Reduce the time it takes to charge your device

This quick and simple tip will help you charge your Android, BlackBerry, iOS, or Windows Phone device faster.

Dan Graziano Associate Editor / How To
Dan Graziano is an associate editor for CNET. His work has appeared on BGR, Fox News, Fox Business, and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn't tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.
Dan Graziano
2 min read

Josh Miller/CNET

We have all been there, it's 9 p.m. and you're suppose to meet a friend in a half hour. To make matters even worse, the battery on your smartphone is in the red. Surely you don't have enough time to charge your device without being late? Wrong.

Before you connect your phone to the charger, close any open apps and enable Airplane mode. This will turn off all of the wireless radios in your device, preventing you from making calls, accessing the Web, or using the GPS. The trade-off? Your device will be able to charge slightly faster because background processes will no longer be eating away at your phone's battery.

The same charging benefits can also be achieved by powering the phone completely down, although this isn't an ideal solution for those of us who rely on the clock or alarm features. While charging times won't be earth-shattering (improving by only a few minutes), every second counts when you are in a rush. It should be noted that charging times will vary depending on the size of your battery, its health, and how powerful the charger is that you are using.

Remember, the backlight and display require a significant amount of power. There's no need to keep checking the charging progress of your device. Let your phone charge and grab it when you are ready to leave.

Watch this: Use Airplane mode to charge your device faster

We saw a charging time that was 4 minutes faster when using Airplane mode in our video test. In an earlier test, however, Airplane mode delivered a charging time that was 11 minutes faster when charging to 50%. We kept the screen and backlight enabled for battery monitoring purposes. This was likely the reason behind the slower charging speeds that were shown on camera, compared to those from the earlier test.

As I mentioned above, enabling Airplane mode can be great when you are in a rush and every second counts. It's not for everyone, though, since you won't be able to use the Internet (unless you enable Wi-Fi, which kind of defeats the purpose), or receive calls and text messages.