Liquid Detected iPhone But Not Wet? Try These 15 Fixes

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liquid detection alert on iphone

After the iOS 10 update, iPhone users now receive a new error message that states “Disconnect lightning accessory. Liquid has been detected in the Lightning connector. To protect your iPhone, disconnect this Lightning accessory and allow the connector to dry.”

This is a warning message that can protect you and your device from permanent damage. However, disconnecting the Lightning connector isn’t enough, there are a few other things that you need to do after disconnecting the cable.

The reason why disconnecting the lightning connector isn’t enough is the fact that this error doesn’t necessarily mean that the lightning port is the one that’s wet or has a trace of moisture in it.

It could be other lighting accessories you use. It could well be a system glitch that could have prompted this error.

So, just to ensure that everything is in the right place, you need to apply a few precautionary fixing techniques to prevent further damage that liquid might bring.

Why Does Your iPhone Say Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector?

Your iPhone says Liquid detected in the lightning connector either because there’s liquid in your lightning connector, or you’re using the wrong lightning cable and there’s a glitch on your iPhone that’s letting you know that there’s a problem with your lightning cable indirectly.

Sometimes rather than letting you know that there’s an issue with your lightning cable, your iPhone will say that liquid has been detected in the lightning connector even if it’s not wet.

If you do notice that the lightning connector is wet, then you need to get liquid out of the lightning connector. If the lightning connector isn’t wet and you’re getting the error, then you need to change your lightning cable and fix the error.

1. Fake Lightning Cable

A fake lightning cable for your iPhone can make it send you false warnings about detecting liquid when it is not wet. The phone’s highly sophisticated system can detect a fake lightning cable, which is one of the effects.

Once this warning is launched, your phone will not be able to charge. If the problem is a fake cable, there is no solution other than getting an original lightning cable.

However, using a fake cable on your iPhone can cause other significant damages such as damaging the iOS, preventing the phone from syncing well, making the phone hot, and poor performance.

2. iPhone Software Out of Date

Your iPhone software is in charge of functions such as the liquid detector. As a result, when the system is outdated, there are high chances that such functions will be affected.

So if you are getting the “liquid detected” when you connect your lightning cable, and it is not wet, check for updates.

You can check whether your iPhone software is up to date by following these simple steps.

1. Go to your iPhone settings.

2. Scroll to the “General” options on the settings and tap to open.

3. Locate and tap on “Software Update”

If your phone software is up to date, you will get a message informing you.

If your phone software is out of date, you will get a message indicating an update available. You can click the install option to update the software.

3. Damaged Charging Port

Yes, a damaged charging port could be why you are getting a liquid detected warning even when the phone is not wet. There are several things that can spoil your iPhone charging port. Since the system detects wetness from the port, it is possible to get the wrong signal resulting in this warning.

When the charging port is damaged, other symptoms will be experienced in many cases.

Such symptoms include poor charging, slow charging, loose grip on the charging port, phone not charging, fluctuations in charging, and false liquid detection.

An iPhone charging port can be damaged by several things, including corrosion from foreign materials, debris, dust, dirt, bent connector, broken charging port, or a loose charging port.

4. Port Filled with Dust

Dust is a common foreign material that can make the charging port of an iPhone misbehave. As dust occupies your charging port, it creates layers that affect how well the phone detects your lightning cable.

This means that when you insert the lightning cable, the phone can detect and send wrong information of liquid available even when there is none.

Note that this is not a situation that will happen just within a single day of using your phone in the dust.

Instead, it is a situation that will take to manifest itself. So, it will take quite some time to build up dust in your phone’s charging port before it can be problematic to cause such issues.

5. You’ve Dropped Your iPhone in Water

The liquid detector system detects any wetness in the charging port. It will give you a warning whenever there is any wetness detected. So, if you have dropped your iPhone in the water, do not be surprised when you get this warning.

When you drop or touch your iPhone with water around the charging port, and the water gets in, it will send this warning. Even when you clean the phone, there might be some wetness left in the charging port that will cause this issue, and a warning will be sent.

Liquid Detected iPhone But Not Wet? Try These Fixes

When liquid is detected in your iPhone, and it is false, it is a really disturbing situation. The first thing you have to make sure is check and make sure that there is no wetness in your charging port before you follow the fixes below.

By confirming the situation, you keep your phone safe from the effect of liquid in your charging port. Follow the fixes below.

1. Click Dismiss Button on the Error

Once you have checked your charging port and there are no signs of wetness, then you can dismiss the error and continue using it. The reason to check is that water or any other liquid may have accidentally reached the port without your knowledge.

When the warning pops up, it comes with two options to click on. One of them is “Emergency Override,” and the second is “Dismiss.” Click on “Dismiss.” By clicking the dismiss option, you will ignore and get rid of the warning, and it will command the iPhone to continue charging.

2. Click Emergency Override Button on the Error

The warning when liquid is detected comes with two optional actions to take and prevents the iPhone from charging. In addition, you are given “Emergency Override’ and “Dismiss” options.

For this method, you will click the first option, which is “Emergency Override.” Emergency override on the iPhone will stop the charging process completely. This gives you a chance to inspect other possible causes of the error.

Once you click this, remove the charger and investigate other possible causes of the warning error. You can also force reboot your phone and insert the charger again to see if the error is still detected or not.

3. Replace Cable with an MFI Certified iPhone Cable

As discussed earlier, one of the possible causes of a false warning of liquid detection in iPhones is a fake cable. If you have replaced your lightning cable recently, then there are high chances that you are using a fake cable.

It is crucial to investigate this and replace it with a certified cable. When replacing the cable, you must ensure that you get an original MFI Certified cable (view on Amazon). Here are the steps to check whether you are getting an original iPhone lightning cable.

1. The packaging must have an MFI badge. The cable will also have the words “Designed by Apple in California and assembled in (Vietnam/China). Next to this sentence will be a serial number with 12 digits.

2. An original certified iPhone cable should also be around 12inches measured from its USB connector.

3. The cable USB connector plates/contacts should be single pieces, with a smooth physical appearance, rounded and either silver or gold-colored.

4. The apple boot should be 7.7mm in width and 12mm in length.

5. The faceplate must be either metallic or gray.

6. At the USB shell, the interlocks are designed in a trapezoidal manner.

7. The interlocks are also equally spaced from both edges.

8. For the USB contacts, they must be gold-plated.

9. The USB surface must be smooth and the shell flat.

If the problem is with the cable, you can also try charging your iPhone at an angle to see if that will stop the error from showing up.

4. Clean Out Charging Port

Cleaning out your iPhone charging port can fix this problem if it is caused by dust. However, it is a process that has specific steps that should be followed carefully to prevent damaging the charging port.

You should also not be aggressive to avoid scraping and damaging the charging port. Instead, follow these steps to clean out the charging port.

1. Start by turning your phone off. Next, go to the settings, click on general, then shut down.

2. Get a toothpick, then roll cotton product or a small piece of paper to form a small tip to fit into the charging port.

3. Carefully and slowly insert the tip with the cotton or paper piece into the port. Then jiggle the tip to touch the surfaces and loosen any dirt.

4. Now, use compressed air to blow all the loosened dirt out of the charging port.

You may now insert the lighting connector and turn on the phone.

5. Use Compressed Air or Blow into Charging Port

Compressed air can be used to clean the charging port and remove any debris that may be causing the error.

1. Start by turning off the phone. Next, go to settings, click on general and click shut down.

2. Now, hold compressed air upright, pointing to the charging port. Make sure that the nozzle is far from the charging port.

3. Press the compressor to blow light bursts of compressed air but in brief.

4. After the last burst, give it a few minutes.

5. You may turn on the phone and insert the lighting connector to check for changes.

6. Use Wireless Charger

This is possibly the simplest way of fixing this situation, and if you do not want to go through all other processes, you can choose to charge your iPhone wirelessly.

You first need to have a wireless iPhone charger. You can use a MagSafe wireless charger (view on Amazon) for this case. The charger will allow you to charge your phone just like a normal charger.

It is also a good route to take when you detect water in your charging port. Using a wireless charger will keep you connected until you can fix the charging port issue.

7. Remove the Lightning Connector/Charging Cable and Power Off the device

The most logical thing to do after receiving this warning is to remove the lightning connector or charging cable from the iPhone.

However, that alone is not enough; you will also need to power off the device for at least an hour. Once the iPhone is switched off, place it in a dry and warm place. Do not shake your iPhone and do not blow into the port.

Importantly, do not attempt to charge your iPhone regardless of how low the battery is. Air-dry the lightning accessory to make sure it has been properly dried before using it with any device.

After an hour or two, try turning on your iPhone to see if the error still shows up or try to connect the accessory to know if the error is triggered again. If it shows up then do you should consider taking your iPhone to an authorized Apple Store for better advice.

8. Tap Your iPhone Against Your Hand

If by some chance there is water on your lightning connector, then you need to remove the liquid so that you can charge your iPhone again.

If you want to remove water from your iPhone lightning connector, you need to tap your iPhone against your hand with force so that excess liquid comes out of the lightning connector.

Then you want to leave your iPhone in a dry place with airflow such as a window ceiling to dry it out. After a few hours, try charging your iPhone again to see if the liquid has been detected in the lightning connector error comes up.

9. Force Restart your iPhone

As said earlier, it is just a random glitch that sometimes prompts this alert. What it means is that there is nothing wrong (as in liquid detection), but just a glitch that can be addressed by a force restart.

You can try a simple restart first to see if it works. If it doesn’t help, you can then force restart your iPhone to clear any rogue apps that might have triggered this warning to occur whenever you plug a cable into the charging/Lightning port.

Here is how you can force restart different iPhone models.

10. For iPhone 8 or Later

Quickly press-release the volume up button, then press-release the volume down button in quick succession. Once done, press-hold the sleep/wake button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

For iPhone 7 & 7 Plus:

Press-hold the sleep/wake button in tandem with volume down button for at least 7-10 seconds. Do not release them until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

For iPhone 6 Plus & Previous Models:

Press-hold the home and side/top button (as per the model) for 10 seconds. Do not release them until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

11. Reset All Settings on Your iPhone

Your iPhone settings could all be messed up and you wouldn’t even know. One of the symptoms of disjointed settings is that your device starts acting weird.

For instance, apps start crashing for no reason, the battery starts getting drained quicker, and warning errors that do not make any sense.

So, this liquid detect alert could also be happening due to the messed-up settings. The best way to address this issue is to reset all settings. Here is how you can do it.

1. Go to the Settings on your iPhone.

2. Tap on the option General.

3. Next, tap on the option Reset which is the second last option on the screen.

4. Now choose the option Reset All Settings and let your device finish the process.

5. After the system settings reset and then configure the necessary options accordingly. Try plugging the Lightning cable into the charging/Lightning port and see if the warning is gone.

12. Update the Software

If you are one of the types who show reluctance in updating their iPhones while the update is available then you are not doing any favors to your device.

Software updates do not only introduce new features but also improve the existing features and device’ performance by eliminating the bugs and glitches.

So, if you are often getting the liquid detection alert for no apparent reason then you should instantly update your iPhone to address this issue. Here is how you can do it.

1. Go to the Settings on your iPhone.

2. Tap on the option General.

3. Tap on the option Software Update.

4. Download and install the pending updates.

13. Erase All Content and Settings

It shouldn’t come to this, but the last option to troubleshoot the liquid detection alert is by Erasing All Content and Settings. The process is simple, but it is time-consuming.

First, you will need to create a fresh back up so you can retrieve your data after the restoration of your device. Since you have already tried the easier tricks to no avail, you do not have any other option but to restore your device to factory settings. Here is how you can do it.

1. Go to the Settings on your iPhone.

2. Tap on the option General.

3. Next, tap on the option Reset which is the second last option on the screen.

4. Now choose the option Erase All Content and Settings. Provide the passcode to confirm your action.

5. Upon restart, set up your device and do not forget to retrieve the data from the iCloud. You can also restore the iPhone using iTunes if you cannot do it from the settings.

14. DFU Restore iPhone

DFU restore stands for Device Firmware Update restore, which is used in iPhones to reupload the phone’s software and firmware. It is a method of doing deep restore and, at the same time, updating the software and firmware.

1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using its USB cable.

2. Quick press the volume button up.

3. Quick press the volume button down.

4. Then press and hold the side button on your iPhone until its screen turns black. Then press and hold the side button and the volume down button.

5. Wait for 5 seconds, let go of your phone’s side button, and keep holding the volume down button.

6. To exit the mode, force restart the phone.

15. Go to Apple Genius Bar

You can get help from the Apple Genius Bar. Do this by visiting the official app support site.

You will provide with the option to make an appointment for genius bar. Book an appointment for either chat, sending for repairing, or taking it for repair.

16. Contact Apple

You can also contact apple using their support channel, which is apple.com/support/. However, you will have to follow a formal way of contacting support for this option. You will get an agent to chat with you. You can also call them through their lines.

Conclusion

The iPhone liquid detector is designed to keep your phone safe if the charging port is wet. As a result, check carefully before ruling the warning false. Once you have confirmed, follow the steps discussed above.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.

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