Can you use MacBook Pro chargers for iPhone and iPad fast charging?

Recommendations to fast charge iPhone or iPad with the USB-C to Lightning cable often include picking up the $49 30W power adapter (previously 29W). But what if you already have a higher powered USB-C charger for your MacBook Pro? Follow along for which iPhones and iPads you can fast charge with the company’s notebook chargers.

Notably, fast charging offers around 50% battery in 30 minutes as Jeff previously proved in testing. But picking up a new USB-C to Lightning cable and compatible charging block from Apple costs $70.

The good news though, is that the latest iPhones and iPads work with all of the Mac notebook USB-C chargers, even the 87W model. With that in mind, $20 for fast charging may be a lot more appealing for MacBook Pro owners.

While it may sound risky at first, it’s safe to use any of Apple’s USB-C chargers as your iPhone or iPad is what determines the power it receives, not the charger. Apple even does its own testing with the whole range of its USB-C power adapters.

I tested all this out with my 87W USB-C power adapter, 12W standard iPad USB adapter, and third-party charger from Aukey. My iPhone X consistently pulled the same ≈6W from each charger.

Note: depending on the current capacity of your battery, your device will pull different levels of power. For example, a battery at 10% will draw more power than one at 80%.

Apple updated its support document this summer that says the following iOS devices are compatible with the 29W, 30W, 61W, and 87W adapters:

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch

In another document, Apple notes that if you use its USB-C to Lightning cable, “A comparable third-party USB-C power adapter that supports USB Power Delivery (USB-PD)” will also work.

One great option from Anker for $30 offers both USB-C (30W) and a standard USB port (19.5W). Another choice from Aukey for $35 provides 46W of power via the USB-C port and another 10.5W via USB-A.

We’re also likely going to see Apple begin offering an 18W USB-C power adapter that should bring fast charging out of the box to this year’s iPhones. How about you, is fast charging important? Or do you find regular charging speeds to be a non-issue? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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