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 cord. It's a common design flaw due to thinness of the cables and the weak sheath surrounding them, but it's not always the problem.
When your Lightning to USB cable seems to be in visibly perfect condition, but your iOS device still won't charge whenever plugged into a computer or the USB power adapter, then the next thing to look out for is shockingly easy.
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, and it will prevent the contacts on the Lightning connector from hitting their marks inside the port.
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 or paper clip works well. You could also use the SIM card remover that came with your device (sans iPod touch and Wi-Fi only iPad models), but not all boxes will contain one.
When using the tool, do it carefully, as you don't want to damage the port and permanently screw up the connection to the charger. That's why a toothpick might be better, as you're less likely to scratch things up in there, but if you're not careful, you could leave some splinters behind.
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.
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.
If your device still is not charging, first make sure it's not the power adapter or USB port on your computer. 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.
If the cable does work for other devices, then the problem might be the Lightning port itself. Usually water or dropping the device while it's plugged in is to blame. A quick trip to the Apple Store should be able to solve this issue, though. Let's just hope you still have a warranty.
And if by chance you have one of those Lightning cables that is too hard to unplug from a USB port, we've got just the fix for you.