iPhone 5 lightning cable charging problem

I found a problem while charging my iPhone 5 today. After I plugged in the lightning cable to charge I accidentally bumped it and noticed it had stopped charging. So I slightly wiggled the connector left and right. While doing this I noticed that it would start charging (it made the charge sound) then it would stop charging. It would also reflect on the battery icon as well. I’m not too happy about this and think this should be something Apple should fix.

Update: this problem seems to be with the Lightning to USB cable which is sold by Apple. The cable included in the iPhone 5 packaging does not have this same issue.

Have you found this with your device too?
Leave a comment. I would like to hear from you on this.




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71 Comments on “iPhone 5 lightning cable charging problem”

  1. Cindy October 11, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    I am having a similar problem -with the cord that came with the phone, as well as an extra one I bought. This just started 2 days ago.

    • Electric Sproket October 11, 2012 at 6:59 am #

      I updated my post about the cable that came with my iPhone working just fine I’m sorry to hear that’s not the same for you. I also purchased 2 extra cables form the Apple store and both of the two cables seem to be experience this problem. I plan on returning mine in hopes that these were defects.
      Thanks for your comment and please keep us updated on your issue.


    • williamcoultas November 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

      The problem IS NOT the cable. I just took my iP5 back to Best Buy for an exchange because it was having the same problem of not making a connection for charging after only 3 months of moderate use. The problem intensifies until you can no longer make any connection. And why should I have to jiggle the plug to make a good connection?!!! The tech at BB said he’s seen this way too much and he’s amazed Apple hasn’t done anything about this defective design/phone hardware problem. Now I will end up with a refurb since I got mine in May 2013 & Geek Squad no longer swaps out a defective phone with a new one. Unless Apple addresses this, I’m holding off buying another Apple device with the Lightning connector.

  2. Debbie October 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    I’m having the exact same problem. I purchased additional cable and it won’t work with wall outlet or computer either. The one that came with the phone is “hit or miss” as to connecting and synching with the computer. Not good!!

    • Lou October 16, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

      I’m having the same issue as we speak, how did you guys managed to charge it?? I just received my phone yesterday, and I am using the USB that came in with the phone. My phone says at 10% it’s “fully charged icon”

      • Electric Sproket October 17, 2012 at 12:21 am #

        From what I experienced if you move the connector side to side or up and down you may get it to make a connection and charge. If not you should definitely take it to an Apple store either way. They will most likely swap out the device for you.
        Sorry to hear your having trouble.

    • Sam September 2, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      My iPhone 5 has got through two cables and it looks like I will need a third. All night it makes the connect sound then after a short time it makes the disconnect sound. I have muted the sound and sometimes my phone will vibrate constantly!! I am using the apple wall plug and an apple lead. I have cleaned ports not sure what else to do. I guess it’s a trip to my local store.

      • GF November 2, 2013 at 5:49 am #

        The cables are crap. I’ve already replaced three of them. Ive also had the USB plug in box go out. If you have a previous model cord, you can buy an adapter piece to use on the 5. They seem to be made better. But I’m sick of having to drive over 50 miles to the nearest apple store to replace it so I’m getting a different brand.

  3. Mr. AB October 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    I’m having the same issues with my cord. I went as far as taking it back to the verizon store, but once there it started working with no problem! The next day same issue. I tried an I phone 4s usb charger cord with my wall adapter and it worked fine. I think there is a problem with the phone picking up the charge.

    • Lou October 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      I got it to charge!! There’s two things I noticed. It started to charge (went from
      The “fully charge icon” to the “charging icon”) when it hit 8% or maybe not since I kept moving it around the Connector, also noticed the connectors are at the bottom of the phones dock so I while holding the phone in one hand (horizontally) and with the other hand I pulled the plugged in Lighting connector UP! (Do it slightly and hold it see if batt percentage changes) and I noticed the battery percentage went up 1% so I marked the top of the lightning connector, where I have it marked its the only side that charges if I flip the connector it does not charge, it does not even show a “fully charged icon” like It did at the beginning. But for now it charges on only one side of the lighting connector and it has “lighting icon” when charging. Hope it helps, now not sure by me
      Pulling the connector up if it will damage the dock on my phone.

      • Electric Sproket October 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

        Glad you got it to charge! Have you considered taking it to Apple for an exchange? This sounds like a defect that would be difficult to live with, but that is your call my friend.Good Luck.

      • Lou October 18, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

        I been thinking about it but it took them 4 weeks to ship my phone so if I go for an exchange who knows how much longer I got to wait, I might do it when there’s more phones available, thank you for you time!

      • Electric Sproket October 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

        You have a point Lou, but Apple should have some stock in house so you quite possibly can get a replacement on the spot. Worth a shot!

  4. Terry Rhodes January 24, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    When I first got my 5 in November, the charger that came with it did not work at all; I went to the Apple store and they gave me a new charger. Now I am experiencing problems again. I have to wiggle the charger around to get it to charge, and if I move it even slightly once it starts, it makes the humming sound and stops charging. Very frustrating. The closest Apple store to me is 45 miles away, so it’s also costing me money.

    • Electric Sproket February 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

      That’s very unfortunate, sorry to hear you are still having issues. Apple should replace the device if you are willing to make another trip back to the store. I would suggest taking the charger and cable that you use to show them the issue.

  5. John McCormick February 6, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    My iPhone 5 began not recognizing the lightning plug after I uploaded the new iOS 6.1. It won’t charge with any of my three Apple Lightning to USB plugs when using the standard Apple charging cube. If I plug the same cords into my laptop and re-boot the iPhone, it recognizes the plug and begins charging. Wiggling the cord has no effect.

    • Electric Sproket February 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

      John, have you tried to restore it? When you do make sure to restore as a new device and see if that corrects your problem.

  6. Leroy Douglas April 16, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    Well I have 2 lighting cables for the iPhone 5 both shipped by Apple.

    I just started having a charging problem, with it intermittently charging if slightly touched or moved. (ie kicks on and off.) This is both cables, in the wall, in the computer, or in the vehicle USB

    SO this has to be hardware in the bottom of the phone, not making good contact. Very frustrating to say the least !

    • Brandi June 1, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Mine does the exact same thing. If I move my phone even slightly the charging flickers ff and on and the charging noise drives me nuts. It’s definitely gotta be something with the phone.

    • mark perry October 9, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

      Official Lightning connectors contain an authentication chip that makes it difficult for third-party manufacturers to produce compatible accessories without being approved by Apple.[5] Nevertheless, Chinese company iPhone5mod began selling an iPhone 5 dock charging station in October 2012 and claimed that it could “bypass Apple’s authentication functions” using “cracked chips”.[6] iOS 7 enforces a block on any Lightning plug that is not authorized by Apple.[7]

      • Electric Sproket October 9, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

        You are exactly correct. I have experienced that also with a third party mophie-like external battery case. But I my case I was using the original Apple lightning cable as I believe most of the other commenters are using as well. Sometimes it will work when simply just flipped over and plugged back in. So I believe the issue is with quality assurance. There inconsistencies with these cables and or the lightning port one the devices themselves. This seems to be a growing concern. Thanks for your comment and thanks for visiting the site. Hope you continue to stop by.

  7. Brandi June 1, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    I use the cord that came with the phone and have the same problem. Even with my iPhone 5 car charger that I bought with the phone.

    • Electric Sproket June 1, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      That’s not not a good sign. Have you tried to take it to Apple? Or If you have access to more cables, say a friends cable that works on their phone and still have the same issue. Take it to an Ape store and they will replace the device.

      • Brandi June 1, 2013 at 10:47 am #

        I haven’t taken it to an apple store yet but I will. My best friend has the exact same phone and I used hers and had the same problem. I believe it’s the phone and not the cords.

      • Electric Sproket June 1, 2013 at 10:50 am #

        That’s what I was thinking but suggested using another cord just to make sure. Sorry to here you’re have this issue. I’m sure Apple will replace it out. Good luck and let us know what the outcome is after your visit to Apple.

      • Gord June 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

        My wife and I both have iPhone 5s and our kids have the new iPods. Between the cables that came with the units and about 4 spare cables, the 2 iPhones are both experiencing the same problem with any of the cables. The phones were purchased at the same time and started experiencing the problem about the same time. The iPods still charge ok (for now). I agree, it appears to be a phone contact issue that declines with age. And from the above posts its not an isolated issue. I will certainly be contacting Apple to see if they can refurbish or replace the phones. For now, firmly inserting the cable and carefully setting it down seems to get the job done.

  8. bnb1031 June 16, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    I am on my 3rd authentic Apple iphone 5 charging cable and all 3 of them say “charging not supported with this device”. It seems like the cord is not very stable at the plug and wears out very quickly. I hate that they changed the charging devices for the 5. The cables for the 3 & 4 had no issues at all. Apple should recall & improve.

  9. Dwayne June 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    I just stared having the same issue with the cord.. SMH cheap

  10. Curt Schryver July 25, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    Hate to be just another “Me, too” poster, but that’s the case. I’ve been having the issue more and more frequently and haven’t come across the magic twist or jiggle process, yet. Luck is more my process. Has Apple (broken with tradition and) acknowledged the issue?

    • Electric Sproket August 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

      Aside from all of the response received here I have not seen it on any other forums. Not to say its not there but as you can see from the feedback there has been a large response to this issue. It’s a shame to see an issue like this. I expect a higher quality from Apple.

      • Terry August 7, 2013 at 2:44 am #

        After going through 3 charger cords in 5 months, someone gave me a great idea. I took the little spring from an old pen and put it on my charger wire down by the connector. The problem is that the wires inside become worn after repeated bending; the spring keeps them from bending at that critical point. I’ve had the spring on there since April, no issues at all.

      • Electric Sproket August 7, 2013 at 11:13 am #

        Interesting fix…I’d like to see a pic of how you did this. Not sure it’s something I would recommend a permanent fix though. As with other commenters I would suggest a trip to the Apple store to have them look at it. If under warranty they will exchange free of charge.

      • Gord Linnick August 7, 2013 at 10:44 am #

        I had a tech look at my phone. He told me that the socket was full of pocket lint. After cleaning, it worked like new. It was packed in, so had to be picked out. Compressed air alone didn’t do it. My wife’s phone has had the same problem, but I have yet to try cleaning it myself. That will be the final test.

      • Electric Sproket August 7, 2013 at 11:09 am #

        Glad you were able to fix the problem. I have seen that in the 30pin connectors but this is the first for the iphone5.

      • Bob Christopher November 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

        I was also having a charging problem. With pressure I could get the phone to charge but it kept getting worse. I looked to see if lint was in the port but I saw none. I used a toothpick and passed through one time and got lint. Repeated process until I got no more lint out. Connected to cable and no longer have charging problem. Note I carry phone in front pocket all the time and apparently the lint has built up over time. Thanks for the suggestion as I thought the problem was the phone contacts and not a lint problem.

  11. Dan August 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    Im having the same problem but it does the stop start charging thing with my adaptor to put it on my docking station ASWELL. i think it may be a problem with the the charger hole on my phone. also my lock button doesnt always work, worst iphone i’ve ever had

  12. Derek August 6, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Yeah man mine did this too and now I am having problems again any ideas?

    • Electric Sproket August 6, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

      It seems to be a defect with either the charger or the the port on the phone. I would suggest taking both into an Apple location and show them the issue. As long as its still under warranty they will replace free of charge.

  13. Joana August 8, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    I started having the same issue about a week ago, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn´t and I have to move it around and stuff like that!… Thought about buying a new cable, but I´m not the sure where the issue comes from! Is it the port, the cable or the actual phone? I think it´s really sad that such an expensive phone, the state of the art, has this issue…

    • Electric Sproket August 8, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      I agree! This should not be an issue with this device. If you want to find the problem your self you could try different cables to see which one works but my advice would be to make an appointment with a Apple location and let them fix it for you. Hopefully it’s still under warranty and you can get it swapped out at no charge.

      • Joana August 8, 2013 at 10:32 am #

        Yeah, I already thought about trying a new cable, just have to find someone who has one…
        My guess is that the issue is in the chip, that goes in the port, or the port!
        Sometimes it shows me the plug symbol, which means it’s not charging at all!! Sometimes the bolt…
        Do you think the issue is with the battery?
        I’ve also noticed it slower when texting and doing other stuff while charging, but it only happens sometimes…does anyone have the same issue?

      • Electric Sproket August 8, 2013 at 10:34 am #

        I wouldn’t rule out the battery, good point. Is there any reason you don’t want to take it to Apple? Is it no longer under warranty?

      • Joana August 8, 2013 at 10:41 am #

        I still didnt take it to Apple, cause I’m trying to see if the issue persists, cause sometimes it works fine…Also, if I find out it’s an issue with the cable I think I’ll buy a new one. I hope it’s this and not the phone, cause if it is I’ll have no choice then taking it to tech support…

      • Electric Sproket August 8, 2013 at 10:43 am #

        Understood. Please let us know what you find and good luck.

  14. Joana August 8, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    I will. Thanks!

  15. Scott August 11, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Hi I haven’t read all of the comments but I have been having charging issues with iPhone 5. First problem I had was a intermittent charging issue. if I moved the cable it would stop charging. I solved this by clearing out the female connection on the phone (it was full of pocket fluff, I cleared it with a plastic coated paper clip). A month later my cable started giving me problems. The problem presented its self the same as before but this time the problem was the lightening cable. I can’t get either my wife’s phone or mine to charge. The cable has a short in it and will no longer charge. I really hopped when the lightening cable was released that this problem was fixed from the previous 32 pin cable. I went through at least 50 of those things. I guess if apple fixed the problem it would lower profit for accessory sales. It would of been ideal if they copied the Mac book charger. It’s such a shame that quality is not a choice for apple chargers. The cheap rip of chargers seem to last just as long as the apple products. Totally sucks 😦

    • Electric Sproket August 11, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

      Sorry to hear about your
      Issue. That’s weird that you have gone through so many cables. Not sure what conditions they are being used in. I still have and am using the original cable my phone came with. I am pretty careful with the cable but the the two that I purchased from Apple I still use as well and have this issue from time to time.
      I agree with what you said about Apple designing a MagSafe style cable for I phone. I think that would be a much needed improvement.

  16. Sheila August 11, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    Yes and I have had 8 cords in less than a year! So annoying and a waste of $!!! Apple should reimburse me
    And make a cord that works!

  17. Samo September 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    I had this problem and I took the cord out, flipped it over, plugged it back in, and it works just fine.

  18. Austin October 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I have an iPhone 5 A 129 and I am expiriencing the same problem I have got 3 Apple chargers, 2 Verizon Wireless Chargers, and a Belkin all with the same result

  19. Don November 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    I love the wealth of information on the internet! I was having a charging problem as well. Someone on this blog mentioned lint in the connection port. I broke out a flashlight and some glasses to look into the charging port, and found a small part of a pine needle in there. It was just enough to stop the pins from connecting properly, even though it felt like a very snug fit/connection. I pulled out the pine needle with a dental pick and everything is working fine.

    • Jason September 12, 2015 at 1:05 am #

      I did the same thing. Dental pick to clean out pocket lint. Fixed it.

  20. Briittney December 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    i bought a new 5c just 4 days ago and i can hear the charging sound repeatesly during the night

    • Electric Sproket December 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Sorry to hear that! As Apple has become such large staple in the tech industry. Nothing can go without imperfections. Even for Apple and I do think that this is a design flaw that Apple has yet to recognize. Some of our commenters have had luck in cleaning the lightning port. As lint tends to collect there but in your case much like mine. It has happened with a new device. I would suggest trying a different cable or even making a trip to the Apple store to remedy. I wish I had a DIY fix but since it’s a new device your best option would be the Apple store. Good luck and I hope they can replace your device.

  21. Mike Salerno December 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    I’ve been wiggling mine for a couple months now. Just this week it decided to not charge no matter what. Spoke to Apple support and was told I should have bought the extended warranty. Thanks, Apple. I love my iphone but wont buy another if it comes with a lightning plug. I might feel better if Apple would at least aknowlege the problem but we know that won’t happen.

  22. James January 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    I have brought my 9th lightning cable today, I’ve had my iPhone5 7 months and I am having a nightmare with the cable and charging problems.. Not happy at all!

  23. Dan January 13, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    I, too, had the one-side charging/cable wiggle-required issue with the lightning cable on my iPhone 5. Pulled out some lint, and it seemed to help, but not really. I went back in, this time with a flashlight and the plastic toothpick from a swiss army knife–there was MUCH more lint in there than I had thought. It was like a car full of clowns! Anyway, after pulling all of that out, the phone seems to charge just fine. Take-home message: there may be a lot more lint in the lightning charger “hole” than you think…

  24. Bruce January 16, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    I have had an iphone 5 S since it’s release in Sept 2012, I’ve gone through 2 apple charge cords, a half dozen after market cords, I’ve had the best luck with the NET GEAR
    cord, it worked for 4 straight months before showing all the exact problems that everyone here mentioned, lucky for me that I got it replaced by the outlet store I bought it at under warranty. However I have also done the cleaning out the port with the same methods as others have tried here with no real difference. I have also found that there is indeed
    chip in the cord that Apple products do recognize as after market eventually and render them useless with a short life span. I’m always careful when inserting and removing
    my cord both from the phone and from the charger end. For a company that sells itself
    on superior quality they continue to release products , they know have short use life spans and also change the size of the ports making all previous cords useless unless you purchase their charge adapter. I like and enjoy using my actual Iphone but I think
    the next time I will choose a different smart phone as I’m tired of dealing with this problem with them and Apple’s attitude toward it’s customer’s and insistence on having to buy
    extended warranties ……so in the end you are actually paying for the problems again
    when you spend the money on the warranty…..rather then apple actually backing up their product by designing/building them in a way that guarantee’s they will fail and
    hence yield them additional revenue through either customer warranty purchases and or
    buying replacement parts soon after use begins.

  25. Angie January 29, 2014 at 6:02 am #

    My daughter and I have the same problem. The charger that came w the phone was the first to go. Then I got another apple lightning USB charger and I died too! I ordered 3 off of Amazon for like 5.00 and they are ALL dead! My daughter and I are now sharing the charger I bought at Target made by Belkin and so far it’s been the BEST by far! I will go back to target and get another ASAP! Try the Belkin lightning USB. The others fail! I’m sure it voids apple warranty tho since it’s Belkin and not apple so I would not mention that part to your carrier if u do call bc they will note that in ur account! My Mom has also already had to replace her charger! And she has the new iPhone 5s!! Hope this helps you!

    • Bruce March 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      thanks Angie, I will try the Belkin one. I’ve gone through 2 Apple cords (will never buy another apple phone till they fix the cord issue) and another one I got from Best Buy (rocketfish maybe) – mine was like some of the others on here – working, then I’d flip it over – worked ok for a while – moving it around, etc…eventually went dead. these cords are horrible and I blame Apple for the design (which I haven’t come to expect from them) – I also think Apple purposely made the cord small so people would have issues with them – one little problem probably makes them tens of millions of dollars.

  26. David Dill February 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    After reading the comments above, I was very discouraged since my iPhone 5 has been getting worse and worse in terms of its ease of charging. If I held the cord in a certain position it would charge, but once I let go it would stop charging. I was preparing to head for the Apple store but decided to whip out a toothpick first. It was like seeing clowns emerge from a car. Four times I thought I had all of the lint out and each time I was able to find more lint. After many pokes and a fair amount of blowing, it seemed to be clean. I inserted the power cord and it seems now to be working perfectly.

  27. Christine Hemmings March 12, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    iPhone 5 charges suck!
    Not even a month old and I have to go purchase a new one not like I already did to pay enough for the dang phone!
    Same thing as above bumped it and it stopped working….

  28. Tammy March 30, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    Thank you to the person who mentioned the pocket lint! My husbands phone wouldn’t charge. I used a toothpick and a paper clip and picked out all the lint from where you plug in the charger and it now works!!

  29. Rachel June 10, 2014 at 7:25 am #

    That exact same thing is happening on mine. Did you figure it out? It won’t work plugged in to the wall or my iHome. It did the same thing where it kept going on and off from charging quickly.

    • Electric Sproket June 11, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

      If you’ve had your phone for a while check inside the lightning port with a flashlight, if needed. Make sure there is no lint or dirt packed in there. If so, power off the phone and use a toothpick or a small paper clip and carefully dislodge the obstruction. Power it back on when finished and try it again and it should work.
      Good luck.

      • pudgie 46 June 16, 2014 at 11:35 am #

        Had the same problem and we’re a family with 3 phones so thought it was related to lightning cable from transformer. Nope, it was lint in the phone port. Had some GUM go-between proxabush teeth cleaners and used them to clear out lint from the port and now all wires working where before only two out of 10 worked for my phone.

  30. Nicole July 28, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    I’ve had the same problem . Same with my iPad mini. Ironically when I have a 3 charger docking station I bought of eBay charges everything just fine , but when in use the power cord & plug it in the. I have issues . It’s. Very frustrating . I love having my phone but when I leave my place and take a charger with me it’s difficult to charge .

  31. Rick July 29, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    I used a plastic coated paper clip and cleaned a ton of lint out. I used an air can before and that did nothing. I would highly recommend this. Some cords do go bad if they are bent a lot at the male end and it is usually visable when there has been to much stress. It starts to bulg at the end.

  32. Chuckiezip August 30, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    I had a very similar problem. Took it to the Genius Bar. The guy took a little tool that was on a chain around his neck and gently cleaned out an enormous piece of lint from inside the connector. He said that I could use a toothpick to do it. It completely solve my problem. I hope that this is your problem because it is a very easy fix

  33. Mike September 21, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    I’m having the same issue. On further inspection the connector is corroded. Thought it was potential humidity issues in my room so I used my work charger. Noticed the issue starting again. Once again corrosion is happening on that charger. Time to upgrade to a samsung.

  34. Jackson Blake January 4, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

    It’s a lint issue until proven otherwise. Just cleaned mine out too. Works like a charm.

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