Tips for fixing an iPhone or iPad charger that appears to be broken or frayed


fraying broken iphone cable

  • We’ve all had an iPhone or iPad charger break, right when we needed it most. And at that time, we’ve all wondered how to fix our charger.
  • Before spending money to replace an iPhone or iPad charger, test it to make sure it really is broken beyond repair.
  • Often the iPhone or iPad lightning cable itself will fail before the actual adapter that plugs into the wall, so you may be able to replace just one component for less cash.
  • Damaged power cables can be electric shock hazards, so if your iPhone or iPad charger cord is badly frayed, it’s probably time to replace it.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When you think about it, your iPhone or iPad charger has it pretty rough. What other accessory do you handle at least twice a day and likely more, do you bring along with you to the office or library, and jam into a suitcase when you travel? It’s no wonder that our faithful lightning cables give out long before the devices they charge are ready for replacement.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone Xs (From $729 at Apple)

iPad (From $329 at Apple)

Lightning to USB Cable (For $19 at Apple)

USB-C to Lightning Cable (For $35 at Apple)

18W USB-C Power Adapter (For $29 at Apple)

AUKEY Lightning Cable (For $6.99 at Amazon)

AUKEY USB Wall Charger (For $10.99 at Amazon)

How to fix an iPhone or iPad charger

If your phone no longer seems to be charging properly, the first thing to do is make sure the outlet isn’t the problem. Try plugging other devices into the outlet, and see if they’re getting any power. 

If the outlet is working, now figure out if the charger is the issue, or if it’s the iPhone/iPad. Borrow a friend’s or co-worker’s charger and see if your phone registers it and powers up as quickly as it used to. If so, the phone is OK, and that’s a good thing. 

If not, then inspect the cable, and if there is visible fraying, wrap the damaged area in electrical tape. This may realign the internal wiring and fix the issue. Also, if you see a fraying cable in the future, apply electrical tape before the cord fails and you may preempt an issue.

fraying broken iphone cable tape

Next, try cleaning the connection point on your iPhone or iPad charger, by following the steps outlined in our article, “How to properly clean your iPhone’s charging port when it won’t charge.”

Still no luck? Then if you know how to solder, you can cut, strip, and then reconnect the wire. 

If you’re trying to fix the AC adapter, you’d end up spending as much in little replacement components and tools as you would on a new charger, so don’t bother unless you’re a hobbyist making the repairs for fun, or as a point of pride.

If nothing is working, you’re better off just getting a new charger.

The good news is that Apple sells a new Lightning to USB cable for only $19. A Lightning to USB-C cable costs a good deal more, at $35. And you’ll also need a power adapter, unless you plan to use your computer for all phone charging needs. 

iPhone Lightning Charging Cable

These costs can add up, but you can rest assured you’ll be getting genuine Apple-quality gear. That said, third party companies like Aukey make plenty of iPhone- and iPad-compatible charging cables and adapters that cost much less, and usually work just fine.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • ‘Why won’t my iPhone charge?’: How to diagnose and fix common iPhone charging problems

  • How to properly clean your iPhone’s charging port when it won’t charge

  • How to backup an iPhone to iCloud, your computer, or an external hard drive

  • ‘Why won’t my iPhone turn on?’: 3 ways to troubleshoot an iPhone that won’t restart

SEE ALSO: The best lightning cables you can buy for your iPhone

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: It’s time for iTunes to die, even though it was key to Apple’s early success