How To: Fix an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch That Won't Charge Anymore

Fix an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch That Won't Charge Anymore

If you've ever had issues charging your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, like most other Apple products, the culprit to blame is usually a frayed or damaged cable. It's a common design flaw due to the thinness of the cords and the weak sheath surrounding them — but that's not always the problem.

When your Lightning-to-USB cable (or Lightning-to-USB-C cable if you fast charge) seems to be in visibly perfect condition, but your iOS device still won't charge whenever plugged into a computer, a USB charging hub, or the USB power adapter that you have, then the next thing to look out for is shockingly easy.

Just Clean the Inside of the Lightning Port

Yes, that's right. It's something so freaking simple, yet, most of us would probably never think about it. A lot of dirt, sand, lint, and other debris can get jammed up in that Lightning port on your device, and it will prevent the contacts on the Lightning connector on the cable from hitting their marks inside the port.

Image by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

If you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch that suddenly stopped charging, clean all of the junk out of the port using a small tool. A toothpick, paper clip, or pushpin works well. You could also use the SIM card remover that came with your device, but not all iOS devices come with one. For instance, the iPod touch and Wi-Fi-only iPad models won't, and if your iPhone came with the SIM already installed, it likely won't have one either since you wouldn't need it.

Image by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

When using any of the tools mentioned above, or something similar, insert it and dig around the port carefully, as you don't want to damage the inside of the port and permanently screw up the connection to the charger. A toothpick might be better if you're worried about it, as you're less likely to scratch things up in there, but if you're not careful, you could leave some splinters behind.

Image by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

Using the SIM card remover tool, I slowly stuck the pin side of the Lightning port, all the way to the bottom, and slowly went around the oval shape of the port a couple of times.

Image by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

When I pulled the pin out, I found some sand (probably from the beach) and some lint (probably from my pocket). Once you loosen some of the stuff stuck in there, you can blow into the port to dislodge it (think old Nintendo cartridges). Just don't spit in there. If you're a spitter, I recommend using a can of compressed air instead.

Now that your port is clear of all that crap, connect your Lightning charger and you should hopefully have no more charging issues.

Still Having Charging Issues?

If your device still is not charging, first make sure it's not the power adapter or USB port on your computer or hub. If those aren't the issue, the cable might actually be bad and will probably need to be replaced. I recommend testing the cable out on another iOS device if you have access, that way you know for sure.

Image by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

After getting a "yes" when checking that the cable does work for other devices, then the problem might be the Lightning port itself. Usually, water (for models not rated at IP67) or dropping the device while it's plugged in is to blame. A quick trip to the Apple Store or repair shop should be able to solve this issue, though. Let's just hope you still have a warranty or AppleCare active.

When Wireless Charging Isn't Working

If you're experiencing issues wirelessly charging an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X using a Qi-certified charger, then that's a whole different problem. The first thing to look at is your case; If it contains metal or is thicker than 3 mm, then that might be your problem. Try wirelessly charging it without it and see if that's it.

Other things you can try include restarting your iPhone, force-resetting it, updating your software, and making sure your iPhone is sitting in the middle of the charging dock. If none of those things did the trick, check the power cable on the wireless charger to make sure it's working correctly.

When all else fails, you might have to return your wireless charging station or get it repaired. If you know someone else with an iPhone that can be wirelessly charged, you can test their iPhone on your dock to be sure. The worst-case scenario is that your iPhone's wireless charging coil or cable connected to it could be damaged, but that's unlikely unless you were tinkering around in there like you shouldn't be.

If the only thing you're having issues with is getting your iPhone to charge wirelessly faster than 5 watts, then you just need to be running at least iOS 11.2 to take benefit of 7.5-watt wireless charging (as long as your charger supports it).

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover photo by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks


THIS HELPS SOOOOO MUCH!!! I was freaking out because the charger I borrowed from my dad is messed up because of me, and the charger wasn't working. I woudnt want to tell my dad, he would be mad, but I felt so stupid after blowing into the port. Thnk you so much. It saved me from trouble.

Such an easy fix but so effective! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Wow, that was actually the case. Thank you!

I was surprised that this was the only problem I had all along! Thanks!

I need your help please? After my iPod get battery low and turned off, I charged it. It was not charging. The charger cord was okay and I also clean the port, it is still not charging. It was not that before. What to do? :(

If your iPod is refusing to turn on: my dad went on YouTube and found a solution that worked for me - simply plug it into the strongest USB port on a computer.

i know this might be a few weeks late and you might have fixed it but try re setting your ipod my holding down the off button and the home button at the same time, do this for about 30 seconds

OK, wow this worked for me. I held both buttons down for about 15 seconds, the apple icon appeared but after a few seconds disappeared. then i pressed the home button and the screen appeared. It actually had about 50% battery so I continued to charge it.

Thanks Josephine!!

I have the exact same problem I was wondering if you ever got yours to charge again if so how

unbelievable. like a gram of compacted pocket lint. i havent been able to use my ipod in like 2 months. real smart cordell.

Mine hasnt been working for about a month now and i did this got sooo much limnt out of the port, b ut it still wont cvharge. A few days ago i managed to get it to charge by applying downward pressure on the cord when it was plugged in but i dont want to sit there holding it.

Thanks now my iPod touch is charging again yeah :)

read this then looked in my ipod.. lots of stuff.

Wow. It charges. Woohoo! Thanks. I used compressed air;)

OMG thank you so much that was the case that help out so well thank you I thought my life was over lol

Just tried the toothpick method and got rid of a huge piece of lint from my iPod Touch so thanks for the guide.

My iPad won't charge it keeps saying the cable may not properly charge this device. I got a notification to I stall software update but it says you gotta have at least 50% battery power for the install but I can't get it to charge past 34% then it starts draining battery again.

Mines is dead and even when i plug the charger in,the lightning signal isnt showing lol

I tried switching to a USB that i KNOW works, and cleaning out the connection on the device, but I am still unable to get the device to charge....

It will Sync from Itunes, but it never starts to recharge the device it seems??

Also, I tried to request an invitation to sign up for this site, but the Email I was told wuld arrive with the invitiation never came....

So, I was forced to log in using my Facebook account??

Was charging fine, then refuses to charge. Just shows charging symbol and won't turn on. Tried to reset but after holding both buttons, only the recharge symbol shows. Tried different cable, no go. IPad 2...

@ Jerry King and others, after trying the suggestions above... simply look at the connecting pin on your cable connector to the iPad, if any of the pins appear darkened, use a drop of vinegar on tissue paper to clean it.

It appears same connector might be able to charge an iphone but not iPad without cleaning... this should work

My iPad won't charge. I've tried NEW chargers AND lightening cables, I've cleaned the charging port with a toothpick, and cleaned the end of the charger with vinegar. Nothing worked. Any more advice or ideas? Thank-you.

I'm having a problem with my ipad, I tried the tooth pick method- even bought a new cord. it says it's charging but than the screen flashs black- so Im not sure if its even charging.. sometimes if i hold it- it will charge. it makes the sound on my laptop that it's connected than it disconnects :| help

Firstly, try force-restarting your iPad—press and hold the Sleep/Wake (aka Power) and Home buttons simultaneously for at least 10 seconds until you see the Apple logo. (It might be as long as 30 seconds if there was a software crash.) After it restarts, if it still has issues charging...

Is the new charging cable you bought an Apple one, or Apple certified one like this one? Best to make sure you have a legit one before going any further, as some cheap gas station ones don't work well, or at all. Try using a friend's cable to see if that works.

If the cable is good and you've already cleaned out the Lightning port, it could be the power source. If plugging into your laptop, make sure you're plugging it directly into the built-in USB port and not a USB hub, as power could fluctuate and stop the charging process. Or, try another USB port on your computer, or use the wall charger.

Remember to charge it for at least one hour before attempting to turn it on.

Still no good? Then you'll probably have to take it to Apple. You might have a faulty charging port, or something even worse could be wrong.

Was really panicking as a single mum I saved for ages to buy my iPad then al of a sudden blam stops charging

I immediately assumed that's it broke hefty Apple repair bill or even new iPad ??Then spotted this and had a look saw sum at red looking

It was lint iPad charging as we speak
Thank you x

My iPod 5 won't charge and after a couple of minutes it starts getting really hot, a short maybe?

I have a ipod 5g that wont charge and completely dead. no lighting bolt will show or it wont come on.

my ipas 2 had been 2 / and it shows le battrie est faible 5

but it shows 2 and now its turn off and when i tried these ways it shows the charging symbole but i dont know if it really charges so ill have to wait

Omg thank you so much! You just saved my daughters vacation! Had to hold both buttons for about 13 seconds but it totally worked!!!!!

Good ideas, also tried using some bristles from a toothbrush--it's soft & shouldn't damage anything. I-tunes sees it, but not charging. Not sure yet if it worked, but should know in an hour or two.

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