Can You Charge An iPad With An iPhone Charger?

It is not uncommon to find at least one Apple product in most households nowadays. 

They are sleek, shiny, fun/easy to use, and they come equipped with everything you could need: cable, adapter, and all. 

However, if your iPad charger suddenly goes missing, will an iPhone charger be able to pick up the slack?

Can you charge an iPad with an iPhone charger?

An iPad can be charged with an iPhone charger. Many years ago, Apple changed their charging cables to be smaller and universal, meaning iPhone, iPad, and AirPod chargers are all shaped the same and can be used interchangeably. As long as the models aren’t outdated, there won’t be a problem.

Everybody certainly is grateful that Apple made these changes because charging is now more convenient than ever. 

Despite similarities with the cables, however, you may have noticed that the charging bricks/adapters are often different. 

Read on to learn why that might be an important thing to know!

iPad vs. iPhone Chargers

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If you’re like most people, you have undoubtedly wondered whether or not there’s a difference between iPhone and iPad chargers because nowadays, they all look pretty much the same. 

What most people don’t understand is that there are differences not only with the cables but also with the power adapters (aka charging bricks).

While you can use just about any USB power adapter to charge your iPhone/iPad, there are a few made specifically by Apple that have different amperage/wattage rates. 

These amperage/wattage levels are what make the difference between iPad and iPhone chargers.

Before we go into the different chargers/adapters, let’s address one thing. If you are the owner of an old iPad (a 3rd generation model, for example), you aren’t going to be able to use your iPhone charger for it. 

This is because 3rd generation and other model iPads used a 30-pin charger rather than a lightning cable. 

However, if both your devices are newer and have the same type of cable, this won’t be an issue.

iPads, no matter what generation, tend to come with a charger and adapter that are 10W (10 watts) or more. 

10W is a bit lower on the amperage scale and is most often found to be sold with much older generations of iPad and iPad mini.

You can find 20W chargers/adapters that are generally sold with 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation iPads.

So why there are different charging bricks? We’ve discussed that there are different USB adapters, but we haven’t addressed why.

The answer is pretty simple: iPads are bigger and need more power to charge fully than iPhones do.

iPhones generally come with a 5W charger, which is the smallest one on the watt scale. 

While this might be great for phones, iPads need more power to function.

According to Popular Mechanics, using an adapter with higher wattage will charge an iPad and even an iPhone faster than a 5W charger will. 

So, if you’re going on a road trip and you’d rather not lug a thousand different cords and bricks around with you, choose the largest adapter you’ve got. 

This will ensure quick charging for all your devices!

Back to the original question, an iPad can easily be charged with an iPhone charger, it just might not charge as quickly as you’d like.

If you know you are going to need your iPad for something important and you need it to charge quickly, then you should probably use the original charger and adapter.

However, a 5W charger will do in a pinch.

You might be wondering whether or not an adapter with high amperage can ruin an iPhone or vice versa. 

Thankfully, you can rest easy concerning this matter. 

Apple batteries are pretty complex, but one thing that’s easy to understand is the fact that they are all equipped with protective circuits that prevent them from becoming overloaded when exposed to high amps.

Chargers Through the Years

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Nowadays, almost all of Apple’s chargers look the same (except for MacBook chargers and adapters). 

This means they can all be used interchangeably, as mentioned above. However, this wasn’t always the case. 

Believe it or not, there was a time before lightning cables were around.

There have been at least three or four different cables manufactured by Apple in the last several years. 

The first was a 6-pin FireWire connector.

This was a small black cable that was used for the 3rd generation iPods until dock connectors with dock to FireWire connectivity were released.

Eventually, FireWire was abandoned completely as USB became a prominent and more preferable choice. 

Enter the 30-pin charger! The 30-pin dock connector is one you’ll probably recognize a little better than the FireWire cable.

The 30-pin chargers were white and had a long and thin shape to them. 

This was a common charging method for iPods, iPads, and iPhones for quite a while. 

Anything 3rd generation or older will use this type of charger.

After the 30-pin chargers became less popular, the lightning cable (or lightning connector) was introduced to the public sometime around 2012. 

Believe it or not, this change was initially looked down upon by a great number of Apple users.

This is because around the time the lightning cable was introduced, headphone jacks started to disappear on iPhones, and Bluetooth headphones were not as reliable or popular as they are now.

This made it nearly impossible for people to buy headphones manufactured by anybody other than Apple.

It also meant that you could no longer charge your iPhone and use headphones at the same time which turned out to be a major grievance among many people. 

However, Apple also released a lightning adapter, making it easy to connect newer iPhones to speakers, docks, and anything else that might be necessary.

Whether you are at work, on a plane, or in the car, there is no shortage of cables or power adapters you can use to charge your iPad. 

All you have to do is make sure the cable is in good repair and ensure that you have enough time for your device to charge enough for you to use it without worry.

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