There’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the relatively new USB standard known as USB-C. These days, most newer devices use USB-C. Even Apple changed their iPhones over to this standard. But can you use your USB-C phone charger to charge a Lenovo Laptop? We have the answer to that question and more.
Can You Use A USB-C Phone Charger to Charge a Lenovo Laptop?
You can technically charge your laptop with any USB-C charger. However, there is a catch. Your laptop has to have a USB-C charging port.
Also, Lenovo does not recommend doing this. We’ll explain why below.
Why Lenovo Disapproves
As we mentioned, Lenovo doesn’t recommend using anything other than their official chargers to charge their laptops. The reason lies behind the wattage. For example, one customer wrote in a Lenevo forum that he uses a 20-watt phone charger to charge his laptop.
However, a Lenovo representative cautioned against this practice, writing that the best USB-C adapters to use for his laptop is 45W or 65W. He also said the company does not recommend using different chargers, “specifically” phone chargers, as they have lower wattages.
But…Can I, Though?
Yes, you can. Listen, life happens, and sometimes you lose or just don’t have your laptop charger with you. Under these conditions, even a low-wattage charger is better than nothing. We’ll show you three ways to charge your Lenevo laptop using a standard USB-C phone charger.
However, you should also remember that not all Lenevo laptops with USB-C ports allow for USB-C charging. If your Lenovo laptop has a proprietary charger instead of a USB-C charger, the USB-C ports may only be for transmitting data or powering small devices off of your laptop. So, in those cases, you will not be able to charge your laptop using those USB-C ports.
That said, many laptops, even those with proprietary power supplies, will allow you to charge using the USB-C ports with the proper settings.
Differences between USB Cables
One of the significant differences you’ll notice between USB-C cables and other USB cables is the shape. A USB C cable is a universal cable that’s oval-shaped, meaning there’s no wrong way to plug it in.
On the other hand, other USB cables, like the USB-A cables we use to plug-in devices such as mice and keyboards, have to be plugged in a certain way, which means you can’t plug them in upside down.
Micro-USB-B or micro-B cables are usually USB-A to micro-B and have more of a sideways D-shape with two prongs striking out on either side of the flat part of the plug.
These other standards will not fit into a USB-C port, a skinny oval-shaped plug that doesn’t match those USB sizes.
So, it’s essential to understand that using any other USB cable other than USB-C, such as USB-A or USB-B, is a non-starter.
Many older phones and devices still use USB-A to micro-B cables, and these cables are still floating around, so asking to borrow someone’s USB charger will likely result in them handing you a USB-A to micro-B charger rather than a USB-C.
While the type-A USB cable can exchange a decent chunk of data, it’s not compatible with transferring large amounts of power, especially the energy needed to charge a laptop battery. Those cables just can’t deliver or handle that kind of wattage.
Also, data transfer rate differences between USB-C and USB-A cables are also pretty significant. While the Type-A cable (USB 3.1) offers speeds up to 10 Gigabytes per second, the Type-C cable (USB 3.2) offers speeds up to 20 Gigabytes per second.
There’s even a USB4 standard USB-C cable out there capable of transferring up to 40 Gigabytes per second of data!
In other words, the race between a USB-A and USB-C charger isn’t the turtle and the hare, but rather the turtle and a supersonic jet!
How to Charge a Lenevo Laptop Using Standard USB-C Phone Charger
Once again, we have to note that your laptop charger is going to be the most “effective” way to charge your laptop. However, there are other alternatives if those options are off the table (or left on another table somewhere, as it were).
The only things you need are a power source and a way to transfer power to your laptop’s battery.
Just plug your USB-C phone charger into a wall outlet, and then plug the other end into your laptop.
Charging in Your Car
You can use an AC adapter with USB-A on one end and USB-C on the other end to connect directly to a car’s USB-A charging port or to a USB-A power strip with an automobile auxiliary power adapter (that’s the cigarette lighter for those old enough to remember those).
Power banks are also another good way to charge your Lenevo laptop using a USB-C charger. In many cases, you can find banks capable of charging your laptop at least once before it needs recharging. These banks do not have to be plugged into a wall or car outlet and are usually small enough to put in your pocket.
Due to their limited charge, it’s good to have a power bank in case of emergencies and not as a regular power supply.
USB-C Port Not Charging
Your Lenovo laptop will have a power/battery section where you can change certain settings related to charging. If your laptop isn’t charging through the USB-C power port, you’ll need to go into the settings and change the port’s output to receive power instead of sending power.