How to Charge Your iPhone Faster When You Don’t Have Much Time

How to Charge Your iPhone Faster When You Don't Have Much Time

You look at your iPhone and realize it’s low on battery, and worse, you’re about to leave somewhere where you can’t charge your device. You could charge your phone quickly, but will it be enough to last? Possibly, if you maximize certain features.

Let’s take a look at several ways you can charge that battery fast enough to get through the next hour or so — or even more. A few methods are tried and true, such as turning on Airplane mode to reduce the power consumption associated with using a cellular network, and others are newer, such as using a wireless network. MagSafe charger.

These methods can also be mixed and matched, and hopefully they can at least give you enough power to get you through essential tasks.

If you have a fast charger, use it

The fastest way to charge your iPhone is with a fast charger: connect a 20W power adapter with a USB-C to Lightning cable. As long as you have a iPhone 8 or later, you can quickly charge your phone from a dead battery to about 50 percent battery in about 30 minutes. If you have an hour to spare, you can fully charge it. Even just 10 minutes of fast charging can boost your battery by double digits, so if you’re short on time, always opt for the fast charger.

read more: Best iPhone 13 fast chargers at the lowest prices we can find

Unfortunately, when you buy a new phone, Apple no longer supplies power adapters, just the cable, but you can buy Apple’s 20W power adapter from Apple and Amazon. According to Apple, you can also use other compatible fast-charging bricks, but you’ll need at least a 20W brick to quickly charge an iPhone 12 and newer.

Mkeke makes a 20W charger for under $9.


A wireless MagSafe charger is a good idea if you don’t have a fast charger

The second fastest way to charge your iPhone is with Apple’s MagSafe charger and a 20W power adapter, but for this to work you’ll need an iPhone 12 or an iPhone 13 for faster wireless charging with 15 W. If your iPhone is dead, you should have about 30% battery in about 30 minutes of wireless charging.

However, this doesn’t mean you can use any industry standard Qi wireless charger for fast charging. While the MagSafe charger supports 15W, a Qi charger only gives you 7.5W – which is much slower than a MagSafe and only slightly faster than the traditional 5W wall charger. Note that magnetic wireless chargers that are not MagSafe certified will also charge at the lower speed of 7.5W.

A MagSafe charger on a phone in a person's hand

The MagSafe charger can be fast, but only in certain scenarios.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Do not use a laptop or desktop computer

Your laptop is a very convenient way to charge your iPhone, especially if you spend most of the day in front of a computer and want to keep a close eye on incoming text messages and notifications. Unfortunately, your computer always charges your phone slower than any wall charger or wireless charger.

Your computer’s USB port, whether it’s a larger and older USB-A or the newer, smaller USB-C, can’t provide the same amount of power as a wall outlet, even a 5W power adapter. And that’s especially true if you have an older computer with a faulty USB port or an incompatible charging cable, both of which can slow down the charging process even more.

And don’t use your iPhone while it’s charging

This goes without saying, but if you want your iPhone to charge as quickly as possible, try to stay away from it as much as possible. Streaming videos or playing mobile games while charging your iPhone will charge the battery much more slowly, so leave it untouched if possible.

For better results, turn off your phone while charging

Even if your screen is off, your phone is still running in the background, apps are constantly refreshed, notifications sent, and your screen turned on — all of this wastes battery. If you want your iPhone to charge faster, it’s best to turn it off.

You can also put it on airplane mode while it’s charging

If you don’t want to turn off your iPhone, but still want it to charge faster, you can enable Airplane Mode, which disables all wireless transmission features like cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth — all of which consume power. When they are off, your iPhone can charge faster. And this way, you can also quickly disable Airplane Mode to quickly check a text message or phone call you might be waiting for.

Use power saving mode, dark mode and lower your brightness

You know all those tips that help you save battery in the first place? You can use the same features and settings to charge your iPhone faster if you don’t plan to turn it off.

  • Energy saving mode. Enable it to reduce or affect battery-consuming features like 5G, screen brightness, auto-lock, background app refresh, automatic downloads, and more.
  • dark mode: The jury is still out on how much dark mode actually saves battery life, but there’s no harm in turning it on while you charge your iPhone, especially when every percent matters.
  • Lower the brightness of your screen: The brighter your screen, the faster your battery will drain, so turn it all the way down while it charges.
Low Battery Mode on iPhone

Apple’s power saving mode helps extend iPhone battery life.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Disabling the Optimized Battery Charging Feature

Apple has a built-in tool that helps prevent your iPhone’s battery from deteriorating so quickly, but this same feature also causes your device to charge more slowly. While the feature usually only slows down your iPhone during long charging periods, and usually at night, it may still be worth turning off when you’re charging your phone. Go to Settings > Battery > Battery status and switch off Optimized battery charging to disable this feature.

Maybe it’s time for a new battery

On the same settings page where you can disable optimized battery charging, you can also view your battery health. If you see a message such as “The battery is significantly affected”, you should consider making an appointment with Apple to replace your battery. A broken battery doesn’t hold charge as well, so it drains faster. A new battery improves the overall battery life.