How an Apple Genius mysteriously solved my aggressive iPhone charging problem

“I was prepared to put up with it,” Chris Matyszczyk writes for ZDNet. “So my iPhone was charging erratically. It was the only gadget that really annoyed me. Shouldn’t everyone have at least one? Yet after baring my experience at an Apple store in these pages — a certified Genius had told me I was being too aggressive with my Lightning cable insertion into my iPhone 6 — I received hundreds of emails from readers.”

“The majority of readers insisted my problem was a lint build-up from keeping it in my pocket,” Matyszczyk writes. “I’d omitted to mention in my original article that I regularly inspected the port and even sometimes used a wooden toothpick to dig out fluff… There was only one thing for it. Go to a different Apple store. You see, after one more little scrape with my wooden toothpick, my iPhone died.”

“After five minutes, my Genius returned. ‘Well, I think I’ve got it charging,’ she said, with a slight lack of conviction. Yes, there had, indeed, been lint right at the back of the port, but it had been impossible to see with her personal flashlight,” Matyszczyk writes. “‘Back there, we’ve got one of those lights that a doctor uses to look inside your ears,’ she said, as I tried to look as if I was marveling. ‘And we’ve got a special tool,’ she added.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We thought everybody knew this, but obviously not:

When carrying your iPhone in a pants pocket, carry it with the display towards your body with the Lightning port facing up. The top of the iPhone goes down into any pocket-lint you might have, not the Lightning port which can get clogged with it, and the display is not exposed to any unexpected hits from outside your pocket.

We’ve never had any lint issues with umpteen units of every iPhone ever made over a decade-plus of carrying iPhones in pockets this way.


  1. In other words….

    “You’re carrying it wrong!”

    MDN’s workaround is respected, but it is a workaround.
    I suppose all phones from all companies should be carried with such precise ritual. Or not…

    1. Seriously, you call that a “workaround?” What exactly are you working around? If you carry your phone in a pocket, there’s only one obvious way to carry it that protects the screen and puts it in your hand in the correct orientation when you pull it out.

      1. Why, a preventive workaround to a reported failure of course.

        One shouldn’t have to put it in their pocket “a certain way”. You would be singing a different song if this were reported by another company’s customer.

        1. Seriously dude, putting your phone in your pocket is not iPhone-specific. And no, I would never say anything different no matter what company’s phone this story was about.

            1. it matters for best results. You’ll get more or less lint in the ports on your Android device depending on how you put it in your pocket and what kind of pants you wear and how clean you keep your pockets.

    2. about nothing. Ports get lint in them over time. I’ve had it happen on a few devices. All you do is get a wooden toothpick and clean it out yourself. It takes about a minute. It is so easy a child could do it. Maybe we should all learn how to DIY instead of constantly complaining.

            1. I said I’ve had it happen on a few devices. I did not say iPhones, genius. Lint doesn’t care what make or model your port is on. This can happen to any device with any kind of port. Now you know how to solve it if it happens to you.

            2. “Don’t have that particular problem. I don’t have an iPhone”

              The particular problem of lint in ports such as audio or microUSB happens to lots of Android devices too. I’m pretty sure you were trying to say this problem only happens to iPhones. Fake news Trumpy boy!

              You still haven’t thanked me for teaching you how to solve the lint problem on your own with a simple wooden toothpick. You have to be more careful with microUSB. They’re flimsier than other ports and more easily damaged. As long as you are careful there’s no issue cleaning it out yourself.

            3. “I don’t have a lint problem.”

              You don’t have a lint problem yet. It could happen to any device you keep in your pocket. You’ve been lucky so far. You’re not special and immune to lint.

            4. Nah. wireless charging, almost always. Not saying a lint problem can’t happen, after all, people have been known to hold their phone wrong…

              I have no ritual, other than, back pocket, always.

            5. Applecynic doesn’t have a lint problem. Applecynic has a brain problem.

              Big difference, but in Applecynic’s case, it’s a major difference, and frankly, it explains a lot.

            6. “Nah. wireless charging, almost always. Not saying a lint problem can’t happen”

              You literally said “I don’t have a lint problem.”

              So your devices have zero ports then? That’s the only way you can’t have a lint problem. No USB, no audio jack, nothing. No ports on your devices would be a huge contradiction if I can believe other comments you’ve made on other articles.

            7. No it just hasn’t yet been a problem. I currently do not have, nor have I in the past had a lint problem. Should one arise, I won’t bitch at Apple, they didnt make my phone.

              But “not doing it right” is a hallmark statement from Apple’s messiah.

            8. “But “not doing it right” is a hallmark statement from Apple’s messiah.”

              The problem with your statement is that Jobs was correct and all other phones had the exact same problem. If you cover the antenna you would lose signal. The manual that came with my Samsung phone had a diagram showing how to hold the device and how not to hold the device so as not to cover the antenna.

            9. “Our next topic… all phones bend…”

              Any device that is long enough and thin enough will bend. That is… um… physics… you know. I’m quite sure I could bend any phone you give me. Smartphones are not solid steel. My Samsung phone would bend if I tried hard enough. Why would I though? BTW, this is your response to learning that all phones have the antenna issue? Did you honestly not know that most phone manuals show how not to cover the antenna while holding them? Lame.

            10. “Yes and physics also says thick will yield before thin. ”

              You mean thin before thick. There isn’t enough variance in thickness among smartphones to make a difference. It’s not like some smartphones are an inch thick. In 2014 the average Android flagship thickness was .33 inches. The iPhone 6 was .27 inches. Some Android devices were even thinner than the iPhone 6. This isn’t an issue that only Apple has. Everyone is making thin devices and they can all be bent. There’s just no clickbait money in bending an Android device. Android does enjoy a majority market share but individual flagship Android devices don’t sell anywhere near the numbers that Apple’s iPhone does. Just because you didn’t see some guy on YouTube bending an Android device doesn’t mean it won’t bend. It will.

              What else you got?

            11. “Materials matter too. Metal, especially Aluminium”

              Materials don’t matter enough. I can bend any smartphone you give me. Our devices would have to be much, much, much, much thicker before they couldn’t be bent and nobody is making devices that thick.

              Got anything else?

            12. Now you’re being intentionally ignorant. It’s not just how easy it bends, but how far can it bend and recover it’s shape, not crack, etc., etc., etc.

              Materials matter more than thickness. Ask your credit card.

            13. “It’s not just how easy it bends, but how far can it bend and recover it’s shape, not crack, etc., etc., etc.”

              No kidding. That’s why I said materials don’t matter enough. I can still bend any smartphone you give me and wreck it in the process. Devices like this are so similar and use similar enough materials and design that they are all subject to similar problems. You’re trying to find fault only with Apple but all smartphones have the same problems you are complaining about whether it is lint in ports, covering the antenna, bending, and whatever else you can come up with.

              Got anything else?

            14. “Yeah, straight phones.”

              So you have nothing. No surprise there. You can look up reports of Samsung phones bending in pockets. Other phones too. You didn’t hear about those because only Apple warrants clickbait. They should be flattered I suppose.

              In the category of Problems-Specific-To-Apple you have nothing. Everything you’ve talked about happens to every smartphone maker.

              Let me know when you have something.

            15. “Specific to Apple I have censorship, Lock in, non-upgradability, and on….”

              Moving the goalposts I see. Apple’s business model is Apple’s business. They can do what they like.

              What you were trying to do was say Apple devices had faults like lint in ports, covering the antenna, and bending that only Apple devices had as problems.

              I showed you none of that is true. Let me know when you have something cuz right now you are a whole lotta nothing.

            16. Did not move the goalposts, those issues are specific to Apple as you requested.

              To you point, is Apple “more” prone to “don’t sit on it”, “hold it a certain way”, or ,proper “pocket and pants orientation” than others? Maybe?

              You also fail to prove your deflection that “they all can be bent” with real life examples.

              Let me be you for a minute…
              Yes! The Note 7 caught fire! It was more prone to fire, but all phones can catch fire! Clickbait!

              It’s you that’s got nothing….

            17. “Did not move the goalposts, those issues are specific to Apple as you requested.”

              You are moving the goalposts. Every company has specific and unique things to complain about when you get into business models and software.

              We were discussing devices only and you were so desperately trying to say only Apple devices got lint in ports, had antenna issues, and could be bent.

              Speaking of bent, I assume you can use Google but maybe I shouldn’t assume that so I’ll start you off with an Android forum discussion about gasp! bent devices.


              Come back when you have… something… cuz you have less than nothing if that’s even possible. Laughing so hard at you right now. Noth. Ing.

            18. “Every company has specific and unique things to complain about when you get into business models and software.”

              And I just gave you Apple’s, as requested. Didn’t move the goalposts.

              I was saying that it constantly seems that Apple devices are reported to be excessively misused and the fault lies with the user.

              I also used your logic to falsely exhonerate Samsung’s flaming Note 7. All phones use lithium batteries after all…


              Bent LG M8! Bad LG! Of of one or one nine? How high did Apple’s one of nine go?

              “Laughing so hard at you right now. ”
              Morons are easily amused.

            19. “I was saying that it constantly seems that Apple devices are reported to be excessively misused and the fault lies with the user.”

              Nope. You are constantly reading in the clickbait media about Apple device problems… because that generates views. How do we know it works? People like you are constantly reading those stories.

              You don’t read about the exact same problems in other devices because they are not Apple devices and there is no clickbait value. Get it?

              You didn’t use my logic to do anything. You used your own moron logic to attempt to save face because everything you’ve said adds up to… wait for it… nothing.

              Keep your nothing coming. I enjoy laughing at you.

  2. I assumed carrying the phone upside down and inward was obvious. It’s also the way when you pull your phone out that it’s in your hand in the correct orientation.

  3. The other advantage of carrying iPhone this way is that the bottom-firing speakers on iPhone are thus directed toward your ears rather than your knees. Unless you’re a grasshopper, this is a Good Thing™.

  4. I do EXACTLY what MDN says but one time I spilled a pitcher of water on myself while standing up and some water got into my 3G phone via the connector. The water flowed into my pocket and then into the connector. Apple dried it off but said the warranty was over. Fortunately I kept that phone for 18 more months without problems. I still use that phone every three months or so as an iPod. Still works good.

    Because of the above, I do one more thing- when walking in the rain, I simply have the connecter pointing down in my pocket, but all other times it’s up to avoid the lint problem.

    1. Most people don’t have a can of compressed air on hand. You take the toothpick and gently move it side to side while holding the port so the lint you jiggle around falls out. You sort of pull and move side to side. It works great.

  5. I’ve never had a lint problem from any of my iPhones, starting from my first 3GS. Surely, though, sucking any lint out with a vacuum wand would be the most effective, without causing any possible damage?

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