The One Thing You Should Be Doing to Your iPhone (But Probably Aren’t)

Iphone X Charging Port Lightning Credit: A. Aleksandravicius / Shutterstock
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The surface of your iPhone, as you probably know, can get pretty filthy. But even if you wipe down or clean your device regularly, there may be one key area you’re missing.

Depending on how you carry your device, the Lightning port can become clogged up with lint, dust and other types of debris that can affect how a Lightning cable connects.

If you’ve owned your iPhone for any amount of time, you’ll be surprised how much lint has collected in its Lightning port. And it can be really hard to tell just how clogged it is without cleaning it out.

Try plugging a Lightning cable into your device. There should be a nice, satisfying “snap” or “click.”

If there’s no snap or your port feels a bit “mushier,” there’s a good chance the Lightning port has lint or other debris clogging it up.

Sometimes, accumulated lint can prevent charging from taking place at all. But even if your device is charging fine, there’s a good chance that a clogged Lightning port can cause other issues with wired connectivity.

So, like backing up your iPhone or wiping it down, clearing out your Lightning port is actually a great thing to add to your routine smartphone maintenance.

As far as actually cleaning it out, it’s pretty simple. But there are still some best practices and tips you should keep in mind before proceeding.

Lightning Port Cleaning Best Practices

  1. We recommend against using anything metal to clean out your ports. While the Lightning port has failsafes that mitigate the chances of shorting out the connectors, you could still end up damaging them if you aren’t careful.
  2. Power your iPhone off before cleaning the Lightning port, just to be safe.
  3. Instead of metal utensils, try to find a thin plastic or wooden tool like a toothpick to dig the lint out. Plastic toothpicks or the toothpick on a Swiss Army Knife are some good options.
  4. In addition to lint, there could also be accumulated dust in your Lightning port that could also cause problems. For that, we recommend a simple port cleaning kit like this one — which comes with a variety of small and thin brushes.
  5. The most important thing to remember, no matter which tool you use, is that you’ll want to be gentle with the Lightning port. With too much force, you could end up dislocating a contact pin, which could cause further connectivity problems down the road.

If you’ve cleaned out your Lightning port and are still experiencing wired connectivity issues, we recommend contacting Apple Support.

Learn More: Check Your iPhone’s Battery Health Now (Here’s What Your Results Mean)

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