How to Make Your Phone Charge Faster

Small tweaks will cut down on charging time significantly

We've all faced the dreaded low or dead battery situation with our smartphones, usually when we need to leave the house in 15 minutes. Luckily, it's possible to save the day with some tips and tricks to get your phone juiced up a little more quickly. Here's how to make your phone charge faster when you're in a hurry.

These battery-charging tips and tricks apply to most iPhones and Android smartphones.

A hand holds a phone with a dead battery in a car
 Getty Images

Put the Device Into Airplane Mode When Charging

One of the biggest battery-draining culprits is your network, including cellular, Bluetooth, radio, and Wi-Fi services. Even if you aren't actively using these services, they continue to run in the background, draining your phone's power.

While you're charging your phone, these services still soak up some of your battery's power, resulting in a longer charging time.

To help your phone charge faster, enable Airplane Mode to halt all network services. Turning on Airplane Mode may even reduce charging time by up to 25 percent.

Remember, however, that when your phone is in Airplane mode, you can't make or receive calls or use the internet, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi

iPhone with Airplane Mode enabled

Power Down Your Phone Before Charging

When you start charging an active device, background programs might still be running. For example, a Wi-Fi connection, incoming calls, messages, music, and apps will continue to drain the battery, preventing the phone from reaching a full charge and slowing down the charging session.

When you shut down your phone completely, all background programs stop, allowing your battery to charge faster.

Phones Charging
Muriel de Seze / Digital Vision / Getty Images

The only downside with this trick is that you won't be able to see your battery percentage as the device charges.

Charge With a Wall Socket

We're often on-the-go, and it's convenient to charge our phones in cars or through laptops. But charging phones in a car or on a computer is actually much less efficient than charging via a wall socket. Cars and computers give a power output of .5 amps, while wall sockets are capable of charging at 1 amp.

For optimum charging speed, plan ahead and try to charge your phone with a wall socket at home.

Midsection of woman plugging mobile phone charger on wall at home
Maskot / Getty Images

Some vehicle manufacturers are starting to install higher-powered charging capacity, but this isn't yet the norm.

Use a Power Bank

If you're on-the-go a lot and have trouble accessing wall sockets, consider a mobile power pack or portable charger, also called a power bank. These devices often provide wall socket-level charging capacity, so you'll be able to charge your phone more quickly away from home.

Powerbank charging smartphone near a computer

While power banks offer fast charging, make sure your USB cable is strong enough to handle all that power. If it isn't strong enough, it could lead to a fused cable.

Charge With a Quality Cable

The higher amps a cable can carry, the better the charging speed. If you're using a third-party cable or a lower-quality standard cable, you may not be charging as quickly as possible. The two wires inside the cable determine how fast your phone charges. A standard 28-gauge cable can carry about 0.5 amps, while a higher-quality 24-gauge cable can carry 2 amps.

If you think your default USB cable isn't charging fast enough, get a new, 24-gauge cable. It might be more expensive, but the benefits may outweigh the costs.

broken iphone cable
dominicotine / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Don't Use Your Phone While Charging

If you use your phone while it's charging, even though the device is connected to a power source, you're tapping the battery's resources, slowing down the charging time significantly. Leave your phone alone while it's charging, or better yet, power it down completely, as mentioned above.

Explore Fast-Charging Options for Your Device

If your smartphone supports it, explore available USB-C chargers that can significantly speed up your charging time. For iPhones, instead of using the 5W charger that came with the device, use a 12W or 18W charger instead, if you're willing to spend a little more. Also, a device like the RavPower Ultrathin charger has an output of 45W, which will make your iOS or Android phone get back to full capacity in no time.