How to properly clean an iPad's charging port when it won't charge

ipad charging port clean

Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

You can clean an iPad charging port with compressed air and, if that doesn't work, a wooden toothpick.

  • To clean an iPad charging port properly, care must be taken and the best starting point is to not physically touch it at all.
  • If your iPad can't charge, one of the most common causes is a dirty charging port.
  • The charging port is a very sensitive and sophisticated piece of your iPad's hardware, but cleaning it is an easy fix.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Apple makes most of its devices relatively rugged considering how technical they are. Their main weakness is the charging port. Not only does it have sensitive wires that need to be perfectly aligned to charge properly, it's also a pocket for catching all sorts of debris and detritus.

There are several ways to clean out the port but here are the best ways to do it carefully and ensure your iPad can keep charging.Advertisement

Just shoving utensils into your iPad charging port (or any form of metal, in particular) is a pretty good way to damage the sensitive components of it.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPad (From $329.99 at Best Buy)

CRC Compressed Air Duster (For $12.74 at Amazon)

How to properly clean an iPad charging port

Start using compressed air

1. Purchase an air duster. Don't try to blow the dust out by blowing on it. Warm, damp breath can damage the components.

air duster

Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

CRC Compressed Air Duster works well for this purpose.


2. Point the air nozzle at the charging port. Do not put it into the port since the air can come out with force enough to hurt the sensitive prongs, and you could also hit a component with the straw.

3. Spray several short bursts. Don't hold down the nozzle for extended periods.
ipad charging port

Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

Don't place the nozzle directly into your iPad's port.


4. Try plugging your iPad in. If it still doesn't charge, you can move onto step two.

Try using a toothpick

Sometimes dirt and dust can get caked on and require a little more to remove it from the port, requiring an implement. A wooden toothpick has less of a chance of damaging components than a plastic or metal one though you do have to worry about the tip of the toothpick breaking off in the port.

1. Look inside the port for any caked-on dust or dirt. If you can't see inside, try shining a flashlight into it.Advertisement

2. Delicately insert the toothpick into the port. Try to remove large pieces of lint or dust - don't just blindly grind it too hard against the sides.

ipad charging port clean

Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

Remove lint and other debris with a wooden toothpick.

3. If the compressed air and the toothpick don't work, you may want to take your device to an Apple store where they have special tools specifically for cleaning the Lightning port, and would be able to properly diagnose if perhaps there's a deeper, underlying issue.Advertisement

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

Insider receives a commission when you buy through our links.