How to improve battery health on your iPhone. Easy tips

Is the battery health dropping on your iPhone faster than you expect? Are you worried that battery issues are building? Use these tips to maintain your iPhone battery health and slow ageing.

The health of a battery is defined as the amount of charge it can hold today compared with when it was new. A brand new battery, such as in a new device like an iPhone you just bought, has a health of 100%.

Over time, and with use, the amount of charge a battery can hold decreases. After two or three years use, it may only hold 85% of its original capacity or even less. When the health drops below 80%, it is time to think about replacing the battery with a new one.

Some people are still using the original battery in their iPhone after four or five years, but others find themselves in the low 80s after only 18 months.

Some iPhone owners are concerned that the battery health is dropping too fast and their new iPhone is down to 98% after only two or three months, or as low as 95% after six months or so. They wonder if it is faulty. Should they be worried?

Reduce battery drain

Why does the battery health fall so fast for some people, but not for others, what can be done about it? It is all about battery drain.

Check the iPhone battery health

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Press Battery
  3. Press Battery Health & Charging
  4. Look at the Maximum Capacity
iPhone battery health settings and optimized charging
iPhone battery health information

What is normal battery health for the iPhone? It depends on usage, charging and other factors. Degrading the battery by 10% per year or almost 1% per month is considered normal, but light users may see only half of this. Let’s see what you can do to improve battery health.

The more battery power you use and the more frequently you charge your iPhone, the faster the battery health degrades. Use less battery power, charge it less often and the battery will last longer.

Use low power mode

When the battery level falls below 20%, the iPhone automatically turns on Low Power Mode. It reduces background activity in order to make the remaining battery charge last as long as possible.

iPhone low power mode settings
Enable Low Power Mode on the iPhone

Anything that reduces battery drain and the need for charging, also reduces the wear and tear on the battery. Maintain battery health by manually enabling low power mode most of the time or even all the time. The iPhone runs fine in low power mode.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Press Battery
  3. Turn on the Low Power Mode switch

Turn off unused features

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Press General
  3. Press Background App Refresh
  4. Use the switches to stop apps refreshing in the background
  5. Or Press Background App Refresh
  6. Select Off to stop all apps refreshing
iPhone background app refresh settings
Limit background apps to save battery

Background app refresh is automatically turned off when low power mode is enabled, but when the phone is not in low power mode, you can choose which apps can refresh and which can’t. Only enable essential apps.

Turning off background refresh does not stop notifications. You will still be notified about emails, messages and so on, so some background activities are clearly happening and you will still see anything important.

Turning off features you do not use reduces battery drain and that helps to maintain battery health. If you are not using Bluetooth, turn it off.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Press Bluetooth
  3. Turn it off

Dim the screen

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Press Accessibility
  3. Press Display & Text Size
  4. Turn on Auto-Brightness
  5. Pull down from the top right to open Control Center
  6. Drag the screen brightness slider to dim the display
Control Center on the iPhone
iOS Control Center brightness, low power mode

The screen is one of the biggest consumers of battery power, so lowering the screen brightness reduces battery consumption. That leads to better battery health. Auto-brightness ensures that you can still see the screen if you step out into the sunshine.

Avoid 100% and 0% battery charge

The battery is under maximum stress at 100% and 0% charge, so keep away from these levels as much as possible. If you charge your phone every night, use Optimized Battery Charging.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Press Battery
  3. Press Battery Health & Charging
  4. Turn on Optimized Battery Charging

Plug your phone into the charger every night and the iPhone will charge to 80%. It stays there most of the night, avoiding battery stress that comes at 100%. It learns what time you get up in a morning and begins charging again just before you wake so it is ready at 100%. This is best for the battery health.

If you charge as and when neccessary, check the charge level and take it off the charger at 80 or 90%. When using your phone, plug it into a charger if possible when it falls below 20%. Try not to let it go below 10% and certainly not 0%.

Disable location services

Constantly checking your location uses battery power and this affects battery health. Some apps require location in order to work, like directions in the Maps app, but if you are not actually using them, turn off location services.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Press Privacy & Security
  3. Press Location Services
  4. Turn off the switch at the top

It depends on what apps you use and if they need location services, there’s not much you can do.

Don’t play games on the iPhone

Fast action games drain the battery like nothing else because they push the hardware to the limit. The battery can be drained by a few hours of gaming. That means it means more frequent charging, which impacts battery health.

Avoid vs install software updates

Updates sometimes contain bugs and there are often compaints after an iOS update that the battery is draining fast. The same can happen with app updates too. If your iPhone is working fine, don’t be the first to update. Keep a lookout for reports of iOS or app updates causing battery drain problems and put off updating until there is a fix. If you do find the battery draining after an update, update again as soon as possible because it will probably fix the problem.

Avoid temperature extremes

Extreme heat and cold is bad for the batter health and can shorten battery life. Do not leave it in the sun and avoid leaving it in the car on sunny days. Keep it in a warm pocket in the winter.

Restart the iPhone

If the battery is draining fast, restart the iPhone. It sometimes gets itself into a weird state where it is consuming battery at a very fast pace, but a restart can clear the fault.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Press General
  3. Press Shut down at the bottom
  4. Wait a few seconds, then hold down the power button to turn it on


You cannot prevent battery health declining over time, but using the tips here, you can slow it down. Eventually all batteries become so weak they cannot hold sufficient charge to be useful. If you find yourself charging your iPhone twice a day and the battery health is below 80%, the time has come to replace it.

Apple offers a battery replacement service. Ask at your nearest Apple store. There is a useful page on the Apple website, iPhone Battery Service that can be used to arrange battery replacement. It can also give you an estimate of the cost. Just select your iPhone model and it tells you how much it will be.

If you have AppleCare+ and the battery health falls below 80%, Apple will replace the battery for free.

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