Can you charge an iPad with an iPhone charger?

Modified Oct. 10, 2023, 8:43 a.m.


You lost your iPad charger or you only have an iPhone charger with you? Let’s see if you can use it to charge your iPad.

Yes, you can charge your iPad with an iPhone charger, but some chargers will work better than others.

To make sure that you can use an iPhone charger to charge an iPad, I first compared the difference between the two chargers, see how much amps deliver both, and then see what power needs the iPad to charge. Only then, I can test to charge my own iPad with the iPhone charger I have and see what is happening.

An iPad charging with an iPhone charger

iPhone Charger vs iPad Charger

An iPhone charger, for the latest one, is an 18W or 20W USB-C charger. It can deliver enough power to fast-charge the iPhones, but let’s focus on normal charging as fast charging is not relevant here.

Both the 18W and 20W USB-C charger delivers 15 watts, with 5 volts, and 3 amps.

The old iPhone charger is a 5W USB charger that delivers 5 watts, 5 volts, and 1 amp.

On the iPad side, there are many chargers available in the market, depending on the version of your iPad. You can find the list of the USB power adapters delivered with each iPad on the Apple website. To summarize, here are the different kinds of iPad chargers:

  • ~10 watts, 5.1 volts, and 2.1 amps.
  • ~12 watts, 5.2 volts, and 2.4 amps.
  • And the USB-C 18W and 20W that are also used for iPhones now.

I have an iPad Air 3rd generation, so I received the 12W USB charger, I will take it as an example but there are no differences with other iPad.

Can I use my iPhone charger with my iPad?

Before using a charger, you need to make sure that the voltage delivered by the charger can be accepted by your iPad.

As we see, the iPad accepts either 5.1, 5.2, or 5 volts, there is only a small difference between the voltage, small enough to consider that all the iPads can accept 5 volts.

As all the iPhones charger are delivering 5 volts, there won’t be an issue to use an iPhone charger to charge any iPads. However, there is a difference between the current delivered by the chargers, which can result in much slower charging depending on the charger you are using.

If you are using the old iPhone charger, which delivers only 5 watts of power, then it might take a long time to charge your iPad correctly, especially if your iPad is one of the latest.

During the test I made, I used an 18W USB-C charger and my iPad charged fast enough, and without any issues.

So yes, you can use your iPhone charger to charge your iPad, Apple ensured compatibility between all Apple devices, but it’s way better to use a good iPhone or iPad charger, so you won’t have many hours for a full charge.

You can even charge a Macbook, but you can't charge an Apple Watch with an iPhone charger.

Can I charge an iPhone with an iPad charger?

iPhones are all accepting 5 volts to charge, only the amperage is different, I’m only talking about normal charging here again.

Any charger provided with an iPad is delivering 5 volts, even the very first iPad charger made by Apple was delivering 5 volts. So yes, there is no issue to use your iPad charger to charge your iPhone.

You can even use Macbook charger for your iPhone.

Will an iPad charger charge my iPhone faster?

Not only your iPhone will charge with your iPad charger without trouble, but it can also charge way faster than if you are using your iPhone charger.

Indeed, if you still have an old iPhone charger, which delivers only 5 watts of power, but you have an iPhone 8 or later, your iPad charger will deliver more power and therefore charge your iPhone better, without damaging your iPhone or decreasing your battery health faster.



Maxime Levesque is a technical engineer with more than 5 years of professional experience. He is an expert in computer and phones, mostly on Apple products. Maxime is also the founder of TechBrowser.

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