How to Untangle a Phone Cord

Phones with cords are not used any more in households but they are very visible in businesses. One of the biggest advantages of a telephone set is that you don’t lose the headsets. One disadvantage of using phones is that the cord tangles with time. This is most prominent when many people use the same phone. When such thing happens, you should know how to untangle a phone cord.

Types of phone cords:

Phone cords are those wires that connect the base unit of a phone to the handset, and to the wall jack. You can use cords to connect several phones together and also to connect phones to computer modems.

In the United States, you can plug the phone cords into a phone without opening the case. They are just like modular connectors. You can get the phone cords in various designs and different sizes. The most used phone cords in the US are the RJ-11, RJ-12, and RJ-14.

Phone cords that are long and twisted tend to tangle over time.
How to untangle a phone Cord

You need to look for ways to prevent the cord from tangling in the future. To untangle a phone cord is easy and to keep it from tangling again is almost as easy.

1. Why telephone cords tangle: an unconscious spiral motion:

A telephone cord never tangles by itself. It tangles since the user unknowingly draws a circle each time he or she uses the phone.

When your telephone is on your desk before you, try to pick up the phone with your normal hand and bring it near to your normal side. Also you should observe the phone’s angle rotation, from 180º away from you when at rest, to 90º closer.

Now, when you hang up the phone by reversing your actions, the phone will not tangle.  But most people never do like this. Instead, when they move the phone, they actually continue the circuit. They try to use a different hand to replace the phone thereby resulting into an unconscious twist. Many people try to do this in the spiral direction. In any case, each pickup-hangup sequence results into +1 twist to the phone. More +1 twists of any phone cord will eventually ends up in enough tangles. This cord will keep on tangling until it is a tight knot.

2. To untangle the phone, reverse the twists:

You should avoid the tugging, pulling, and stretching with the cord. This eventually makes the things worse for you. To untangle, just do as many -1 twists as you previously did +1’s.  You can do this in several ways like this:

  • Consciously, by hand:

This approach is slow but effective. You can also observe how a tangle worsens and eases.

  • Let gravity do the work:

Hold the telephone body and pick up it at arm’s length. Now, drop the phone handset. The tension that results from gravity comes into the cord and it will start spinning. This will result into many -1 twists.  In the end, when it stops spinning, it will result into zero twists or something close.

  • Detach the cord from the phone:

Just detach the phone cord from both the ends. When you prod it, it untangles on its own. This method is slower than gravity but it is more effective. You need to make sure that you do not stretch the cord.

3. To prevent future tangles:

Keep an eye on the movement of cord and try to avoid +1 twisting. When meta-loops begin to form within the cord, it shows that you start to follow your previous unconscious behavior.

Tips & Warnings:

You should not twist the cord in the wrong direction when you pick up and hang up the handset. These twists can uncoil the cord and result into tangles.

You can also go for a swivel jack for your handset to get rid of tangles.


  1. Long phone cords are more likely to be tangled. Even when you simply answer, it can cause enough movement to tangle the cord. If your phone cord tangles a lot and is longer than 4 feet, you should go for a shorter cord at an electronics store.


  1. Some phone cords are more likely to be tangled. Spiral cords tangles much often because the spiral in the cord can tangles on itself when you answer the phone.


  1. If you move back and forth while talking on the phone, the chances of tangles are more. This results from continuous stretching as you walk. Also, the direction of the cord is constantly changing. Due to the tangles, part of the cord closest to the receiver can wrap around the cord closer to the phone’s base.

Steps that you can follow to untangle the phone cord:

  • Detach the cord from the handset and let the cord falls. The cord will simply achieve its proper shape naturally.
  • If you still find the tangles in the cord, try to remove the tangles with your fingers. There is no need of any unnecessary stretching or twisting.
  • After you remove all the tangles, once again run your fingers along the cord’s length. This will reset the coils that are twisted in the wrong direction to prevent future tangles.
  • Just let the cord to regain its natural coils and plug the cord back into the handset.

You never desire your phone cord to be tangled. These tangled cords can make it difficult for you to talk on phone. So you need to remove the tangles at any cost. You also need to take care that the cord will not break while removing tangles. I am quite sure that now you get enough on how to untangle a phone cord. A flat phone cord can result into happy work at your desk.

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