How to Remove an Ethernet Cable (that’s stuck)

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If you are not careful with your cords and your cables, you can very quickly find yourself entangled in a sticky situation. After all, it is never fun trying to untangle the wires of your earphones or trying to make sense of all the cables surrounding a switch. Luckily, all of this is avoidable so long as you pay careful attention to where everything goes once you reconnect all the cables and cords.

Some things are not avoidable, however. There may well come a time when, no matter how carefully you have lain all your cables out, one of them gets stuck due to damage or faultiness. And while we hope you never find yourself in that particular situation, it is still best to know what to do if that happens.

In particular, Ethernet cables can be tricky to remove if they become stuck because that usually means that the plastic clip which holds it in place has broken. And unfortunately, it is never as simple as pulling hard enough to wrestle it free.

Luckily, we know just what to do when something like this happens. And after reading this article, you will too.

Start With the Clip

If your Ethernet cable is stuck, there is a good chance that the plastic clip holding it in place has snapped or has otherwise been broken completely. However, it is always best to make sure that this is the case before you move on to more extravagant means of getting your cable free.

Start by pressing down lightly on the clip while gently pulling on the cord. Be careful not to be too rough with it, as any further damage will warrant a few unnecessary – and potentially costly – repairs. Instead, focus on slightly adjusting the angle of the cord with each gentle tug you give it. It may pop loose yet – however, failing this, it is time to try something else because the cord is most definitely stuck.

Get Creative

The plastic clip of your Ethernet cable uses a pressure-sensitive spring mechanism to help keep the cord itself in place. When pressure is released – usually by you pressing on the clip – the cable is free. We are only telling you this so that you understand what to do in this next phase of removing a stuck Ethernet cable.

For this, you will need a small flathead screwdriver or something of similar weight and heft, such as the point of a pen. Pay attention to the size of the tool you use – if it is too big, this solution will never work.

Tool in hand, place its thinnest end (the head of the screwdriver or the tip of your pen) between the port and the clip where the cable is stuck. Press this tool into place, applying ample pressure without overdoing it, while gently tugging on the cord. If you manage to get it right, the tool will nudge into place and allow a clear path for the cord to be released.

This is a simple method but effective, and it takes some finesse to get right. Be patient as you attempt it.

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Call for Assistance

Once you have tried both of these two methods and your Ethernet cable remains stuck in place, you will need the help of a professional because the problem may not be with the clip, as was previously believed. Leave the cord for the time being, and do not try to wrestle it free yourself lest you cause any damage that will need to be seen to (which can cost a hefty sum depending on the damage itself).

Replace the Cord

After all of this, you will have hopefully managed to get your Ethernet cable free. If this was the first time it has gotten stuck, then chances are it is probably still alright to continue using it. If, however, this is the second or third time, or the problem repeats itself, it is best to simply replace the cable entirely.

Ethernet cables are not cheap, we know, but continuing to make use of a faulty cable can lead to more severe damage down the line. This can cost you more to repair in the long run than it would to simply replace the cable. A replacement cable will be tough and durable and should last you a good long while before you ever need to replace it again – provided that you are careful, of course.


There you have it – those are all the steps you need to follow if your Ethernet cable gets stuck in its port. Be sure to try out the first two methods before you call a professional – it could just be a case of a fickle clip. Otherwise, remember to take good care of not just your Ethernet cable but all the cords, cables, and wires in your house. It is not fun getting caught up in a tangle of different wires – and even less fun paying someone to replace them.

3 thoughts on “How to Remove an Ethernet Cable (that’s stuck)”

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