USB connectors are used to connect devices that operate via the USB interface. There are various kinds of connectors, but they do share the same characteristic of fragility; of course, some more than others. If you run into a problem, here’s how to fix a bent USB connector.
You can use a set of small pliers to fix a bent USB connector. Use this to bend the connector back into position as gently as possible. If that does not seem to work or leads to more damage, you can use other methods that involves re-soldering the connectors.
If you have important data on the drive, fixing it is necessary. The process might be tedious, or not work at all, but it’s worth the effort to try and salvage your crucial data from the USB if it still works.
How to Fix A Bent USB Connector
There are several ways to do this, whether the USB connector is on a USB cable or at the end of a USB device.
Let’s first see how to fix a bent USB connector on a USB cable. This damage can be caused when you apply too much pressure on the cable. An example is dropping your phone while it’s connected to a USB cable, and it lands on the connector.
You’ll need to assess the damage first to see how extensive it is. If the bend is not too massive, you can use a set of pliers to bend it back.
1. Bending it Back
You want to use a pair of needle-nose pliers for this because it will give you more precise movements.
A clamping tool can also come in handy to hold the USB connector steady while you work. If one is not available, you can still use your free hand and apply a firm grip.
Locate the place where the bend is and try to shape it back to normal. This may take some time and will be tedious depending on the extent of the damage. Regardless, try and apply gentle force so that you do not end up making things worse by bending it even more.
2. Replacing the Terminal
If bending the USB connector back to place is not working out, or the cable still doesn’t work, you may need to replace the terminal.
You’ll need a spare connector for this, and to avoid having to do some soldering, you can get a donor connector from a compatible cable you no longer use, or maybe buy one at a store.
Cut off the bent USB connector from your cable, and ensure it’s clean. Also, ensure that the new connector has a clean cut on its end or clip it if it does not.
Strip off the outer insulation to get access to the inner wires. An inch or so should be enough to work with, and if there are some insulation fibers, trim them as well.
Strip off the inner insulation of the four wires to expose the conducting metal wire. Do this for both the new connector and the cable you’re planning to splice it to.
Match the colors for both open terminals (red, green, black, and white) and twist the wires of the new connector and your USB cable together; tightly. Do this for all four colors and you will end up with four new connections.
Wrap each separately with insulating tape, then bundle them and wrap them with insulating tape to keep them contained.
3. Fix Connector on USB Device
We have seen how to fix a bent USB connector on a USB cable. The method of bending back to place will work for the connector on a USB device like a Flash drive.
Here, you will need to be extra careful though, because the connector is usually connected directly to the motherboard of the flash drive. A misstep can result in more physical damage or permanent data loss.
If you have a firm hold of the USB device and use just the right amount of force, you significantly raise your chances of success.
4. Soldering the USB Connector
If the connector was bent out and bending it back did not help, or some of the connections become loose in the process, you may need to do some soldering. You can use this to reconnect any parts that were disconnected.
Alternatively, you can solder in a new connector. This requires some know-how to do correctly. Once you get the new connector, you’ll need to identify the different terminals on its surface. And match them up to the correct terminals on the motherboard of the device.
When you are ready, heat the soldering iron and use some soldering wire to attach the two pieces. The main benefit of this is it provides a firm and rigid connection.
Be sure to use the correct terminals and avoid touching anything else on the board, especially with the solder as it can lead to short circuits that could irreparably damage your system.
Things to Look Out For
Soldering needs some extra tools and technical skills which most users may not have. A way to go about this is to have a repair shop handle it for you cheaply.
When soldering by yourself be sure to keep the solder pads localized to the terminals you need only. You can cause some damage if not careful.
Knowing how to fix a bent USB connector is crucial because you might eventually need to repair yours.
Luckily, with the right set of skills and tools, this is not such a hard task. The connector can either be on a cable or part of a device, attached to its circuit board.
For the latter, you will need to carefully go about fixing the connector as mistakes can cost you the device you’re trying to repair.
Done correctly, however, you will be able to salvage a component that will likely serve you for some more time before being replaced.