What is iOS Battery Health and how to make your iPhone battery last longer

What is iOS Battery Health and how to make your iPhone battery last longer
Ever since Apple introduced the Battery Health feature to iPhone and iPad, there have been people keeping an eye on it and worrying about the number there slowly declining. This article will explain why there's little to worry about and will provide useful tips on how to take better care of your iPhone battery so that it lasts longer.

The most important thing to remember is that lithium-ion batteries found in modern smartphones degrade as they're used. It's impossible to keep a battery's health at 100% forever. But even below that perfect percentage, your iPhone can deliver peak performance, and following the tips below will ensure that its battery remains in good health for a long time.

What is Battery Health on iPhone and how to check it?

Okay, let’s start with the basics. Battery Health was introduced with iOS 11.3 back in 2018, allowing users to monitor the health of their battery and it’s capacity. On the Battery Health page you can find information on how well the battery is coping with usage and how good its condition is.

When you access the Battery Health section, found in Settings > Battery on your iPhone, you will see a section called Maximum Capacity, showing you how much charge your battery can hold relative to when it was new.

The Peak Performance Capability section informs you whether your battery can provide enough power to your iPhone when it's under heavy load - when starting or running a complex game, for example. If your battery health drops below a point where it's incapable of sustaining peak performance, you will see a warning here. You can read more about performance throttling and how it works here.

What is Optimized Battery Charging and should I leave it on?

This feature is useful if you charge your phone overnight, like most people. It adapts to your charging patterns and stops the charging process at 80%. The rest is filled in the morning, right before you get out of bed. This extends a battery's lifespan; the less time it spends fully charged, the longer it's going to stay healthy.

Optimized Battery charging is enabled by default and activates automatically, showing you a notification when it's active. In most cases, you don't need to turn it off unless you're certain you'll need a fully charged battery in the middle of the night.

How to improve Battery Health on iPhone?

Now, let’s move on to some useful tips that will help you maintain a higher percentage of battery capacity and better battery health. Keep in mind that your iPhone will eventually need battery replacement. Unfortunately, you cannot restore your battery capacity with these tips.

Avoid extreme heat to keep your iPhone battery healthier

Apple states on its website that iPhone batteries, and iPhones in general, perform their best at around 62℉ to 72℉ as ideal temperature. The range at which the iPhone is comfortable is generally between 32℉ and 95℉. Temperatures higher than 95℉ are dangerous for the battery health of your iPhone, regardless if it’s charging, just standing by, or if you’re using it.

So, don’t leave your iPhone in the sun when you’re drinking your cocktail on the beach, and be careful when you charge it – some phone cases may make your iPhone get hotter while charging than others. If you feel like your iPhone is getting way too hot when charging, just charge it without the case in a well ventilated area.

Additionally, avoid using your iPhone when it's charging, so it doesn't heat up from gaming or video streaming.

Don’t abuse wireless chargers or fast chargers for your iPhone

Try to limit the use of wireless chargers - they can be detrimental to your iPhone battery health because of the heat they generate. Occasional use of wireless chargers is okay, just make sure not to overdo it. Luckily, there are wireless chargers with fans that lower the heat significantly.

The same goes for fast chargers. If you constantly use a fast charger, like Apple's 18W power adapter included with the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, your iPhone's battery health will degrade faster. However, with iPhones, it is unclear how big of an impact fast chargers have compared to slow chargers. If you want to be on the safe side, you can use your convenient fast charger when you need charge quickly -- and charge overnight on a slow charger or from a computer's USB port.

If you decide to charge your iPhone overnight, don’t worry about overcharging. Your iPhone will stop charging once it hits 100%.

Use original or MFi certified chargers

This tip is generally to protect you against shady, knock-off chargers that can damage your battery health and do more harm than good. Apple has this program called MFi (Made for iPhone, Made for iPad and Made for iPod), which offers licensing to makers. A manufacturer has to pass Apple’s compliance tests and meet Apple’s requirements for safety and compatibility in order to get MFi certification. So, make sure to go for the original charger, or get an MFi-certified one for your iPhone.

How to save battery life on iPhone

Li-ion batteries lose a tiny bit of health with each charge-discharge cycle. Therefore, you can extend your iPhone battery's lifespan by not charging it as often. Here are some helpful tips on how to save battery life on iPhone:

  • Make sure your iPhone is updated to the latest software
  • Use low power mode in your iPhone when needed
  • Lower screen brightness if you want to conserve battery
  • Turn off Bluetooth and location services (you can fine-tune location services for specific apps from the related setting in Privacy > Location)
  • Turn off Background App Refresh for apps that don’t need it (from General > Background App Refresh)*
  • Use dark mode for iOS and apps that support it
  • Monitor which app drains the most battery and make adjustments to its usage
  • Make sure to benefit from Apple’s Optimized Battery Charging
  • When storing your iPhone for longer periods of time, charge it to 50% and turn it off

*Make sure you don’t turn off Background App Refresh completely as it’s necessary for apps such as Mail or text messaging apps. These apps need it to be able to be up to date at all times.

Bottom line: don’t stress about it too much

This goes without saying – phones are made to serve us, not the other way around. Battery health is, of course, important for the longevity of your iPhone. However, it’s also important to remember that, no matter what, at one point you will need to change your iPhone’s battery or buy a new smartphone. Battery health is important, but don't let it get in the way of actually enjoying having an iPhone.

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