How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

Cords. Everywhere you look, there are cords. We were promised this cord-free utopia long ago, but it’s not arrived. We’re left to manage our tethered, tangled existence all alone. there is good news, though — we’ve found products that can help. Rather than suffer the indignity of tangled headphones and chargers everywhere, we’ve compiled a list of some products that can help you avoid the cat-and-mouse game of cord management. Whether you’re at home or on the run, these products can help!

TYLT has a really neat product in the Syncable, which is also available as the Syncable Duo (pictured below) which is both a micro USB and Lightning cable. Whichever you choose, it’s a flat design, and doesn’t do the twisting, turning thing round cords do. It’s flexible, but the flat design keeps it from getting twisted and confused, which is especially great for tossing in a bag and heading out.

How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

Recoil

Not ready to buy a new cable? Our answer to that is the Recoil. Holding your cable at both connector ends, you’ll find the middle of the cord itself. Placing that in the small hook inside the Recoil, then pulling slightly, your cable winds itself up (don’t let go, you might get hurt). Now you can coil and uncoil what you need, when you need it.

How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

Cord minders

You’ve likely got multiple devices, which means multiple chargers and cords. To better keep them in line at home, we suggest a small cord minder. We’re using the Mini Cable Drop from the Container Store, which have an adhesive back for placement anywhere. We like them for the side of the desk; it keeps cords handy, but also out of the way.

How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

Headphones

You in-ear buds are probably the worst offender, here. They get tangled if you look at them wrong! To thwart that mess (literally), we suggest the Zipbuds. Instead of a long, thin cord, you get something that won’t tangle: a zipper.

How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

The zipper not only keeps Zipbuds tangle-free, but also allows for a lot of adjustment. We think they look better than a tiny cord, too. Oddly enough, Zipbuds also get in the way less.

Zipbuds aren’t all hype, though. They produce a nice, loud sound with really respectable bass. String instruments, like those found in classical music, get a little lost, but most contemporary tracks sound just fine. We went from Lil Jon to Modest Mouse without a problem whatsoever.

How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

Budsband

We really dig the Zipbuds, but if you’ve already got a pair of headphones you like, we’ve got you covered. The Budsband is a small, silicone attachment that fits right onto your cord near the base of your headphones. Slip it on, wind your cords up, and slip the other side of the Budsband over the jack (top photo).

Budsband is uniquely handy because it stays on the cord, and can let loose the amount of cord you need. For keeping your earbuds in control in a bag, though, Budsband is hard to beat. They have been funded on Kickstarter, so reach out through there to find out how you can get your hands on them.

How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

No more tangles!

There are a lot of products and cool methods for keeping cords under control, so if you have a favorite, please do share it in the comments section below.

The products here are all really effective at keeping you from tangled cords, and none will break the bank. If you’re interested in checking them out further, the product name of each item has a hyperlink, so click away!

How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

Modern life is full of cords—from phone chargers to earbuds to USB connections for your camera, Kindle, and more. And boy, do tangled cords make things annoying. No one wants to spend five minutes trying to undo a mess of headphones before they can listen to music.

While you can buy cord-organizing solutions to keep your earbuds and lightning cables neatly stored, doing so means one more tiny object to keep track of. Plus, you can keep your cords organized for free, if you master a few simple wrapping tricks.

Dieter Bohn of The Verge uses a simple, easy-to-remember technique that only takes a minute to master. While it can be a little more difficult with thick cords and earbuds with large microphone pieces (like these), for the most part, it’s foolproof. You just need to hold on to the larger part of the cord (like the earbuds) and wrap your cord around your first three fingers, scout’s honor-style. When you’re nearing the end of the cord—about eight inches from the end—pinch the middle of your newly created circle of cord, and wrap that remaining piece around the center, perpendicular to the rest, so that it holds the circle together and forms a figure eight. Tuck the last bit through the hole in the bottom of that figure eight, and give it a tug to secure it.

If you really want to make it easy to free your wrapped cords, you should use the “over-under” technique, so that your cords don’t get twisted. The technique is particularly useful with video and audio cords. Essentially, you make one loop in one direction, then the next one loops in the reverse direction. It’s easier to see in demonstration:

If you have trouble remembering the equipment-free technique, you can also keep a twist tie (like the ones that keep your bag of bread sealed) around the end of your cord, and simply twist it around the looped cord to keep it together. You can also buy a specially designed rubber twist tie for cords, which tends to be a more long-lasting, attractive option than the one that comes from the grocery store. Or, you could cover the bread loaf twist tie in masking tape or Japanese Washi tape to make it softer and more colorful.

I am careful with the cord. I un-knot it each morning. I use it while seated and do not move around, yet somehow it ends up all tangled after a couple of hours. Is there a metaphysical definition?

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    20 Answer s

    You must not be replacing the handset just as you picked it up and have added a twist by the wrist.

    you need one of these detanglers. I have found that this is the only solution no matter how you pick up the phone. i think the fact that it is twisted causes it to twist even more.

    Based on your description, I don’t think it quite reaches the extreme, though.

    The real question is why are you still using a phone that has a cord.

    @honniemac – most of us don’t have cordless phones at work

    And those of us who live in areas with frequent severe thunder and lightening and power outages keep one to call the electric co, our nearest and dearest and to dial 911. Power out for 6 hours yestereday and three days of dramatically scary storms.

    To untangle cord, stand on very high ladder, hold body of phone and let receiver dangle; it will untwist.

    it will untwist…but it keeps twisting back up!

    Don’t let on that I told you this, but during the night elves sneak in and make phone calls while spinning around in office chairs and that’s how the cords get twisted all the time!

    Annoying little bugger aren’t they?

    It’s all the gossip getting twisted before it reaches you!

    buy a phone line detangler, it spins around on the bottom of the receiver or go cordless

    I would like an answer to this too! I have to switch out my tangled cord with an unused cord very often b/c it’s turns into a tangled mess. I dno’t do anything extraordinary at my desk – no spins or rolls.

    @jerrica – it doesn’t matter if you don’t spin…if you pick up the phone to use it, it will tangle. it has to do with the fact that the cord is coiled. it wants to twist. that’s why i suggested a cord detangler. The ones on the site I suggested in a previous reply are out of stock, but at least you know what to look for now.

    It happens for instance if the phone is to my right and I listen with my left ear. So when I pick up the phone I use my right hand and transfer the phone to my left hand and left ear. During this journey the phone has to undergo a 90 degree anticlockwise rotation to change positions from the receiver facing downwards to facing towards the right where my left ear is (try this and it makes more sense). However, when Im done with the call I often pass the phone to my right hand with the receiver facing up (another 90 degree anticlockwise rotation). My right hand then continues the direction of this rotation to turn the phone back to a position where the receiver is once again facing downwards (another 180 degree clockwise rotation). If you follow that complete motion the chord has undergone one complete rotation of 360 degrees. The best way to understand this is to go through the motions slowly.

    Obviously this situation works for either ear or in any direction, you just have to have the tendency to turn the phone in a consistent direction for the tangle to occur. Because the turn takes place over the course of a conversation it is very easy to convince yourself that it doesn’t occur, hence the confusion. If you rotate the phone on replacement in the opposite direction to which you pick the phone up, your phone cord will not tangle.

    The argument that picking up a phone, stretching it without rotation, and then replacing it, will also result in tangling, is simply not true. Untangle a cord and stretch it ten times and you will see it does not happen without the accompanying rotation of the phone.

    @Critter38…Greetings and welcome to fluther. What an excellent motion by motion explanation which should solve what remained to some, a riddle. My one sentence post (at the top), while true, didn’t adequately describe the phenomena. Thanks for taking the time to disprove the myths. I eagerly await your future posts. See you around… wtf (no offense intended…those are my initials and feel free to address me by same).

    Hi WTF, and thanks for the welcome.

    what if i want a cord that doesn’t tangle, not a detangler device.

    @devbro7: Dream on. I’d like to build dry walls, but it’s probably not going to happen.

    $14 to $30 (depending on length)
    This stretchy mesh can expand its diameter by 150 percent. The more expensive stuff wraps around wires, no threading required.” title=”” data-src=”https://hips.hearstapps.com/pop.h-cdn.co/assets/cm/15/05/54ca9e57092d2_-_wires-md.jpg?crop=1xw:1.0xh;center,top&resize=480:*”>

    The completely wireless computer, like the paperless society, is a utopian fiction of the technological world. Look behind any desk and you’ll likely see a rat’s nest of power and data cables for USB-connected drives, printers, multiple screens, keyboards, webcams, mice, digital cameras, camcorders, iPods, cellular phones and—oh, the irony—wireless routers. And the mess of connections is by no means limited to computing devices. Audiovisual gear is just as bad, if not worse. A TV, receiver, disc player, gaming system and constellation of speakers can require such a spaghetti bowl of wires that just determining what is connected to what can take 20 minutes of troubleshooting.

    So what’s wrong with messy ­wiring? If you’re asking that question, then maybe the answer for you is “nothing.” If the aesthetics, trapped dust bunnies and confusion don’t bother you, then embrace your inner entropist and let your wires intermingle freely. But we here at PM believe that a little investment in cable management will make your setup look better and save time when swapping equipment in and out.

    Get Organized

    Bundling wires together and getting them out of the way is easy, but doing so with no advance planning can cause more problems than it solves. You’ll just be consolidating the tangled mess that you already have. Instead, start fresh and unplug everything, then group your cables by application (e.g., wires that connect your PC and screen).

    If you are setting up your system from scratch, think about ordering colored wires from a bulk supplier such as monoprice.com. Color-coding wires for each component provides quick visual reference for your connections.

    Now is also a good time to reorganize your work area. For instance, if you have a few external USB peripherals connected directly to your PC, a powered USB hub will let you move these devices to a less crowded section of desk a foot or two away. Then you can either tie up the cords for your devices, or replace them with shorter ones. And if you’re still using a corded keyboard and mouse, consider ditching them for wireless equipment.

    Break Out the Power Ties

    You don’t need fancy supplies for cable management (although, as you’ll see, such things can be useful). You can tidy things up by simply using twist ties or zip ties, magic markers and a roll of masking tape.

    Separate wires into bundles with between three and six cables—too many in one group increases the chance that you’ll have to cut everything loose next time you want to make a change.

    Separate power cables from signal cables such as USB and RCA audio. Most cables are shielded, but it’s best not to expose signal cables to excessive electromagnetic interference.

    Start by using the ties to take up any slack in the wire length—but be sure to leave a few inches of play for components that need to move around on your desk. When using zip or twist ties, don’t overtighten, as too much tension damages softer cable jackets. Also, overtightening twist ties can make it difficult to cut the cables free later. If you can, use the ties to secure wires to a leg or the frame of your desk or table; letting cables dangle freely puts unwanted weight and stress on the jacks they plug into. Lastly, use masking tape and a marker to label wires (at both ends) and power bricks.

    Wrap It Up

    If you are a frequent tinkerer, regular twist and zip ties may be a bit too permanent for you, so it might be worth a step up to more functional cabling solutions. Velcro ties and foam twist ties allow for some quick-release access and are kinder to your cables. Wires that you change less frequently (such as speaker wire), can be gathered together using a mesh sleeving kit or split loom (both are also available in colors). Got slack left over? Wind it around a spool-like device known as the Cable Turtle, or use a cable- organizing enclosure such as the WireMate.

    And if masking-tape labels aren’t pretty enough for you, try pre-printed Kableflags or color-coded, clip-on Dotz Cable Identifiers.

    The final opportunity for organizational elegance comes in your choice of power strip. Pick a model with color-coded outlets and plenty of space for bulky adapters. And get it off the ground by screwing or zip-tying it to the back of your desk or rack.

    Wire Tamers

    >
    Velcro Ties

    Also known as hook-and-loop ties, these straps secure your wires like zip ties, but tear free for easy access. Buy in a variety of colors to help keep things organized.
    Foam Twist Ties

    These soft ties treat cables gently, but tend to be expensive. Want to save money? Check garden centers, where foam-covered wire sells for 30 cents a foot.
    WireMate

    This plastic enclosure mounts to the backside of a desk, allowing you to wrap up slack on hooks inside, then close it up to hide away the mess where no one can see it.

    Never see a tangled wire again!

    How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangledBinder Clips

    If you’re anything like us, your electrical cables can become a tangled, knotty mess. We’ve discovered an easy storage solution that utilizes—what else?—binder clips! Untangle your cables and collect (or coil) them into organized batches; then clip them together to keep them organized while stored away, or attach them to a desk, table, or shelf.

    Spiral Notebook Rings

    It may be hard to watch your child’s notes on the conservation of matter go into the recycling bin, but when it comes time to part with school notebooks, save the spirals. They work great to collect stray cords and wires. Attach the spiral horizontally to a strip of wood using a hot-glue gun. Place it behind your computer and “thread” your cables through the rings. They’ll stay separate and it will keep them from falling to the floor when not in use.

    Foam Pipe Insulation

    Go to the home improvement store and buy some foam pipe insulation. (It usually has a lengthwise slit in it; if not, cut one yourself.) Run the cords through the tube, and allow them to come up through the slit wherever needed. Stick the whole thing behind your desk or nightstand, and you won’t have to look at unsightly cords again!

    Toilet/Paper Towel Rolls

    Don’t throw away empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls! Use them to store the millions of cords running behind your entertainment center. The rolls keep the cords untangled, and if you also write which appliances the cords belong to on the roll, you just might be the most organized person in your neighborhood.

    Copper Wire

    Once you’ve untangled the web and wrangled your cords into individual bundles, wrap each one with a stretch of unused copper wire. Simply twist the ends of the wire together to keep your bundled cord intact.

    Ponytail Holders

    Keep them neat and out of the way with ponytail holders or rubber bands, or fold up detachable cords and store them in paper towel tubes—label the tubes to remind yourself which cord belongs to which appliance. This works well for storing Christmas tree lights, too.

    Hair Clips

    Use old or broken hair clips (the claw variety) to tame cords from hair dryers and straighteners. Just wrap the cord neatly and clamp to keep in place.

    Plant Pots

    Keep them straight by storing them in upside-down plant pots. Stash them underneath the pots in the garage and, when you need one, pull the plug end through the hole in the pot’s bottom.

    For everyday tips and lifehacks, tune in to the Who Knew podcast on iTunes and Stitcher! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    About the Author

    Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends’ refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.

    We use Lightning cables every day to charge up our iPhones and iPads: It’s no surprise that eventually you’re going to notice some wear and tear, especially if you carry a single cable around to charge in multiple places. Just take a second and think about everything your average Lightning cable goes through over the course of a month in your possession. Chances are, you’ve yanked it out of a few wall outlets to change charging locations, brought it out to your car and stuffed it in your center console between trips around the city, and even shoved it — tangled and twisted — into the odd bag. That’s all normal wear and tear that will eventually kill your Apple Lightning cable, and nothing sucks more than having a destroyed charging cable when you really need it.

    Here’s the thing: The Lightning cable you get from Apple when you purchase an iPhone or iPad is, at best, mediocre. The cable is functional and will charge your device just fine, but it often doesn’t stand the test of time. As such, you can prevent a lot of frustration by picking up some more robust cables.

    Nylon-braided cables are superior

    How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

    A good-quality nylon-braided cable is going to last you a lot longer than the cable Apple ships to you in the box. The woven exterior of the cable not only provides crucial structural integrity that will prevent tearing and fraying from everyday use, but also helps it withstand especially extreme forms of punishment.

    I have been rolling with Hiway’s Lightning nylon-braided cables for about a year and couldn’t be happier. I’ve been carrying them around every day, where they’ve befallen all sorts of issues that would have ruined lesser cables: getting caught in the zipper of my backpack, for instance, or being twisted up every way imaginable. After all that, they still charge my iPhone and iPad without incident.

    Quality cables are often cheaper!

    How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

    The best part about getting quality cables is you don’t have to spend a fortune. Many tougher third-party Lightning cables are even cheaper than Apple’s default versions.

    For instance, Apple’s basic Lightning to USB cable at $19; the third-party market price on Lightning cables is often much lower. The cables I have been using came in a 3-pack for $11!

    How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

    That said, you shouldn’t just pick the first $11 three-pack you see on Amazon: There are plenty of cheap knockoff cables that not only won’t last — they may harm your battery in the long term with subpar charging.

    Here, research is your best friend: To avoid picking up third-party cables that don’t work (or work poorly), your first look should be to the cable’s brand. AmanzonBasics, Anker, Aukey, Native Union, and RAVPower all have reputations for producing excellent and reliable products; if you’re anxious about purchasing third-party cables, stick with one of these brands.

    If you’re considering a different brand (or want to see the differences between each brand), you can also check out Amazon reviews. Take a little bit of time to read through some of the reviews and look for high star-ratings. If you see a cable with 300 or more reviews and it has a 4.5 or 5-star rating, you’re far less likely to end up with a dud. Also look for companies which respond quickly to customer complaints or offer good return programs; on the off-chance you do receive a malfunctioning cord, you won’t lose out.

    Don’t want to do the research? Don’t sweat it: We’ve also done a bunch of digging to find some great tough Lightning cable options for our readers.

    To all a good night

    We hope this tip helped, and do let us know your thoughts on tougher lightning cables — do you invest in them, or use Apple’s cables? Do you have any tips to keep weaker cables from fraying?

    We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.

    How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

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    I am careful with the cord. I un-knot it each morning. I use it while seated and do not move around, yet somehow it ends up all tangled after a couple of hours. Is there a metaphysical definition?

      • Add Topic
      • 189 questions
      • 10 people

      20 Answer s

      You must not be replacing the handset just as you picked it up and have added a twist by the wrist.

      you need one of these detanglers. I have found that this is the only solution no matter how you pick up the phone. i think the fact that it is twisted causes it to twist even more.

      Based on your description, I don’t think it quite reaches the extreme, though.

      The real question is why are you still using a phone that has a cord.

      @honniemac – most of us don’t have cordless phones at work

      And those of us who live in areas with frequent severe thunder and lightening and power outages keep one to call the electric co, our nearest and dearest and to dial 911. Power out for 6 hours yestereday and three days of dramatically scary storms.

      To untangle cord, stand on very high ladder, hold body of phone and let receiver dangle; it will untwist.

      it will untwist…but it keeps twisting back up!

      Don’t let on that I told you this, but during the night elves sneak in and make phone calls while spinning around in office chairs and that’s how the cords get twisted all the time!

      Annoying little bugger aren’t they?

      It’s all the gossip getting twisted before it reaches you!

      buy a phone line detangler, it spins around on the bottom of the receiver or go cordless

      I would like an answer to this too! I have to switch out my tangled cord with an unused cord very often b/c it’s turns into a tangled mess. I dno’t do anything extraordinary at my desk – no spins or rolls.

      @jerrica – it doesn’t matter if you don’t spin…if you pick up the phone to use it, it will tangle. it has to do with the fact that the cord is coiled. it wants to twist. that’s why i suggested a cord detangler. The ones on the site I suggested in a previous reply are out of stock, but at least you know what to look for now.

      It happens for instance if the phone is to my right and I listen with my left ear. So when I pick up the phone I use my right hand and transfer the phone to my left hand and left ear. During this journey the phone has to undergo a 90 degree anticlockwise rotation to change positions from the receiver facing downwards to facing towards the right where my left ear is (try this and it makes more sense). However, when Im done with the call I often pass the phone to my right hand with the receiver facing up (another 90 degree anticlockwise rotation). My right hand then continues the direction of this rotation to turn the phone back to a position where the receiver is once again facing downwards (another 180 degree clockwise rotation). If you follow that complete motion the chord has undergone one complete rotation of 360 degrees. The best way to understand this is to go through the motions slowly.

      Obviously this situation works for either ear or in any direction, you just have to have the tendency to turn the phone in a consistent direction for the tangle to occur. Because the turn takes place over the course of a conversation it is very easy to convince yourself that it doesn’t occur, hence the confusion. If you rotate the phone on replacement in the opposite direction to which you pick the phone up, your phone cord will not tangle.

      The argument that picking up a phone, stretching it without rotation, and then replacing it, will also result in tangling, is simply not true. Untangle a cord and stretch it ten times and you will see it does not happen without the accompanying rotation of the phone.

      @Critter38…Greetings and welcome to fluther. What an excellent motion by motion explanation which should solve what remained to some, a riddle. My one sentence post (at the top), while true, didn’t adequately describe the phenomena. Thanks for taking the time to disprove the myths. I eagerly await your future posts. See you around… wtf (no offense intended…those are my initials and feel free to address me by same).

      Hi WTF, and thanks for the welcome.

      what if i want a cord that doesn’t tangle, not a detangler device.

      @devbro7: Dream on. I’d like to build dry walls, but it’s probably not going to happen.

      This level of organization will melt your stress away.

      How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

      How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

      Our friend Marie Kondo has taught us that we should only keep things that #sparkjoy — and I’m sure that your annoying headphone wires that always get tangled don’t exactly scream “joy.”

      But don’t toss those headphones just yet! Kondo also taught us that everything can be easily maintained as along as every item has its own home. That means those jumbled mess of wires, whether they’re attached to headphones or stuffed behind your TV, should all have homes to stay nice and neat (and save your sanity).

      These 15 cord management products will keep your wires neat and make you feel a little more zen every day. And couldn’t we all use that?

      How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

      Best for: Headphone wires

      There’s a reason this gear tie was our top selling stocking stuffer during the holidays: It’s pretty much indestructible thanks to its bendable design and rubber exterior. It can be twisted, tied, reused and it’s water-resistant.

      How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

      Best for: USB management

      Flower power indeed! This adorable charging station comes with four USB ports so you can charge all of your tech at the same time (and do it in style).

      How to prevent your phone cable from getting twisted and tangled

      Best for: Office use

      This compact mini station tidies up all the loose cords on your desk. Its brilliant design keeps cords snugly tucked in so they won’t slide onto the ground when unplugged.