iPhone Charging Port Not Working: The Solution

Dealing with an iPhone port that is not working can be frustrating. I will share a few helpful tips that I have used to have the port charging again. Try out these fix tips first, which only take a few minutes, before you fork out money to have your iPhone repaired,

Clean the iPhone charging port

If your phone is not charging, there might be dirt, dust or lint in the charging port, making it difficult for the lightning cable to make a solid connection. Yes, your iPhone charging port can get dirty and stop working. Every time you put your phone in a bag or in the pocket, tiny bits of dust, dirt, or lint find their way in. Once you insert the cable, it compresses the dirt deep into the charging port. The port is eventually fouled with debris and stops working.

How to clean the iPhone charging port

Cleaning the lightning port requires enough light. You can use a flashlight or work under a bright LED desk lamp to see deep into the lightning port. You may want to begin by blowing in compressed air and see if you can blow some of the dirt away. If this does not work, use a toothpick to wedge out dirt. Toothpicks are the only proper tool for this job, and you should never try cleaning out the charging area with any metallic or anything more strenuous than wood. The port has delicate electronics, and using metallic items can permanently damage it. Follow these steps when cleaning the lightning port:

  • Switch off your phone completely
  • Hold a compressed air can upright and blow short controlled bursts into the port. Ensure the can does not expel wet propellant.
  • Check to see if your phone is now charging. If not, it’s time to use the toothpick.
  • Insert the toothpick gently into the charging port and lightly scrape wedged dirt inside the port wall. Avoid applying pressure to the inside wall near the phone’s front since it has some delicate pins. Be gentle with the sides, too, since they serve as a home to two small spring-mounted anchors which latch onto the lighting port.
  • Blow in another burst of compressed air to blow out anything you have loosened with the toothpick. Test to see if the phone is now charging.

Restart your iPhone

Your phone could be experiencing minor software glitches, which could cause your lightning port to have challenges with charging connections. Restarting your phone could resolve these software issues. To restart your phone, press and hold the sleep button and swipe the power icon appearing on the screen from left to right. Please wait for a few seconds before restarting it again.

If your phone fails to restart, you can force a restart to clear the temp files stored in the memory or completely reset your iPhone. Here is what you need to do to force a restart:

  • For iPhone 6 series and earlier, hold the home button and side button simultaneously until the Apple icon appears on the screen.
  • For the iPhone 7 series, hold the side button and the volume down button simultaneously until the Apple icon shows on the screen.
  • For the latest series, press and let go of the volume up and volume down button in quick succession and hold the side button until the Apple icon appears on the screen.

A common mistake people make while forcing a restart is not holding the buttons long enough. However, for iPhone 8 and the latest versions, ensure that you press the first two buttons quickly while holding the power button. The hard reset can sometimes take 20 seconds or more!

Use a different iPhone charger.

When your iPhone software detects power fluctuations, it prevents the iPhone from charging as a safety measure. Using a different charger will eliminate the possibility that you are using a faulty charger to charge your phone.

Try out another cable.

While this might sound obvious, try using another cable and confirm if your phone can now charge if your cable is acting up. Sometimes the charging port will fail to work if your cable has frays or looks discoloured. You cannot fix a burnt or frayed cable. It would be best to replace it with a new one. Avoid forcing the frayed cord into the charging port since it could snap while the connector is in it. Getting the broken cable out could be challenging. Avoid using low-quality third party cables sold in gas stations. These often break in a week and are likely to damage the charging port.

 Below are simple ways to remove a broken cable connector from the charging port.

Remove broken charger connectors from the charging port

Here are a few easy ways to remove broken charger connectors from the charging port.

  • Use super glue

Get a compact screwdriver with a small head that can fit in the charging port and some super glue. Dab a tiny amount of glue on the edge of the screwdriver and gently insert it into the charging port. Hold the screwdriver firmly and press against the broken connector while ensuring it does not touch the sidewalls of the lightning port. Wait for at least 30 to 60 seconds for the glue to set without thoroughly drying, and then pull out the broken piece without applying a lot of pressure.

  • Use a tool to pull it out.

If you don’t have super glue at hand, you can use other methods to pull out the broken connector from the charging port. You can use a pair of nail clippers or tweezers to pry out the broken piece. If you have challenges using these tools, you can also use a sim tray ejector or safety pin and probe the fractured part out of the charging port. Do this carefully while clamping the nail clippers or tweezers on the broken part of metal without scratching the inner sides of the charging port.

Put your iPhone into DFU mode and restore

DFU mode restore is when you erase everything on your phone and restore it to factory settings. This should be a last-ditch effort to resolve severe software issues that could prevent your phone from charging.

Visit the Apple store or approved Apple stores.

If all the methods to fix the faulty charging port are not working, take the phone to the Apple store and have a professional technician look at it. Don’t forget about your iPhone’s warranty. If the warranty period has not expired, Apple can replace everything in the iPhone box for free. Please feel free to leave a comment on the issue you are having with your iPhone and we will help you resolve it!

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About S. Santos

I am a tech columnist and blogger by trade, but I'm also an avid tennis player. In my spare time, I enjoy reviewing gadgets and gizmos from the world of tech. A lot has changed in the field since I started out as a writer back in 2009, so it's always exciting to keep up with all that's new. To me, there's nothing quite like getting my hands on a brand-new gadget or piece of software for the first time -- it's like Christmas morning every day!

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