How to check how many battery cycles is your Apple iPhone battery on

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Apple iPhone battery, image courtesy of iFixit

*Update: With the iOS 10.2.1 software update, Apple significantly slows down processor performance on the iPhone 6s and earlier models that have an old battery. With iOS 11.2, the same throttling is done to iPhone 7. If you want your device to go back to its normal running speeds, you need to change the old battery on it to a new one. Read on to understand how to know whether exactly how old your iPhone battery is.*

An iPhone battery usually lasts throughout a full workday, but rarely much more than a day, which means that you still need to do the ritual of nightly recharging. Also, just like on most Apple devices, the battery inside iPhones is a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) one, meaning that it degrades after time.

With recent iPhone performance slow-down reports linking CPU performance to battery health, you might want to know one crucial detail about the battery: how used is it exactly?

Battery age is measured in battery cycles, where one cycle is equal to the process of draining and completely filling up the battery once. This can mean that you use up your battery from 100% until the phone is at 0%, or completely dead, or you can drain 55% of that battery one day and 45% the next day, and together, the two days combine for one, complete 100% battery cycle.

How to check how many battery cycles is your Apple iPhone battery on

Now that we know how you get 1 battery cycle count, we need to know how many cycles can an iPhone battery go through before its capacity deteriorates significantly. Apple's official support page gives the following Li-Ion battery longevity for different products:

  • iPhone - 500 cycles
  • Apple Watch - 1,000 cycles
  • iPad - 1,000 cycles
  • iPod - 400 cycles
  • Macbook - 1,000 cycles

Typically it would take about two years - but it could be more or less depending on individual usage - to get to that critical number. When you hit that limit, this means that the Li-Ion battery has degraded to 80% of its full capacity.

So how do you check how many battery cycles is your iPhone battery on? Apple has blocked apps reporting battery cycle count on the App Store, so you will need to your iPhone, a Lightning cable and a desktop computer to check. While there may be other solutions, we use iBackupBot, an app available for both Windows and Mac as a free 7-day trial and paid after that. We walk you through the process of setting it up and learning about your iPhone battery cycle count right below.

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