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How do I keep my iPhone battery health at 100%?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you can't.
iPhone showing battery with red stripe
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

It seems like iPhone owners are completely obsessed with the health of their batteries. I've lost count of the number of times I've been asked how to keep an iPhone's battery at 100% health, and there are countless YouTube videos and articles telling owners how to do this.

I have bad news for you if you're one of those people.

There's only one thing that you can do to keep your iPhone's battery health at 100%.

Stop using your iPhone.

Yup, the only way you're going to keep your iPhone's battery at 100% is to stop using it and charging it.

Also: Stop charging your phone overnight

I've also got another bit of advice to those who are obsessing over the health of their iPhone's battery.

Stop worrying about it.

Not seen this iPhone stat before? You can find it by tapping on Settings > Battery > Battery Health.

Battery Health page showing Maximum Capacity of 96%

Battery Health on IOS 15.

Screenshot by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

It's a feel-good number that doesn't really tell you anything meaningful about the actual health of your battery. My iPhone tells me that my battery is still at 96% capacity after almost a year of heavy use.

And after 297 recharge cycles, I guarantee you this number is wrong.

If you want to know how to find out how many recharge cycles your iPhone has been through, I suggest reading this more in-depth piece on iPhone batteries that will show you how to get these numbers out of iOS.

According to Apple, the battery is rated to hold 80% of its capacity after 500 complete charge cycles.

This means that my iPhone is more than halfway through those 500 charge cycles, and yet there's only 4% of battery wear being reported.

As I said, the number is feel-good nonsense.

You can't change the laws of physics.

The bottom line is that as part of the normal battery-wear process, your battery will lose about 1 percentage point for every 25 cycles. After 300 recharge cycles, my iPhone will have lost about 12% of health.

So, why is it only showing 4%? Because the battery inside your iPhone has a higher actual capacity than Apple claims.

You can find out how to find the actual capacity of your iPhone's battery here. The battery doesn't start showing wear until the capacity falls below Apple's rated capacity.

This is why it takes many weeks or months before the "battery health" falls below 100%.

So, is there anything else you can do to prolong your battery's health other than using it less?

No.

This is normal battery wear.

That said, there are a few steps you can take to take the stress off your battery to reduce additional wear.

  • Use a good-quality charger.
  • Keep your iPhone at room temperature as much as possible.
  • Don't overcharge your iPhone.

And do yourself a favor, and stop obsessing over your iPhone's battery health.

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