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Many people use smartphones today to make calls or send messages to friends and family. For many households worldwide, a cellular phone is the primary means families communicate with each other or receive calls. In turn, there are far fewer landline phones in use. 

If we look at recent stats from 2020, however, many older people still choose to keep a landline around. It could be because they are more comfortable with that technology. Or they may use a combination of landlines and cell phones to do their business. 

Whatever the case, the cordless phone is the most common type of landline handset in use today. Cordless landlines give users the freedom to move about the house or other space while still maintaining a connection to the line itself.

This flexibility is excellent, but the handset needs to use batteries to keep the connection to the landline going. Many people who still own these phones might wonder why theirs do not seem to hold a charge as they should. 

AdobeStock_160674561 cordless Telephone at hotel room sitting on bedside table with the table lamp.

Why Does My Cordless Phone Not Hold a Charge? (3 fixes)

Like any item powered through batteries, the cordless phone can’t work if the power source does not keep its charge. Therefore, most cordless phones use a dock that keeps them powered up until you make or take a call. Once the cordless phone detaches from the dock, the battery pack inside the device powers it up while you are using it. 

Generally, the battery should last long enough for you to make several lengthy calls, and most people should not notice any issues here. It is particularly true if you always put the phone back in its dock after each call. On the other hand, you could be dealing with a defective or old unit if the batteries run out, even during the shortest conversations. 

Most cordless models should come with batteries by default. And they could be in either the standard or pack format. In any case, you might be able to determine if there was a fault when you purchased the unit. 

The batteries should have no trouble holding a charge if your phone is new. However, the battery pack may be defective if your new phone can’t do this. Depending on the specific age of the phone, you may be able to get a replacement under warranty.

But before you try to get a new phone or replace the old battery, there are a few things you can try to fix the issue.

1. Perform a Full Cycle

In technical terms, a cycle is how long a particular battery can last when it starts at a full charge and drops to zero. So if you notice that your cordless battery can’t hold a charge, try to cycle it as a first step. 

Drain it until it turns to zero. Then, use the dock to charge it back up to 100 percent. Note, however, that the full capacity of a somewhat older battery may not be as big as one that is brand new. So if you’ve had your phone for a few years, don’t expect the battery to last long.

2. Check the Dock and Its Connectors

There could be a problem with your base unit. You might not notice it because the phone is still functional. Check to ensure that the dock has a solid connection with the main power in your house. 

If it does, look for connection problems between the cord, adapter, or base unit. Any of these points could cause a connection problem that seems to kill the phone despite the batteries performing well.

3. Do a Reset

Not every phone has this, but you can check to see if yours does. For the most part, cordless phones that include reset options will have buttons that clearly mark this option. 

Although the hardware for cordless phones is different from that of modern smartphones, the former can still benefit from a full reset. It will shut down the phone and its dock completely, allowing the units to start fresh again. Performing this step could help to correct any battery issues you might face, assuming that the battery pack is not faulty.

How Do I Know When My Cordless Phone Needs a New Battery? (3 Signs)

Most cordless phones offer several features that make taking or receiving calls more convenient. Unfortunately, any setting you activate on your phone can drain its battery. Over time, you will need to charge the pack up again to use the phone outside its dock. 

Although new batteries without defects should have several charge cycles, they can lose their ability to hold a full charge over time. As a result, it will have difficulty managing even a single call when the battery ages. However, some signs tell you when to replace your cordless phone’s battery.

1. Call Quality

You might experience low-quality phone calls on your cordless handset for many reasons. Various things can interfere with your phone’s ability to receive calls, but a low battery could be the culprit here. 

If you find that your calls have started to cut out periodically, it could be a sign that you need to replace the battery pack. Similarly, if you have difficulty hearing the other party even when the volume level is good, or if you hear quite a bit of static, it could be a sign that the battery is failing.

2. Beeping

Different models of cordless phones have various ways to indicate the battery is low. Beeping during a call is one of the most common ways your phone might alert you to this issue. 

If your battery is new, this could be a sign that you need to charge it. However, if the battery is old, you will probably get beeping sounds more frequently than you once did.

3. Digital Displays

Most cordless phone models include small LCD screens that display call information for their users. This info might consist of call times, current dates, active settings for the phone, and battery levels

While the battery charge indicator should deplete as a way to tell you to charge your phone, this may happen with increasing frequency if the battery can’t hold a charge.

AdobeStock_7130430 cordless phone wood background

How Often Should I Change the Batteries in My Cordless Phone?

There is no one correct answer as to when to change the batteries in your phone. The following factors can affect how long your battery pack lasts before it deteriorates:

  • Frequency of use 
  • Settings you activated
  • Length of phone calls

However, it would not be unusual to replace the batteries in the phone once every couple of years or so. Using the phone daily will degrade battery performance in as little as a yearTwo years is a decent estimate of a battery’s optimum performance

Can I Use Rechargeable Batteries in My Cordless Phone?

Yes, you can put rechargeable batteries in a cordless phone. However, most products should come with battery packs out of the box. If you need to replace the phone’s batteriesensure that it doesn’t need a specific type

Even cordless phones that don’t use just one type of battery pack will still need batteries that developers rate for use with cordless phones. So before buying any replacementscheck your phone’s technical specifications to see compatible power sources.

Can You Use Higher mAh Batteries in a Cordless Phone?

It is possible to put batteries with higher mAh ratings than the originals into a cordless phone. Although you can do this, it is an option with its caveats. 

First, the size for the replacement must be the same as the original ones your phone was using. Further, be careful about the maximum current levels that batteries can generate. 

Larger batteries might develop currents that are too large for the system in your cordless phone to handle, so you should check these numbers before you buy a higher mAh option.


A cordless phone can still be a handy option to keep around the house, and many people still like to have one as a backup to their cellular devices. However, much like a cell phone, the cordless one relies on batteries for use away from its dock. So if you have trouble getting yours to hold a charge for a long, you should consider replacing the batteries. For newer units, you can try some tips we’ve discussed here.