I was traveling recently and the day before my flight back home, my iPhone stopped charging. I tried different Lightning cables and different power adapters, but nothing worked. The only way I could get my rapidly draining phone to take a charge was to plug the Lightning cable into the charging port and hold it hard to the side. This didn’t seem like a sustainable charging solution.
A quick hunt on Google revealed the possible problem: I keep my phone in my pants pocket a lot of the time and lint was likely to have collected inside the Lightning port. Despite my fears of shorting out the phone, I took a paper clip and dug around in the port, digging out multiple tiny pieces of balled-up lint. My lint excavation over, I tried charging again: the phone connected perfectly and seemed to be charging up even faster than before.
Of course, I can’t tell you that rooting around with a sharp instrument inside your phone is the best solution; you could also try blowing the port with a can of compressed air. But the paper clip method worked for me (also acceptable: a toothpick or plastic pick) and in the future I’ll try not to let so much lint and grime collect in there.
Every week, we’ll define a tech term, offer a timely tip or answer questions about technology from readers. Email email@example.com with questions or topic suggestions.
News on Open Source is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of 512tech.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe.