I left my camera unused for two years, with the battery in it. I've got it currently plugged into my computer to charge, and nothing is happening. Is it likely that the camera itself isn't working or is it more likely the replaceable battery?

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    Pure guesswork... but have you tried plugging it into a 'dumb' charger rather than a 'smart' charger? The computer may not recognise it as needing power if it is totally dead. A dumb wall charger won't know or care & just push charge at it anyway. – Tetsujin Oct 31 '18 at 18:37
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    What model camera is this? Many/most (all?) Canon digital cameras can not charge the battery inside the camera. An external charger must be used. The USB connection is strictly for data communication, not for charging the battery. – Michael C Oct 31 '18 at 20:01
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    @MichaelClark, PowerShot N, Power Shot G9 X (maybe other models too) can use USB to charge the battery. – Romeo Ninov Oct 31 '18 at 20:18
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    @RomeoNinov Thus the question mark. It's been years since I bought a compact camera, but the last Canon non-ILC I bought could not charge the batteries inside the camera, nor could any others available at that time. To the best of my knowledge, none of the Canon DSLRs or other ILCs can charge the battery in-camera. Most batteries for Canon ILCs require at least 7.2V to charge. The maximum voltage USB is rated for is 5V. – Michael C Oct 31 '18 at 21:09
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    @MichaelClark and actually that makes a lot of sense! My grandfather also gave me an external battery charger when he gave me the camera. Unfortunately since that was like 6 years ago at least, I've lost the charger. – Katie Oglesby Nov 1 '18 at 0:33

I've got a Canon 20D that I've kept around to use as a training tool for friends and family looking to try out photography (it combined with a nifty fifty is only ~$200 worth of kit that I don't really care about). Point is, it has gone and still goes a few years between stretches of use. It works fine.

I realize this is anecdotal - but 2 years is really not that long. As long as the camera has been kept dry in that time, the battery will just need a charge. As has been suggested, use a wall charger or look into a replacement battery. If you plan on storing electronics for any length of time, try to remove the batteries beforehand.


By far the weakest link in your problem is the battery. LiOn batteries will die after 3-5 years, and leaving them unused could reduce their life.

Take the camera to a camera shop and see if they have a battery for you to test. More than likely, you problem is due to a dead battery and not something internal in your camera.

  • Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. But where does the question say the battery is Li-Ion? – Michael C Oct 31 '18 at 21:10
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    Also, once a lithium ion battery drops below its minimum cutoff voltage, it is no longer possible to charge it, period, without dismantling the pack and applying voltage directly to the individual cells (which may catch fire when you try). – dgatwood Oct 31 '18 at 22:00
  • @frank I'm not 100% sure if it's Li-Ion, I'll have to look. But I see your point :) I'll definitely do that, thank you for the idea! – Katie Oglesby Nov 1 '18 at 0:13
  • Unless the camera is more than 15 years old, you can expect a battery pack to be LiIon. – rackandboneman Nov 1 '18 at 12:35
  • @dgatwood also, such stunts can eff up and perma-disable the protection circuitry in a battery pack. Big no-no for any production battery. – rackandboneman Nov 1 '18 at 12:37

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