iOS 7 Killed Off Some Unlicensed Lightning Cables, But Here’s A Fix That Might Work For You

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It’s not just you: iOS 7 has seemingly killed off support for some unlicensed, third-party Lightning cables.

We’re seeing numerous reports from users that iOS 7 has blocked support for many knock-off Lightning chargers. When you plug them in, iOS 7 will warn you that the cable is unlicensed and may not function properly, and will then fail to sync or charge. This does not appear to be universal, some cables are still working fine despite the warning. But a large number have been rendered non-functional.

I can confirm this myself. I have a short, three-headed hydra of a cable that I love to use with an external battery pack when I’m on the go: when head is a Lightning charger, the next a 30-Pin, the final one a micro-USB. Since iOS 7 officially dropped, the Lightning adapter has stopped working, while the rest of the cable syncs and charges just fine.

You might recall that when the earliest iOS 7 betas hit, iOS 7 would warn users when an unsupported Lightning cable was plugged in, but otherwise didn’t take any action. Unlicensed Lightning cables would sync and charge just fine. Starting with the GM, however, Apple has apparently started enforcing compliance with its MFi licensing program for all third-party cables… and shutting out anyone who dares to release a Lightning knock-off without paying Apple their share.

However, some devious third-parties have already figured out how to fool Apple’s detection mechanism. It’s possible that some of the unlicensed cables that still work implement this crack.

Although I have had no luck getting this to work with the third-party Lightning cable I have here, some users are having luck with this workaround:

1. Turn on USB power.
2. Plug in Lightning cable to iPhone.
3. Dismiss any warnings.
4. Unlock your iPhone.
5. Dismiss any remaining warnings.
6. Now with the screen turned on, unplug the Lightning cable.
7. Plug it back in.
8.Dismiss warning again. It should now charge.

It should be no surprise that Apple is officially ending support for third-party, unlicensed Lightning cables. The fact that counterfeit cables can now be detected using Lightning’s advanced chip detection was a major reason why Apple shifted to the standard to begin with.

Still, this is a big bummer to me, and no doubt a lot of other Apple customers. It might not be licensed, but my tri-headed hydra of a cable served me well, and there’s nothing licensed that does the same thing. Fingers crossed someone fixes this, and soon.

Is your unlicensed Lightning cable still working after the iOS 7 update? Is it broken? We’re trying to gather more data. Let us know what cable you have, and if it’s still working in the comments.