Making your iPhone and iPad charge faster

By , May 20, 2016

iPad Pro iFixit teardown 002

It’s somewhat depressing that Android manufacturers increasingly outfit their flagship smartphones with fast-charging capability while iPhones, and especially iPads, still take forever to charge from zero to hundred percent. And if you happen to actually use your iOS device while it’s connected to power, you’ll experience even slower-than-usual charging times.

But as it turns out, there’s one simple trick everyone should employ every time they plug their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad into a power brick in order to make it charge faster.

Using Airplane Mode, Luke!

It boils down to setting your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to Airplane Mode.

Simply swipe up from the screen bottom to bring up Control Center, and then tap the Airplane Mode icon to toggle Airplane Mode on. You can also enable or disable Airplane Mode in Settings → Airplane Mode.

airplane-mode-control-center

After you’re done charging, just turn Airplane Mode off again.

What’s Airplane Mode have to do with charging?

Airline Mode completely shuts down the radios in your device, including cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Not only do these radios consume significant power when in use, but disabling them completely robs your iOS device of network access.

And without network access, all network activity which normally occurs in the background stops, things like checking for new emails, Background App Activity in apps, iCloud sync, iMessage delivery and so forth.

Plus, notifications will stop arriving and lighting up your screen unnecessarily.

iOS 7 (Airplane Mode 001)

All of this consumes power and prevents your device from charging at full speed.

I’ve been doing this (Airplane Mode) for ages and so should you unless you’re OK with the aforementioned things slowing down your charge process significantly. The bigger the battery, the more pronounced any charging speed gains are going to be.

iPad Pro owners, pay notice

This trick should be especially helpful for owners of power-hungry iPads.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro, for instance, takes four and a half hours to completely recharge its impressive 10,307 battery using the included 12W Apple USB Power Adapter, and that’s assuming the device isn’t used during charging.

Setting it to Airplane Mode when it’s plugged into power will yield an observably faster charging times. I don’t own an iPad Pro, but if you do and have the time to carry out a little non-scientific study, please share your results in the comment section below.

For more tips, browse our complete tutorials archive.

Need help? Ask iDB!

Got stuck? Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device? Let us know at help@iDownloadBlog.com and a future tutorial might provide a solution. You can also submit your how-to suggestions at tips@iDownloadBlog.com.

Image top of post courtesy iFixit.

Source: The App Factory via The Loop

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  • Supreme

    Does it matter if you don’t have the cellular iPad version?

    • It does, because you still have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios that consume power

    • Burge

      Turning off wifi will do the same your shutting down a data connection.

      • Supreme

        Does it matter if you leave wifi off and Bluetooth off to begin with?

      • Burge

        No it’s all ready off so there is no data connection

  • Burge
  • Mr.Coolfreak

    Also, for iPhones use the iPad 12 W charger, it will charge at least 2X faster

    • TheShade247

      Yea i do that sometimes, but I don’t know how would battery performance go in the long run, cause It pushes more watts in 5w battery.

      • Mr.Coolfreak

        If it negatively affected battery, Apple would have capped max wattage

      • Jason B

        I had over 600 cycles on my iPhone 6’s battery before replacing it, and I mainly replaced it at what I perceived as the half life of my phone (probably going to wait for the 7S/8).

        I would say that I charged that battery at the high speed rate at least 50% of the time. I recently replaced my nightstand/car/work chargers to high speed 2.4A capable adapters, so that’s all I use now.

        If I was going to leave one with the 1A adapter, it would be the nightstand one, as that one will remain on the charger overnight.

    • h4nd0fg0d

      I’ve been charging my iPhone 6s+ with my iPad charger since I’ve owned it, battery life is still superb. For an iPhone, lol.

  • TheShade247

    I found that funny when I charge my ipad and use it at the same time and instead Of charging the percentage goes in negative

    • techfreak23

      Are you using the right charger? That usually only happens if you’re using a 5W/1A instead of the 12W/2.1A…

      • TheShade247

        My iPad pro 9.7 came with 10w lol

      • techfreak23

        They don’t make the 10’s anymore… They haven’t since after the first iPad… but yeah it eats up a lot of power depending on what you’re doing on it, screen brightness, connectivity, etc.

      • TheShade247

        Nope, with 9.7 pro they are shipping 10w

  • DavideLombardo

    And to drastically improve the charging the ultimate step is to power off the device AFTER that has been plugged in, it’s like the definitive Airplane mode! (And in terms of phone functionality it doesn’t vary that much)

  • techfreak23

    For iPhone 6 and newer, use the 12W and it will cut down charge time about 30-45 minutes. I use those exclusively now with my 6s. For both of the iPad Pro, use the 29W MacBook charger with the newly released USB-C to Lightning cable to lower those charge times.

  • Chris Ryan

    using airplane mode tho would mean you get no notifications while the device is charging…i have setup with activator to enable low power mode when plugged in, this drastically speeds up charge time but still allows you to receive notifications…the low power mode is also set to turn off when charge reaches 95%…works well for me..

  • Diego Milano

    It would be interesting to run some statistics and compare Low Power Mode versus Airplane Mode, as some of us just can’t afford placing the device in airplane mode just for the sake of a “faster” charge.

  • Sleetui

    Charging your phone is always convenient but your battery would lose it’s life faster.

  • zebonaut

    Apple should call the button “Airplane Mode/Fast Recharge”