What is Apple iPhone XS Charge-Gate?

Every time users flood the Apple support pages with a new iPhone issue, it's likely the episode will be referred to as one of the many "Gate" controversies named after the 70s Watergate scandal. Over the years, hardware and software glitches have been known as Antennagate, Chipgate, Hissgate and Bendgate. So what is Charge-Gate?


Normally, when an iPhone or iPad is plugged in the charging process starts immediately. iOS delivers a tone and displays a battery charging graphic on the screen. Devices affected by the Chargegate problem do not start charging when plugged in while the screen is off. Tapping the screen to wake the device, or sometimes picking it up will initiate charging. In some cases, affected devices refuse to charge at all, or become unresponsive when plugged in. In these cases, only a reboot will restore normal interaction.

What devices are affected?

The earliest reports pointed to iPhone XS Max devices, with iPhone XS models also appearing to have the problem intermittently. Further testing by multiple tech blogs and websites has shown that iPhone 7 units running iOS 12 and some iPad Pro models can also be affected by Chargegate. It appears that all of the devices experiencing Lightning cable charging issues are running iOS 12. However, it's not clear whether the issue is a hardware or software bug on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

How to fix Lightning cable charging

There is speculation that USB Restricted Mode is the culprit, a feature first introduced with iOS 11.4.1. While this feature can prevent iPhones from delivering data to accessories while charging, it may be interfering with the charging process itself.

To fix Chargegate issues, try turning on the iPhone screen by waking your device, then disconnecting and reconnecting the Lightning cable. Users who are wirelessly charging their iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max with a Qi-compatible wireless charger are not experiencing issues with this process. Purchasing a third-party Qi charger to use with the iPhone is another solution. Otherwise, Apple has been rumored to be offering replacements for devices under warranty or AppleCare coverage plans.

Apple has not made an official statement regarding Chargegate, however a visit to your local Apple Store or Authorized Apple Service Provider could help resolve the issue.