It can be really handy to have multiple devices with the same type of charger.
But what happens when you use the charger that came with one device to charge another?
Does it cause damage?
Are iPad Chargers Bad For iPhones?
It is safe to use an iPad charger for an iPhone. As long as the devices have the same type of charging cable, it is completely fine. While the iPad charger has a higher power output, the iPhone will only take what it needs. The iPad, when charged with an iPhone charger, will just charge slower.
Before discussing why the chargers will work for both, let’s dive into how chargers work in the first place.
Many people think that charging your iPhone—or any device for that matter—with a charger made for a bigger device with a higher energy level, will burn out or make the battery in the smaller device weaker.
This is not true for iPhones.
The worry of this happening is often perpetuated by the lack of knowledge about the subject.
You know your phone needs power, and you get that from plugging it in for an amount of time and waiting for it to charge.
But did you know that each piece of that puzzle (adapter, phone, and cable) all regulate that power themselves in different ways?
Power adapters have a specific voltage as well as a current rating for that voltage.
The voltage has to be the same as the device you are wanting to charge expects.
The current rating (Amps) is the maximum current that the adapter can provide.
This unit needs to be at least the amount the device needs.
Cables, on the other hand, have a maximum power (W) they can carry.
It is true that if the W exceeds that of the device, they get hot and melt.
For chargers like Apple’s or Samsung’s, the voltage and everything is standardized, so the power simply corresponds to charging speed.
However, melting only occurs if the device you are charging and the adapter both have higher watts than that of the charging cable.
Here is an example: If you have a cable that can only handle 20W and connected it to a 100W adapter to charge an iPhone, it would be fine since the iPhone only need 5W.
That is all the cable needs to carry.
However, if you took the same 20W cable and same 100W adapter and used it to power a 100W device, the cable would get very hot and melt because more power is being put in and out of it than it can handle.
When charging an iPhone with a high watt power adapter, such as one that would come with an iPad, the iPhone will charge normally and at the same pace, not faster.
When it has fully charged, the iPhone will stop charging.
This is because of the iPhone’s battery technology that allows it to gauge how much power the iPhone has and how much it needs, keeping it from frying or damaging the battery.
iPad Chargers vs. iPhone Chargers
With the knowledge of how all the elements of charging work, we can now understand which cables and adapters we can use for what device. The answer is almost all of them.
Most Apple products, cables, and adapters work interchangeably with each device.
However, today the iPad and the iPhone charging cables are a little different.
The iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later), the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation or later), and the iPad Air (4th generation) all use USB-C cables to charge instead of Apple’s standard lightning cable.
However, when talking about using the charger for the iPhone, these are the only iPads that pose a problem.
All other iPads before those mentioned above use the standard lightning cable, which is the same as all current iPhones.
The adapters made for, and that come with, iPads have higher watt outputs than those of the iPhone.
The iPad adapter puts out 12 watts while the iPhone adapter puts out 5.
Apple offers other adapters as well.
There is also the 30-watt USB-C Power Adapter, and while it is specifically for USB-C cables, the cable can be replaced with the lightning cable and be compatible with those as well.
Knowing that any matching Apple cable can charge an Apple device can help with charging speed.
As mentioned above, the three power adapters can adjust the speed at which the device charges.
Here are all the devices that use lightning cables and what adapter they come with:
- All iPhones (after 5th generation)—5W adapter
- iPad (4th-9th generation)—12W adapter
- iPad Air (1st and 2nd generation)—10W adapter
- iPad Air (3rd generation)—12W adapter
- iPad Mini (1st-4th generation)—10W adapter
- iPad Pro (1st and 2nd generation)—12W adapter
Any of these chargers and adapters would work together as well as with any iPhone on the market today.
Along with their special safe charging technology that stops their devices from receiving power when they are fully charged, Apple also promises a fast charge with later models of their iPhone.
Apple promises your iPhone will reach 50% power in just 30 minutes when you use a USB-C to lightning adapter alongside any power adapter that is 18W or higher.
It is worth noting that, as of now, none of the Apple products, with the exception of the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, come with either this type of cable or power adapter.
So, for a fast charge, you would need to purchase a new cable as well as a stronger power adapter in addition to the ones that simply come with your device.
Charging your iPhone with an iPad charger is not harmful to either the device or the cable and adapter.
You could even achieve a faster charger when mixing the components that initially come with the device.
Apple is perfect for this because of its ability to stop charging when full and its new compatibility with the faster and more powerful USB-C port.