How to Charge iPhone Wirelessly, without a Charger & More

It can be confusing to figure out how to best charge your phone, between the new iPhone cable, different iPhone wireless charger options, and various iPhone charger and adapter combos. This article will cover all that and more.

What's in This Article?

How to Charge Your Phone without a Charger

The real answer to how to charge a phone without a charger is that you can’t. There are many ways to charge an iPhone, but all of them require a power supply and either a cable or, if your iPhone is MagSafe compatible, a wireless pad.

However, you can use non-traditional methods like solar chargers or even hand-crank chargers, as long as you have compatible cables for your particular phone. You can also use a power bank, laptop, and even an iPad. I’ll cover the best ways to charge your iPhone in this article. If you use one of these methods and are unsure if your device is properly charging, learn how to check and fix your iPhone not charging

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Best Way to Charge iPhone: Wall Charger

The fastest way to charge your iPhone is to plug it into a wall charger, but the adapter you use makes a difference. If you have an iPhone 12 or newer, you will need at least a 20W power adapter to achieve the fastest charge. For iPhone 8 to iPhone 11, you’ll need at least 18 watts.

Do charging cables make a difference? Yes! Longer cables take longer to charge your phone, but length isn't the only factor. Using the USB-C to Lightning cable that initially comes with your iPhone is your best bet. However, there is no Apple super-fast charger that will miraculously charge your phone at impossible speeds.

If you experience your iPhone charger cable not working, check your phone's charging port for any visible obstructions and the cable for damage. If you need a new cable, you can buy one directly from Apple or get a third-party one. Do your research because a good cable can save you up to 300 hours of charging time in a year. Plus, if you get the wrong cable, you may see your iPhone saying “charger not supported” when you plug it in.

Related: How to Maintain iPhone Battery Life

Which iPhones Have Wireless Charging?

I'm sure you've wondered, "Do wireless chargers work with iPhone 7, X, 12, etc.?" Officially, only iPhone 8 or newer models offer built-in wireless charging when using compatible Qi-certified charging accessories. iPhone 12 and newer are compatible with MagSafe chargers. You can find compatible iPhone charging pads on Apple's website and third-party websites.

How does wireless charging work on iPhone 7 and older phones? For an older iPhone to charge wirelessly, you'll need a wireless charging case or adapter that plugs into your iPhone's port and is compatible with various wireless chargers. It may be challenging to find a compatible device for an older iPhone, and it won't be faster than charging via a wall charger.

So do wireless chargers work with iPhones? Yes, if they are compatible. When shopping for a wireless charger, make sure you know the model of your iPhone and double-check to see if it will work for your phone. Remember that the answer to, "is it better to charge your phone wirelessly?" is a big fat no. MagSafe chargers are especially effective, but they are not faster or better than wall chargers for now. Unfortunately, you can't save time by charging via cable and wirelessly simultaneously.

Pro Tip: Are you wondering, “Does my phone have wireless charging?” Follow these steps to find out the model of your iPhone. If it is an iPhone 8 or newer, the answer is yes.

How to Charge iPhone 12 or Any iPhone Model

If you have an iPhone 11, 12, or 13, you can use a wireless MagSafe charger, a wall charger, and even a Mac or new iPad with a Lightning port. Some older iPhones can be charged using the same methods but using different wireless chargers. iPhone 7 and older phones cannot be charged wirelessly without special accessories. Most phones can also be charged using alternative chargers, including solar and hand-crank. Plus, you can always use a power bank as long as you have a compatible cable. To charge an iPhone via a wall charger:

  1. Plug a compatible adapter into a wall outlet.
  2. Connect a compatible cable to the adapter.
  3. Connect the same cable to your iPhone.
  4. You can tell that your iPhone is charging when you see the lightning bolt over the battery.

    You can tell that your iPhone is charging when you see the lightning bolt over the battery.
Do you have more questions about charging your iPhone? Read this article about iPhone charging myths
to answer questions like what happens when you leave your phone charging all night and the correct way to charge a lithium-ion battery. Remember that newer iPhones have an optimized charging feature.
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Author Details

Olena Kagui's picture

Author Details

Olena Kagui

Olena Kagui is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life. In the last 10 years, she has been published in dozens of publications internationally and won an excellence award. Since joining iPhone Life in 2020, she has written how-to articles as well as complex guides about Apple products, software, and apps. Olena grew up using Macs and exploring all the latest tech. Her Maui home is the epitome of an Apple ecosystem, full of compatible smart gear to boot. Olena’s favorite device is the Apple Watch Ultra because it can survive all her adventures and travels, and even her furbabies.