DIY iPhone and iPad

How to Prevent or Fix Frayed iPhone Lightning Cable Once and For All

Bryan Wolfe 17-01-2017

Lightning cables are an essential tool for Apple mobile devices The 7 Best Lightning Cables to Charge Your iPhone or iPad Looking for the best iPhone charger cable for your iPhone or iPad? Check out these options that blow Apple's out of the water. Read More . Without them, you won’t have a way to recharge your iPhones and iPads. Unfortunately, Lightning cables can break easily thanks to slammed doors, unexpected foot traffic, or forceful pulls.


Whether you’ll looking to make your Lightning cables more durable or hoping to fix a wire that’s already frayed, you’ve come to the right place. Today we’ll look at ways to avoid Lightning cable disasters.

Quick Fixes

Frayed Lightning cables are a common problem. Before heading to the local Apple store or another retailer to replace a damaged cord, consider these simple DIY solutions to extend the life of your cable.

Electrical Tape

One of the least expensive ways to fix a frayed cable is to use a few pieces of electrical tape. Wrapping the part of the cable that’s damaged a few times should immobilize it and keep it from breaking further. This solution is a short-term fix, depending on the quality of the electrical tape.

electrical tape

You can pick up a roll of electrical tape on Amazon for around $5 for an economy brand. You also find electrical tape at brick-and-mortar retailers such as Target and Walmart.


A Pen Spring

A lot of people online suggest using a spring from a ballpoint pen to fix a damaged cable. To do so, slowly wrap it around the base of your frayed cable. You’ll need to stretch the spring a little bit for the repair to be successful. Once in place, your cable won’t bend near the damaged section.

ballpoint pen

For this solution to work, you need to make sure the spring isn’t too narrow. Otherwise, you’ll make the situation more troublesome because the spring will yank the cable in the exact area you’ll hoping to patch. This is a good preventative measure to use before you damage your cable too.

Heat Shrinking

Another quick fix is to heat shrink your damaged cable. Heat shrink tubing is available in various styles and sizes. Be sure to buy tubing at least 1/4″ in diameter to fit over your cable. Once you place it over the cable, use a heat gun or hair dryer to activate it. The melted tubing will keep your cable secure, while also reinforcing the damaged area.


Heat shrinking tubing is available at hardware stores and other retailers. You can usually buy them by the foot or in pre-cut packages.

Fix or Secure

Whether you’re looking for a solution to repair a frayed cable or want to protect it from future problems, the following solutions should do the trick. These are good for both.

Plasti Dip

An interesting product to use with your Lightning cable is Plasti Dip, synthetic rubber that comes in a can. The best things about Plasti Dip that it works on most surfaces and dries quickly. As a bonus, Plasti Dip also protects coated items from moisture, acids, and corrosion, and safeguards against electrical shock or vibration.

plasti dip


You can purchase Plasti Dip for as little as $9 for an 11-ounce can. It’s available in various colors and sizes.


I’ve been using Sugru ever since a coworker suggested I use the moldable glue to reinforce the cable for my new MacBook Pro. Others seem to like the product too, because it has many uses 25 Geeky Uses for Sugru Read More .

In your hands, Sugru feels a lot like reinforced chewing gum or hard putty. Once it cures for 30 minutes, Sugru turns into flexible rubber.

Sugru is available in multiple colors and packet sizes. A 3-pack is priced at $12 while an 8-pack is $22. You can purchase it through the Sugru website or at retailers such as Target.


Cable Protectors

One final solution is to use cable protectors, which attach to both ends of your Lightning cable. Despite the name, these also work with frayed wires. Unfortunately, cable protectors are quite pricey.

tudia klip snap

For example, the TUDIA Klip Snap Cable Saver is $8 for a pair. That’s $8 for a single Lightning cable. Regardless of the price, cable protectors might be the ideal choice, depending on your situation.

Replacing Cables

Would you rather not spend the time to fix a frayed Lightning cable? You can certainly go back to the Apple store and claim the warranty. You can also buy some new Lightning cables Understand USB Cable Types and Which One to Use Why are there so many different USB cable types? Learn the differences between USB connector types and how to buy the best cable. Read More , either from Apple or a third-party vendor.

The official replacements are available directly from Apple starting at $19 each, depending on the length of the cable. You can also find these cables at retail outlets such as Best Buy, Walmart, and Target. Cables from third-party vendors continue to grow in popularity Lightning Cable Review Round-Up We've reviewed the best Lightning cables currently available. Read More . However, before buying an off-brand Lightning cable, there are a two important points to consider.

First, make sure the product’s advertised as being MFi Certified. Hardware peripherals with this distinction have passed tests created by Apple and are guaranteed to work with the company’s devices. Second, watch out for fake products.

Lightning cable in iPhone

Back in October 2016, Apple announced that many of the “genuine” Apple power adapters and charging and syncing cables sold 7 Better Ways To Deal With MacBook Cables A MacBook Air is a great value laptop, but like any laptop, you still need to plug some things into it. And that quickly leads to cable clutter. Let's clean up, shall we? Read More on were fakes. Apple is now suing many of the companies behind those products claiming trademark infringement.

In a statement to 9to5Mac, the company noted that Amazon “has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits on our site. We work closely with manufacturers and brands, and pursue wrongdoers aggressively.”

Hopefully, Amazon has resolved this problem. As a good rule of thumb, make sure your third-party cables How to Wrap Headphone Cables So They Don't Break If you don't store your headphones properly when not in use, you could be shaving off years from the overall lifespan of it. Here's the right way to wrap up headphone cables. Read More purchased through Amazon have an “MFi Certified” mark on them when they’re received.

Still have some concerns? Buy your third-party Lightning cables from Apple. Wires offered through the company’s online and retail stores are guaranteed to be MFi Certified.

Wrap Up

Frayed Lightning cables aren’t the end of the world, but rather an annoyance that’s easy to correct. Whether you want to fix the damaged cable or replace it, there are many choices available.

What do you do with frayed Lightning cables? Let us know using the comments below.

Related topics: Buying Tips, iPad, iPhone, USB.

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  1. Phil N
    June 24, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Of course this is not just an apple problem.

  2. Donna
    January 23, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    These tips would be helpful for Android cablest too, thank you! I've never seen an Android cable fray, but the tiny wires break at the connection end. Frustrating...

  3. Richard Jenkins
    January 17, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Would it not just be nice if Apple (and other manufacturers) came up with a standard of cables that worked across devices and were sturdier? Instead they want the public to be Hamsters on the treadwheel.

    • Nick
      January 17, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      The standard would be nice, but Apple cables are the only I have seen that have the fraying problem.
      None of my Android cables (and there have been many) have ever worn out in that way.

      • Willow
        August 17, 2018 at 6:37 pm

        Same! I have an android phone and an iPad. They make the cable so fragile and thin! I use both cables probably about the same amount. The phone one is thicker and sturdier.

    • Bikas
      January 17, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      Are you kidding me? Apple's whole model is based on making stuffs proprietary, and very, very fragile.

      I don't see Apple fixing anything in foreseeable future.