Easy Fix for Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector Message

iPhones are pretty expensive, and it can be scary if you accidentally get the phone wet by dropping it in a pool or if it gets soaked in the rain. It doesn’t help when you see a “Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector” error message flash across your screen. But we’re here to tell you that you don’t need to worry; we have a solution for you! Unfortunately, this is a fairly common occurrence, so we’ve included steps to follow if you get the above error message!

What to Do if Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector Message Appears

If you see the “Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector” message on your phone, it means the sensor has detected the presence of liquid inside your Lightning port. To address this, tap your iPhone gently against your hand with the Lightning connector facing down to remove excess liquid. It helps if you keep your phone in a ventilated area.

Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector Warning

While our phones are pretty liquid-resistant, they’re not entirely waterproof. This means if you accidentally spill your drink on your iPhone or dunk it in water, it’s cause for concern. Apple has done a great job of lining the body of the iPhone with materials to keep water out, but the Lightning port is a weak link. That said, there is a way to deal with the situation, so let’s understand everything about the “Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector” alert.

What does it mean?

The Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector error message is pretty helpful because it warns you that a sensor has detected the presence of liquid in your Lightning port. This prevents dangerous accidents from happening, and if you address the issue immediately, you also prevent long-term damage from happening to your iPhone. Also, note that your iPhone automatically disables the lighting connector when liquid is detected in it.

Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector error message
Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector error message

How does this happen?

The liquid damage warning on iPhones pops up when it detects liquid in the charging port. This can happen if you accidentally spill water or coffee or any other liquid on yourself and get some on your iPhone by accident. Many people wrongly assume that iPhones are completely waterproof and expose their phones in risky situations, exposing them to water damage (think pools, showers, bathtubs, etc.).

While iPhones can survive being dunked in water, it’s a risk to have water (or any other liquid) in the Lightning port, which is used for charging. Connecting your charger while liquid is present in your Lightning port can fry your circuit board, or even cause a fire, in a worst-case scenario.

What to do

While iPhones can survive being dunked in water, it’s a risk to have water (or any other liquid) present in the Lightning port, which is used for charging. Connecting your charger while liquid is present in your Lightning port can fry your circuit board or even cause a fire, in a worst-case scenario.

In this situation, it’s best to switch off your iPhone immediately and leave it for a few hours. Ideally, you want your iPhone to be on a flat surface in an airy area. It will also help if you surround the iPhone with materials that absorb the liquid (desiccation). If you can surround your phone with packets of silica gel (which commonly comes with various products that manufacturers want to keep moisture-free, like electronics). Just make sure you don’t block the charging port.

If you’d like, you can turn the fan on for your iPhone, but don’t keep it near a heat source.

What not to do

Along with the “Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector” alert, you should unplug your charger (if connected). We do not recommend charging until the port is completely dry. You can use an Apple-certified wireless charger, but ideally, you want to have the iPhone completely powered off because you never know which circuits are connected because of the liquid within. When your iPhone is wet, it is of utmost importance to keep it switched off until completely dry.

Contrary to what most people believe, dunking your iPhone in rice won’t help dry it faster. It’s touted as a hack for wet phones, but let us assure you, it’s far better for your phone to sit in a ventilated area. Rice would be effective if it were in direct contact with the wet area — when an iPhone is kept in rice, the rice is simply absorbing the moisture and not really speeding up the drying process of your phone. Additionally, bits of rice getting into your Lightning port can damage it, so we suggest you avoid the rice idea for now!

Another thing you must not do (and we insist) is tossing your phone in the microwave. Your iPhone will not survive the 30-second warmup routine (which heats up that pizza slice just right), because we promise you the electromagnetic radiation will destroy your phone’s components in seconds, especially the motherboard. What’s worse, it could likely cause the battery to explode.

Using a hair dryer is not recommended, either — nor is a heat gun. While the iPhone can endure a decent level of heat, you never know when you will cross the safety threshold and damage the device permanently. 

While on the topic, here’s an article we wrote on the right way to clean your iPhone speaker.

Wireless charger

As mentioned, if there’s liquid detected in the Lightning connector, there’s a chance the liquid may have entered the body of the iPhone as well. You need to evaluate the situation and decide if you want to risk charging your device. While not charging would be the best option, if you must charge your phone, we recommend you use an Apple wireless charger or something similar, like a Qi-enabled wireless charger.

False alert

There have been incidents of a bug causing this error message to appear on iPhones, so if you’re completely sure that your Lightning connector is dry, you can ignore the message and charge your phone. But ensure you try this after a few hours of leaving the charging port exposed, so any liquid within can dry up properly.

Software issue

As mentioned in the previous section, if you repeatedly see the “Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector” error message, it could just be a software bug. Here are a few things you can try:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Software Update, and check if any updates are pending — if this is a common issue, Apple typically issues a patch to fix it.
  2. Reboot your iPhone. Rebooting is a great way to squash annoying system bugs.
  3. Try this fix only if you’ve tried everything else and the message has become repetitive and annoying — reset your iPhone settings
  4. You can reset your iPhone settings by going to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset.
  5. If that doesn’t work, you might want to consider a factory reset for your iPhone.

Another fix you can try (not related to software) is to pair your iPhone with a different charger. This error message could be due to trouble with the charging brick you’re currently using.

Here’s a video that covers this topic well:

When Should You Override the Liquid Detection Alert

When Apple shows you the liquid detection alert, it also offers you the option to override the error message and use the charging port anyway (which is automatically disabled when liquid is detected in the connector). The only time we recommend you select that option is if you’re in a dire situation, you don’t have a Magsafe charger, and you need your phone charged at any cost. For example, you may not have access to a power socket for the next few hours and you want to have a fully charged phone. 

In such a scenario, go ahead and hit that Override option — just ensure you gently tap the body of your phone to remove any water inside the port before you do so.

What if the override doesn’t work

There’s a very low chance of the override not working, but if that happens, it’s an indicator that there might be water damage within the phone. It could just be a bug, too. Poor quality chargers can also trigger this message. To fix this, first, restart the phone by holding the power button and the volume up key until you get the power off prompt on your screen. Go ahead and use the slider, and once the device powers off, wait a minute before you power it on again, by holding the power button for a few seconds.

When to contact Apple Support

If you’ve tried all the suggestions we posted above, and you can’t get rid of the error message and your iPhone won’t charge, we recommend you get in touch with Apple Support. Not only can the company techs help you out with additional troubleshooting, but they will also be able to guide you on what to do if the phone needs repair or replacement. You can get in touch with Apple via the official support page.

If you’re covered under Apple Care and within the warranty period, hopefully, you’ll receive a replacement phone. If not, you can have a discussion with Apple’s support team about your options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for liquid to get out of the Lightning connector?

While it could be as quick as 30 minutes, we recommend you wait a few hours for all the liquid to clear out from the Lightning connector. You can speed up the drying process by leaving the phone in a ventilated and airy place. If water has entered the body of the iPhone, it could take a lot longer — anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.

How do you dry liquid in a Lightning connector?

The best (and only) way to dry liquid from inside your Lightning connector is to be patient and leave the phone in an airy place. You should not use hair dryers or heat guns to speed it up, as this can damage delicate electronics. Many people wrongly assume that placing the phone in rice helps, but that’s just a placebo — multiple tests by different people have indicated that rice does not help at all and, in fact, is counter-productive because it blocks the natural evaporation.

Conclusion

We hope our article helped you handle the “Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector” alert on your phone. As you saw, there is no need to worry — all you need to do is leave the phone alone for a few hours, and the issue will sort itself out. And remember, rice isn’t the answer! It’s best to let the water inside the charging port evaporate by itself. If our article helped you out today, we’d love to hear from you in the comments!

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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