Can a bent USB stick be fixed?

What causes a USB stick to bend?

One of the most common causes of a bent USB stick is repeatedly inserting and removing it from a USB port. The constant plugging and unplugging can put strain on the USB connector and cause it to gradually bend or warp out of shape over time.

According to a Reddit thread on r/DJs, “Researching it has concluded the usb connector is bent. Electrical damage from flash drive is usually cause by either some sort of power surge…” (Source). The repetitive friction and tension can weaken the soldering points and small components inside the USB connector.

Carrying the USB stick in a pocket or bag and accidentally sitting or applying pressure to it can also cause the metal connector to bend. The USB stick gets squeezed and deforms to the shape of the pressure on it. Keys, coins and other items in a pocket or bag may compound this issue over time.

Assessing the damage

When a USB stick becomes bent or damaged, the first step is to visually inspect it for any cracks or breaks in the protective plastic casing. Gently run your fingers along the seam of the casing and look closely for any gaps, splintering, or loose parts. Pay special attention to the areas around the USB connector, as this is often a weak point that can crack under pressure. Avoid handling or bending the USB stick further until you’ve fully assessed the external damage.

Next, plug the USB stick into a computer or device and see if it can be detected and mounted. If the drive fails to mount, cannot be read, or causes errors, the internal components are likely damaged as well. Trying a different USB port and computer can help determine if the issue stems from the computer or the USB drive itself. Signs of internal corruption include inability to open folders or files, data reading as random characters, or failure to copy files to and from the drive. The longer and more severely a USB stick is bent, the more prone components are to irreparable damage.

While minor housing cracks may not impede function, any visible internal breakage of the USB port or circuit board indicates the storage device is beyond DIY repair. In these cases, seek professional recovery services to rescue data before disposal. With careful handling, superficial casing damage can often be repaired through straightening or replacing the outer enclosure.[]

Trying easy fixes first

Before going to extreme measures, the easiest first step is to try gently bending the USB stick back into shape by hand. Hold the USB stick firmly in one hand, and using your other hand, carefully apply pressure to bend the metal casing and connector back into its original position. Avoid excessive force, as you don’t want to damage the internal components. Slowly work out the kink little by little. Check to see if the USB is straight after each bend. Be patient and take your time to avoid snapping the connector or casing. According to redditors on r/fixit, grasping the USB very firmly and pushing out the kink can fix slight bends, but you have to be careful not stab yourself with the metal. If done with care, the USB metal can be fairly easy to manipulate back into shape by hand.


Using pliers to straighten

One method to try straightening a bent USB stick is to use pliers. However, it’s important to be very careful when doing this to avoid further damaging the USB stick.

First, wrap the USB stick in a soft cloth or piece of rubber. This helps protect the casing from being scratched or dented by the pliers. Only grip the metal USB connector itself with the pliers, avoiding the plastic casing.

Slowly apply pressure with the pliers to gently bend the USB metal connector back into its original shape. Don’t try to bend it back too forcefully in one motion, but rather gradually straighten it bit by bit. Periodically check if the USB is regaining its original form without kinks or bends.

Be very cautious not to apply too much pressure, which could damage the internals. If properly wrapped and gently bent, pliers can potentially straighten a slightly bent USB stick’s connector without inflicting further harm. However, if the USB stick is severely bent or damaged, this method may not work.

As noted in this Reddit comment, pliers can also help remove a broken USB piece stuck in a port by carefully gripping the metal part.

Checking the USB Connector

One of the first things to check when diagnosing a bent USB stick is to examine the USB connector. Carefully look at both sides of the metal connector portion that plugs into the USB port. Look for any bent, broken, or missing pins. Damaged pins can prevent the USB stick from making proper contact and being detected by the computer.

Gently try straightening any slightly bent pins using tweezers or small pliers. Avoid applying too much force as the pins can be fragile. If pins are broken off completely, the USB stick is likely damaged beyond repair. Severe pin damage usually requires professional soldering skills to fix.

Also inspect the plastic casing around the USB connector for cracks or pieces that may be broken off. Damage to the connector’s casing can expose the delicate pins to further damage. If the connector is intact with no visible pin damage, the problem may lie elsewhere within the USB stick’s internal components.

Trying the USB stick

After straightening a bent USB stick, you’ll need to test it to see if it is fully functional again. First, try plugging the USB stick into a computer or device’s USB port. Check that it fits snugly and does not wiggle around loosely. This is a good indication that the USB connector itself is straight and making solid contact with the port.

Next, attempt to copy files to and from the USB drive. If you get errors about the device not being recognized or unable to read/write files, there may still be damage to the USB stick’s internal components. According to a guide on, you can check for disk errors in Windows by right-clicking on the USB drive in File Explorer, selecting Properties, and running Disk Error Checking.

If the USB drive passes file transfers without errors, then the bent connector was likely the only issue. The USB stick should now work normally again after straightening it out. However, if errors persist, further internal examination and potential repairs may be needed.

Opening the casing

To access the internal components of the USB drive, you’ll need to open up the plastic casing. This should be done carefully to avoid further damaging the components inside. According to How to Fix a USB Flash Drive, the best tool for opening the casing is a small, flathead precision screwdriver.

Carefully insert the flathead screwdriver tip into any seam or crack visible along the edges of the USB casing. Slowly twist and pry along the seam, taking care not to apply too much force. Gradually work your way around the perimeter until the plastic casing pops open. Go slowly and be patient to avoid breaking off plastic tabs or tearing cables inside.

Once the casing is freed, set it aside and examine the exposed circuit board and components. Be very gentle when handling the board to avoid causing further damage. Now the internal parts can be inspected, replaced if needed, and the device reassembled.

Examining internal components

Once the USB stick casing has been opened, carefully inspect the internal components for any signs of damage. The main parts to look for are the USB connector, the circuit board, and the flash memory chip.

Check that the USB connector is still soldered securely to the circuit board. Sometimes the solder joints can crack from being bent, causing the connector to detach partially or fully. This would prevent the USB stick from making proper contact and needs to be resoldered. (Source:

Examine the circuit board for any cracks, damaged traces or components. If the board got bent enough, it could fracture and break connections. See if anything looks burnt out or shorted. Major circuit board damage would likely require replacing the entire board.

Check the flash memory chip to make sure it is still attached properly and not cracked. These chips are fragile and can break if severely bent. A damaged memory chip would mean data loss and the USB stick would need a new chip installed.

Carefully inspecting the internal components in this manner will reveal most physical damage that could be the root cause of USB stick failure after being bent.

Replacing damaged parts

If inspecting the internal components reveals any damaged parts, they may need to be replaced for the USB stick to function properly again. One common component that gets damaged on bent USB sticks is the USB connector itself.

The USB connector is the small rectangular piece of hardware that allows the USB stick to interface with the USB port on a computer. If this connector is bent, cracked, or otherwise damaged, the electrical connections can be disrupted, preventing the USB stick from being detected by the computer.

In cases of a damaged USB connector, the repair may require desoldering the broken connector and soldering a new one in place. This requires some soldering skills, a soldering iron, solder, and a replacement USB connector.

Here are the steps involved:

  • Use the soldering iron to heat and remove the solder holding the damaged USB connector in place.
  • Gently lift off the broken connector once the solder joint is melted.
  • Clean any residual solder from the USB stick’s circuit board.
  • Align the new USB connector in the proper position on the board.
  • Use the soldering iron to solder the new connector securely in place.
  • Clean off any excess solder when done.

Be very careful when soldering to avoid damaging the board or other components. With the new USB connector soldered in place, reassemble the casing and test the repaired USB stick.

If the issue persists, there may be damage to other internal parts that will require further troubleshooting and replacement (from With some patience and the right tools, soldering a new USB connector can often fix bent USB sticks.

Reassembling the Casing

Once all the internal components have been inspected and any necessary repairs or replacements have been made, it’s time to reassemble the USB casing. This is a delicate process that requires care and patience. Start by lining up all the plastic casing pieces so that the tabs and slots match up. Gently press the pieces together one by one until the casing fully closes. It’s crucial that all the plastic snaps securely back into place so that the casing stays tightly closed. Listen and feel for each plastic tab clicking into place. If needed, use a small flathead screwdriver to help guide the tabs into the slots. Avoid applying too much pressure or forcing pieces together, as this can lead to cracked plastic. Take your time and double check that the USB stick casing has been completely reassembled with all plastic tabs firmly snapped into place before using the USB device again.