How to Charge Your iPhone with an Unofficial Lightning Cable Safely

Charging your iPhone with an unofficial lightning cable can be a bit tricky, but it’s definitely possible. Simply plug the unofficial cable into your iPhone’s charging port, and connect the other end to a power source, such as a USB wall charger or a computer. Once connected, your iPhone should begin charging as usual.

After you complete the action, your iPhone will either charge normally, or you may receive a warning message stating that the accessory is not supported. If you do receive this message, there are a few steps you can take to try and get your device to charge.


Charging an iPhone seems like a straightforward task, but when you’re using an unofficial lightning cable, things can get a little complicated. Maybe you’re traveling and forgot your trusted Apple cable at home, or perhaps the original cable finally frayed after years of use. Whatever the reason, you find yourself in possession of a non-Apple, third-party lightning cable and a phone in desperate need of juice.

This topic is crucial because people often buy third-party cables due to their lower price point or longer length options. However, these unofficial cables can come with their own set of challenges, such as compatibility issues or potential safety risks. It’s essential to understand the proper way to use these cables to avoid damaging your iPhone. This guide is relevant to any iPhone user who finds themselves needing to charge their device without an official Apple cable.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Charge Your iPhone with an Unofficial Lightning Cable

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to note that following these steps will help you charge your iPhone using a non-Apple lightning cable. Though these cables might not be MFi certified (Made for iPhone/iPad), there are ways to make them work.

Step 1: Check the Cable for Physical Damage

Before you plug anything into your iPhone, inspect the cable for any signs of wear or damage.

If the cable is frayed, has exposed wiring, or looks burnt in any spots, it’s best not to use it at all. Using a damaged cable can pose a serious safety risk and potentially harm your iPhone.

Step 2: Connect the Cable to Your iPhone

Insert the unofficial lightning cable into your iPhone’s charging port gently but firmly.

Make sure the connection is secure and that there’s no debris in the charging port that could prevent the cable from making a proper connection.

Step 3: Connect the Other End to a Power Source

Plug the USB end of the cable into a compatible power adapter or a USB port on your computer.

If you’re using a wall adapter, ensure that it has the appropriate wattage for your iPhone model to avoid any potential charging issues.

Step 4: Monitor Your iPhone for a Charging Symbol

Once connected, look for the charging symbol on your iPhone’s battery icon or the lightning bolt on the battery screen.

If you don’t see the charging symbol, try unplugging and replugging the cable, or check if the power source is working correctly.

Step 5: If a Warning Message Appears, Unplug and Reconnect

Sometimes, your iPhone may display a warning saying the accessory is not supported. If this happens, unplug the cable and reconnect it.

If the message persists, the cable may not be compatible with your iPhone, and you might need to resort to an official Apple cable or an MFi-certified alternative.


Cost-EffectiveThird-party cables are often cheaper than Apple’s official cables, which can save you money in the long run.
Variety of OptionsYou can find unofficial cables in different lengths and colors, providing more flexibility and personalization.
AvailabilityNon-Apple cables are widely available at various retailers, making it easy to find one when you’re in a pinch.


Compatibility IssuesUnofficial cables may not always be compatible with all iPhone models, which can lead to charging difficulties or warnings.
Potential Safety RisksNon-certified cables might not meet the same safety standards as official cables, increasing the risk of damage to your device or even personal injury.
Durability ConcernsThird-party cables may not be as durable as Apple’s, leading to quicker wear and tear and the need for replacements.

Additional Information

When using an unofficial lightning cable to charge your iPhone, it’s paramount to consider the cable’s quality. Not all third-party cables are created equal, and using a poorly made cable can do more harm than good. It’s highly recommended to look for cables that are labeled as MFi-certified. This certification means that the cable has been tested and approved by Apple to meet their performance and safety standards.

Another tip is to regularly clean your iPhone’s charging port. Dust and lint can accumulate over time, which can interfere with the connection between the cable and the port. You can use a toothpick or a small brush to gently clear out any debris.

Lastly, always keep an eye on your iPhone while it’s charging with an unofficial cable, especially the first few times. If the phone or the cable becomes excessively hot, disconnect them immediately. Excessive heat can be a sign of a faulty cable or a potential electrical hazard.


  1. Check the cable for any physical damage.
  2. Connect the unofficial lightning cable to your iPhone’s charging port.
  3. Plug the other end of the cable into a power source.
  4. Look for the charging symbol on your iPhone.
  5. If a warning message appears, unplug and reconnect the cable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any USB wall adapter with an unofficial lightning cable?

Most USB wall adapters should work with your unofficial lightning cable, but it’s best to use one that is compatible with your iPhone model’s required wattage.

Will charging with an unofficial cable void my iPhone warranty?

Using a non-Apple cable shouldn’t void your warranty, but any damage caused by third-party accessories might not be covered.

How do I know if an unofficial lightning cable is MFi-certified?

MFi-certified cables usually have a logo or label on the packaging that indicates they have been approved by Apple.

What should I do if my iPhone doesn’t charge with an unofficial cable?

If your iPhone isn’t charging with the third-party cable, try using a different power source or check the cable for damage. If the issue persists, you might need to use an official Apple cable or an MFi-certified alternative.

Can charging with an unofficial cable damage my iPhone?

Using a low-quality unofficial cable can potentially damage your iPhone. It’s best to use high-quality or MFi-certified cables to minimize this risk.


Charging your iPhone with an unofficial lightning cable can be a viable alternative when you’re in a bind or looking to save some cash. However, there’s a fine line between being cost-effective and risking the health of your precious device. Always prioritize quality and safety by opting for MFi-certified cables, inspecting them for damage, and monitoring the charging process.

Remember, your iPhone is an investment, and how you choose to charge it can greatly affect its lifespan and performance. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be powering up your device without a hitch – official cable or not.