Fix your frayed Apple MagSafe or Lightning cables with Sugru Moldable Glue

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 17
Apple's MagSafe and Lightning cables are notorious for fraying under heavy use. If you want to repair your cable, rather than purchase a replacement, Sugru Moldable Glue could be the solution you've been seeking.




Sugru Moldable Glue is available from Amazon in white, to match Apple's cables, in a large pack of 8 for $22, or a smaller pack of 3 starting at $11.20. Either amount will provide more than enough to repair a number of damaged cables.

If you have a collection of different cable types and colors, Sugru also comes in a multi-color variety pack of 8, including both black and white, for $17.85.

We've been using Sugru Moldable Glue on what was a badly damaged MacBook Pro MagSafe 2 cable for a few weeks now, and are generally pleased with the result. Internal wires that were previously exposed and coming apart are now securely covered, preventing exposure and further damage.

Taken out of the box, Sugru is a putty-like substance that can be shaped into any shape or size you need it to fit. Once exposed to the air, you have 30 minutes to shape it as needed before it begins to dry.




Sugru adheres better to remaining cable insulation if the exterior is cleaned off first. You can do that with Windex and a paper towel (though obviously unplug the cable first).

Once you've wrapped Sugru around the damaged portion of your MagSafe or Lightning cable, give it 24 hours to fully dry. Over a day, it turns into a durable, flexible silicone rubber that remains in place.

After drying on our MagSafe cable, the result is a white, bendable coating that keeps the exposed wires enclosed within. We first caught wind of this product from the Young House Love podcast.

For a frayed Lightning cable, it might be cheaper or more practical to get an Apple-certified replacement. But for MagSafe cables for legacy MacBooks, which are priced considerably more than replacement Lightning cables, Sugru could offer significant savings, extending the life of your disintegrating MacBook charger.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    I found this solution a few years ago.  Even better, you can use this as preventive tip.  Reinforce the "head" of the charging cable with this stuff BEFORE it wears out.

    Of course now we're all USB-C so we don't need to worry about $70 power supplies being incapacitated because of the cable fraying.  Yay for dumping MagSafe!  (I say this sincerely but ironically since I was one of the vocal people whining about the change to USB charging when the new MacBook Pros were announced.)
    Eric_WVGGlongpathrusswwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 108member
    I've done this same thing with the rubber sheathing on the Thunderbolt connector on my Apple Thunderbolt Display. (The cord is of course "welded" to the display and not replaceable for some inexplicable reason…) Anyway yes, it looks a little ghetto but it works perfectly. 

    Oh, if the LRF support on your Macbook is broken, Sugru is a good fix for that too.

    Like Randomip, I have come around to loving the new charger.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,554member
    And I thought my use of shrink tubing was a hideous looking solution.
    edited March 17 rcfalmagoolongpathrusswstompy
  • Reply 4 of 19
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 305editor
    I found this solution a few years ago.  Even better, you can use this as preventive tip.  Reinforce the "head" of the charging cable with this stuff BEFORE it wears out.

    Of course now we're all USB-C so we don't need to worry about $70 power supplies being incapacitated because of the cable fraying.  Yay for dumping MagSafe!  (I say this sincerely but ironically since I was one of the vocal people whining about the change to USB charging when the new MacBook Pros were announced.)
    Agreed, durability of the USB-C cable and the ability to swap it out cheaply if it does fray are two of the best (and most unexpected) advantages of the switch. I still prefer MagSafe though — as a sometimes-couchsurfer, I can't count how many times the magnetic connection has saved my laptop from certain doom. And with how light the 12-inch MacBook is, I could see one of those flying out of the window if someone tripped on the USB-C cord. For now, I'm still on a 2015 13" MacBook Pro with MagSafe.
    baconstang
  • Reply 5 of 19
    rcfarcfa Posts: 665member
    Soli said:
    And I thought my use of shrink tubing was a hideous looking solution.
    Haha, shrink tubing is indeed the most intuitive solution...
    Solilongpathrusswdamn_its_hot
  • Reply 6 of 19
    OTOH, I have never had this problem with either of my MBP's.
    I'm also know as very clumsy, a veritable bull in the china shop yet I've never had this issue.
    I would love to know what people are doing to their magsafe connectors.

    Just asking...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,554member
    It should also be noted that adding weight and stiffness near the MagSafe connector will result in it falling out easier. I've had to reduce my 4" long shrink tube to about 2" to keep it within a more reasonable range for my movements whilst plugged in.
  • Reply 8 of 19
    I've used stronger cables from Nomad and Amazon that have braided exteriors.  Both are excellent.

    Apple should include a more durable cable in their standard package.  The tech is available, and Apple's scale would allow them to do it very economically.
    jony0baconstang
  • Reply 9 of 19
    Interesting, but Apple should revise their materials used to sheath the cable. I've gone through (and repaired) 5 MacBook Pro adapter cables over the years and replaces at least 3 30 pin or lightning cables as well. The outer casing looks fantastic for unhooking, feels good in the hand but crumbles over time. An Apple rep told me that if the cable stops functioning while intact, they will offer a free replacement with proof of purchase, but I have frayed cables that STILL WORK and don't qualify for the free replacement. :-/

    The USB C cable with my new 15" MBP adapter seems much more robust that the previous magsafe cable, but I'm still treating it gingerly even though I can replace it without having to replace the entire power brick.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 74member
    rcfa said:
    Soli said:
    And I thought my use of shrink tubing was a hideous looking solution.
    Haha, shrink tubing is indeed the most intuitive solution...
    I tried shrink tubing it was the worst because it was so stiff. I was just this week looking at my cable and see it starting to stretch,  soon it will coming apart, I was looking at buying a new charger.
    I was glad to see this today I already ordered sugru.
    Thanks for the tip :smile: 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 434member
    I LOVE MagSafe and wish EVERY connector worked like that. I've been using MagSafe and Lightning and 30-pin connectors for over a decade. The ONLY one that EVER started to come apart was the 30-pin cable I used on my iPhone 4S for three years. The cables on most of my friends' Apple computers and iDevices look absolutely awful. I take very good care of my devices - the opposite of most people. I'd gladly choose MagSafe over USB-C, but either I'm in the minority or Apple knows what is better for me than I do.
    baconstang
  • Reply 12 of 19
    How about apple use a better material and not milk us over buying new cables .
    Habi_tweet
  • Reply 13 of 19
    neo-tech said:
    Interesting, but Apple should revise their materials used to sheath the cable. I've gone through (and repaired) 5 MacBook Pro adapter cables over the years and replaces at least 3 30 pin or lightning cables as well. The outer casing looks fantastic for unhooking, feels good in the hand but crumbles over time. An Apple rep told me that if the cable stops functioning while intact, they will offer a free replacement with proof of purchase, but I have frayed cables that STILL WORK and don't qualify for the free replacement. :-/
    The soft white DC cables on every one of my Apple power adapters swelled up and disintegrated after about a year in the same area - a 6" stretch about a foot away from the MagSafe end. Never happened to my wife's cables. I brought the first one in to an Apple Store and showed the oozing green goo and the fragmented rubber to a Genius and he practically freaked. He said he had never seen that before, packed it up to send to Engineering, and gave me a new one from the back. A year later I returned with the new oozing, disintegrating cable and was told they could replace the one that came with the MacBook Pro but not any additional ones I may have bought or been given. Something about being tied to the Mac's serial number. I took it to another Apple Store and gave them the serial number for my wife's MBP and they gave me a replacement no questions asked. Had to pay for the next one that disintegrated, then got two more replacements free after we bought our new MBPs. Now we're holding on to our 17" MBPs longer than usual so I've taken to buying knock-off MagSafe cables on Amazon and splicing them in close to the power supply. I had tried the well-documented "pop-open the block, unsolder the old and solder in the new" solution by my soldering skills have degraded over the years resulting in two dead power supplies.
    edited March 17 neo-tech
  • Reply 14 of 19
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,027member
    neo-tech said:
    Interesting, but Apple should revise their materials used to sheath the cable. I've gone through (and repaired) 5 MacBook Pro adapter cables over the years and replaces at least 3 30 pin or lightning cables as well. The outer casing looks fantastic for unhooking, feels good in the hand but crumbles over time. An Apple rep told me that if the cable stops functioning while intact, they will offer a free replacement with proof of purchase, but I have frayed cables that STILL WORK and don't qualify for the free replacement. :-/
    The soft white DC cables on every one of my Apple power adapters swelled up and disintegrated after about a year in the same area - a 6" stretch about a foot away from the MagSafe end. Never happened to my wife's cables. I brought the first one in to an Apple Store and showed the oozing green goo and the fragmented rubber to a Genius and he practically freaked. He said he had never seen that before, packed it up to send to Engineering, and gave me a new one from the back. A year later I returned with the new oozing, disintegrating cable and was told they could replace the one that came with the MacBook Pro but not any additional ones I may have bought or been given. Something about being tied to the Mac's serial number. I took it to another Apple Store and gave them the serial number for my wife's MBP and they gave me a replacement no questions asked. Had to pay for the next one that disintegrated, then got two more replacements free after we bought our new MBPs. Now we're holding on to our 17" MBPs longer than usual so I've taken to buying knock-off MagSafe cables on Amazon and splicing them in close to the power supply. I had tried the well-documented "pop-open the block, unsolder the old and solder in the new" solution by my soldering skills have degraded over the years resulting in two dead power supplies
    I'd check the air in your house.   Something's not right.   Formaldehyde maybe?   I've had the jack in my iPhones die from too many insertions, but I've never had an Apple Mag Safe, or 30-pin or Lightning to USB cable go bad in any respect.   My cables do get dirty ( NYC air is not the cleanest), but from a mechanical standpoint, they're all perfect.  In fact, since my old late-2008 MBP died and I bought a late-2016 MBP, I sold my old power supplies.  The purchasers were worried that the cables would be frayed, but they were all perfect.   And none of my third party Lightning or 30-pin connectors have ever failed either.  

    The only other thing I can think of is that Apple has multiple manufacturers for their cables and some are good and some are bad and I got lucky.  

    As far as Mag-safe is concerned, I think it's a problem in situations where one has the cable running across part of a room.  In my daughter's house, not having MagSafe would be a disaster (and eventually will be when they next have to upgrade their Macs).   In my situation, the only time I use the power supply is at a table and there's no way anyone can trip on the cable.   I am puzzled as to why Apple did not keep MagSafe and simply provide a MagSafe to USB-C adapter or why someone didn't make the equivalent of a MagSafe USB-C adapter that plugs into a USB-C port that could be used with any USB-C cord.   Apple solved a problem with MagSafe.  They pushed the benefits of that solution as a competitive advantage.   And now, just because they want to have consistent ports, that problem no longer exists?   I think it makes Apple look silly.  But I guess Apple has more important technology to think about now, like stickers.   How much effort went into that?
  • Reply 15 of 19
    Soli said:
    And I thought my use of shrink tubing was a hideous looking solution.
    Where did you find white shrink tubing?  What size works best?

    thanks
  • Reply 16 of 19
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,554member
    Soli said:
    And I thought my use of shrink tubing was a hideous looking solution.
    Where did you find white shrink tubing?  What size works best?

    thanks
    1/4" for MagSafe, with a caveat, and 1/8" for Lightning. 

    The caveat for Magsafe is can shrink enough from. 1/4" to tighten over the thin powe cable so you need to thicken it up in some way. I think that next time, if there is one, I'll use this clay and then shrink tubing over it to make a more attractive look. I've previously wrapped with electrical tape then shrunk, as well as cut shrinkwtap tubing to wrap it, insert into itself, shrink, and then put the 1/4" over that to create a firm hold.

    Automotive places have it, but I just used Amazon to buy a large assortment in a variety of colors, but I've seen white and clear.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01461GC0K/


    PS: There is also heat-shrinkable tape, which may be better than my hackjob solutions for wrapping the cable before slipping over the MagSafe for a consistory look and feel.


  • Reply 17 of 19
    Seems kind of expensive for three little pieces. Why not self-fusing silicone tape? 36 feet of the stuff for the same price as the small pack of Sugru.
    Soli
  • Reply 18 of 19
    Don't worry about trading MagSafe for another multi-use port. I've had two cord-trip incidents with my post-MagSafe MacBook Pro, and in both cases the USB-C connector popped out before the computer was dragged any distance. The fit between the computer and connector isn't very tight. The computer only moved an inch or two and neither it nor the cable seem to have suffered any lasting effects.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    I've tried Sugru for exactly this fix with my broken lightning cables and it is brilliant. I fixed three frayed cables just once and all of them are still working more than a year later! Can't recommend it enough. The main benefit is that Sugru is very flexible so it bends nicely almost like the original cable.
    Habi_tweetSpamSandwich
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