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iPhone Battery Health: Everything You Need to Know

Your battery is the lifeblood of your iPhone. It keeps it powered up and at the ready for anything you need. That’s why it’s important to take proper care of it, so you can extend its life. Because is there anything worse than your phone dying on you?

Battery health is crucial, so we’ve put together a guide to help you keep your iPhone battery healthy and strong for as long as possible.

You’ll learn what kind of battery an iPhone has, dos and don’ts, charging tips, how to check and extend battery life, the best iPhone battery products and answers to your frequently asked questions. 

What Kind of Battery Does an iPhone Have? 

iPhones use lithium ion batteries, a newer battery technology that offers more power in a lighter, faster-charging package. Lithium ion batteries also last longer than older models. 

The battery is designed to charge to 80% very quickly, then use what’s called “trickle charging” for the remaining 20%. Trickle charging lowers the amount of electrical current in order to make the battery last longer. 

Lithium Ion Battery Charging Tips: Dos and Don’ts

Keeping your iPhone battery healthy means following a few guidelines. If you’re wondering how to extend battery life, here are some specific suggestions: 

Dos:

  • Keep your phone updated with the latest software. 
  • Keep your phone in a cool place. Apple recommends temperatures between 32 and 95 degrees fahrenheit. 
  • Use a trickle charger that stops charging the battery once it reaches 100%.
  • When you’re recharging a dead battery, charge it to at least 30% or more before using it.

Don’ts:

  • Use cheap chargers that may not be properly optimized for your battery.  
  • Continue to charge your battery once it’s full. 
  • Charge your battery if it’s at 80% or higher. 
  • Charge the battery before using it on a new device.

How Long Do iPhone Batteries Last?

No battery lasts forever, and eventually they reach the end of their lifespan. How long a battery lasts has a lot to do with how you treat your battery and whether you follow the suggestions for how to extend battery life. 

Apple doesn’t say how long their batteries last, just that they sustain through a “high number” of battery charge cycles. In the past phones that are used frequently have started to show reduced battery life after a year-and-a-half to two years, or around 400 to 500 charge cycles.

A battery charge cycle is one full use of 100% of the phone’s battery. For example, you could use 50% of the battery life today, then another 50% tomorrow and that adds up to one charge cycle. Recharging the battery doesn't affect the cycle — only usage does. 

How to Check Battery Health

To check battery health on an iPhone, the phone itself offers several options to give you an indication of where your battery stands. 

Open the Settings menu, then go to Battery, then Battery Health. The Battery Health section will tell you the Maximum Capacity of your battery, which shows the capacity of your battery (out of 100%) compared to when it was new. The lower the capacity, the closer your battery to the end of its life.

It will also show your battery’s Peak Performance Capacity. Ideally it will read “Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance.” If you see a different message warning you of an issue, it’s best to take your iPhone to a certified service provider. 

Note that if your iPhone is pre-2014 or running iOS 11.2 or earlier, you won’t see Battery Health as an option in Settings.

How to Extend Battery Health & When to Replace

If you’re wondering how to extend battery life, the key is to make sure you’re taking proper care of your battery and minimizing the use of apps and features that tend to drain it. Some suggestions include: 

  • Use wifi to download data; it uses less power than a cellular network.
  • Turn off your wifi when you’re not using it. Searching for wifi connections tends to eat battery.
  • Keep your brightness level down by turning on auto-brightness. Go to Settings, then General, then Accessibility, then Display Accommodations and turn auto-brightness on.
  • Turn on low power mode. When your phone gets down to 20%, it’ll tell you and give you the option to turn on low power mode. In low power mode certain functions (like Mail) won’t automatically download content, but you can still use your phone for texting, phone calls, etc. Once you charge your phone low power mode will turn off automatically. 
  • Keep an eye on your battery functionality under Settings, then Battery. It’ll show you battery level, activity, and battery level by app so you can see what’s draining your juice.
  • Leave apps open when you’re not using them. Close them out when you’re finished to save battery life. 
  • Leave your phone in the hot sun or other areas that have high temps. 
  • Overuse certain apps and features that tend to drain the battery including flashlight mode. Check which apps are using the most battery and minimize their use time. 
  • Use the dynamic backgrounds feature, which shows moving backgrounds on your phone home screen. While it looks great, it tends to drain the battery. 
  • If You want some more tips, we have a dedicated article on how to extend your battery life.

As far as when to replace your battery, look for signs like having to recharge your battery more frequently, your phone dying when the battery is still at 10% or more, your phone only working when it’s plugged in, or your Battery Health settings indicating a problem.

Best iPhone Battery Products

There’s nothing worse than having your iPhone die on you while you’re on-the-go. It’s your lifeline — but there are all kinds of products that can help make sure your phone’s battery health stays intact. 

wireless charging pad

Wireless charger

If you’re looking for the best way to charge your phone, a wireless charging pad is a super convenient option - just drop your phone on the pad and it starts charging, even with a case on. Super thin and designed for fast charging, Totallee’s wireless charger is designed to prevent overheating and protect your phone. It also has a “trickle charge” feature where it cuts off charging when your phone reaches full battery and only starts up again when it starts to drain — a feature which helps your battery have a longer life. 

power bank by anker

Portable chargers/Power banks

A power bank, or recharger, is a portable charger that stands alone and can charge your phone when you’re on the move. You plug it in when you’re not using it to recharge its power supply. Having a power bank handy means you can keep your battery charged anytime, anywhere. Here’s a list of the top power banks for iPhones. 

wireless car charger

Wireless Car Charger

Having a car charger means you’ll never be stuck with a dying phone while traveling. Totallee’s car charger has a secure clip that installs in almost any air conditioning vent. It automatically closes around your phone with a padded grip and has 360 degree rotation. Plus it can save 30 to 45 minutes when charging your phone, and you can charge with the case on.

iphone charger cable

iPhone Charger Cable

Having a cable you can count on means you’ll never have to worry about broken USBs, frayed wires or an unexpectedly dead phone. Totallee’s iPhone Charging Cable is made of super strong braided black nylon. It works with all Apple devices and because our manufacturing partner is vetted by Apple, you’ll never get a “this accessory is not supported” message. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to replace an iPhone battery?

According to Apple, it costs $69 to replace a battery for an iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, or an iPhone 11. It costs $49 to replace a battery for an iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and all other eligible models. Battery replacements are free when any phone is still under warranty. There are other companies that offer battery replacement, too, but be wary as they could void your warranty or potentially damage your device.

When should I charge my phone?

According to Apple, you can charge your phone at any time, for any length of time. There’s no need to wait until the battery dies to charge the phone, or to wait until it’s fully charged to unplug it. Generally, however, you should charge your phone overnight with a device that stops the charging process at 100%.

Is it bad to charge my iPhone overnight?

No, it’s recommended that you charge your phone overnight, but it’s best if you have a device that stops charging at 100%.

What is draining my iPhone battery?

Many different factors can affect battery health and how long a charge lasts. Screen brightness, for example. Apps are the main drain on your battery, however, and you can check the status in Settings. Go to Settings, then Battery. It’ll show you battery level, activity, and battery level by app so you can see which apps are using the most battery.

Why is my iPhone battery dying so fast?

It’s likely that you have apps running in the background — or your iPhone battery is reaching the end of its lifespan of charge cycles. Go to Settings, then Battery where you can see battery level, activity, and battery level by app.

Battery Health 101

Take good care of your battery, and it should take care of you. Follow the suggestions outlined above and your battery should stick around for the long haul.

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