Fastest and slowest ways to charge your iPhone

Fastest way to charge your iPhone? With an iPad charger. Slowest way to charge your iPhone? Connected to your laptop. Special case? Apple 30W adapter.

Fast and slow iPhone chargers

Generally speaking, the fastest way to charge your iPhone is via an iPad charger. Yes, an iPad charger. iPad chargers are 12 watts, while the iPhone charger is only 5 watts. More watts translates to less charging time. By the way, a USB port on your Mac is 2.5 watts, so charging your iPhone by plugging it into your Mac is really a bad idea. It’s convenient, but it just takes too long.

UPDATE: the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max come with 18 watt chargers in the box.

The bad news: iPhones don’t come with iPad chargers. The good news: you can get an iPad charger at Amazon (or at an Apple Store). Get the genuine Apple one.

iPad Charger, folded
iPad Charger, USB port
iPad Charger, plug detail

Strictly speaking, there’s an even faster way to charge your iPhone, but only if your iPhone is an iPhone 8, or an 8 plus, or an X, or an Xr, or an Xs, or an Xs Max, or an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max. If you have one of those iPhones you can use the Apple 30W USB-C power adapter. You’ll also need a USB-C to Lightning cable. Bonus: you can use the 30W USB-C charger with a lot of iPads too. See the product page for more details. Order it straight from Apple’s site via those links.

Author: Christian Boyce

Christian Boyce is a Mac and iPhone expert specializing in teaching people how to use Apple devices better, to get more done with them, and to have more fun doing it. He bought his first Mac (a Mac Plus) in 1986 and his first iPhone in 2007. He's written books and magazine articles, and given seminars at Macworld Expo, MacFair/LA, and the California Computer Expo. Over 30 years in the business.

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