How to quickly charge your iPhone

The iPhone's battery life is pretty decent, especially in the iPhone 7, but to get to 100% can often take just a bit too long. Fast charging isn't available for any iPhone model yet, but there are some things you can do to speed up the charging process.

The science behind charging your devices

How exactly does charging work on your iPad? Let's break it down.

  • Watt (W): Total power and capacity of either a battery or an adapter.
  • Amps (A): The current at which power can flow between a charger and a battery.
  • Voltage (V): The amount of power being pushed from an adapter.

When you charge an iPhone, iPad, or computer, you're resupplying its battery (measured in watt-hours) from a power source like a wall outlet, usually via an adapter. That adapter controls how much power you can get (volts) from that outlet, and the speed at which you get it (amps). Those two factors multiplied result in the adapter's total available power.

So how can you tell which adapter is best for your device? It's not about total watts — it's all about the amps and voltage. Modern iPhones and iPads support charging up to a current of 2.4A at 5V, while older devices charge around 1A at 5V. To get the best adapter for your device, you want one that charges at the appropriate amps (1-2.4A) while supplying the right amount of voltage.

Can I short-circuit my device with the wrong adapter? In short, no. Modern devices are built to only accept specific amp levels, so even if you plug your iPad into something like Apple's USB-C MacBook Pro adapter, you'll only get the bare minimum the adapter supports (which, in this case, is the 12V/2.4A charging spec).

What do you need to charge your iPhone more quickly?

An iPad adapter!

Apple 12W iPad adapter

The adapter that comes with your iPhone is a 5W adapter, which charges your iPhone with 5V at 1A. The iPhone 6 and later can actually accept up to 2.1A. The 12W iPad adapter charges with 5V at up to 2.4A, so it effectively doubles the current of the standard iPhone charging adapter.

This is the best option for more speedily charging your iPhone.

See at Apple

Best tips to charge your iPhone more quickly

If you don't want to shell out for an adapter or the 12W adapter still isn't enough for you, try these.

Put it to sleep

This may seem pretty obvious, but an iPhone in use with ultimately charge more slowly than an iPhone that's asleep. If you're trying to charge quickly, you best bet it to turn off the screen, lay your iPhone down, and forget about it for a bit. This way the battery isn't keeping the screen on while it's also trying to juice up.

Turn on Airplane Mode

Disabling connections to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data is a great way to charge your iPhone a little more quickly. Letting the radios go to sleep is a great way to take some strain off your battery.

Turn it off

Background apps, radio antennae, the works. If you turn your iPhone off, it all goes to sleep and then some. This'll help your iPhone charge much more quickly than when in use or still receiving text after text. Don't need it for a bit? Just turn it off.

If you have to use it, take it easy

If you really have to use your iPhone while you charge it, then turning off unnecessary connections, closing unnecessary apps, or even switching to power saving mode will all help it charge more quickly than if you were using it at full tilt. Also try turning down the screen brightness and disabling Background App Refresh and Location Services. Every little bit helps.

Don't use your computer

It's pointless to try and charge anything with a computer, since USB ports only output 0.5A. If you're using your iPhone, you might even be using up the battery faster than it can stay charged.

Any other tips?

Let us know in the comments below!

Serenity Caldwell

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.