Person plugging the Anker New Nylon USB-C cable into a phone
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

In general, you should use the cable provided with the phone. If one was not included, stick with cables made for your specific phone. You can use apps to measure the voltage to see if fast charging is working.
Fast charging is a relatively recent addition to smartphones that has become common. Some devices can be charged from 0-100 in less than an hour. It’s pretty awesome, but it doesn’t work with just any old USB-C cable.

A typical USB port sends around 2.5W of power to the connected device. Fast charging bumps this up to 15W on the low end, while some go all the way up to 100W. If you want to take advantage of these faster charging speeds, you’ll need to make sure you have compatible accessories.

It’s Not Just the Cable

First, we need to point out that the USB-C cable is only one part of the fast charging equation. The AC adapter—or “charging brick”—also needs to support fast charging. A fast-charging compatible cable won’t charge your device faster than if you’re using a standard AC adapter.

If your phone supports one of the several fast charging standards, it probably came with an AC adapter and cable that enables it. If not, you can check which fast charging standard your device supports and find compatible accessories. Check out our guide to the best phone chargers for a variety of options.

The Best Phone Chargers of 2023

TECKNET 65W Three-Port Charger
Best Overall Charger
TECKNET 65W Three-Port Charger
Apple 20W Power Adapter
Best iPhone/iPad Charger
Apple 20W Power Adapter
Amazon Basics 100W Four-Port GaN Wall Charger
Best Wall Charger
Amazon Basics 100W Four-Port GaN Wall Charger
Anker PowerWave 10W Qi-Certified Charger
Best Wireless Charger
Anker PowerWave 10W Qi-Certified Charger
AINOPE Dual USB-C and USB-A
Best Car Charger
AINOPE Dual USB-C and USB-A
Techsmarter 11-Port Charging Station
Best Charging Station
Techsmarter 11-Port Charging Station

Is My Cable a Fast Charging Cable?

There are a couple of things you can do to check if your existing cables support fast charging. First, you should start by checking the packaging of your phone or find the listing online and see what it says is included in the box.

If your phone came with a fast-charging USB-C cable, the specs of the cable will be listed on the box or online. Sometimes it will simply say “Fast Charging.” Other terms to look for are “Adaptive Fast Charging,” “Quick Charge,” and “USB PD” or “USB Power Delivery.”

Another easy thing to check is the thickness of the cable. Fast-charging cables tend to be a bit thicker than regular cables, but this isn’t always super noticeable.

RELATED: USB Type-C Explained: What is USB-C and Why You'll Want it

If you know the AC adapter supports fast charging, you can use your phone to make sure the cable is fast charging too. iPhone and Android can use an app called Ampere to see a real-time measurement of voltage. Look for 5V, 9V, 12V, or higher. Some Android phones will also put “Fast Charging” on the lock screen (shown below).

Fast charging message.

Sadly, most USB-C cables don’t have fast charging labels on the cable itself. However, you may see one that has a lightning bolt icon or initials for “Quick Charge.”

In general, it’s a good rule of thumb to stick with USB-C cables and adapters that are made specifically for your phone. In most cases, that will ensure you’re getting the fastest speeds possible. Not all USB-C cables are created equal, so be careful with what you use. Take a look at our guide to the best USB-C cables for shopping advice.

The Best USB-C Cables of 2023

Anker New Nylon USB-C to USB-C Cable
Best USB-C Cable
Anker New Nylon USB-C to USB-C Cable
Amazon Basics USB-C to USB-A Cable
Best Budget USB-C Cable
Amazon Basics USB-C to USB-A Cable
Grtoeud USB-C to USB-C Cable
Best Long USB-C Cable
Grtoeud USB-C to USB-C Cable
Anker Powerline III USB-C to USB-C Cable
Best Short USB-C Cable
Anker Powerline III USB-C to USB-C Cable
Anker New Nylon USB-C to Lightning Cable
Best Lightning to USB-C Cable
Anker New Nylon USB-C to Lightning Cable
Uni USB-C to HDMI Cable
Best HDMI to USB-C Cable
Uni USB-C to HDMI Cable
Cable Matters Premium Braided Aluminum USB-C to 3.5mm Aux Cable
Best AUX to USB-C Cable
Cable Matters Premium Braided Aluminum USB-C to 3.5mm Aux Cable
Spigen DuraSync 3 in 1 Universal Charger Cable
Best 3-in-1 Cable
Spigen DuraSync 3 in 1 Universal Charger Cable
Belkin Thunderbolt 4 Cable
Best Thunderbolt 4 to USB-C Cable
Belkin Thunderbolt 4 Cable
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Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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