If you’re using the charger that came with your iPhone or iPad, you’re getting “slow” charging speeds. You can buy a much faster charger. And, with iOS 11.2, there are now even several different speeds of wireless charging as well.
Slow: Use the Bundled Charger
Let’s start with the slow option: the included iPhone charger. You know, the little cube (pictured above) that came with your phone. It delivers 5 Watts of power, which will certainly charge your iPhone, but it’s one of the slowest ways you can do it.
The only way to charge your iPhone any slower would be to plug it into a computer’s USB port. The USB port on a computer will often charge at about 2.5W, half the speed of this charger.
You can do better than this.
Faster: Use an iPad Charger (iPhone 6 and Above)
Starting with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple has allowed iPhones to be charged with an iPad charger. A standard iPad charger you may have lying around—the bigger, curved cube (pictured above) provides 12 Watts of power. If you have a much older iPad charger, it may only provide 10 Watts. You can plug an iPhone into an iPad charger and it will charge faster. Apple officially supports this, and the iPhone won’t draw more power than it can handle.
This still isn’t the fastest method, but if you have an iPad charger laying around, this is a quick and easy way to get faster iPhone charging speeds without buying any additional hardware. Read the text printed on the charger itself if you want to determine whether it’s a 12W or 10W charger.
This tip works for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.
Fastest: Get a USB-C Charger (iPhone 8 and Above)
If you’re looking to get faster charging speeds and are willing to buy some new hardware, you can buy a USB-C charger and USB-C to Lightning cable to charge your iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X with super fast speeds. This also helps if you have an iPad Pro.
This will allow you to take advantage of the “fast charge” feature, which will recharge your iPhone to about 50% within just 30 minutes, according to Apple.
Apple sells its own 29W USB-C charger and cables, but you can buy third party ones as well. We found that Anker’s 30W USB-C charger paired with a Apple’s USB-C to Lightning cable is great—in fact, it’s less expensive than Apple’s and will charge your iPhone even faster. Apple’s cable offers better charging speed than third-party USB-C to Lightning cables, however.
The 61W and 87W USB-C power adapters included with modern MacBooks will also allow you to fast charge iPhones and iPads, but they’re more expensive to buy separately and won’t charge your iPhone or iPad any faster than the 29W charger. However, if you have a MacBook with a USB-C charger already, you can safely pair it with your iPhone or iPad Pro.
Wireless: Use Any Qi Wireless Charger (iPhone 8 and Above)
RELATED: How Does Wireless Charging Work?
If you have an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X, you can take advantage of wireless charging, too. Wireless charging is slower than the “fastest” wired charging mentioned above, however. That doesn’t mean it’s bad—if you’re just charging your phone at night, for example, the speed doesn’t really matter because it will be fully charged by the time you wake up.
Standard Qi wireless chargers will charge the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X at 5W.
Faster Wireless: Get a 7.5W Wireless Charger (iPhone 8 and Above)
With iOS 11.2, the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X can now charge at a faster 7.5W speed using certain Qi wireless chargers. The Mophie Wireless Charging Base and Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad that Apple sells support this faster speed. Look for wireless chargers that advertise support for 7.5W speeds to take advantage.
That means this method (7.5W) is faster than using the standard wired charging brick Apple includes (5W). But it’s still slower than using an iPad charger, and much slower than using a USB-C charger for fast charging. But again, for convenient charging at your bedside while you sleep, it’s pretty awesome.
Yes, it does seem silly that Apple doesn’t bundle faster charger with its high-end iPhones and iPads, which can cost over $1000. They really should. But in the meantime, it’s worth having that extra speed—so you might just have to shell out for the extra hardware.