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Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector (Easy FIX!)

If you go to charge your iPhone and the “Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector” alert pops up, don’t panic! This is an extremely common alert.

“Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector” is an iPhone alert indicating your phone’s charging port is wet. You can still use your phone, you just won’t be able to charge it using a lightning cable until the port is fully dry. But you can use a cordless charger while you wait!

What does it mean when there is liquid in the lightning connector

The “lightning connector” is just a fancy term for your iPhone’s charging port.

When you see the “Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector” alert, it means that either your phone’s charging port, or the lighting charging cable are wet or moist.

There are a lot of different ways this can happen, but here are some of the most common:

  1. Shower – if you leave your iPhone in the bathroom while you shower, the humidity can get quite high, creating a build up of moisture inside your charging port
  2. Rain – if you get caught outside in a rain storm, or even just a shower, your phone can get wet
  3. Pool – jumping in the pool with your phone in your pocket will certainly get it wet!
  4. Spilt drink – spilling a coffee or water on your iPhone is another sure way to get it wet

Ok, so I left my phone in the bathroom while I showered. So what? Isn’t my iPhone water resistant anyway?

What if my iPhone is water resistant?

Every iPhone in Apple’s current lineup is water-resistant. In fact, if you have an iPhone 8 or later, your iPhone is water-resistant.

isn't my iphone water resistant

But being water-resistant doesn’t mean your phone can’t suffer from liquid damage.

Water-resistant iPhones aren’t waterproof. This means that the metal components inside your phone can still corrode and cease working properly if they come into contact with liquid of any kind.

The same goes for the metal pins inside your lighting port.

But without an electrical current passing through these metal pins, the liquid shouldn’t cause any lasting damage (unless it leaves residue on the pins).

That’s why Apple automatically disables the lighting connector when your phone detects liquid in it. A current could make the metal corrode and the connector strip stop working.

What to do if a liquid has been detected in a lighting connector

First off, I highly suggest you do not use the “Emergency Override” option, and instead allow your phone adequate time to dry.

If you want, you can even keep using your phone as it is! Just hit “Dismiss”. That shouldn’t be an issue and won’t cause any additional damage. Just don’t plug anything into it!

I would follow these steps to ensure there is no lasting damage and get your phone working again:

  1. unplug any cables or accessories connected to your iPhone
  2. hold your iPhone with the Lightning port facing down, then firmly tap your phone with the palm of your hand to help ease any liquid out of the port
  3. place your iPhone in an open, ventilated, and dry space
  4. wait a minimum of 30 minutes before trying to charge your device again

If you get the “Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector” alert again, there may be liquid residue beneath the Lightning pins. You should wait at least another 30 min before trying to charge it again.

Keep repeating this process until the alert goes away.

I’ve heard of many iPhone users who had to wait up to 24 hours before their iPhone fully dried and this alert went away. So be patient!

Cordless charging

The good news is the advice I give above assumes you only have a lightning cable charger. If you have a cordless charger, you can use it while you wait for the lightning port to dry!

So not only can you use your phone, but you can charge it too while you wait for the phone to fully dry out.

I literally just had this happen to me. I was giving my son a bath and my iPhone fell in the tub, completely submerged for about 10 seconds.

When I went to charge it with the lighting cable I got the Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector warning message.

So I continued using my phone and when it was time to charge it later that day, I used my cordless charger. It worked great. The next day my phone was fully dry, and the lightning charger worked again.

If you don’t have a cordless charger, Apple sells a cordless charger called the MagSafe charger, but you can also find a ton of after-market options on Amazon.

Keep in mind that you’ll need an iPhone 8 or later! The models before this do not offer wireless charging.

What to avoid doing when a liquid has been detected in a lighting connector

There is a ton of bad advice online for liquid damaged iPhones. Most of this advice does nothing to actually fix your device and in many cases, it causes more damage!

I know it can be tempting to try to speed the drying process along, but please don’t try any of the following:

  1. do not put your phone in a container of rice or silica gel packets
  2. avoid using a heat source to dry your iPhone, like a radiator or hair dryer
  3. don’t insert anything into the Lighting port, like QTips or a napkin
What to avoid doing when a liquid has been detected in a lighting connector

Again, the best advice here is to simply wait it out and let your iPhone air dry with time. I know that’s not what you wanted to hear, but I’ll say it again: be patient!

Can you try to speed things along by using a hair dryer or sticking a napkin in the charging port? Sure. But just remember that you run the risk of permanent damage.

When to override the liquid detection alert

While it certainly shouldn’t be your first choice, there are times when you may want to risk damaging your iPhone in order to charge it, even if it’s wet.

In these emergency situations it’s possible to override the alert and charge your device.

It’s worth repeating that when you do this you do run the risk of permanently damaging your phone. Water and electricity don’t mix!

That said, if you do override the alert, you should first completely dry the outside of your iPhone and consider charging it wirelessly instead.

To override the liquid detection alert, simply reconnect the lighting cable or accessory shortly after it appears. When the liquid detection alert pops up again, tap the “Emergency Override” button.

Emergency override not working

Most of the time, selecting “Emergency Override” will allow you to successfully charge your iPhone, despite the alert.

But occasionally when you click this override, the alert goes away, but your iPhone still won’t charge.

This appears to be a bug that Apple has not fixed yet. Luckily there are a few ways to fix/avoid this:

  1. Hit dismiss and force restart the iPhone. Click volume up, followed by volume down then press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo flash on the screen.
  2. Use genuine Apple chargers! Aftermarket chargers trigger this alert for whatever reason.
  3. Charge wirelessly using MagSafe charging whenever possible.

What if my iPhone detects liquid when it’s dry

Sometimes you might see the liquid detection alert when you’re absolutely certain your iPhone and Lightning connectors are dry.

Maybe your phone is brand new or you allowed plenty of time for it to dry out.

If that’s the case, then get a flashlight and inspect the Lightning port for dust and debris. Obstructions in the Lightning port can confuse your iPhones liquid sensors.

If you find anything, you can clear it out with compressed air to avoid damaging the metal pins.

After flashing a light into the port, if you can’t see any debris, there is a strong possibility that your iPhone’s Lightning port or the accessory you’re trying to use is damaged.

At this point you might need to contact Apple support.

Contact Apple

If your phone did in fact experience water damage, the service for liquid damage is not covered by the Apple One-Year Limited Warranty.

To confirm whether or not this is the case, you can check your phone’s Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI). The LCI will active when it contacts water, turning red.

Apple Liquid Contact Indicator

The location of the LCI depends on which iPhone model you own. Luckily Apple put together this helpful chart to help you locate it.

If you aren’t sure if liquid exposure is causing the alert, that’s when you should contact Apple Support for help.

Conclusion

If your iPhone gets wet and you’re seeing the “Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector”, don’t panic, this is a really common alert.

Here’s what you should do:

  • unplug any cables or accessories connected to your iPhone
  • hold your iPhone with the Lightning port facing down, then firmly tap your phone with the palm of your hand to help ease any liquid out of the port
  • place your iPhone in an open, ventilated, and dry space
  • wait a minimum of 30 minutes before trying to charge your device again

Unless it’s an emergency, I would strongly advise against using the Emergency Override option. Charging your iPhone when the Lightning connector is wet can cause permanent damage to your phone.

The best thing to do is wait for your phone to air dry. Just be patient!