Having problems with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad accessories and wondering how to troubleshoot them? Here are a few basic tips which will help you identify the issue. Stick with us after the break.

Check for defects

If you have another iOS device, or have a family member, friend, or colleague with an iOS device, try the accessory out on their iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. For example, if a earbuds don't plug properly into your 3.5mm headset jack, or a case doesn't fit quite right, see if it plugs in properly or fits better on theirs.

If there's a defect, you can contact the store or manufacturer and arrange for an exchange.

Search our Forums

Head on over to our TiPb Accessory Forums and see if there are any discussions already going on about your accessory. If anyone else has already had and solved the same problem, you'll save yourself a lot of effort by following the same steps yourself. If they haven't solved it, you can help crowd source a solution. If no one else has discussed the problem yet, you can start a new thread and get it going!

We have some of the best readers in the world and they will be able to let you know if there's an issue (or not).

Check for compatibility

First thing you should do is make sure that the item that you are using is fully compatible with your iPhone or iPad. To do this you can head over to our accessory store , or to the website of the accessory maker and double check to see which iOS devices are compatible.

You may find that some devices are only partially compatible with your iPad or iPhone. For example, some older car adapters may allow you to play music through your FM radio but won't charge your iPhone (a very common issue).

Bonus Tip: Our most awesome Managing Editor Rene Ritchie has mentioned that some accessories may also popup an incompatibility warning because they're not officially part of Apple's program (haven't paid the made for iPhone or iPad licensing fee), but still charge you iPhone fine. Either way, find out for sure.

Unplug and Reset

Take out the accessory. If the accessory has a off button turn it off and then restart your iOS device. When your iOS device restarts fully, try to plug the accessory back in. Here's [how to reset iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad].

Some accessories may require additional steps to start fresh. For example, Bluetooth headsets may need you to press certain button combinations to put them back into Pairing Mode. Check the instructions that came with your device, or check the manufacturers website for details.


If you know the accessory is not defective and that it's supposed to work with your iOS device, try to restore your device. Sometimes that will clean out any glitches and get you back to a fresh, default state.

Not sure? Here's how to restore your iPhone or iPad.

Update iOS

Some accessories may need to have the latest iOS software in order to function properly. For example, iOS 4 added Bluetooth control support that wasn't available in iOS 3. If your accessory isn't doing everything it should, make sure your software is up to date.

If you're not sure, here's how to update your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

(Note: if you are are jailbroken you may lose your jailbreak if you update.)

Hope you found this tip helpful. If you have any accessory trouble-shooting tips of your own please share them into the comments!

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you'd like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to news@tipb.com. (If it's especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we'll even give ya a reward...)