If your iPhone or iPad battery isn’t going past 80%, try these tips

Mophie Powerstation Wireless Xl Charging IphoneSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

As I’m trying to survive a sweltering heat wave in Southern California, I noticed something peculiar about my iPhone 11 Pro as I was home when the August heat wave started: the battery didn’t seem to charge past 80%. It would literally sit at 80% for an hour, sometimes it would get to 83%, but nothing beyond that. I even tried rebooting my iPhone, but the battery issue still persisted. If you have experienced the same, then here are a few things you could try to alleviate the problem.

If your iPhone is not charging to 100%, you may notice that it remains at the 80% threshold, or something close to that (like 83-84% for me). That’s because Apple introduced a new feature in iOS 13 called “Optimized Battery Charging.” This feature has the software preventing or delaying your device’s charging at 80% for as long as you aren’t using the device.

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With Optimized Battery Charging, the device uses machine learning to study your daily usage patterns and charging routine, so it limits charging at 80% until you need to use it. Believe it or not, always having your phone at 100% actually wears out the battery quicker — the optimal levels are between 30-80%, as these levels get the most out of your battery, especially Lithium-Ion, which is what’s inside your Apple devices.

So while it may be an annoying feature, Optimized Battery Charging is supposed to help you out in the long run. It prolongs the iPhone and iPad’s battery life and helps prevent you from wearing out the battery too quickly.

Another reason why you may find your iPhone battery not charging to 100% is because of the battery temperature. When you overcharge your iPhone or iPad, it may generate a lot of heat, which is also detrimental to battery health. The heat that your device generates while charging basically exerts extra stress on the battery, reducing its lifespan. Again, Optimized Battery Charging and iOS 13 can limit charging beyond 80% if the battery temperature exceeds the recommended limits, which are set by Apple.

How to turn off Optimized Battery Charging

While the Optimized Battery Charging feature is supposed to help you extend the life of your battery, maybe you want to turn it off to see if your device can fully charge to 100%. Or perhaps you just don’t like the feature. Thankfully, turning it off is easy!

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Battery.
  3. Tap Battery Health.

    Turn off Optimized Battery Charging on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Launch Settings, tap Battery, tap Battery Health

    Source: iMore

  4. Tap the toggle for Optimized Battery Charging to OFF (gray).
  5. You’ll get two options for when turning Optimized Battery Charging to off: Turn Off Until Tomorrow or Turn Off (permanently). Choose which one you prefer.

    Turn off Optimized Battery Charging on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap the toggle to off for Optimized Battery Charging, then select if you want it off until tomorrow or permanently

    Source: iMore

To turn Optimized Battery Charging back on, just repeat steps 1-4 above, except the toggle should be green instead of gray.

Change charging location to a cooler location

As mentioned earlier, the temperature of the battery can affect it, so your iPhone or iPad may not be able to charge to 100%, and is stuck at around the 80% threshold. To fix this, you should try moving your iPhone or iPad to a cooler location, which would be more conducive. Avoid things like direct sunlight, rooms with poor ventilation, other appliances, and electronics, or other devices that can generate heat, if you can. If the environment is still too hot, you should try cooling it off with fans or air conditioners before attempting to charge.

Remove your phone case to dissipate heat

While cases are great for protecting your iPhone or iPad from drops and everyday wear and tear, they can also trap heat from your device while it’s charging or being used, which again, could cause your iPhone to not charge to 100%. If you have done the previous steps of turning off Optimized Battery Charging and moved to a cooler location, then try removing your case. This way, the heat that is being generated from the device can dissipate into the air, cooling off the battery.

You could also keep an eye out for cases that are designed to help dissipate heat, such as the Razer Arctech line of cases. When I tried them out for review, I noticed that it helped keep my iPhone cooler, and it didn’t overheat.

Try closing out apps that are draining battery

If there are a lot of apps running in the background that are resource-intensive, then it may cause your phone to get warm. It may help to force close out of them to prevent further battery drain as well as reducing strain on the device, allowing the battery temperature to drop slightly.

Use OEM charging accessories

Sometimes the problem can be because you are using fake or unauthorized charging accessories that don’t have the proper Made for iPhone (MFi) certification from Apple. If you’ve exhausted all other options we’ve mentioned, try getting a replacement Lightning cable, preferably from Apple, or trusted third-party brands like Anker, OtterBox, and others. It’s also best to purchase replacement accessories from reputable stores with genuine products and make sure to check customer reviews first if you are buying from places like Amazon.

Make that battery last

If you have had trouble with your iPhone battery not charging to 100%, like me, then hopefully these tips have helped you troubleshoot the issue. But if they haven’t, then you may need to take your iPhone or iPad into an Apple authorized repair center to have it looked at, or even replaced. That may be harder to do this year, but we have a guide on how to contact Apple Support for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch if you need help.

How to contact Apple Support for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch

Have more questions? Feel free to drop them in the comments, and we’ll do our best to help!

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