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Fix: Nexus 7 Refusing to Charge, Try This Trick

nexus 7 won't charge

With the introduction of Android 4.2 came a number of little obnoxious bugs that we are slowly figuring out fixes for. One of those that has plagued many (according to a variety of forum posts), is a charging issue with the Nexus 7. As users leave their tablet idle for an extended period of time or use it for hours until the battery runs completely dry, the device is having a hell of a time charging back up again or even turning on. 

In fact, if you let your Nexus 7 die completely, you may run into a screen flashing or pixel party experience once plugged into a charger that won’t bring you joy. The device, at least mine and in others’ cases, won’t turn on with any combination of button pressing. Well, there is one combo along with a charger that worked for me, getting my N7 back on the charging path of pleasure.

To charge a dead Nexus 7:

1.  Plug-in your dead N7 to a wall charger. (Jump immediately to step 2.)
2.  Immediately after plugging it in, press Volume Down and Power at the same time.

*This should get you into the bootloader menu. You may have to try this with different chargers or test out the timing in order to get it to work.

3.  Once in the bootloader menu, use Volume Down until you see “Power Off Device.”
4.  Choose that option with the Power button.
5.  Once your device is off, unplug the charger and then plug it back into the device.
6.  You should now see the battery meter (pictured above) with your device returning to life.

Hope that helps those of you with dead Nexus 7s. For the rest of you, I suggest not letting your N7 completely run out of juice. Should you see it drop to 10% or under, find yourself a charger.

Via:  Android Central Forums

 

  • Raphael Roberts

    I tried doing this after i was gaming, and now i don’t get the charging icon. Any suggestions?

  • SnowCrash

    Saved me.. Thanks!

  • Pizt

    I should have to go though all thes hoops to make my device work this is making me long for my ipad again!

  • Garrett Williams

    You saved my day. I have a nexus 7 with a smashed screen so I hadn’t used it for a month and the battery had run all the way down. On this nexus 7 was a video of my son having a seizure that we needed to send to a doctor. This N7 was the only copy of this video and the silly thing wouldn’t charge and turn on. Until I read this article. thank you,

  • anabela

    Help I’m unable to charge my n7 it only remains on if plugged but won’t charge battery even after one full day and night….what do I do?

  • Deak in London

    Rec’d a Nexus 7 as part of a subscription deal on the Times/Sunday Times. Seemed like a good gig for £50. On arrival…no chance. Unlike all things Apple, this tablet wouldn’t switch on never mind the cunning employed. A review of the above gave me renewed hope, but alas no. Further searching of forums and I came across the view that the problem of not being able to charge the Nexus 7 on unwrapping from its box is because in transportation the battery becomes dislodged. A quick visit to ifixit.com and an explanation of how to remove the back cover and hey presto…the battery was NOT PLUGGED IN !!! Duly rectified, back cover reapplied (a simple process from start to finish, just be delicate) and the Nexus 7 is now charging.

    All-in-all, a disgraceful performance by the manufacturer. Many thanks to all on the forums.

  • Matt Bucaro

    If i were to buy a nexus 7 now, is it going to be shipped with 4.1 or 4.2? Id like to stay with 4.1 until they fix all of the bugs…

  • Michael Nolin

    This worked for my son’s Nexus 7 however it still took 3 days to get the charge state back up to “charged” 100%. Day 1 15-18% , Day 2 30-38%, Day 3 46-53% then suddenly (couple of hours) ‘charged’ all using the Asus charger and cable. Asus charger is labeled ‘output 5V — 2.0A’ exceptionally hard to read the manufactures mark. There appears to be allot more going on here than just a 500mA 2.0 A charging problem.

    Still to determine if this problem is resolved.

    • Michael Nolin

      After some use down to 80% and an overnight charge there was no change in the battery status. 80% again.

  • gak101

    Just had my delivered. PLugged in following instructions. Just a very slight, occasional pixillation. Rang helpline and they said leave it for 90 minutes and if nothing ring back – 0333 number. TRied this method and now got constant pixillation butnowt else. REsponse from support? Send it back we’ll test it. Oh c’mon, I’ve waited almost two weeks as it is. So am I correct in assuming it is a android 4.2 problem?

  • William Major

    THANKS got mine back running

  • Bryan Klein

    Thank you, this worked for me. I love Google and the interwebz.

  • Don Nems

    I am returning mine. This has happened a couple times now. The first, the tech support guy walked me through the boot to recover it. It had some wierd screen image ghosting, but went away in a couple hours. Seemed fine for a few weeks. But it just did it again and now I cannot get it back. I will let them RMA it once. But if the new one does not solve this issue, I will be asking for a refund and get a different brand. Which is really sad because if it were not for this issue, the Nexus 7 would be awesome.

  • Counsel

    Thinking I’m lucky… I’ve no issue with my N7, but I had an awful experience with the Galaxy Nexus (shudder).

  • Chuckl8

    After reading the comments here, I decided to post something that is off-subject, but germane to the issue of problems with new Nexus products, and the way they’re being handled (or not) by Google.

    To use an example, if I buy a new car at a dealership, and there are problems with that new car – maybe a scratch on the paint, or the radio doesn’t work right – the seller does everything they can to fix the problem, or they knock a few dollars off the selling price. We would expect, nor would we accept, anything less.

    But for some reason we all lay down and take it when the same sort of thing happens with computer products, like the Nexus tablets. We rarely get service, or even response from the manufacturer, and we certainly don’t get discounts on the faulty product. Instead, we end up at places like this site, helping each other.

    This situation is certainly not unique to Google Nexus, and it’s certainly far from right. But how do we deal with it?

  • Gary Wilkinson

    4.2.2 couldn’t come soon enough. Wish I had of left it on 4.1

  • Chuckl8

    Just got a new N7, 32g. It shows 6% charged, and stays on 6% even after being plugged into the Nexus charger all night, and it’s showing the “charging” icon when I plug it in. When I checked the battery status in Settings, it shows 6hrs, 42mins, and stays there even after refreshing the screen and being on the charger all night.
    Would the fix being suggested here work on that issue?

    • JRomeo

      Consider leaving the tablet on, until the tablet completely dies, completely, depleted, so as not to even be able to turn on again. and after that happens, follow the steps in this article. hopefully that resets your battery meter.

      • Chuckl8

        Thanks JR. As it turns out, I was able to fix the problem – which was between my ears and not in the Nex7 – by doing something very unique; … following the instructions. Specifically, the part where it says to use ONLY the supplied charger and ONLY the supplied USB cord.
        My brilliant sub-genius mind told me that USB cords are all alike, right? … Wrong, wrong, wrong.
        Once I switched USB cords back to the one that came with my Nex7, it began charging again. I’ve now clearly marked the OEM USB cord, and hope that I never lose it. I also hope that a future upgrade fixes the small problem of the Nex7 showing the “charging” icon when in fact it ain’t.

        • JRomeo

          WOW, I learned something new. I thought there were only 2 types of USB cables. those which permitted data transfer/charging, and those that permitted charging only/no data. how bizarre.

          • Chuckl8

            So did I. Until I read your post I didn’t even know there WERE two types! DOH!
            And I also just discovered that even the “right” USB cable can be bad. While trying to configure the Nexus Media Importer app with my N723g, I wasn’t getting a connection until I noticed that the light on the card reader was not solid. Bad USB cable as it turns out. Tried a new cable and a different card reader and it all works.
            This should be in another thread, but that app is magic. My primary reason for buying the N7 was to view my photos in the field without hassling with a laptop. Even though the N7 doesn’t have an SD card port, using that app and an OTG cord does the trick, plus, I get all the N7 32g goodies, too. Sweet.
            BTW; … Great site here and very friendly and helpful bunch. Thanks!

  • christa

    I had to change mine this summer because i dropped my first nexus 7 since the 4.2 update its like my battery is dying quicker then ever i used to have up to 9 hrs now i have 6. And my screen is flickering and it sounds like my tablet creaks too anyone kno a solution to this.

  • chereybear

    What do you do if it won’t select anything once it’s in the menu?

    • SnowCrash

      You need to use the volume buttons to scroll through the menu, and the power button to select the active item.

  • ShiggityX2

    This nasty bug happened to my on Christmas Eve, but I thankfully managed to fix it using this method. Hopefully it won’t come back..

  • Phil

    This happened to me the day after I got the 4.2 update. My battery completely drained overnight and when I plugged it in it would power on, say low battery and power off, then power back on again, and keep doing this cycle and it wouldn’t charge. Then I held the power button and got the crazy pixel screen (which also made the speaker go crazy. I tried every combination of buttons and eventually figured out the bootloader trick and it worked perfectly. Haven’t let it run down again since then

  • Angelo Prandelli

    I have a similar, but not the same problem.

    By one day my Nexus 7 decided that if turn it off and plug in the charge cable instead of showing me the battery status it turn itself on.

    Now I’ve tried these method but I enter the bootloader menu, selected the Power off function and the device has blocked itself.

    I’ve unplugged the charging cable but it’s still stuck.

    Pressed for 5-10 sec. the power button and it reboot.

    I’ve tried to power off and recharge to see if it’s fixed but nothing, it boot by itself.
    Can someone help me?

  • illthreat

    Just happened to me.. Pixel screen and stuck at 11% charging. After fiddling around I got it to charge and found this page. I will follow the instructions here if need be next time. Thanks!

  • http://www.pcprocare.com/ Barry Taylor

    I just did a battery stat reset through bootloader, that seemed to fix it. I was able to successfully charge it after that.

  • Stephen Smith

    I accidentally booted into Safe Mode and it seemed to charge ok after doing that. Hope this bug gets fixed sooner than later.

  • chuckles87

    One problem I keep having is it will be fully charged and unless I turn it off the battery will die in two hours on stand by even though I have mg screen off

    • Stephen Smith

      Sounds like an app you have might be draining the battery. Have you looked at the battery performance menu located under settings?

      • chuckles87

        i know this but somehow it has slipped my mind i will check it out thanks

  • Tyler Hupp

    Is this a fix where it won’t do it again? Or is this just a band-aid until it’s actually fixed?

  • Rogerac

    My sons looks like it is charging as in the symbol but it isn’t as soon as its unplugged it dies 0% charging, any ideas?? Its brand new

    • Stephen Smith

      Supposedly the N7 charges very slowly. Try letting it sit there for a few hours and then try again. That’s what I would do.

  • Tepee

    Thanks a lot, it just appened to me, and the N7 seemed died…
    It tip works well, thank you again !

  • moozicmon

    I’d like to chime in here as well. I’ve had this happen multiple times long before 4.2. In addition, my tablet will randomly shut down during games (I suspect overheating), cease to charge randomly while plugged in, and is showing light leakage at the bottom left of the screen. I’ve tried to be positive and look over the flaws, but I think it’s time to give Google/Asus a call about this warranty. I’d also advise anyone who has picked on up recently to keep your eye out for any similar issues. They will not go away with time…

  • S Jones

    Many thanks, you saved my Christmas

  • Detonation

    Mines gotten to this point a couple times, but just letting it charge for an hour then holding power for about 20 seconds works to bring it to life

  • Hahaha, Android

    I don’t have these problems with my iPad Mini or iPhone 5!

    • Geekout

      get a life

    • QQpayne

      Thats funny cause i manage a verizon retailer and i see just as many apple devices frozen with issues as i do android. This is why you hold the circle button with the power button to fix the issue, same as power and volume down on an android. No OS is without issues, ever.

    • Eye4Detail

      And I don’t have these problems with my Galaxy Nexus and Infinity. What’s your point?

    • Hunter

      Your problems are far worse!

  • spursrchamps2007

    I actually had this issue before the last update, since then no problems the two times the tablet died.

  • Joey Funk

    This happens everytime my n7 dies. I am not a fan of it. Usually I leave it on the harder for a long time and it works eventually, but the first time it happened I was freaking out! I’ll have to try this next time it dies.

  • Rodeojones000

    Thankfully, this hasn’t happened to my N10. Granted, I’ve only had it for two days. But I have let it die completely and as soon as I plugged in the wall charger I was able to boot up immediately. And yes, I’m on 4.2.1.

    • chuckles87

      Because that is a Samsung I’ve been done with Asus for a long time they just have no quality control I’ve purchased two bad motherboards in a row and swore never to buy one of their products again but when the nexus 7 came out I said what the hell since Google is backing it big mistake. This was asus’s second chance and they blew it.

  • thedonxr

    This will be valuable information when my wife calls me because her tablet is” broken”.

  • C-Law

    I had this happen to me, crazy pixels and all. Finally got it to charge and work again but forgot what I did

  • droidman101

    Sometimes happens with my GNex. I just boot into TWRP and have it charge. Works faster for some reason.

  • Derek Ross

    Holding Vol down + Power and not letting go forces a reboot. Might as well do that so you don’t have to navigate the bootloader menu. I have 2 Nexus 7′s and this has always worked… they are not mine (one is my girlfriends and the other my “step son’s”, both gifts form me) and they tend to let them die completely… it has unfortunately occurred a few times even with 4.1 but always fixed by just holding vol down + power – and I confirmed the same works on 4.2.

  • niuguy

    Happens to me alllll the time :/

  • Shannon Reed

    Mine has been doing this since before 4.2. I tried to get ahold of google about it with no prevail.

  • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

    I hold the power button for 20 seconds if mine dies

    • chuckles87

      This works for me

  • New_Guy

    Happened with my TF300T. Just restarted the device and worked just fine.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/MMcCraryNJ Michael McCrary

    Yep, this happened to me a few days ago. Nexus had been dead for a few days, plugged it in, and the backlight started to flash every second to second and a half or so. It was like the device was trying to turn on to display the battery charge meter, but couldn’t do so.

    I thought my device was dead and that Google/Asus was going to get a call, but I held the power button/volume down button for about 20 seconds and got into the bootloader menu. I let it sit on that screen for 5 minutes, thinking I should get a charge into it while I could see something. I then chose the option to Power Off Device, unplugged/replugged cable, and voila.

    So yeah, following the same instructions helped me

    • http://profiles.google.com/mike.reys Mike Reys

      Never got out of it, did send the thing back. I had a Nexus7 16G, upgraded to a 32G and the next day the flickering screen started.
      None of the 20s or 30s procedures worked. As it didn’t happen with the 16G (same software, same version of Android), I just assumed that this is a hardware issue!

      • http://www.facebook.com/srhdeviell Sarah de Viell

        This happened to me with my first tablet now second one has died on me!! Was so pleased with it.Trying to learn from this forum before taking it back to Sainsburys. u are not alone

        • http://profiles.google.com/mike.reys Mike Reys

          Mine got fixed. A lot of Nexus7 have issues with a battery not being properly connected

  • JamesU513

    Mine did this about a month ago – SO FRUSTRATING!!! I’m gonna do my best to never let mine run all the way down again.

  • Tweekex

    Wow, seems like something that would have been fixed by now.

  • Will Rehse

    THANK THE LORD! Will try this with my dads brick of a xmas present as soon as I get home!

    • Will Rehse

      Trying right now. First two tries were not effective. Software still 4.1.2 it wants to update but since it is nearly dead says battery is too low.

      • Will Rehse

        Not working :/

  • http://gplus.to/bdbplatano M. Puente

    Thanks for the tip! I’ve ran into this issue before. But realistically, it shouldn’t come to this

    • Droid in Oregon

      I agree. It should not come to this.

      My Nexus 7 was awesome with 4.1. Since the 4.2 update, I’m now on my 3rd replacement device after a multitude of problems (lag to the point of being inoperable, awful screen flicker, and random resets) and I run the device stock, with very few apps (mostly Google apps). The 3rd device is better, but still not what I would call smooth at all.

      After my previous (even worse) experience of owning a Motorola Xoom, it would take a miracle for my next tablet purchase to be anything but an iPad. And this is coming from a guy who is a HUGE Android fan. It sounds like the Nexus 7 was a big seller for Google. It’s a shame so many people are having problems, and I hope this doesn’t turn people off from Android in general.

      • JoshGroff

        With the mostly minor bugs that the N7 has, I don’t really mind it, I rarely max out my storage or let it drain completely, so it’s a perfectly good device. If the iPad mini had better specs I might have considered getting it, but until Apple takes the 7″ form factor seriously, I’ll be perfectly satisfied with my nexus 7. Not to mention I can flash a few Roms and see if they cure the problem, something you can’t do with iOS.

        • Droid in Oregon

          Don’t get me wrong. Android tablets will ALWAYS outclass iOS, specs-wise. But I’m not having minor issues with the N7 or the Xoom. They are slow and buggy for the most point, and with Google developing quality core apps for iOS (before Android in many cases which is also frustrating) it makes the performance and quality tablet-optimized apps of the iPad difficult to ignore.

          I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who have no issues with their N7′s and I envy them.

          • JoshGroff

            By better specs I was referring to it having the A5 instead of the A6. I kind of expected it to at least be as good as the iPad 3. Just with a smaller lower resolution screen, but when they skimped on the processor as well I was thoroughly disappointed.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benjamin.pavel Benjamin Pavel

        About lagging, did you DISABLE Google Currents App ?

        • Droid in Oregon

          I did. I even tried disabling the app entirely, which is a shame because I prefer using it to Google Reader. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice any difference.

          The lag seems to happen when coming back to the homescreen from an app. I have my calendar and Chrome bookmarks widgets there, and they sometimes take a second to refresh. At worst, the homescreen is blank and takes several seconds for everything to refresh. I’ve also noticed lag scrolling through the app drawer, pulling down the notification panel, and opening Google Now. This has been the same with all 3 devices, even running them with stock settings with only the system apps installed.

          It’s just a nuisance, and it shouldn’t be. I should be stoked about how fast and smooth it runs like I am with my Galaxy Nexus, or the N7 when I first got it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benjamin.pavel Benjamin Pavel

            Maybe you could try doing factory reset and since you don’t have many apps do the backup with MyBackup and hope for the best. =/

          • Droid in Oregon

            Thanks for the advice. Right now, I’m running it with no additional apps installed. I’ve done numerous factory resets with each device. I find they all work great until I update them to 4.2. Fortunately, the screen flickering and resets happened only with the second replacement device. I’m done with the replacement process, although Google’s customer service has been excellent. I’ll just wait for the next update and hope it improves performance.

          • Duh

            Why don’t you just do a factory reset and then only update it to 4.1? Why would you insist on running 4.2 when the device isn’t running as smoothly as with 4.1?

          • Droid in Oregon

            Basically because it should just work with the latest software. No one should have to run an outdated OS version on a brand new device. That’s why I bought a Nexus directly from Google. The 4.2.2 update seems to have helped, but it is still not as perfect as 4.1 was. When I bought the Nexus 7, it was the first time I could hold an Android device up next to an iOS device and honestly say it not only kicked the iOS device’s ass feature-wise, but performance-wise as well, and for less than half the price.

      • really

        Sounds like a personal problem, I bet apex launcher would even fix it. Wow I feel bad for Asus, I bet they wish they could block your calls, waaaaa.

        • Droid in Oregon

          Sure, it’s a personal problem. And if you do a quick search on the internet, I think you’ll find a lot of people are having similar personal problems with this device. It’s in Asus and Google’s best interests that people who pay money for their products have a positive user experience.

        • sundragon

          Instead of adding constructive information, you insult someone who’s honestly having issues. Speaks volumes of ‘droid fanbois

          • Merc

            Instead of thinking objectively, you assume Android fans insult other people. Are Apple/*any-other-company-here* fans sweet little angels, then?

          • http://MyShocker.com Nudo

            Insulting someone by accusing them of insulting others. genius!

  • tfarol

    What a coincidence!! This happened to me this morning!

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Did you happen to do this as well?

      • New_Guy

        Happened with my TF300T as well. Just restarted it and it was fine. I had about 50% battery left when it happened. Funny thing is my keyboard doc was charging just fine, but the tablet, even while connected to the keyboard, wasn’t charging at all.

        • Philip A. Kaiser

          Had this happen on my 101. Took me forever to figure it out. After the second time and a bunch of dumb luck, figured this out. From what ibam reading now, sounds like a Asus hardware issue that has passed along the generations.

  • andrew galvin

    this happened to me once and i had to let it go completely dead. If it happens again ill try that fix.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I thought for sure my N7 was dead for good. This little trick completely saved it. All I was getting was a screen flashes and attempts at reboot.

      • andrew galvin

        if the N7 had a removable battery this would be non issue. Also, I wanted to add this happened long before 4.2.

        • Dave

          It IS removable, in a way. If you have something slim enough to slip between the back cover and the device body, you can easily pop it off and unplug the battery pack.

          • chuckles87

            I can open mine with my fingers its just a bunch of molded clips just like the battery door on the gs3 or gnex except they make it seen like its closed off