USB problem, cannot charge FP3

Hello, I have a problem with the USB of my Fairphone 3. I’ve installed /e/ manually about a year ago.

It suddenly did not charge anymore, i.e. the charger was not recognized. I plugged the cable in and nothing happened. Both when the phone was on and when it was switched off. Also trying to charge it from my laptop’s USB didn’t work.

Upon start-up and with no cable connected, I always have a notification: “device connected via USB is being charged”. In the system settings menu, although no cable is attached, it says that the USB connection is being controlled by the other device (which doesn’t exist). I can’t change to “control USB connection from this device” i.e. my phone.

What I tried to do so far: run all system updates. factory reset, i.e. deleting all user data. It didn’t make a difference. I got a philips #00 screwdriver and tried to undo the screws in order to clean the bottom module but the screwdriver doesn’t fit and is damaging the screws.

What should I do next? Is it a software or a hardware problem?

Thanks for any help in advance.



Hi @anatom , in my case the phone got wet and I solved the charging problem by changing the bottom module with the screwdriver that came together with the phone. The difficult part was to find the module, as there is no stock in the FP shop. In I found one (overpriced), but it seems like they have no more. You can try to find someone in the fairphone forum who is willing to sell you one, or find some spare part reseller online. You can try to contact Fairphone in case the warranty is on, but if you have /e/ installed I assume they wont help you… Good luck anyway!

Hello @kisman172 , @graz and thank you for your support.

The problem has disappeared and I don’t know exactly why. This is what I did:

  1. Re-installed Fairphone OS. At that point USB recognition and charging worked sometimes in a haphazard sort of way.
  2. Took the phone away from my damp boat into a dry and warm flat. From then on, USB recognition was ok, and charging worked again in all possible combination of cables, chargers, phone switched on and off etc.
  3. Re-installed /e/.

[begin edit]In retrospect I think my boat was too damp and this interfered with the hardware. I’m happy my phone’s still working![end edit]

Thanks again and all the best.



Maybe some kind of waterproof case will make your day ?

Just a thought: if you and your phone spend a lot of time on your boat, it might be worth getting hold of a phone that is more water resistant. Sony Xperia models Z3, Z3 Compact, Z5, Z5 Compact are all IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins), are officially supported by /e/, and can be picked up quite cheaply on eBay

Perhaps sew up a cotton bag of Edit, with thanks to the following poster, raw rice desiccant the same size as your phone. Put phone and desiccant in a small airtight sandwich box, or (as I use) a zipper freezer bag. The phone may ring a bit quieter!

Don’t use rice

or any other substance that can leave residue inside the phone - this will only cause more damage.

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Thanks for your suggestions. I might consider getting a Sony in the future.
Thanks again.