How to fix “This accessory may not be supported” on iPhone and iPad

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Do you see a popup saying, “This accessory may not be supported” when you insert a charging cable, dongle, flash drive, two-factor authentication key, or other accessories into your iPhone or iPad’s Lightning or USB-C port?

This tutorial tells you why it happens and how to fix the issue.

Why do you see the “This accessory may not be supported” alert?

While you’re recommended to use certified or reputable accessories, there are times when a cable or accessory that was working fine with your iPhone also shows one of the following errors when connected:

  • This accessory is not supported by this iPhone.
  • This accessory may not be supported.
  • Accessory Not Supported. This accessory is not supported by this device.
  • This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this iPhone.
  • Cannot Use Accessory. Only one accessory can be used at a time.

You get no additional information on what to do next with these popups. All you see is OK or Dismiss.

The above situations happen mainly due to the following reasons:

  • Temporary glitches in iOS.
  • The cable or accessory you were using was unknowingly stretched or pulled and has suffered internal damage.
  • The accessory has some visible damage or is defective.
  • The cable or thing you’re trying to connect isn’t Apple-certified (MFi-certified).
  • That specific accessory isn’t supported by your iPhone or iPad.
  • There is dirt in your device’s port.
  • You’re using an outdated iOS or iPadOS version.

How to fix “This accessory may not be supported” problem on iPhone and iPad

Here are 15 solutions to solve this issue successfully. Like most readers, you shouldn’t have to follow all. But in rare cases, you may have to, and it’s helpful to have everything listed in one place.

1. Unplug and replug the accessory

Undoubtedly, you have tried this before coming to this article. But in case you haven’t, try inserting the cable or accessory a few times. Make sure it fits snugly.

2. Enable USB Accessories from iPhone settings

In the last few years, I have seen the “Accessory may not be supported” alert multiple times when my iPhone is locked and I try to connect it to charge. I have never used a counterfeit cable. All my Lightning cables are ones provided in the iPhone box, purchased from Apple, and one is from Belkin, which is MFi-certified.

Initially, I couldn’t understand why this often happened. But after digging through iOS settings, I was able to solve the issue.

Follow these steps if you see “This accessory may not be supported” on your iPhone or iPad Lock Screen:

  1. Open Settings and tap Face ID [or Touch ID] & Passcode.
  2. Scroll to the Allow Access When Locked section and enable the switch for USB Accessories.
Allow USB Accessories when iPhone is locked

Once you do this, you will almost certainly stop seeing the “accessory isn’t supported” alert.

3. Restart your iPhone

Often your iPhone or iPad will have some minor or major issues simply because you haven’t restarted it in a while. These can range from the keyboard not working properly to device not recognizing your charging cable and other accessories.

To fix this, turn off your iPhone and turn it back on. After this, such minor inconveniences should be gone.

4. Double check everything

Before moving to the other solutions, you must recheck everything. Make sure the cable, adapter, or the device is connected correctly. While you’re at it, look carefully for any visible damage.

5. Clean the connector and your iPhone’s port

Your iPhone’s Lightning port can accumulate significant amounts of dust and debris. This is a part of regular use and something you can’t avoid. Sometimes, even if this doesn’t block charging with your regular cable, it may prevent accessories or other cables from charging your device.

To address this, take a new dry toothbrush or a non-metal soft pick and clean your iPhone’s charging port carefully. Take caution not to inflict any new damage to the port.

6. Unplug other accessories

Are you using a hub or a dongle and connecting more than one accessory to your iPhone or iPad? If yes, you might see an alert like “Cannot Use Accessory. Only one accessory can be used at a time.” It’s self-explanatory. Please unplug all connected accessories and use just one.

7. Update your iPhone

Don’t overlook this solution if you see the “This accessory may not be supported by this iPhone” alert far too often. There could be a bug in the iOS version currently installed on your device, and the only way to fix this is by updating your iPhone from Settings > General > Software Update.

8. Is the accessory switched on?

When you connect a device like a camera to your iPad, you may not see anything useful on the screen until that external device is switched on.

9. Check using a different cable or accessory

This is an important step to ensure where the problem lies — in your iPhone or the accessory.

Borrow the accessory in question, like a charging cable from a family member or friend, and try using it with your iPhone. If it works, that means the problem is in your cable/accessory, but your iPhone is fine! Big sigh of relief.

In case your iPhone doesn’t work with different cables or accessories, that means the problem lies here. Follow the remaining solutions below before visiting an Apple Store for repair.

10. Try using a proper charging adapter

Sometimes when you see the “This accessory is not supported by this iPhone” alert, the problem may not be with your iPhone or the cable but with your charging adapter or the charging source.

11. Remove or replace the dongle

Have you chained an accessory with a dongle plugged into your device’s port? If yes, check whether the problem is in the dongle. Also, it would help if you connect the accessory directly without the dongle (if possible).

12. Reset iPhone Settings

Sometimes your iPhone may not charge or connect to external devices because of conflicting settings. One reliable way of fixing this without any data loss is to reset all iPhone settings. Doing so changes all your settings to the default condition. After this, your charging cable or other accessories should work harmoniously with your iPhone.

Note: After resetting all settings, make sure to allow USB Accessories when locked.

13. Use DFU mode to erase your iPhone and set it up again

Finally, if nothing helps, you can opt for erasing your iPhone using DFU mode and set it up again. This is a significant step that will take about an hour to complete (including restoring a backup and setting everything the way you like). So, make sure you do this only when you have some time.

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