Unable to charge: Liquid has been detected in the Lightning connector

Today, for the first time in years of using an iPhone, I got a warning about water in the Lightning connector (Lightning connector on the bottom of the device). The pop-up says below a warning symbol with water drops: Loading not possible. Liquid has been detected in the Lightning connector. Disconnect the cable to allow the connector to dry. Immediate charging may damage the iPhone. - In order for the iPhone battery to still charge, you must either tap "Ignore (Emergency)" or disconnect the cable and ensure that the iPhone connector and plug are dried. Or what is going on there?

The warning on the Apple iPhone can look like this or something similar if charging is not possible because liquid was detected in the Lightning connector. Here are tips for dealing with this problem.
The warning on the Apple iPhone can look like this or something similar if charging is not possible because liquid was detected in the Lightning connector. Here are tips for dealing with this problem.

Disconnect the cable and see if liquid has entered

When I got the warning message this morning, I was pretty sure it must be an error. Because I didn't remember my iPhone getting near liquids. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, I disconnected the cable and unplugged it from the power source. Then I checked it for water and coffee but found nothing. Then I looked at the Lightning Connector of the iPhone. I'm pretty sure there wasn't anything in there either. Except maybe dust, which likes to collect there and in the speaker and microphone holes next to it.

So I reconnected the iPhone to the charger, which brought up the liquid warning on the display again. However, this time I decided to ignore them and let the loading process start anyway. Nothing happened, everything works as usual. My first suspicion was that maybe the dust in the Lightning Connector had absorbed a bit of humidity and thus triggered the warning. But I wanted to get to the bottom of the matter and did a little research. As part of this, I came across various pieces of information, which I have summarized for you as follows:

  • In any case, the warning must be taken seriously. You should first ignore them and still charge the iPhone via cable if you are sure that there is no liquid in the Lightning connector or on the cable.
  • However, it could also be a hardware error. If you are sure that no liquid has penetrated, use a different charging cable (if you have one) as a test. If the error is in the iPhone connection, you should contact Apple Support or an iPhone repair shop.
  • It could also be a software bug. To fix this, you can try turning the iPhone off and on again. If you then plug it back in to charge and this time no warning appears, then it can be assumed that it was just a bug. I tried that and after restarting there was no more message.

You can do this to dry the iPhone Lightning Connector

If you see that water has actually gotten into the charging port of the Apple iPhone, or if you are not really sure, then there are definitely measures you can try to dry it. Here are a few tips:

  • Disconnects the iPhone from the charging cable or data transfer and also keeps it away from open power sources, cables and plugs.
  • Firmly hold the iPhone in a vertical position with the Lightning connector facing down. Now tap with two fingers next to the connector to shake out the water. Alternatively, you can quickly move the iPhone down and then stop to inertially get the water out.
  • Leave the iPhone in a well-ventilated place for at least 30 minutes and then try charging again. If the warning then appears again, leave the device in a well-ventilated place for 24 hours.

You should avoid this if you want to dry the iPhone Lightning Connector

I completely understand if you want to get the iPhone connector dry again as soon as possible after the "Cannot charge: Liquid was detected in the Lightning connector..." message. However, you should not take any ill-considered and possibly harmful actions. That can only widen the problem. So keep these points in mind:

  • Uses save Hot air or compressed air to dry the iPhone charging port. Both the heat and the pressure can damage it. In the worst case, it is then unusable and must be replaced.
  • Plugged nothing into the port to get the water out. Textiles as well as cotton wool and cellulose can leave lint, rags and other residues. Depending on the tool used (cotton swab, etc.), excessive force can also damage or deform the connection.
  • Puts the iPhone not in rice or the like. It's one of those internet tricks that someone came up with as a joke. The rice does not pull the water out of the appliance faster. Rather, you risk starch dust getting in and sticking the hardware together, or small pieces of rice causing scratches. With rice and similar “solutions” you tend to only make the problem worse. 

I don't have time and need to charge the iPhone quickly!

On the one hand you want the Apple device to remain whole, on the other hand the battery needs to be charged. You can quickly become impatient. As noted above, you should try to tap the water out of the connector and then let the iPhone dry for at least 30 minutes. Then try charging it again with a cable. If you can't explain the warning at all, then reboot and see if it's just a bug. If possible, you can alternatively charge the Apple iPhone wirelessly by using a Qi or MagSafe-Charger used for the charging area on the back of the smartphone. 

The liquid warning has been around since the iPhone XS and XR (2018)

When I was looking for information on the subject, I naturally also looked through the support documents that Apple makes available online. I'm doing this on the document HT210424 encountered This notes, among other things, that the liquid warning for the Lightning connector on the Apple iPhone has been around since the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max - i.e. since 2018. In addition to the tips that I have also found in other sources and listed above, there are also tips The support document also states that if a message is displayed continuously and there is no visible moisture in the connection or on the accessory, the same could be defective. The manufacturer should be contacted accordingly.

Have you ever encountered the liquid warning on the Apple iPhone? Leave a comment with your experiences and tips!

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9 thoughts on “Charging not possible: liquid was detected in the Lightning connector”

  1. I was in the water for 10-15 minutes with my iPhone 11. Unfortunately the ski is now at 5% and the warning came when I plugged in the charging cable, shook, knocked and switched off. Leave it like that overnight and hope for tomorrow

  2. I just had it too!
    Did a restart and the message was gone, I couldn't explain where the liquid should have come from.
    Loads normally now, thanks for the tips

  3. I don't get any message
    had sent in the cell phone and they said it was water damage. The cell phone sometimes charges and sometimes it doesn't.
    I am not aware that my phone has ever come into contact with water.
    What can I do now??

    1. You can try another cable again, but if that doesn't work, your only options are Apple repair or wireless charging.

  4. I'm still using an iPhone

    While searching the web I came across this article.

    I actually chose “ignore” and the iPhone then fully charged. After that it didn't charge at all for about 24 hours or didn't even recognize that it was connected to the power.

    But in the end everything was fine: putting it in a bag of dry rice grains helped. I can't quite understand why this would be an online joke. I've used this to draw moisture out of non-waterproof smartphones several times...

  5. Very interesting article! Hopefully, this is just an oversight and smartphone manufacturers will continue to develop and improve their products to avoid such incidents. It's also important for users to be aware that a wet Lightning port can affect the charging of their devices.

  6. From now on, don't throw away these little “do not eat” gel bags that are supposed to protect objects from moisture in packages.
    You can also reactivate them in the oven. Not over 80 degrees.
    Then put it together with the phone or something similar in a sealable plastic bag.

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