted By Charging Bug In iOS 12

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Early buyers of the iPhone XS and XS Max have just been treated with a nasty surprise. The devices went on sale a little over a week ago. Many of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users from around the world are complaining about a charging bug where the device doesn’t start charging if it is asleep when the users connected the Lightning cable. Charging begins as it normally would only after the device is woken up.

Not just iPhone XS Max users

If you are among the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users experiencing the charging bug, you’ll notice that your device doesn’t charge when you connect the Lightning cable if it’s asleep. Most of the users complaining about the issue said it occurred even when they were using the original charger and cable that came with the shiny new iPhones.


Fortunately, there appears to be no such issue with wireless charging. You don’t have to worry about it if you use a Qi-enabled wireless charging mat. Even iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users who complained about the issue couldn’t recreate it every time they charged their phones.

Last week, one of the affected iPhone XS Max users took to Apple’s Support forum to complain about the charging bug. They said:

So Just got my new iphone. and noticed this issue I’ve been having. I connect the lightning cable to my phone to charge and most of the time it’s automatically charges. However I’ve noticed several times plugging the phone in and no charge comes up. Tried unplugging and plugging back in, sometimes it’ll work. I started to test it out. And I noticed the times I plugged it in, and I get no charge, I‘d leave the phone alone for 10-15 seconds. I pick it up, the screen illuminarea and then the charging symbol pops up. ive Tested these only with apple cables. So I’m thinking it’s either a port issue or possibly software. Any ideas or recommendations ?

Since then, more than a hundred people have said they suffered from the same problem. And comments on the thread have stretched to more than 20 pages. Not all of them are iPhone XS Max users. Multiple reports indicate that older iPhones as well as iPads also suffer from the same issue. Comments on Apple’s Support forum and Reddit suggest devices like iPhone 6S, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone X are also affected by the charging bug.

Following all those complaints, popular YouTube channel Unbox Therapy has published a video on the charging bug. In the video, they performed some tests to verify and replicate the problem. Unbox Therapy found that the iPhone X and XS respond as usual when they are connected to the Lightning cable. But the XS Max shows the charging icon only when tapped to wake.

Charging bug: What’s causing the issue?

Apple hasn’t yet commented or confirmed the bug affecting its latest devices. It appears to be more of a software issue rather than a hardware one, meaning Apple could fix it via an over the air update in the coming days. The new Apple Watch was also suffering from a charging bug, which Apple has fixed by rushing a minor watchOS 5.0.1 update. The watchOS 5.0.1 changelog says, “Fixes an issue that could prevent Apple Watch from charging.”

The issue the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users are complaining about is most likely related to the USB Restricted Mode that Apple introduced with the iOS 11.4.1. It was part of Apple’s plan to step up the user privacy game by preventing brute force unlocks. It prevents USB devices from interacting (and transferring data) with iPhones and iPads if the device hasn’t been unlocked in the last 60 minutes, making it difficult for hackers and law enforcement agencies to brute force unlock an iPhone or iPad.

Charging should not be affected by the USB Restricted Mode, but it’s possible a bug is causing the problem. If it were a hardware issue such as faulty Lightning port or sensors, charging should stop working altogether beyond a point. If you are experiencing this issue, you should try looking into the iOS 12 settings. Head over to Settings > Face ID and Passcode > USB Accessories. Toggle it on if it is toggled off.

Charging bug is not the only issue affecting the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max users. They have also complained about pathetic WiFi and cellular reception, even in areas where they used to get healthy WiFi and cellular networks before upgrading to the latest models. It results in lower data speed and poor voice call quality. Affected users found that the iPhones were preferring 2.4GHz wireless networks even when 5GHz networks were available.

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