How to Know If Your iPhone Is Fast Charging

Make sure you're using the right charger and cable

What to Know

  • iPhones do not have text or audio notifications for fast charging.
  • iPhone 8 and newer devices support fast charging.
  • You’ll need a USB-C to Lightning cable and 20W or higher power adapter to enable fast charge.

This article provides instructions for determining whether your iPhone is fast charging and choosing the right charger and cable to ensure it works every time.

Whether or not your iPhone supports fast charging, there are other ways to make your phone charge faster, such as putting it in Airplane mode or turning your phone off, so background apps don't run.

Does iPhone Have Fast Charging?

If you’ve purchased a new iPhone since 2017, the odds are that it supports fast charging. Unfortunately, while fast charging is a terrific way to get your iPhone back up to full battery power in as little time as possible, it’s not always clear whether it’s working or not.

Some iPhones have fast charging, but only certain models. For example, Apple introduced fast charging in 2017 with the iPhone 8, and every model released since then supports this functionality. However, things quickly get confusing when you consider that to date, the only iPhones that have been sold with fast chargers included are the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone Pro Max. 

Earlier models didn’t come with a fast charger, and the iPhone 12 line isn’t sold with any chargers at all! All of this is to say that even if you own an iPhone with fast charging capability, there’s a good chance you don’t have a charger capable of doing it.

How Do I Know If My Charger Is Fast Charging?

While there’s no official way to check if your charger is fast charging, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • iPhones are hard-coded to stop fast charging once the battery reaches 80%. Fast charge only kicks in when the capacity is between 0% and 79%.
  • You really don’t need an adapter stronger than 20W. iPhones can only handle a 20W charge, so a more powerful adapter doesn’t offer any real benefit. That said, it’s a good way to future-proof your charging needs if future iPhones demand a higher charge.
  • You can install a third-party app like Ampere, which measures incoming charging current and voltage. Of course, you’ll need to do some conversions to work out whether your charger is working properly, but it can help troubleshoot a faulty adapter or cable.

The two things you’ll need to fast charge your iPhone are a USB-C to Lightning cable and an 18-watt power adapter at minimum (iPhone 12 and up requires a 20W adapter). You can use any charger with enough power and a USB-C port — make sure it supports USB Power Delivery (USB-PD).

Once you have the right equipment, your iPhone should fast charge without issue. Since Apple doesn’t indicate if and when your iPhone is fast charging, you can use a third-party app to check. We'll use Ampere in the screenshots below.

Examples of the iPhone fast charging and regular charging.

How Do I Know If My iPhone 12 Is Fast Charging?

As previously mentioned, Apple’s controversial decision not to include a charger with iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max led to some confusion over how to charge these smartphones. While all iPhone 12 models include a USB-C to lightning cable, you’ll need to purchase a separate AC adapter that’s powerful enough to support fast charging.

You may be able to save some money on a charger if you already own a MacBook. All MacBook models released since 2015 use USB-C-compatible charging blocks, with most using Apple’s official 30W USB-C power adapter—more than enough to fast charge your iPhone!

How Do I Know If My iPhone Is Fast Charging on iOS 14?

You can't because iOS 14 provides no real indication an iPhone is fast charging. In addition, it’s unclear if or when Apple will provide iPhone users with fast charging notifications. But there is a way you can test out whether your iPhone is fast charging on iOS 14.

  1. Drain your iPhone's battery to 0%.

  2. Plug your iPhone into a compatible charger with a USB-C to Lightning cable.

  3. Set a timer. Apple claims it takes around 30 minutes to go from 0% to 50% battery with fast charge. 

  4. If it takes significantly longer than 30 minutes to charge your iPhone to 50% battery, it could indicate there’s a problem with your cable or charger.

  • How many amps are needed for fast charging an iPhone?

    Standard chargers carry 1 amp of current and put out 5 watts of power. Rapid chargers support 2 amps and 12 watts or more. You need a 20W or higher power adapter to fast charge an iPhone 12.

  • What should you do if your iPhone battery drains fast when charging?

    There are several causes of an iPhone battery draining fast. For instance, faulty apps, a poor network connection, or receiving notifications can all drain the battery. If you power off the iPhone, it can charge quickly without draining the battery.

  • How long does it take an iPhone to fast charge?

    You can fast charge an iPhone 8 and later up to 50% battery in around 30 minutes.

    However, it can take up to 3 1/2 hours to charge an iPhone to 100%.

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