21 Tips on How to Improve iPhone Battery Health in 2021

With almost 25% worldwide market share, iPhone users are increasing with the release of each new iteration. But with all the new functionalities and features, users always worry about whether their iPhone’s battery will last through the day or not.  

iPhones and almost every other Apple product use Lithium-ion batteries. Majorly because they charge faster, last longer, and weigh less compared to the traditional batteries. But all Lithium-ion powered batteries’ capacity deplete over time. 

In simple terms, they age as the device gets older. As the battery gets older, you’ll notice that you’re charging your iPhone way more frequently than you used to and getting substantially less screen time and battery life, even if you’re using it. 

That’s where the concept of battery health comes in. 

“Battery life” is the amount of time a device runs before it needs to be recharged. “Battery lifespan” is the amount of time a battery lasts until it needs to be replaced. While battery life is measured in percentages and hours, the battery age is measured in charge cycles. According to Apple, 

A normal battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles when operating under normal conditions. The one-year warranty includes service coverage for a defective battery. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers battery service for a charge.       

Here are 20 ways to improve your iPhone’s battery health:

1. Avoid extreme temperatures

Lithium-ion batteries are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Apple has also shared an official comfort zone temperature range for iOS devices. 

The recommended operating range is 0° C to 35° C (32°F to 95° F). Although, it’s not practically possible as a lot of places have temperatures way beyond the recommended operating range. So, you can either use thick cases to keep them warm or avoid leaving your phone exposed to sunlight on a hot day. 

Also, refrain from leaving your iPhone in closed spaces (like cars) where there’s less ventilation as it causes a rise in room temperature. A lot of people leave their phones in their cars or the glove compartment, that raises the phone’s temperature.  

In simple terms, heat is a battery killer as it permanently damages the battery capacity. While extremely cold temperatures damage the battery health temporarily.

Charging in high ambient temperatures is not recommended either so please ensure you charge your iPhone in “comfortable temperature zones”. 

2. Avoid completely depleting the battery

Almost all Lithium-ion batteries have a structure  like this:

(Overcharge Protection Buffer) – [Usable capacity] – (Under-Voltage Protection Buffer) – *Danger Zone* – [Total Cell Failure].

The danger zone is the grimy area from where you could recover but there’s no guarantee of performance after that. As this damages the battery capacity of the iPhone permanently. 

So, it’s not recommended to deplete the iPhone’s battery to 0% unless you’re calibrating it. In case you have an erratic schedule, you can go charger hopping through the day as it’ll only be counted as 1 full charge cycle, once the battery completes 100% discharge. Learn more about what counts as 1 full battery charge cycle

3. Do not let your iPhone overheat during charging 

As mentioned before, heat is a battery killer. So, make sure that your iPhone does not overheat while it’s charging. According to Apple, heat does permanent damage to the battery capacity, unlike extreme cold weather which only reduces the battery capacity temporarily.

The heat can change the internal structure of the battery chemicals which can further damage the voltage indicator. A damaged voltage indicator will not be able to optimize the flow of current resulting in overcharging of the iPhone and end up damaging the battery and your iPhone. 

4. Use MFi charging accessories only 

One of the most common reasons that result in a bad iPhone battery health is the use of charging accessories that are not certified by Apple. Always make sure that both the charging cable and the adapter are MFi certified. 

MFi is the abbreviation of Made for iPod, Made for iPhone, and Made for iPad. Only brands that pass Apple’s rigorous device and facility tests can put the MFi logo on their products. So, make sure to always look out for the MFi logo on the charging accessories. 

For example, every lighting cable adapter has a tiny authentication chip that tells the iPhone that it’s MFi certified. Otherwise, iPhone shows a pop-up when it detects a cable that is not MFi certified. 

5. Enable Optimised Battery Charging 

Optimized battery charging was introduced with iOS 13 and it increases the lifespan of your battery and hence, improving its battery health. It uses machine learning to learn from your daily charging habits and predict when your iPhone will be put on charge for a longer period and charge accordingly. 

For example, lots of people have this habit of charging their iPhones overnight. So, the machine learning algorithm will aim to ensure that by the time you’re up, (based on your past charging and unplugging data) the iPhone is 100% charged. The algorithm performs this to ensure less time is spent charging the iPhone.

When the feature is turned on, it’ll show the scheduled time by when the iPhone will be 100% charged. You can tap the “Charge Now” option to charge it to 100% right away. 

6. Turn on Auto-brightness and Avoid Full Brightness

iPhones have retina displays that consume a lot of power. Screens are one of the most used and battery consuming parts of an iPhone. And pushing those retina display pixels to full brightness puts stress on the battery of an iPhone. So, it’s not a good practice to keep your iPhone at 100% brightness at all times as it directly affects the battery health. Switching to auto-brightness can help improve your iPhone’s battery health in the long run as it changes the brightness levels according to the environment. Moreover, it’s good for your eyes as well. 

7. Remove cover during charging 

Charging generates heat so your iPhone may heat up while charging. If that’s the case, then you should remove your iPhone’s cover to ensure that the heat generated during charging is dissipated properly. Some thick cases and covers trap the heat and that leads the iPhone to heat up unnecessarily while charging.This may result in damaging the battery health. It is most commonly found in thick leather foldable cases which have card pockets and other tiny accessibility features. If you own those big and thick rubber cartoon covers so avoid charging your iPhone in those covers as they heat up your iPhone. 

8. Fast charging is not bad for your iPhone

For those wondering, no, fast charging is not bad for your iPhone (unless it’s not officially supported). iPhones released after 2017 (iPhone 8 and above) officially support fast charging, given that you’re using the official fast charger by Apple or a MFi certified charger. 

Fast charging works in 2 phases. The first phase is the fast charging phase where the charger pushes current into the battery at a faster rate. You may have seen how brands advertise this with taglines like “60% battery in 30 minutes of charge”. That’s because the Lithium-ion batteries comprise of chemicals whose structure change when they absorb electricity. A battery with a low charge can take charge faster without any damage. 

And with 60-80% (this varies from device to device) battery capacity, the ability of the battery to absorb charge at a faster rate diminishes. That’s when the second phase of fast charging kicks in to ensure the battery is charged at a slower rate without damaging it.

This is also done by the battery health management system in iOS. That’s the reason why it takes extra time to charge those last 20% of your iPhone battery. 

In short, fast charging doesn’t damage your iPhone’s battery health, just make sure you use MFi certified or official fast chargers. 

Update: Fast chargers are not bad for your iPhones. But they still generate more as compared to the slow 5W chargers. So, if you’ve got the extra time to let your iPhone charge slowly, I’d recommend you do that. Fast charging works in phases and the initial burst phase still generates a lot of heat compared to the slow 5W charging. As mentioned earlier, heat is a battery killer. So, use the 5W when you can but don’t let this thing change your usage and charging habits. The iPhone is meant to serve you and not the other way around.

Best Fast Chargers for iPhone 11 series and iPhone 12 series.

9. Overnight charging 

Lots of people have this habit of charging their iPhones overnight because let’s accept it. Our phones don’t last that long on a single charge. But there’s this commonly found misconception amongst iPhone users, “Don’t charge your iPhone overnight for the sake of your battery!”. Let’s bust that out. 

Modern smartphones have Lithium-ion batteries with smart battery management softwares that ensure your phone doesn’t overcharge. 

Similarly, iPhone batteries are made with a cut off point to ensure the device battery doesn’t overcharge. This helps to maintain the battery health of your iPhone. 

Moreover, you can turn on Optimized battery charging to ensure that you get 100% battery when you wake up every morning without worrying about the whole overnight charging battery damaging issue. 

10. Use Wi-Fi 

It’s a well-known fact that Wi-Fi uses less power than cellular radio. Since Wi-Fi is usually faster than cellular so it downloads and uploads files even faster, so neither you nor your iPhone has to wait for longer periods. For example, when you’re watching a YouTube video, your iPhone will download the video faster (while you’re watching the video) when on Wi-Fi as compared to cellular, resulting in less screen time and battery consumption. This helps improve your iPhone’s battery health in the long run. But there’s a catch to using Wi-Fi as well. Learn about that in the next point. 

11. The right Wi-Fi settings

Turn off Auto Join Hotspots in Wi-Fi settings on iPhone to save battery

Ensure that you’re following the below practices to get optimum battery performance on your iPhone:

  • Turn off Auto-Join Hotspots – Your iPhone is continuously looking for new networks to join even when it’s already connected to a stable network. So, make sure to turn it off after a software update.
  • Avoid using slow Wi-Fi networks – Slow Wi-Fi networks will make your iPhone process queries for longer periods. Therefore, increasing the battery consumption for background app activities, on-screen time, eventually affecting the battery health of your iPhone.  
  • Manually select Wi-Fi if you’re connected to multiple internet routers in the same place – This practice helps your iPhone understand when you’re on the move so it automatically connects to the nearest Wi-Fi without hunting for other connections or trying to connect on the other (already joined) network. 

12. Enable Low Power Mode 

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 battery icon changes to a yellow bar whenever it’s turned on. 

Some features might not work or may take longer to process as it limits battery consumption. 

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)

When used regularly users have reported a longer battery life when they switched to low power mode. Also, there’s no harm if you switch to this mode even when your iPhone has a decent battery life left. 

13. Calibrate your iPhone battery

It is essential to calibrate the iPhone’s lithium-ion battery periodically because of two major reasons: 

  1. It helps the software calculate the actual range of battery life.
  2. Non-calibrated battery causes discrepancies in battery reporting. For example, it may jump from 35% to 25% within minutes of usage. 

Many factors like software updates, background app refresh and day-to-day usage also contribute to an iPhone battery become incorrectly calibrated.

iPhone’s battery can be calibrated by merely discharging it to 0% and leaving it like that for some time and then charging it to 100% and an extra hour or so. 

The iPhone’s battery should be calibrated after every software update and every once in a while.  

14. Avoid updating to Beta software updates

Avoid updating to Beta software updates to save battery life on iPhone

To keep your iPhone’s battery healthy, don’t download updates as soon as they’re out. Beta software updates are full of bugs and issues and sometimes they damage the battery health permanently as the new software is not fully optimized for the hardware yet. 

The ideal practice should be to wait a few weeks until those bugs are fixed and new patches are released. Always look out for user feedback on forums to see if the new update is optimized or causing any issues. 

15. Update your apps regularly

Check app reviews before updating to avoid overheating of iPhone

One of the main culprits of battery drain in iPhones are the apps. Always running in the background refreshing, consuming data, sending out those notifications. You can manage them in the background app refresh settings and suspend the ones that you don’t need. 

But developers keep adding new functionalities to these apps. So, before proceeding to update your apps and access those new app features, make sure to go through the most recent reviews because these newly added functionalities bring a swarm of bugs that affects your device’s performance and battery health. The most common example is overheating or battery drain caused by a recently updated app.

This tip applies to both kind of users who update their apps daily and the ones who check for app updates every once in a while.

16. Check apps that use unnecessary power regularly

We all know that a lot of apps use power and data even if they’re not in use. Facebook is the most common example. Disable the background refresh activities of apps that aren’t critical to extend battery life and make sure you do that on regular intervals.

Also, when you update your apps, some of them add new features (as mentioned before) and they might consume more power in the background. Sometimes the effects are noticeable in the form of overheating, battery draining, etc. so you should check the background refresh activities and either suspend them or monitor for another update. Please make this a weekly practice and you may find apps that are consuming power even if you don’t use them on a regular basis.

17. Use Dark Mode

Switch to Dark Mode in iPhone to save battery

iOS 13 finally introduced Dark mode to iPhones and based on a recent test, Dark Mode can actually extend your iPhone’s battery life by 30%. Using Dark Mode for longer periods reduces the stress on your iPhone’s battery, hence improving its health. The dark mode is not only good for your iPhone’s battery but also soothing to your eyes.

So, it’s a win-win situation…only if your iPhone has an OLED display. In OLED displays, each pixel emits its light and that’s why the pixels displaying black colors don’t light up at all. Hence, consuming less power. In LCD screens the display requires some amount of backlight, even when it’s displaying a black color. 

18. Force Quitting apps does not save you power

Force Quitting apps does not save battery on iPhone

The urban legend of “force quitting apps to save battery life on your iPhone” is still very prominent in 2021. People force quit their background apps to ensure that their iPhone’s battery lasts longer. Well, in reality, this practice actually decreases your iPhone’s battery life. 

Simply put, iOS automatically moves apps in different states when they’re running in background. These 5 states are: Not running, inactive, active, background and suspended. When an app is force quit, it’s removed from memory (the suspended state of the app) and closed. Upon relaunching, more resources are required to run the app all over again, leading to more battery consumption. 

Even Apple executives themselves have clarified that force-quitting apps doesn’t help with the battery life.

19. Turn off AirDrop

Turn off Airdrop always discoverable settings to save iPhone's battery

AirDrop allows you to share files and photos with other Apple devices within proximity. It’s a great feature when you’re moving files across devices all the time but it can take a toll on your device’s battery health in the long run. 

As I said, if you’re a regular AirDrop user then this shouldn’t be an issue for you but if you’re not. Then here’s what you can do to reduce its impact on your iPhone’s battery health. 

Make sure that it’s the discoverable feature is turned off. Otherwise, your iPhone will keep looking for nearby Apple devices, stressing your iPhone’s battery even when it’s not required. 

Use it only when you need it. I prefer to use WeTransfer for sending files across devices on a  daily basis. It sure uses data, but it’s more convenient. 

20. App notifications Management – Turn off non-critical apps notifications

Optimizing your app notification settings is one small step that can affect your iPhone’s battery life and battery health in the long run. 

You can follow this practice of turning off app notifications of non-critical apps like games, service apps which keep nagging you with in-app purchase offers every hour. This also includes turning off other unimportant notifications like Instagram, Facebook likes, etc. to save up power. 

For example, I get a lot of likes on some of my pictures on Instagram. Each notification lights up the iPhone’s screen for 5 seconds. Let’s say, my picture got over 100 likes. So, that’s 500 seconds. On an average, I get a thousand Instagram notifications in a month so that’s more than an hour of on-screen time that can be saved just by disabling these notifications.

21. Use the right wireless chargers

Wireless charging is very convenient. Just drop your phone on the pad/stand and you’re good to go. No need to worry about messy cables. It’s the perfect bedside accessory for you if you charge your iPhone overnight like most of us do. But the only caveat with wireless chargers is that they generate a lot of heat even the slow ones. This does not mean you should not buy a wireless charger. Instead, go for the ones with built-in heat dissipation mechanisms. A lot of wireless chargers come with built-in fans and grills for better thermal performance. This keeps the charger and the iPhone relatively cooler which adds to the better battery health.

Best Wireless Chargers for iPhone 11

Just make sure to follow these tips and you will see an improvement in your iPhone’s battery health overtime. Also, the battery health doesn’t increase as it ages with each charge and discharge. We can only follow these practices to ensure that the battery health diminishes at a very minimal rate.

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