How to improve iPhone's battery health?
Most smartphones today use lithium-ion batteries.
Compared to traditional battery technology, they charge faster, last longer, and have a higher energy density, thus having a longer lifespan. The wrong usage and charging methods may even halve the battery’s lifespan, therefore it is important to learn basic knowledge about how to preserve the battery's health.
Topics covered in this article:
- Pros and Cons of lithium-ion batteries:
- Correct charging technique
- Increasing your battery’s lifespan
- Myths about charging iPhones
Pros and Cons of lithium-ion batteries:
- Reduced Energy Use. Less power is required to charge to completion and does not have to be charged as frequently, thereby reducing energy use and cost.
- More Life. Lithium-ion Batteries boast over twice the life of lead-acid batteries.
- Close to Zero Maintenance. Lithium-ion batteries don’t require watering like lead-acid counterparts, nearly eliminating maintenance needs.
- Faster Charging. Charging is significantly faster than lead-acid counterparts.
- Self-discharge. Lithium-ion battery self-discharge is much lower than other rechargeable batteries, such as Ni-Cad and NiMH. It is typically around 5% in the first 4 hours after being charged but then falls to a figure of around 1 or 2% per month.
- Cost. Lithium-ion Batteries cost 3x more than their lead-acid counterparts on average.
- Transportation. For air travelers, lithium-ion batteries often need to be in carry-on luggage. But the number of devices containing said batteries may be limited. Any lithium-ion batteries carried separately must be protected against short circuits with protective covers.
- Aging. It depends on the number of charge-discharge cycles that the battery has undergone. Often batteries will only be able to withstand 500 - 1000 charge-discharge cycles before their capacity decreases. After a while, the battery may need replacing.
- Protection required. They require protection from being overcharged and discharged too far. In addition to this, they need to have the current maintained within safe limits. Accordingly, one lithium-ion battery disadvantage is that they require protection circuitry incorporated to ensure they are kept within their safe operating limits.
Apple iPhone batteries have two-stage charging settings:
- Fast Charge (For convenience) - Gives you more power more quickly.
- Trickle Charge (For longevity) - Eases the electrical current to extend battery lifespan.
How to correctly charge your phone?
You should never fully charge your smartphone up to 100%. Charging the phone fully, especially from a low power level reduces the battery’s lifespan. Also, iPhone's battery should never go fully empty.
The correct way to charge your phone is to do it little by little. The power level should be continuously maintained between 45–75 percent. Frankly, the habit of using a smartphone throughout the day and charging overnight is not the best for retaining the battery’s lifespan.
Especially in the northern countries, winter conditions complicate the use of iPhones in cold temperatures.
We suggest charging your iPhone before going outside and taking a portable charger with you, which will let you keep the battery optimally charged during a longer trip in the cold until you get access to a power outlet.
However, it is important to know that you should never charge a cold phone. Only charge the phone if you’ve managed to keep it warm in your pocket.
The phone can easily be kept warm if you store it close to your body instead of in your purse or handbag, for example in the inner pocket or breast pocket of your coat, also if storing it in your trouser pocket turn the device facing your body. Human body temperature remains relatively stable and keeps the phone from sudden temperature changes.
Extreme temperature changes can damage the battery irreversibly (making it engorge “swell up”), so avoid leaving your phone in your luggage when traveling with an airplane. Our experience shows cases of returned iPhones due to inflated batteries, eventually applying too much pressure on iPhones display damaging it, caused by sudden temperature changes - delivery on land (+30C) to the airport, then reaching destination in a commercial plane which travels 10 km in the air (-10C).
How to increase your battery’s lifespan:
Before implementing a tip, you need to understand what’s consuming the most of the battery on your iPhone.
- Launch Settings.
- Scroll down and tap Battery.
- Scroll down to the Apps section of the Battery History Window, and see the apps causing iOS 15 battery drain. Then you can delete them as needed.
Turn off Auto-Join Hotspots
Enable Low Power mode and Optimized Battery Charging
Low Power Mode essentially minimizes the amount of power that your iPhone uses when the battery gets low. It gives you the notification to turn Low Power Mode on when your iPhone’s battery hits 20% and again at 10%.
The Low Power Mode directly affects the following tasks:
- Email fetch
- “Hey Siri”
- Background app refresh
- Automatic downloads
- Some visual effects
- Auto-Lock (defaults to 30 seconds)
- iCloud Photos (temporarily paused)
Optimized Battery Charging is designed to reduce the wear on your battery and improve its lifespan by reducing the time your iPhone spends fully charged. Your iPhone will delay charging past 80% in certain situations when the feature is enabled.
Avoid updating to Beta software updates
Update apps regularly in App Store
Use Dark Mode
Dark Mode can extend your iPhone’s battery life by 30% (research by Purdue). Using Dark Mode for longer periods reduces your iPhone’s battery's stress, improving its health. Also, it is important to avoid using the phone’s maximum brightness.
Turn off AirDrop
Turn off non-critical app’s notifications
Important! Force quitting apps does not save battery.
Turn Off Raise to Wake
Raise to Wake is a convenient option to swiftly view your notifications on your lock screen. However, this process can consume a significant amount of battery power every time you raise your iPhone.
To turn off this option, navigate to Settings → Display & Brightness → toggle OFF Raise to Wake option.
Turn on Reduce Motion
Reduce Motion decreases the user interface effects. There are not many details on it, but it aids in improving iOS 15 battery life, and it makes sense
Turning reduced motion on makes UI effects less flashy.
Here’s how to set it up.
- Tap Settings.
- Scroll down and tap on Accessibility.
- Tap Motion.
- Locate the switch next to Reduce Motion and switch it on.
Swipe right on the home screen to see the widgets you are currently using. Scroll down on the screen and tap on Edit at the very bottom of the screen. Here, you can remove the apps which you aren’t using from widgets by tapping the red icon on the left side of a given app or game and tapping on remove which appears on the right side. This may not create a great impact, but it will certainly add a little to your battery life!
Avoid using slow Wi-Fi networks
Manually select Wi-Fi when connected to multiple internet routers in the same place
Myths about charging iPhones
Never use iPhone whilst its charging
FALSE. Opening apps, answering phone calls, and checking your text messages whilst your iPhone is plugged in is completely fine. However, the battery may take longer to charge up.
Charging an iPhone overnight can destroy the battery
FALSE. Although charging your iPhone overnight is safe and won’t destroy the battery, trickle charging can cause your iPhone to heat up. This isn’t something you need to worry about but if you can, take your iPhone out of its case whilst charging, ensure you place it on a flat, hard surface, and if you wake up in the night at any point, unplug it before you go back to sleep.
Must use the official Apple charger to charge iPhone
FALSE. Using a third-party charger to charge up your iPhone is fine. Just ensure that you aren’t using a super-cheap, knockoff, faulty charger – this is when the damage to your iPhone could be caused.
Always charge iPhone up to 100% and let the battery drain down to 0%
FALSE. Avoid charging your iPhone full cycle (0-100%). Instead, try to top it up regularly in shorter chargers. If it’s possible, keep your iPhone’s battery charged with a good amount of power as the day goes on – partial charging is the way to go.
It doesn’t matter if iPhone is ever turned off
FALSE. If you don’t do it already, try turning your iPhone off at least once a week to reset it or when you go to bed and it’s not in use. Turning it off from time to time allows your iPhone to take a break and preserves the battery’s longevity.