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iPhone Lightning Port Feels Wallowed Out—How Do I Fix?


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iPhone Lightning Port Feels Wallowed Out—How Do I Fix?
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-06-28, 15:01

Here in the southern United States we use the term "wallowed out" to indicate a variety of circumstances in which a material (for instance mud) has been displaced to accommodate an agent (let's say a pig).

This term can also be used to indicate where some material (say wood) has been removed over time due to constant action by an agent (a sliding bolt).

It can be used in many other fashions, including some that are perhaps disrespectful of sex workers, but that's a discussion of changing social mores.

In the case of this discussion, the orifice that has been wallowed out (or "wallered out", if you wish to say it in proper Southern US dialect) is the lightning port of my iPhone 7 Plus.

Nay!

Do not suggest to me that it be dust which inhabiteth the lowly opening on mine phone.

The little inner pressure clip on the left hand side has R-U-N-O-F-T.

It gone.

So when I slide my lightning peg into that hole I do not feel that nice tight click, I get a wobble instead.

My peg can fall right out of the hole if I don't put the phone in JUST SO a position, head down, rear up.

Sure, the phone will be 5 years old this Fall.

Yes, that means that I have plugged and unplugged from it zillions of times, which DOES cause wear & tear.

Anyway.

I corrected this issue back in May when I purchased a battery case that has its own lightning charging port.

It was a BRILLIANT idea.

Inspired.

It was just the sort of idea an Apple user waiting for the iPhone 13 to drop in the Autumn might try.

AND IT WORKED!!

Well...

The port in the battery case was wallowed out in less than 2 months.

Same problem - my male lightning peg slips around in the gaping hole of the lightning port in the battery case.

I have to get it JUST RIGHT to get the battery case to begin charging.

It's slightly better than when I was doing it with the phone, but still:

WHAT IS THE DEAL???

Is this an issue created by my use of third party lightning cables?

I promise that I am not attempting to plug these things in at an oblique angle.

When it comes to charging my iPhone, I am a missionary about plugging it in perpendicularly.

Yes, when I do finally achieve a new phone I will use the MagSafe charger.

Yes, this will eliminate the constant plugging and unplugging at that port.




I just need to know that I have not been a bad user.





...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-06-28, 16:34

I'm dealing with the same issue. While my phone is 14 million years old (okay, five-plus), in the past 4-5 months, charging this bastard has become a circus act. Gone are the days when I just stick the cord in, hear that little "beep", see the lightning bolt symbol on the battery icon, etc.

I have to play with the placement, angle, insertion, etc. (and then back away and don't even breathe) to even hope for the thing to stay connected and charge. I've come back to it on a few occasions, an hour or two later, and it didn't take. And I'm still at 7% or something crazy.

Also gone are the days of lying in bed and using it while plugged in/charging. It'll lose the connection for charging, due the wallowfication.

There have been a few times when it's gets down to 1-3% and then just shuts down. Imagine the PITA of trying to get THAT connection made when you have no visual or audio feedback.

If I wasn't such a cheap-ass, I'd be over at the AT&T store as we speak, buying a new, second-generation SE. I just can't seem to pull that trigger, but I know I will do so very soon because I've now entered a period of diminished fun/usage/reliability. The battery itself is shot, so even when I do get it charged, it doesn't take long at all to go from 100% down to 10-20%.

So, yeah..."wallowed out", for sure. I have to try a bunch of different ways of inserting the cable for it to make proper contact and to charge this thing reliably. Just overuse and all? Only started happening a few months ago, since 2021. This, combined with the really weak battery, is making me want to put on some pants and drive to the AT&T store tonight...

FWIW, I have only ever used Apple cables with this thing (or any other phone). I've never bought those others you see at Walgreen's, or those no-name $5 cables/chargers you see at your corner Stop 'n' Rob convenience store/hotdog emporium. When I got my iPhone 5 way back in October 2012(!) I bought two additional Apple-branded Lightning-to-USB cables that same day. I still have them and use them with this SE. The one that came with my current SE plugs into the wall on my night stand (with the wall plug that came with it). The other two are used to connect my phone to my Mac (for charging/syncing) and the other is in the car, connected to a Belkin car charger (that I've probably only used about three times(!) in all these years).

When I get a new iPhone, I'll probably go ahead and get at least one new USB-to-Lightning cable (for the Mac connection). If I have to travel or go on a road trip, I'll just take that one with me. I didn't need to buy two, as little as I've ever used/needed the car charging setup. I don't travel that much, and it's just as easy to grab this one from the computer (if I remember).
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-06-28, 16:46

Like it or not, I won't be a bit surprised if both of you guys have a bunch of lint packed tightly into the bottom of your phone's charge port*. This is easiest to check by plugging in an Apple Lightning cable and checking to see that the white plastic head is flush with the phone body. If it is not flush, then the port is packed. If it is, then another problem exists.

We use dental picks to clean ports out, because lint can get packed in so tight it literally feels like plastic until you start to dig it out.

This little "feature" is the cause of 99.9% of the "loose cable" charging issues that we see in the shop, and is a very easy problem to solve with the right tool, i.e. a sharp metal pick. But, be careful when scratching around in there so that you do not tear up the electrical leads.

* 1) You put the phone in your pocket; 2) Lint gets into the port; 3) You plug in the charger; 4) The charger packs the lint into the bottom of the port; 5) Repeat!

Eventually, the lint "pack" gets so thick that the charger and the leads no longer make reliable contact.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-06-28, 16:48

Ooh, I'm going to look into that. I'd love to get this thing charging somewhat reliably again. I have some of those little plastic pokey teeth picker things.

UPDATE: I don't want to jinx or overplay anything, but I just sat and dug a bit of crud out. When I connected to my cable, it beeped on the second attempt and is now charging away. I I did it 2-3 times and it connected a bit easier without too much fuss. It isn't perfect. I think I need a pick without as much flex. I think I could get more out if the pick didn't bend as much. Dollar Tree trip in the next 24 hours.

Thanks for the info/advice. I don't know if I really changed much, but this was the first time in well over 6-8 weeks that I didn't have to make a big production out of connecting it to get it to work.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-06-28, 16:49

Depending on the density of the "pack" those may not be sufficient. Like I said, we use metal picks.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-06-28, 16:59

I've got two metal ones too. I might try those.

Hell, if I break this thing, I've gotten five years and nearly three months out of it. So I've got nothing to lose by trying. If I mess something up, it'll force my cheap ass to go to AT&T and get a nice black 64GB SE 2.

UPDATE: Ken, you is the man. I put the metal one to it and some pretty sizable chunks of lint and crud were coming out. I went around until nothing was coming out. And I plugged my phone in 6 times, with no extra/special effort or contortions and I got the "beep" and the little lightning symbol immediately, all six times.

It's still an old phone with a severely depleted battery, but, hopefully, just charging it won't be the hassle it's been these past several months.

Thank you!

Drew, do this.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2021-06-28, 18:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Like it or not, I won't be a bit surprised if both of you guys have a bunch of lint packed tightly into the bottom of your phone's charge port*. This is easiest to check by plugging in an Apple Lightning cable and checking to see that the white plastic head is flush with the phone body. If it is not flush, then the port is packed. If it is, then another problem exists.
I had this problem with my 6s a million years ago. Now I use cases with port plugs that keep stuff out, never had a problem again.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-06-28, 18:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Thank you!


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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-06-28, 20:01

I have plugged, and unplugged, my phone about a dozen or so times since my previous posts. Works perfect every time, just clearing that lint out real good. I can insert the cord any way, from any direction/angle, and it just works as it should, as it always did. Now keeping this phone charged isn't the hassle it's been the past several months.

As for the "wallowing" thing, the connection is quite different. It's very snug and secure in a way that it hasn't been lately. So I can tell, just by feel, that everything is connecting up right. If you saw some of the contortions and workarounds I was doing to keep the connection (propping phone on books, setting it at an angle against the nightstand edge, leaning it against the wall to force the cord in via gravity, etc.), I would've been put into a facility.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-06-29, 14:47





This is from my 11 Pro. I was having the same issue and just a few minutes ago I grabbed a pushpin to see what I could do. I thought it was from my wired dock I was using all the time ruining my port on the phone.

Thank you Ken!

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-06-29, 14:58

I'm so glad Drew started this thread. Guys, we're gonna find a ton of AN users struggling from the exact same problem.

Drew, we have yet to hear from you on this. If yours turns out to be the same problem, I'd like to change the name of the thread.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)

Last edited by kscherer : 2021-06-29 at 17:58.
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-06-29, 16:14

Don't change it just yet. I'll try to get some photos up my phone's hole so you sickos can judge for yourselves!!



...
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-06-29, 16:22

I had a little Dollar Tree dental pick (metal end) still in the wrapper in my bathroom storage thingie. I opened it and worked for about 4-5 minutes and my phone - well, charging/syncing-wise - is like new. Not a ton of crud came out, but enough that I could tell was in there and obviously causing problems.

A day later, every time I plug it in (wall or to MacBook) it beeps and works again. I just needed to clean the Lightning port and get rid of the accumulated lint.

I see they make little plastic (or rubber?) Lightning port dummy plugs. I may get a couple on my next iPhone purchase to help with this. Just keep one inserted during the daytime and while out and about.

Ken, do you recommend and/or sell those? Is there a downside to such a thing?
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-06-29, 17:57

Nah. They do work, but they get lost. Like PB PM said, a case with a built-in port cover is best if you want something. I don't use anything, and just clean out my hole a couple times a year.

But don't tell anyone that.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-06-29, 18:19

I’ve owned four iPhones since 2007 and I’ve never had this problem. I think the length of time I’ve had this factors in. A little over three years was there longest (both the original model and my iPhone 5). This one is five years and two months. Those extra two years = more lint time.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2021-06-29, 18:23

I used to have a ton of lint in my 5S back in the day, often causing charging issues.

For some reason, this seems to have gotten less frequent. I may have still had it a few times on my 6S and 8, but I don't think I ever needed to clean my 11's Lightning port. Maybe Apple might some slight adjustments?
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-06-30, 00:33

Okay so under protest I have pried the battery case from my phone and am sitting in a lounge chair with my trusty dental pick and a bright flashlight.

I will begin digging around inside the port with the pick.

The way that the peg has been floating around in the port makes it seem as if a metal “grabber” inside the port has broken off.

Taking it out of the battery case was a foolhardy move, but I’m doing it for science.

A smidge of lint has come out so far.

Seems like I could do more harm with this pick than good.

What’s weird is that while it seems as if I can see the bottom of the port I have been getting dribs and drabs of dust up out of seemingly nowhere.

Nothing much until just now. That was bigger.

Okay. Plugged a charging cable in. Didn’t quite snap but not as floaty as before. Let me test this when I’m more awake.


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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-06-30, 05:00

I didn’t get out big chunks of lint. Nothing like what I imagined. Just 6-7 little pieces…flakes and flecks, mostly. Not huge or dense, but definitely noticeable on the pick. There was one extraction that was quite a bit more than the rest and I’m guessing that was the main offender. But the difference, three days now, is night and day. My cable seats way more tightly and the connection is made. It beeps instantly, and I can even once again use my phone while it’s plugged in/charging. That definitely wasn’t the case four days ago. What little bit of lint/crud I got out was enough to do the trick.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2021-06-30, 07:17

Dug around with my DVD tray extractor 📎 in my old 6S+ and yep, fuzz globs. Was planning on replacing the lightning port whenever I get around to doing the battery, but the lightning cord does feel less wibbly-wobbly when attached so maybe I'll forgo that and save the 25 bucks. I'll have to test it out a bit more but it seems a lot better.

Thanks Ken! The More You Know! 💫

So it goes.

Last edited by 709 : 2021-06-30 at 11:35.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-06-30, 10:56

The tolerances down inside there are pretty tight (between the tip of the cable and the very bottom of the hole) so it doesn't take much lint to clog it up good. Sometimes I only get out a smidge, and sometimes this chunk of dead cat comes out of there and it's like, "No wonder!" and I have to go take a shower.

Because I feel icky! 🤢

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-06-30, 11:29

I have an XR that I ended up getting in a complicated phone conversation during the height of the pandemic wherein I ended up with a SECOND AND ABSOLUTELY UNNECESSARY LINE THAT I DO NOT USE.

When I slip my peg into the port on that phone there is a solid "lock" sensation.

With my "main" phone, recently cleaned of lint, there is further travel, but no solid locking sensation.

I will attribute that to the frequency that I have plugged the phone in because I play audio through the phone into my 17 year old car's auxiliary channel through the stereo and I also carry power banks for recharge when away from the mains for extended times.

Over the course of 5 years there have to have been physical wear on the bits that provide that "locking" sensation.

Still, I can pick up the phone while it is plugged in and move it around and sit it down and it's still charging (I did the cleaning to the port on the battery case as well).

I hope that this has bought me the time I need until the iPhone 13 (or whatever) arrives.

I kind of wish you wouldn't change the title of the thread too much.

Because it really does describe the SENSATION of plugging in - but maybe it could be more descriptive too.

Have a party?




...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
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