How To Fix Loose USB Cable


Loose USB Cable

My wife noticed that her USB cable started getting loose. You know, when you plug it in to charge your phone and it keeps falling out– which I find to be very annoying. Being the amazing husband I am, I decided to figure out how I could fix this issue without buying a new cable (I’m cheap). It took me a little time, but I have figured out how to resolve this issue. Yes, I have some McGyver skills you didn’t know about. While I didn’t use a paperclip and a piece of string, I was comparable by using a pair of pliers and a needle.

The first question to ask is why does this happen to the USB connection. After you have used a USB cable to charge your phone over and over again it wears down the small pins on the top. These are what hooks the cable to your phone or other device to allow power transfer. So, this is why it happens, but let’s show you how you can fix the issue.

Side Note: Before starting, please be aware that you proceed at your own risk. Any tampering with your hardware carries a risk to both the hardware and the electronics it attaches to. Also, this fix may have a success rate that is determined by the quality of the cord. A lesser quality cord may not keep this “fix” for an extended period of time, and may need additional “fixes” or a new purchase.

Tools

The next question is, “What tools will I need?” Great question! Here are the tools I had laying around the house that worked for this project:

  • Needle nosed pliers or equivalent
  • Something with a thin point, like a good needle from a sewing kit (borrowed from my wife).
  • Your cell phone or other device to test the USB

How to Fix

Now it is time to jump in to the steps and show you how to use these tools:


Step 1. Pull out the cables you are going to repair. The pink cable is my wife’s, not mine. I swear! 🙂

Step 2. With the thin, pointy tool, which is my wife’s needle, place the point under the front of one of the pins. And like using a crowbar, lift the pin… slowly. We do not want to break it and only want to bring the pin up enough for the pliers to grab it.

Step 3. After you have raised the pins up some, bring out your needle nosed pliers, or use the pliers off your Leatherman like I did in this article. Use the pliers to grab the pin. You will want to pull up very gently. A few good tugs should be all it will take. If you cannot get hold of the pins, use the needle again and pry higher. You are only trying to bring the pins up enough for it to connect well with your devices. Pull the pins up too high and you will not be able to connect the USB due to it not fitting.

Step 4. Time to test our work. Grab the cell phone or other device and connect the USB micro end. This should now feel snugger and not fall out with a gust of wind. If the USB pins are too high, just press against a flat surface to reduce the height of the pins.

Now you should be able to save yourself some money for more important items. Do you have an easy fix or a hack you use or can recommend?


About the Author

Jason Shuffield

Jason Shuffield began working with computers at an early age. As he gained experience he began helping others who had difficulties with technology and requested assistance. Over time it became obvious there was a local need for a technology expert with great people skills. As a result Jason started his computer repair company, CYIN, in 2011. With years of experience in web design, computer repair, tech support, computer training and social media management Jason loves to share his knowledge and educate people.

19 Comments

  1. Clever boy! We’ve eliminated the whole plugging in & out thing by buying some magnetic USB cables. They come with magnetic plugs (micro, C and lightning) that remain in the phone and then the cable just attaches magnetically. Most even support QC 2.0/3.0 charging. If you want to keep using that pink cord you can get a magnetic adapter for it too. A 3 pack costs about $15 on Amazon and you’ll never have to borrow a needle again!

    • Hi Bruce,
      That is a real good idea. I went on Amazon and check them out. Not bad on the price and are a good option if you do not want to mess with fixing your old one. Yes, my wife does not like when I mess with her sewing basket.;) When you mentioned the pink cord the song from Aerosmith keeps popping in my head… Pink is my favorite color.

  2. Dave, so glad this works, and I appreciate the tip. You are fortunate to have a wife with sewing tools to share. For future reference though, that shiny sharp object with the bead on the end is a PIN, not a needle. Needles have holes or slots in the blunt end for inserting thread. So you used a pin to lift a pin. 🙂

  3. My tip is to get a reel of self amalgamating tape.

    It fixes the insulation on cables and even fixes the ‘protective’ bits over the connections.

    There’s no sticky to gum up the hands as it bonds to itself and forms one rubbery bit.

    Used by the satellite television people for years to make waterproof joints.

    One warning the price varies greatly and the cheap stuff works as well as the brand names. Make sure you stretch the tape to at least twice it’s original length and it works well.

    Cheap as chips from amazon marketplace UK I paid £3.19 for a 19mm 10metre roll including delivery as a guide price.

    I’ll be fixing our mini USBs (hate the things!) in future.

    • Nice tip Jonathan (which also my brothers name) thanks for sharing. I like that it is cheap and chips 😉 Will need to go on to Amazon and check out the self amalgamating tape myself. Might have some of this in my tool chest. I seem to buy tools and repair items then forget I have already bought it. Then my wife asks why I bought more of the same item. Oh well, Again thanks for this tip.

  4. Jason, great tip. Was about to buy a new cable but read your instructions and now all is good. Thanks for taking the time to share information with us lesser mortals!!

  5. Hi Jason, thanks for this Tip. If I could pick your brain a bit more, how can I break into Computer Repairs, I have done some, but would really like to get more involved. Are there Courses at Tech. College?. I have read some books and watched ‘You Tube’. Even the Basics of Fault Diagnosis would be very helpful, but it’s knowing exactly where to start at my age, I left school nearly 50 years ago. Any help or pointers would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Hi Ronnie,

      This is a really big question with many paths. Depends if you wish to run your own business or work for someone. But the basics are the same.

      1. Yes, take some classes either online or at a tech school. Even your local college might have some classes. (Google is your friend)
      2. See if you can get hired on at a repair shop to learn more. Plus they will be able to direct you better.
      3. Help friends and family out with their issues. For free if you are real new at it.

      Best thing to do is find some training then go from there. This is the way I entered this field.
      I started by helping family and friends for free. Then from there I took a few computer classes from my local Community College. Next, I decided to start offering my service for pay to people around my town. Then word of mouth started sending me more jobs. Bought a business license and the rest is history.

      Good Luck
      Jason

  6. Speaking of USB devices, my Win 10 Pro stopped at the “spinning wheels” and would not complete the bootup. I Googled for a solution and one tip said to disconnect all USB devices and so far it seems to have resolved my problem.
    Anyone have an idea why Windows isn’t smart enough to skip a faulty USB device and just issue an error window after the bootup successfully completes?

  7. Hi Jason,
    Thank you very much for replying to me and for the valuable information you supplied, which is very appreciative.
    I noticed yesterday that the local Tech. College are currently enrolling for Classes, so I will call them tomorrow for more Information.
    Many thanks again Jason.
    Best Wishes and Regards,

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