You’ve probably seen the alert “This accessory may not work” several times if you are an iPhone, iPad or iPod user. The alert usually appears after your iPhone is plugged in for charging. It could also pop up when you try to use headphones or any other accessory.
Sometimes this error will go away by itself. Sometimes, the error persists and you are left with uncharging or inoperable headphones.
This guide will explain why the alert appears on your iPhone, and how you can fix it permanently.
What does “This accessory may not be supported” mean?
There could be a number of reasons why you see the message “accessory not supported”, “This accessory is not supported” or similar. These are possible causes.
- The accessory is defective, damaged, or non-MFi-certified.
- Your device’s operating systems are outdated or not working properly.
- This accessory is not compatible with your device.
- An iOS device’s Lightning port is damaged or dirty.
- Your accessory may be out of date. Apple may have stopped producing accessories. This could make them incompatible with other devices.
Let’s now look at some solutions to the “accessory is not supported” error.
1. Unplug the device and reconnect it
If your accessory isn’t supported, unplug it and then reconnect it.
To clear the alert, tap the Dismiss buttons and then pull the accessory from your iPhone’s Lightning port. Plug it back in again to confirm that the alert is still there.
2. Restart your iPhone
Other minor software issues could trigger the alert “accessory unavailable”. These software problems can be fixed by restarting your iPhone.
To start an iPhone 8 or older, hold down the Sleep/Wake key, then swipe the power icon across your screen from left to right.
You can restart your iPhone X or later models by doing the following: Hold the Side and a Volume buttons until Slide to turn off appears.
After waiting for approximately 30 seconds, switch off your iPhone and connect your accessory.
3. Clean your Charging Port
If you still get the alert, make sure to check your accessory’s connector and your device’s port for dirt or debris. Your charging port may need to be cleaned.
The Lightning port can often become clogged with dirt, which prevents accessories from making contact. This is what triggers the error message you receive.
Grab a flashlight to take a closer look at the Lightning port of your iPhone. Clean the Lightning port if you find any debris or particles.
How do I clean my iPhone charging port?
To clean particles from your iPhone’s Lightning port, you can use an anti-static toothbrush, a Qtip, or a new toothbrush. After you have cleaned the accessory, plug it in again.
4. MFi-Certified Accessories
If you use counterfeit accessories, you may receive an “accessory is not supported” alert. This can be prevented by ensuring that the accessories and charging cables you use to charge your iPhone with are MFi-certified. This means they have been manufactured according to Apple’s design standards.
MFi stands for Made for iPhone, iPad, or iPad.
How do you know if your Apple accessories have been certified MFi? Apple has detailed guides to help you identify fake iPhone accessories. The easiest way to spot fake accessories is to look for MFi-certified accessories on their packaging.
If accessories seem cheap, they may be fake.
Bottom line: If you purchase an iPhone, iPad or iPod cable or any other Apple accessory that costs less than $4, it is probably not Apple-approved. These cables can cause serious damage to your iPhone and other minor inconveniences, such as not being able to charge your iPhone.
Keep your iPhone charged with the original cable. You can exchange your iPhone’s damaged cable at your local Apple Store if it isn’t working.
Many iPhone users prefer to use other brands of charging cables, as Apple cables are very fragile. They can easily bend and fray, and they are quite expensive, so it is not worth spending a lot to get a new one.
You can either repair the iPhone cable or use a durable cable from a third party to charge your iPhone.
5. Check that your accessory is compatible
You should confirm that the accessory you are trying to use is compatible with your device if it is brand new. Some accessories are only compatible with certain models of iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Contact the manufacturer if you aren’t sure.
Another reason to shop accessories at certified outlets is this. These outlets provide assistance and guidance when choosing accessories, as well as after-sales support.
6. Updating your iPhone’s iOS
To work with some accessories, you will need the latest iOS version. You should upgrade to the most recent version of iOS. To check if there is a software update available, go to Settings >General > Software Update. To begin the process, tap Download and install.
7. You might also like another accessory
Although this may seem obvious, if your phone stops charging, panic can cause you to lose all sense of logic. You could borrow a cable from a friend or neighbor and use that to charge your phone.
A defective accessory could cause an “accessory not supported” alert. You should inspect the accessory for fraying or discoloration. These are often signs that something is not right.
8. The Adapter is available here
The alert “accessory not supported” could be a problem with the Lightning cable, not your iPhone’s power adapter. You should inspect the USB port of your iPhone’s charger for damage.
Use an anti-static toothbrush or a new toothbrush, as mentioned previously, to remove dirt, lint, or other debris.
Restore Your iPhone if All else fails
After trying all the above steps, your iPhone may still say “This accessory may not work” and it is possible your iPhone Lightning port has been damaged.
Apple Support can help you make an appointment to visit an Apple Store near your location and have a technician inspect the iPhone if you have AppleCare.
It is important to inform the technician if your iPhone was exposed to liquids recently. This could also trigger the “accessory unsupported” alert. iPhone users mistakenly assume that their devices are waterproof. iPhones are water-resistant, but they can still be damaged by water.