For iPhone users, the ‘This accessory may not be supported’ error has to be one of the most frustrating. Seemingly out of nowhere, the smartphone begins complaining about a piece of hardware or charger that it has been using for ages. It isn’t like we can live without our cellphone, so what are we to do?
As far as I can tell, the error mainly occurs after an iOS update and when charging the handset. A change introduced back in iOS 8 made iPhones much more selective about which hardware they worked with. The cynic in me says that this is to force the sale of more overpriced Lightning chargers, but it might not be that.
So the cause of the issue is software but the only fixes I know of are hardware.
Fix ‘This accessory may not be supported’ errors on iPhone
There are a couple of checks you can do before spending your money on new cables.
Check for dirt
An odd but effective thing to check if the cable connector and socket on the phone has dirt or dust on them. Give the charger connector a wipe over and check the socket on the iPhone for dirt. You could use a toothpick or Q-tip to make sure there is no debris in the socket whatsoever.
Swap for a different cable or slot
If you have multiple iDevices, simply changing the charger cable for a different one can fix the error. Even two legit Lightning connectors can cause a different reaction in iPhones. Don’t ask me why as I have no idea, but if you have another charger, try that one.
If you use USB charging into another device, you could also try using a different USB port on that device or try charging from a different device. While voltage is fairly steady from USB, it isn’t the smoothest and sensitive equipment doesn’t always react well. Try using the wall socket adapter and charging from the mains to make sure it isn’t USB voltage causing the error.
Use Airplane Mode
When you see the ‘This accessory may not be supported’ error, dismiss it and turn your iPhone onto Airplane Mode, leave it a minute and then turn your phone off. Give it another couple of minutes and turn the phone on again. There is a lot of positive feedback on this method on the various Apple forums out there so it is well worth a try.
Change your charging cable
I don’t like this fix because it implies there is something wrong with the charging cable and there isn’t. Plus, the price Apple charges for the Lightning Charger is just silly. However, if all those other tricks didn’t work, you don’t have much choice. As we all know, you can’t live without your cellphone can you?