7 ways to charge your iPhone if you can't or don't want to use the typical wall charger

Hollis JohnsonIf you’re without access to your iPhone’s wall charger, there are several alternatives you can use to charge your device.

  • There are a lot of ways to keep your iPhone charged, even if you don’t have access to your AC adaptor and a wall outlet.
  • You should consider keeping a portable battery and a USB cable in your travel bag so you can always top off your iPhone, even if you’re nowhere near a wall outlet.
  • Other charging methods include a car charger, hand-crank charger, solar charging, and a wireless adaptor.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Every iPhone comes with an AC adaptor and charging cable right in the box, and that might be the only way you’ve ever used to keep your phone topped off. But that’s pretty limiting – there are a lot of ways to keep your iPhone charged, and many are more convenient than plugging it into the wall adaptor that Apple gave you.

We’ve rounded up seven ways to charge your iPhone for those times when you don’t have access to the AC adaptor or a wall outlet. A few of these are so handy that they might replace the AC adaptor as your preferred way of keeping your iPhone charged.


Use a car charger

AnkerAnker’s Dual USB car charger is just one of countless car chargers available on Amazon.

If you are a commuter, you probably spend a lot of time in the car. If so, your very first iPhone accessory should be a car charger, which lets you draw power from the car’s power port (more commonly known as, but probably rarely used as, the cigarette lighter). You can get a car charger for less than $US10 (this Anker model, for example, has a pair of USB ports for charging two devices at once).


Charge your iPhone wirelessly

Hollis JohnsonJust place your iPhone down on any Qi-certified charging pad, any it will immediately start charging.

If you have an iPhone X or later, and you’re not charging your phone wirelessly, you’re missing out on one of the most satisfying features of modern smartphones. These phones can charge just by being set on a compatible wireless charging pad, which you can keep on your desk, bed stand, or elsewhere.

Apple embraced the Qi wireless standard, so any pad that is Qi-certified will work with your iPhone. There are all sorts of charging pads available, from pads that lie flat on a tabletop to stands that let your phone sit upright.

If you have an older iPhone, you’re technically not shut out of the wireless charging party – there are a number of wireless charging cases available. Slip your iPhone into a wireless charging case from Weluv, for example, and you can charge it anytime just by placing it on a charging pad.


Use a USB cable with your laptop

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderConnecting your phone to a computer is an easy way of charging it.

We’d be remiss not to mention a dependable low-tech solution as well: just plug your phone into any computer’s USB port. It pays to keep a Lightning cable in your bag or briefcase so you can get a charge from any nearby laptop or desktop computer.


Carry a portable battery

LoHiSlip your iPhone into a battery case to double the time you can go without a charge.

If you find yourself away from your usual charging options for long periods of time – for example, if you’re on vacation and don’t have access to a wall outlet to plug in – you should join the ranks of veteran road warriors everywhere and carry a battery with you.

There are a vast variety of batteries available for charging smartphones (and other mobile devices), from small, low-capacity models (like Bonai’s shaped roughly like a AA battery) good for perhaps a single top-off to a big, beefy battery that can potentially charge a phone 2-3 times (like Anker’s PowerCore 10000, which delivers 10,000 mAh of power). All you need is the battery and a Lightning cable to charge your phone anywhere, anytime.

Or, even more convenient: get a case for your phone that has an integrated battery. A typical 7000mAh case can more than double the battery life of your iPhone during the day.


Get a backpack with an integrated battery

CrossGearThere are many backpacks that include USB ports, designed for charging your phone.

Why carry a separate battery when you can carry a bag that has one built in? Backpacks with integrated batteries are a handy way to always have a battery at your disposal, especially if you need all the storage that comes from a bag like that. Check out the TYLT Powerbag, which has an 10,400 mAh battery, or Voltaic’s 4000 mAh bag that also includes solar cells for optionally charging in the sun.


Use a hand-crank portable charger

FosPowerIf you’re willing to put in the effort, a hand-crank charger can keep your iPhone topped off when you’re way off the grid.

If there’s one thing that’s true about chargers, it’s that they always seems to disappear just when you need them. You might not have access to electrical outlets, your portable battery might be dead, and you might not be able to get to your car. For times like these, consider carrying the ultimate failsafe: a hand-crank portable charger.

Like a modern version of churning butter, you add energy to your iPhone by spinning a small hand crank for several minutes. It’s slow work and a little tiring, but no other solution is guaranteed to be able to give you a few minutes of charge when your phone is dying.

You can get a simple single-purpose hand crank like the Eton BoostTurbine or a more elaborate hand crank generator like this model from FosPower that includes a portable radio and flashlight.


Use a solar charger

HiluckeySolar cells with an integrated battery can charge your phone, albeit slowly, without any need for an electrical outlet.

Like a hand-crank, a solar charger is a bit unusual – but what other solution lets you charge your phone with clean, effortless energy from the sun?

Solar chargers aren’t super popular because they aren’t highly efficient. It can take all day under the sun to get a few hours’ charge for your iPhone. But if you find yourself outdoors in a sunny locale (on vacation, perhaps) then a solar charger might be an easy and reliable way to keep your phone charged.

Just spread out the cells – like with this one from Hiluckey– and let the sun do its job, topping off your phone or charging the battery that’s integrated into the solar cells.

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