If you’re having trouble charging your iPhone with the power cable or syncing it to your Mac or PC, your iPhone’s charging port may be clogged with a little lint or dirt and needs to be cleaned. Any longtime iPhone owner knows that sometimes lint or lint from your clothes can sometimes find its way into the charging port, requiring careful removal.
If you’re out and about, this is usually achieved by tapping the port lightly to remove any lint or easily removable dirt from the charging port. However, some cases require a deeper cleaning, which can be done relatively easily with a can of compressed air, a toothpick, or cotton if you’re very careful not to scratch the inside of the port.
Before you start
Before you start cleaning your iPhone port, it’s a good idea to turn your phone off and on by going to Settings > General > Power Off. Then inspect the charging port with a flashlight and, if you have handy, a magnifying glass to see if you can visually locate lint or dirt. This will make it much easier to remove, rather than just aimlessly poking around or blowing the port in the hope that your efforts will clean it up.
As always, if you’re uncomfortable cleaning the charging port on your iPhone, it’s always best to seek professional help from the Apple Genius Panel. Apple technicians will inspect and clean the port for you if you can visit an Apple Store. Though the charging port on your iPhone is pretty easy to care for and maintain, and shouldn’t be a problem if you’re careful. I find using a can of compressed air to be the best way to clear the port of any debris from my pockets and grime, and to eliminate the chance of accidentally scratching any of the charging cells inside the port and causing more problems, potentially with costly consequences.
How to clean your iPhone charging port
You are now ready to start cleaning your iPhone’s charging port. If you have a compressed air tank, simply attach the extension straw that comes with the tank (usually the seller tapes the side of the tank) to the nozzle. Then turn the can of air upside down and point the end of the straw straight at the port, holding it close enough to make sure the air is getting in. Then, using one or two small, quick bursts of air, try to remove lint and dirt.
Wait a few seconds or check if it has moved and try again. Compressed air is very cold and sometimes causes the liquid to escape from the cylinder. This liquid will quickly evaporate and disappear, but it’s best not to wet your iPhone’s Lightning port.
When you’re happy that the lint and dirt have been successfully removed, turn your iPhone back on and check if the issues you’re experiencing with charging and syncing are resolved. If not, repeat the process until charging resumes.
If the problem persists after trying to clean the port several times, you can try removing the dirt with a toothpick or similar nonmetallic tool. Rolled paper is also a handy way to gently remove dirt, but be careful not to leave scraps of paper behind. Roll the tip of the paper and gently wiggle the toothpick or paper end inside your iPhone’s charging port to remove any dirt that may be stuck.
If you’re still having issues after cleaning your iPhone’s charging port well, you may need technical advice from the Apple Support website and Genius Bar technicians.