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How to Fix an iPhone or iPad That is Not Charging

Kelly Wilkerson | | categories: iphone | View Comments

If your iPhone or iPad1 doesn't charge when you plug it in (or intermittently charges,) the culprit is usually debris in your charging port (Lightning or 30-Pin.) We have some simple fixes to try yourself before you head over to the Genius bar.

  • Unplug the USB cable at each end and plug it back in, just to make sure both ends of the connection are not loose.

  • If possible, switch out every component. Try a friend's cable; try a different usb port (or power/usb adapter); try your cable in a friend's phone.

  • Spray some compressed air into the charging port on the phone. Usually this will dislodge simple dirt and debris causing a faulty connection. This worked for my mom's iPad 2 with a 30-pin charging connector.

  • Try a non-conductive probe (like toothpicks or GUM flossers) to swab around inside of the port and dislodge larger stuck-on debris. (Thank you to Kelly Hodgkins over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog for this idea!)

If none of these work, it's time to head on down to the Apple Store. Don't forget to make a backup of your device in iTunes prior to heading-out, just in case you end up with a replacement phone!


  1. From here on out, I will just refer to iPhones for brevity. Everything applies to iPhones, iPads, and iPods.