Does Wireless Charging Work with a Case?

With wireless charging making its way into the new iPhones, there are undoubtedly a lot of questions floating around about how this technology works in practical application. The biggest question I’ve heard so far is: will it work with a case?

The short answer is simple: Yes. For the most part, wireless charging works fine with a case. Direct contact isn’t necessary to initiate charging, so having a few millimeters between your phone and the charger isn’t going to hurt anything.

That said, there are some other considerations before you wrap that new phone up in the bulkiest case you can find.

For starters, the bulkiest cases should still be okay, but I’d be wary—the thicker the case is, the more likely the charger just won’t be able to make contact. Things like Otterboxes should be okay, as companies should take things like charging into consideration when designing these products. Even the Defender series, which offer the most protection of any Otterbox, shouldn’t cause a problem. Theoretically, anyway.

There is, however, one type of case that will most definitely cause an issue: metal ones. We’ve all seen those super robust, beastly thick cases made of aluminum Those, while protective, are definitely going to break wireless charging. There’s a reason the newest iPhones dropped the aluminum shell for a solid glass back: wireless charging can’t conduct through aluminum.

In fact, that’s the exact reason why many Android manufacturers have dropped wireless charging in recent years—it just won’t work with premium materials like aluminum, and looks have taken precedence over practicality. Hopefully that will start to change now.

In addition, you’ll want to consider the charger itself. If you’re using a cheap, four dollar charger that you got from Wish, there’s a chance it may not be strong enough to penetrate the case. I’m not saying for certain that this will be an issue, but I am suggesting a bit of research for a good wireless charger is can’t hurt. Wireless charging has been around for several years now, and the prices of chargers has dropped dramatically since its introduction, so you should be able to get a solid, reliable, trustworthy charger that won’t break the bank.

So there you go. Wireless charging is a great technology, and I’m personally glad to see Apple adopt it in the newest iPhones. And as long as you do your due diligence when buying your case and charger, you should be fine. Enjoy.

Cameron Summerson is a die-hard Android fan, Chicago Bulls fanatic, metalhead, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at HTG, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, spinning legs on the bike, chugging away on the 6-string, or being disappointed in the Bulls.