How To Charge Your Phone Without A Charger?

If you keep your life on your smartphone, being caught short with a low battery and no charger may just be your worst nightmare.

If you haven’t been in this situation, consider yourself lucky. If you have, well – we feel your pain. Thankfully though, it’s not all doom and gloom. – Next time you find yourself stuck on 10% with no charger in sight, there are a few things you can try to give yourself an extra burst of juice. 

How To Charge Your Phone Without A Charger

Ready to learn how to charge your phone battery without a charger? Let’s get started. 

Charge With Another Device

Thankfully, all smartphones can be charged via a USB port. Most smartphones come with chargers that have USB connectors that attach to the plug.

To charge your phone with another device, you’ll simply need to plug the USB connector into a compatible USB port. This USB port could be on any of the following devices:

  • A games console, such as a PS4 or Xbox
  • A laptop or computer 
  • A smart TV 

This is one of the most efficient ways to charge your phone without a charger. However, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Unfortunately, USB ports are notoriously slow to charge.

USB ports have an average output of just 0.5A, compared to wall plugs or laptops, which can deliver between 2.1A and 2.4A. 

However, if you’re low on juice and need to charge up, this is probably the most efficient way to do it. 

Use A Car Charger

Car chargers let you use power from your car’s power port (or what you may know as the cigarette lighter!). So, if you haven’t got one, now is the time!

Car chargers plug directly into the power port and are fitted with USB connectors, so you can simply plug in your USB charger while you’re driving, and you’ll be ready to go. Plus, most car chargers won’t set you back more than $20.

If you ask us, these are more than just a worthwhile investment… they’re a necessity!

Charge With A Wireless Charger

Charge With A Wireless Charger

If you’re using a modern iPhone or Android phone, you may be able to charge up with a wireless charging pad. Although these can be on the pricey side, they’re often the only way to charge up if your charging ports die.

Wireless charging pads can cost anywhere between $15 to $50 and up. However, it’s still cheaper than buying a new phone! 

Not all phones are compatible with wireless charging pads. Before you make the investment, check with your manufacturer for more information. 

If you’ve found a charging pad you like, read the product description thoroughly – most manufacturers will tell you what models they support.

Use A Portable Power Bank

The portable power bank is arguably one of the best inventions known to man. These devices store energy to charge up your electronic devices, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are even as small as a credit card! 

These little lifesavers are an absolute must-have. They don’t just charge your phones, either – they’ll charge anything with a USB port! Don’t forget – to generate energy you’ll also need to charge your power banks. If you lose the charger for your power bank…

Well, that’s a different matter. 

Thankfully, many high-end power banks can sustain their charge for long periods of time. Some will need charging every few days, others every few weeks or months, depending on how often you’re using them and how much electric power (mAh) they store. 

Some power banks can hold more than 400,000 mAh; however, for occasional use, you’ll probably only need one with a maximum capacity of 100,000 mAh. 

‘The Rubbing Method’ 

No, this isn’t a euphemism. 

The reliability of the rubbing method is open to debate. However, it does seem to work. If you’re caught out on low battery and you don’t have access to our other options, this one’s worth a try. 

The rubbing method involves removing the battery from your phone, rubbing it between your hands or against your clothing for a few minutes, and using the friction to generate power.

Note: this will NOT work on a completely dead phone. You’ll need to have at least a few bars left to make this work. 

If you need some extra charge to make an emergency call, this is ABSOLUTELY worth trying. Many people swear by it. There is some science behind it, too. Rubbing your phone’s batteries raises the temperature of the battery cells, which increases their efficiency. Pretty cool, right? 

Solar Powered Chargers

Solar Powered Chargers

In case you haven’t heard, solar-powered chargers are having a bit of a moment. These handy devices do exactly what they say on the tin – they use the sun’s power to charge up their power banks and store the energy, which you can then use to power your phone! 

There’s no other power source required, just the sunlight. Simply place your solar-powered charger in direct sunlight, let the bank charge up, and use the stored energy to power your phone. 

Like anything that depends on the weather, these can be unreliable. Remember you will need ‘adequate sunlight’ to charge your power bank, so cloudy skies and dark nights are a no-no. The definition of ‘adequate sunlight’ may also differ for each supplier.

Some banks will need to be kept out longer than others to reach a full charge, too, so do your research before making a purchase. 

A reliable solar-powered charger can cost you anywhere between $10 to $50, so there’s one to suit every budget. Be aware though, less-expensive models will not store as much power as banks from high-end suppliers. 

USB Wall Outlet

Did you know, many stores now sell USB wall outlets that you can install yourself and use to power your devices!? These are an INCREDIBLY convenient installation for any home.

If you lose your plug, you’ll already have a USB outlet installed directly into your wall, so you never have to worry about being caught short or depending on another external device to juice you up. 

USB wall outlets can cost you as little as $15, and they rarely require a specialist installation. Most can be installed by following the manufacturer’s step-by-step guide, and they take minimal time to set up. 

Electricity is dangerous. Before proceeding with the installation process, turn off the supply to your home via a master switch. If you don’t have the skills to follow the manufacturer’s advice, always consult a professional. 


Now we’ve presented you with a list of logical options, let’s look at a few wacky ways that you can charge your phone. If you have time to kill and a few unusual resources to hand, why not give these a go? 

Charge With A Fruit

Yes, we’re talking about a literal piece of fruit. If you remember your high school experiments well, you might see where we’re going with this. 

With the help of a fruit or root vegetable of your choice, you’ll build a circuit that can power your phone. You’ll need the following items:

  • 12 Acidic fruits like oranges or apples
  • 12 Copper coins or screws
  • 12 Zinc flakes
  • Insulated Copper Conductor
  • Rubber Gloves
  • USB Charger

For a complete list of instructions, you can read this guide.

Note: This method isn’t practical or that effective. Although this method WILL charge your phone, it’ll only supply you with a short burst of energy, long enough to turn your screen on. You also risk damaging your phone, so this method should be more of a last resort. 

‘The Hand Crank’

Now, if you ever find yourself in an ‘off the grid’ type situation, the hand crank may just save your life. 

Hand cranks can either come in the form of a wind-up power bank or a designated hand-crank phone charger. All you need is a little muscle power to get things going. 

These devices come with a ‘crank’ on them, which you begin turning to start generating electricity. The voltage produced will depend on how quickly you turn the cranks.

With the help of built-in voltage regulators, you’ll be able to create a steady current. Essentially, the more you crank, the more power you generate. 

Although they’re a little unusual, hand crank generators are an incredibly useful tool to have on hand.

Whether you’re out exploring, camping, on a bike ride, or in an emergency situation, a hand crank charger can give you the power you need to make a phone call – and all you need to do is use a little elbow grease. 

Most hand crank chargers come with several USB ports, so you can also use them to charge other electronic devices. There’s plenty of options on the market, all with different mAh capacities; however, most hand-crank chargers won’t set you back more than $50. 

Final Thoughts

At some point in our lives, we’ve all been caught out by a fast-draining battery. If you’re ever unfortunate enough not to have a wall plug or charger to hand – fear not.

There’s plenty of other ways to give your phone a quick burst of juice. From the practical to the wild and wacky, there’s a technique for everyone and every eventuality. 

Brett Jones
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