Here’s what ACTUALLY happens when you charge your phone through your laptop!

Charging phone with laptop

Many people assume that it’s not a good idea to charge your phone through your laptop, but the actual process of what happens and how damaging it can be is one of many unknowns. Let’s find out what happens when you charge your phone through your laptop!

First off, You Need to Consider Two Things

#1. When you charge your phone with your laptop, the charging cable transfers power from the laptop’s power source to the phone.

#2. The problem arises when the voltage and amperage of both devices do not match. For example, laptops typically have a current output of 19V and 0.62A compared to phones’ average 5V and 1A output. 

Know the Technicalities Behind #2

See, the issue with this is that the two devices cannot generally reach a strong enough electrical connection, even when they’re physically connected. The problem is that laptops and phones produce an entirely different type of electricity than what other items produce (such as lightbulbs). 

This unique electrical difference causes issues when it comes to charging your phone through your laptop. The incredibly small current given off by laptops is not enough to power larger devices like smartphones. Also, laptops can be easily damaged by incorrect electrical outputs, so charging your phone through it would cause a lot of unwanted damage. 

Nowadays, however, many laptops have USB ports with the correct specifications for charging phones. 

The BIG Question – Is it Safe to Charge Your Phone Through a Laptop?

In all honesty, the answer to it is both yes and no.

See, as mentioned above, it would be possible for your laptop to charge your phone if both were on the same electrical level (such as both using an outlet). But the current being produced by your laptop isn’t enough for your phone to work. In fact, the voltage difference of laptops and phones could potentially cause damage to devices if left unmonitored.

But proper USB ports can allow charging, so I’d say the answer is still a standoff. There are also other methods to charge your phone through your laptop, such as using a larger device (such as another laptop, Bluetooth speakers, or wireless charging stands) that can supply a strong enough electric current for your phone to charge.

The only thing to notice here is that the charging speed would be slow while charging through laptops. Nowadays, fast chargers have defined the true speeds of charging, and you just can’t stand any other source of charging.

Naturally, if you charge through a laptop, the only drawback would be slow charging! However, when there’s no other option, a laptop would save your day!

Phone Charging

To that end, I’d say that (if) you’re keeping tabs on the safety of your connection (USB connection preferred), there’s hardly any security concern when it comes to the difference in electricity produced by the devices. 


What About the Battery Life?

The answer to this is a big fat NO. In fact, lithium-ion batteries prefer to be slowly charged, for their life longevity increases through trickle charging. 

Here’s what Kent Griffith from the University of Cambridge in an article on WIRED said about the association of battery life and charging your phone through a laptop:

“The more slowly you charge a battery, the less strain that’s put on lithium ions and the structures accepting them, and the less potential damage to the battery.”

Pros and Cons of Charging Your Phone Through a Laptop

Let’s see how the pros and cons weigh against each other.



You can charge your phone from a laptop while using the same device at the same time. Meaning, you can use your laptop to watch a movie while charging your phone from it at the same time. Some apps allow you to charge your phone from a laptop, making it easier for you to do that.

Knowledge (Subjective – this one)

Charging a phone through a laptop is good because it allows people to know more about their devices. For example, people can find out the rate at which their phone is charging through a laptop. This way, they will be more informed about the charging process, and they can also know if there’s any problem with the battery or not.

Less burden on batteries

The laptop would charge your phone at a low speed. As mentioned above, lithium-ion batteries take less stress when they’re charged slowly. So, the life of the battery would increase. 

The Cost Factor

Charging your phone from a laptop is cheaper. It has almost no harmful factors like overcharging or short-circuiting (if) [and I’ll say it again], if and only if you’re using safe cables and developing a secure USB connection. 

Compliance with Work

As you charge your phone through a laptop, you’re offered sheer productivity. You handle several tasks simultaneously. You can share files from both devices while your phone charges peacefully. So, it’s a big plus for everyone who might be running short on time.


Slow Charging Speed

Well, you indeed take the risk of not getting the full power of your phone when charging from a laptop. For example, if the same phone has to be charged from a laptop and a wall outlet — you can expect that laptop charging will be slower than the charging process from the wall outlet. That is because charging your phone from a laptop is more complicated due to battery limitations and other parts of a device that needs electricity–which you might not have on your computer.


If you’re not using your laptop to charge your phone, it’s recommended that you don’t do it. Others and even your laptop could be filled with viruses or malware that could harm your phone. Just as plug your phone into a laptop, there’s an opportunity for the virus to possibly enter your phone. So, always keep a check on a laptop before you opt for charging.

Damage to Laptop

The chances of damage to the laptop are next to minimal, but it’s still worth considering the risk associated. See it this way; a laptop acts as a reservoir of power for the phone. As you charge your phone through the laptop, it uses more power from your laptop’s battery. Eventually, this will end in the loss of your laptop’s battery and therefore make it unusable if this keeps happening over time.

In a Nutshell

To be honest, laptops are certainly not the best source of charging your phone. However, when you’re in an emergency or perhaps facing a lack of resources to charge the phone, I’d say charging through a laptop would be plausible. 

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