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How to Make Your Phone Charge Faster: 14 Tips from Tech Pros

Updated: Jun. 12, 2024

Low battery? Boost your charging speed and learn how to charge your phone fast with these expert-approved tips.

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Quick-charging tips

You’re getting ready to head out for the day, but as you reach for your phone, the battery icon spells disaster. You forgot to charge it, and the percentage is already in the single digits. With the remaining time you have left, you plug it into a charger, but waiting is agonizing—and you have places to be. Surely, you can learn how to make your phone charge faster. Good news: There’s a tech tip for everything.

Today’s phones are packed with more resource-intensive apps and services than ever, which means that maximizing your phone’s charging speed and battery life is important. So we spoke to two tech experts for their top charging tips—from closing apps and choosing the right outlet to toggling off certain settings. Ahead, you’ll find the best suggestions to boost your phone’s battery (stat) and make the most of every charge.

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About the experts

  • Manny Garcia is the product manager at tech and mobile accessories brand Satechi, which makes a range of charging accessories for iPhones and Androids. Before joining Satechi, he spent more than four years troubleshooting consumer tech issues at the Apple Genius Bar. He is an Apple-certified Macintosh technician and an Apple-certified support professional.
  • Burton Kelso is a tech expert and entrepreneur with a long list of accolades. He is the owner of the computer-repair and IT-services company Integral, as well as a TEDx keynote speaker, and he regularly appears on TV as a consumer-products expert.

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Switch your phone into airplane mode

A good first step on your mission to make your phone charge faster is to switch it to airplane mode, which disables Wi-Fi, cellular and Bluetooth. This will keep the battery from draining as quickly and focus the power on charging. You won’t be able to get texts or search online, but you’ll save power because your phone won’t be constantly searching for connections. (Remember to turn off airplane mode once your phone is charged so you don’t miss important calls or messages.)

yellow low battery mode iphone battery icon on a green background
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Turn it to low power mode

Instead of switching over to airplane mode, consider putting your phone in low power mode on iPhone (called “Battery Saver” mode or “Power Saving Mode” on Android), which will reduce the amount of power your phone takes to run by disabling battery-sucking features, including scanning for email and Wi-Fi, using background apps and automatically downloading app updates. This differs from airplane mode in that you can still receive texts and calls and access internet services. You can find it in your phone under Settings > Battery.

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Turn it off entirely

It probably goes without saying that you should try to resist the temptation to use your phone at all while it’s charging, as that will divert power away from the battery. But if you really want to boost charging speed, turn your phone all the way off. With your phone not drawing any power to run, it will charge even faster.

iphone message app with red x icon
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Close apps you’re not using

You may not realize it, but the apps on your phone can drain your battery even when you’re not using them. They may be running in the background and sending you updates and notifications, all of which will cause your phone to heat up and use more power. To close the apps on your phone properly, follow these directions.

On iPhone:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen, and pause around the middle with your finger still in contact with the screen. This will bring up a stack of tabs with all the apps that are currently running or have recently been used. If you have an iPhone 8 or earlier, double-click the home button instead.
  2. Swipe left and right to navigate to the apps you want to close.
  3. Swipe up on the app’s preview to close the app.

On Android (exact steps may vary depending on your phone’s manufacturer):

  1. At the bottom of your home screen, tap the icon to the left or right of the virtual Home button (in the middle). The one you choose will vary depending on which Android phone you have.
  2. This should bring up smaller thumbnail images of open apps, like cards, which you can see by swiping left or right.
  3. Swipe up on each one to close it. Or you may also see a “Close all” option to tap.

If this doesn’t work for you, go to Settings, and tap Apps or Applications. Tap on the app you want to close. Tap on “Force Stop,” and confirm by clicking OK.

screenshot of turning off battery optimization on iphone
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Turn off optimized battery charging

Both iPhones and Androids have a setting called optimized charging that, if turned on, will only charge your phone to 80% if you happen to be charging it during a time you would normally be using it. While this apparently stops the battery from aging, it will also stop you from getting a full charge in the middle of the day. To turn this off, go to Settings > Battery. Then simply toggle off “Optimized Battery Charging” (iPhone) or “Battery protection” (Android).

In some regions, you might find “Clean Energy Charging” in the same place on iPhones. This feature will selectively charge your phone when lower carbon emission electricity is available, so that could slow down charging as well.

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Plug it into a wall socket

Charging your phone in the car or using the USB port of your computer may be convenient when you’re working remotely or on school pick-up duties, but a wall outlet will usually charge your phone fastest. “Connecting to a wall socket will allow the phone to charge at faster speeds compared to connecting to a host device that supports low power output via the USB or USB-C ports,” says consumer tech expert Manny Garcia. However, this is not always the case when connecting to a Mac, he adds, as Macs that come with Thunderbolt USB-C ports can provide a charge of up to 15 watts of max power.

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Use a powerful adapter

It can also be helpful to have a high-power adapter that works faster than the charger that came with your phone. Just find an outlet, plug in the adapter and connect it to your phone. No matter which fast charger you purchase, keep in mind that the phone will not necessarily charge at the wattage your power adapter supports. “Upon connection, the phone will create a handshake with the charger, and if the phone only supports 30 watts of charging but is connected to a 100-watt power adapter, then the device will only allow the 30-watt max,” explains Garcia.

If you have an iPhone, you can plug it directly into the high-power Apple 12-watt and 10-watt USB power adapters, according to Apple. Connect your device to the power adapter with the USB to Lightning cable or 30-pin to USB cable. “If you have an Android tablet or laptop, you can also use [their] USB charging ports to charge your Android phone,” says consumer tech expert Burton Kelso. “It’s a perfect situation that means you don’t have to haul around cords for every device.”

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Keep your phone out of extreme weather

Extreme heat and cold can damage your battery capacity and cause your phone to work, and charge, more slowly. Your phone’s interior and exterior will heat up rapidly when charging, and your phone’s software may limit or stop charging altogether when it gets hotter than the recommended temperature. There are various things you can do to cool down an overheating phone, but moving it out of the sun is a good start. Your battery will also drain much more quickly if your phone is too cold. You’ll know this if you’ve ever left it in your car’s glove compartment on a freezing day. If you’re outside in cold weather, keep your phone nice and snug in a pocket close to your body and the battery will last much longer.

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Take your phone out of the case

It stands to reason that if your phone charges more slowly when it’s hot, it will charge faster when you take it out of its case. Charging your device when it’s inside certain styles of cases may generate excess heat, which can affect battery capacity and charging speeds. Since taking your phone in and out of its case is pretty inconvenient when you’re in a pinch, look for a case that is designed for heat dissipation and has proper ventilation. If you are constantly wondering why your phone is so slow, consider that it might be the case.

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Clean out your charging port

The problem may not be with the battery itself—you might just have a dirty charging port. Over time, lint and dust can accumulate in your USB-C port (that hole where you plug your charger into your phone) and clog it. On iPhone 14 and older models, it’s called the Lightning port. While there are tips for how to clean your iPhone’s charging port, Garcia does not recommend trying this at home. He says these ports are easily damaged, costly to replace and are not typically covered by any warranty, so it’s better to see a professional. You have been warned!

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Get a powerful wireless charger

Although wired charging is usually faster, a wireless charger with high wattage can offer a quick and convenient juice boost without the need for cables. Garcia recommends using a MagSafe (for iOS) or Qi2 certified (for Android) wireless charger to ensure your phone will wirelessly charge at its maximum capacity. “Wireless charging brings other benefits, such as reduced wear and tear to smartphone charging ports,” says Kelso. “It’s also safer than using a plug-in charger because it eliminates electrical hazards.”

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Use a USB-C to Lightning cable

Own an iPhone 14 or older? Consider picking up Apple’s USB-C to Lightning cable, which promises to charge your battery up to 50% of capacity in only 30 minutes. It’s compatible with Apple 18W, 29W, 30W, 61W or 87W USB-C power adapters. For Android, it’s best to use the cable your phone came with or a certified alternative. “Sometimes when using uncertified cables, the voltage and amperage the cable is outputting is not regulated, which can cause damage to the battery or circuit board,” warns Garcia.

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Invest in a charging case

If you use your phone a lot and you’re always running out of power, a charging case could be a good solution. Some models, such as the Apple Smart Battery Case, can extend your battery’s life by up to 50%. They come in a range of prices and designs, including those made of robust protective materials for people who like to take their phones on adventures.

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Buy a powerful portable charger

Charging phone cases are designed to be as small and sleek as possible, but if size and weight aren’t an issue, you’ll get a faster charge from a portable charger, also known as a power bank. Just plug your phone into your external battery and sling it in your purse or backpack—no downtime required. A large-capacity power bank will also last you for several charges.

Be careful if you’re flying, though. According to the TSA’s current rules, passengers are permitted to carry only two external batteries with a combined capacity of 27,000 mAh (milliamps) on flights, and they must be in your carry-on luggage.

Additional reporting by Crystal Wilde.

Why trust us

Reader’s Digest has published hundreds of articles on personal technology, arming readers with the knowledge to protect themselves against cybersecurity threats and internet scams as well as revealing the best tips, tricks and shortcuts for computers, cellphones, apps, texting, social media and more. For this piece on how to charge your phone faster, Jen McCaffery tapped her experience as a longtime reporter covering innovations in technology, health and science. Then Marc Saltzman, a tech expert, journalist and author who has reported on the tech industry for three decades and hosts the podcast Tech It Out, gave it a rigorous review to ensure that all information is accurate and offers the best possible advice to readers. We rely on credentialed experts with personal experience and know-how as well as primary sources including tech companies, professional organizations and academic institutions. We verify all facts and data and revisit them over time to ensure they remain accurate and up to date. Read more about our team, our contributors and our editorial policies.


  • Manny Garcia, product manager at tech and mobile accessories brand Satechi; email interview, May 2024
  • Burton Kelso, tech expert and entrepreneur; email interview, May 2024
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