Fix a stuck broken-off Apple Lightning cable connector tip!

Somehow the Lightning cable connector tip snapped off inside my girlfriend’s iPad. At first, it seemed impossible to get the broken piece out of the slot since there is nothing to grab onto and the opening is terribly small.

A Google search came up with several possible solutions, some of which suggested super-gluing the broken piece to a cut ziptie or wires. I tried the ziptie+glue, but just couldn’t get a strong enough bond to yank the piece out. (On a side note, I didn’t have the same issue gluing my fingers together! ;-) Of course, you also have to be very careful not to get the glue elsewhere and ruin the connector. I do not recommend using glue. What worked for me involved something much more simple: a baby diaper safety pin.

Baby diaper pin

You can try to use something like a sewing needle or even a thumbtack, but believe me, the diaper pin works the best because they are long, strong and you can comfortably put some needed pressure on the point. I found a pack of them for a couple bucks at the grocery store in the baby diaper aisle. You’ll probably need more than one as they tend to get dull and bend as you use them. I also suggest you get some good tweezers that have a small pinching point. The hole is very small so larger tweezers will be of little help. One of the commenters used nail clippers to grab pieces sticking out. Depending on your circumstances, this might work well if you don’t press too hard and clip the piece off.

Lightning cable workarea2

Before you start, it helps to understand the layout of things. First off, the contacts for the connector on the iPad are flush against one of the long sides of the hole. As such, you want to stay away from the long sides and work in the center of the hole. You don’t want to accidentally mess up the contacts.

The piece you are digging out consists of two main pieces: a metal outer frame and the interior leftover contacts section. Most of the interior is non-metal plastic except for the tiny contacts and wiring. You want to dig out the interior part of the connector first. The metal outer frame is fairly rigid and will just stay in place.

Start with one end and stab it with the pin. Try using the pin as a lever and see if the piece will just pop out. Mine did not do that, but depending on how hard it is lodged in there, this might work. Switch to the other side and try again.

If this doesn’t work, start digging away at the material from one side and alternate between sides. You’ll get bits of plastic and also the metal contacts from the connector. Use the tweezers to remove the debris. Again, be careful not to get too close to the long sides where the iPad’s contact are. Note that this is a somewhat slow process. I would guess it took me 10-15 minutes of digging.

Lightning cable break

Eventually, I got all of the interior part out and was left with only the outer metal frame. If you look at the picture to the left, you can see a little indentation on the side. There is one on each side of the connector and the iPad has tiny latches that hold the connector in. What you have to do and jam the pin in deep at the very end and pry one side of the U-shaped frame in. It is surprisingly strong and, thus, may take several tries, but it will bend in eventually. You may have to bend the other side before the piece comes out, but the second side will be easier.

Well, that’s it! I was certain the iPad was a lost cause, but fortunately I didn’t give up! Good luck!

Comments

prasannaachanta
Reply

i am not getting that metal frame out.. can you please elaborate it… it will be helpful for me

spice3d
Reply

Hmmm maybe try to dig on one of the edges with something like a safety pin and pry it out.

prasannaachanta

yeah! trying it out.. is there any alternative? coz im trying it from 7 long hours.. :(

spice3d

Are you sure it is still in there? Have you tried to plug a new cable in?

Tyree Morgan
Reply

I got the piece out. But it wont charge even with a different charger.

spice3d
Reply

Drats. Sorry Tyree. I suppose it’s possible one of the connectors on the side got damaged. Not much that can be done I don’t think.

Rifat
Reply

Thank you so much for this! It took me some effort over a day and a half and I was ready to head to the Apple store-I discovered it first at 1am, then had a hectic day at work. Frst I used big safety pins (seam ripper first but it broke!), to gouge out the insides as you instructed and then tried to pull it out with a tweezer, which didn’t work. Then I remembered comment about using a small screwdriver from a computer repair and it popped out right away . My iPhone was saved! And more importantly, even though my Apple Care was active–I didn’t like the idea of wasting a perfectly good phone and it saved me time–important for a busy professor and mom! Thanks to you and the commenters for their tips as well!

Samantha
Reply

Thank you !!! Thank you !!! Scraped and scraped the white part and then I used a teeny screwdriver bit I had from a MacBook repair kit to bend both sides and popped it right out !!! Suck it apple !

spice3d
Reply

Nice job Samantha. Glad the info helped.

Mark Noblett
Reply

I didn’t believe this, but I was now desperate. I was sure I would ruin the connectors, but I persevered and after about 10 mins out it popped. I then tried plugging it in and wow, it is charging. Many thanks, you have saved me a fortune

spice3d
Reply

I know exactly what you mean Mark. Congrats!

JIM
Reply

Worked for me, but I used a very small eyeglass screwdriver. Sure made my wife happy! Thanks, Friartuck

Ekta
Reply

Can you please explain how did u mange to take out the metal frame. It will really help me. Thank you

spice3d

To take the metal frame out, I had to jam the pin in deep at the very end and pry on one side of the U-shaped frame to bend it in. I would work one side and then the other. I had to bend both sides before it came out.

Hilary Stultz Curto
Reply

Nail clippers!!! I was trying this and all of a sudden I thought – clippers would actually grasp it… came out immediately!

spice3d
Reply

Great idea Hilary. Maybe some old ones that aren’t too sharp :-)

Tammi
Reply

THANK YOU!!! POPPED RIGHT OUT!

Zandile Moletsane
Reply

Thank you for this. I used a seam ripper but applied the same technique. And it worked. It takes a lot of patience. But it works

jenvazquezphotography
Reply

This is possibly the best ever tip. I watched video’s and read other articles but this was the most complete blog I found. I was scared to harm the connectors and you immediately sold me where to stay away from which gave me to confidence to fix my iPhone 6 Plus. I paid so much money and was so scared that it wouldn’t work. Brilliant explanation and thank you so much!!!!

spice3d
Reply

Glad I could help Jen :-D

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