CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Is Your iPhone Charging Too Slowly? Try These 9 Tips

If your iPhone is charging slower than you think it should, here's how you can speed things up.

Nelson Aguilar
Nelson Aguilar is an LA-based tech how-to writer and graduate of UCLA. With more than a decade of experience, he covers Apple and Google and writes on iPhone and Android features, privacy and security settings and more.
Nelson Aguilar
5 min read
Wireless charging on iPhone 12

Make sure you have a USB-C charger if you want the fastest charging speeds.

CNET Tech Tips logo

If you're someone who likes to top up your battery throughout the day, you may never notice much of a difference in charging speed when plugging in your phone. Those who run their iPhones down to the last few percent, or who need to juice up as fast as possible may see charging speeds vary at times. 

Charging efficiency isn't just about the way you charge your phone -- wired or wirelessly -- you want to keep an eye on multiple things that could be affecting how fast or slow your iPhone is getting powered up.

In the guide below, we'll let you in on some do's and don'ts for charging your iPhone to make sure you're getting the most power and it's being delivered in the fastest manner. Looking for more charging power? Check out the best power banks for the iPhone in 2024, and if you're still rocking an iPhone with a Lighting port, here are some of the cheapest fast chargers you can find. 

Avoid an Overheated Phone This Summer With These Tips

See all photos

1. Upgrade your old charger

The quickest way to charge your iPhone is with a fast charger: at least a 20-watt power adapter with a USB-C to Lightning, or USB-C to USB-C cable for iPhone 15 models. As long as you own an iPhone 8 or later, you can fast-charge your phone from dead back up to around 50% battery in about 30 minutes. If you have an hour to spare, you can fully charge it. Even just 10 minutes of fast charging can boost your battery by double digits, so if you're short on time, always go for the fast charger option

Apple no longer provides power adapters when you buy a new phone, only the cable, but you can purchase Apple's 20-watt power adapter from Apple and Amazon. According to Apple, you can also use other compatible fast-charging power bricks, but you'll need at least a 20-watt brick to fast-charge an iPhone 12 and later.

Mkeke USB-C charger

Mkeke makes a 20-watt charger .


2. Wirelessly charge the fastest way with this

The second-fastest way to charge your iPhone is with Apple's MagSafe charger and a 20-watt power adapter, but for this to work you must own either an iPhone 12 or later to get the faster 15-watt wireless charging. If your iPhone is dead, you should get to around 30% battery in about 30 minutes of wireless charging.

This doesn't mean you can use any Qi wireless charger (the industry standard) for fast charging. While the MagSafe charger supports 15 watts, a Qi charger only gives you up to 7.5 watts, which is much slower than a MagSafe and only slightly faster than the traditional 5-watt wall charger. Be aware that magnetic wireless chargers that aren't MagSafe-certified will also charge at the slower 7.5-watt speed.

A MagSafe Charger on a phone in a person's hand

The MagSafe charger can be fast, but only in certain scenarios.

Patrick Holland/CNET

3. Stop using your computer to charge your iPhone

Your laptop might seem like a convenient way to charge your iPhone, especially if you spend most of your day in front of a computer and want to keep a close eye on any incoming text messages and notifications. Unfortunately, your computer will always charge your phone slower than any wall charger or wireless charger.

Your computer's USB port, whether it's a bigger and older USB-A or the newer, smaller USB-C, cannot deliver the same amount of power as any wall outlet can, even a 5-watt power adapter. That's especially true if you have an older computer with a faulty USB port or an incompatible charging cable, both of which can slow down the charging process further. 

MacBook Air M2 2022 laptop

Using a MacBook might seem like an easy way to charge your iPhone, but it's slower than any wall charger.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

4. Also, keep your hands off your iPhone when it's charging

If you want your iPhone to charge as quickly as possible, try to stay off of it as much as possible. If you're streaming videos or playing mobile games while charging your iPhone, the battery will charge much slower, so just leave it untouched if you can

5. One easy way to speed up your battery charge

Even if your screen is sleeping, your phone is still working in the background. If you want your iPhone to charge quickly, the best thing to do is to turn it off.

Note that plugging in an iPhone that's turned off will sometimes power it back on, so plug it in or place it on a wireless charger first, then power it down.

6. If you don't want to turn off your iPhone, switch to airplane mode

If you don't want to turn off your iPhone but still want to help it charge faster, you can turn on airplane mode, which disables all wireless transmission functions like cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, all of which consume power. If they're off, your iPhone can charge quicker. This way, you can also quickly turn airplane mode off to quickly check on any text messages or phone calls you might be waiting on.

Airplane Mode on the iPhone

Airplane mode will stop notifications from coming in but will preserve battery while you're charging your iPhone.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

7.Tweak these iPhone settings to charge your battery faster

Do you know all of those tips that help you preserve your battery in the first place? You can use those same features and settings to help your iPhone charge faster if you don't plan on turning it off.

  • Low power mode: Turn it on to reduce or affect battery-consuming features like 5G, display brightness, auto-lock, background app refresh and automatic downloads.
  • Dark mode: The jury is out on exactly how much dark mode actually saves battery life, but turning it on while you're charging your iPhone doesn't hurt, especially if every percent matters.
  • Lower your screen brightness: One of the most power-hungry pieces of any gadget that has one is its display. The brighter your screen, the quicker your battery drains, so turn it all the way down while it charges.
Low Battery Mode on the iPhone

Apple's low power mode helps conserve iPhone battery life. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

8. Optimized Battery Charging may be slowing down the charge rate

Apple has a built-in tool that helps prevent your iPhone battery from degrading as fast, but this same feature also makes your device charge slower. While the feature typically only slows down your iPhone during long periods of charging, and usually overnight, it still might be worth disabling when you're charging your phone. Go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health and toggle off Optimized Battery Charging to disable this feature.

9. You might just need a new iPhone battery

In the same settings page where you can disable optimized battery charging, you can also check out your battery's health. If you see a message, like "Your battery's health is significantly degraded," you should look into making an appointment with Apple to replace your battery. A degraded battery doesn't hold charge as well, so it'll drain more quickly. A new battery will improve your overall battery life.

You can check out how much it will approximately cost to replace your battery on Apple's iPhone Battery Service website. The price depends on your service coverage and the make and model: for the iPhone 15 series, the estimate is $99.

Battery Health setting on the iPhone

Go to Settings > Battery to check out your battery health.

Victor DiCarlo/CNET

For more tips, check out 23 more iPhone tips and tricks you should know and how to get more space when your iPhone's storage is running low.