How to Check the Battery Life of an iPhone

How to Check the Battery Life of an iPhone

How to Check the Battery Life of an iPhone
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iPhones seem to run out of battery pretty quickly. This is a problem which many iPhone users face, and they seem to drain more than any other brand.

The good news is that there are ways to fix this rather than merely getting rid of the phone for a new model, and in most cases, the problem isn’t the battery itself, but certain apps working away in the background.

In this article, we delve into the world of iPhone batteries to help you discover the ways in which you can save your phone’s battery and find out exactly what’s causing the problem. We will also show you how to check the battery life, and other ways to use apps without draining the battery.

How to Check iPhone Battery Usage

So first things first, how do you actually check the battery usage? Knowing the usage of battery is vital to understanding where your battery life is being used.

To find this out, go into your settings, and tap the battery icon. Wait for a few moments as the battery usage calculates, and when you get into this section, there should be a breakdown of how much power is being used by each of your apps, or by a service on the screen.

If you then tap the ‘show detailed usage’ button, this will give you a description of both foreground and background battery usage. If you are interested in seeing the usage over the past week, you can tap ‘last 7 days’ in order to receive a more detailed look at the power consumption.

Checking Battery Usage in iOS 12

Perhaps you are using iOS 12? Checking the battery works in the same way; however, there are a few small changes you should be aware of, including the battery readout.

To begin checking battery via iOS 12, open the settings just like before and tap battery. It will probably take a few minutes for the data to calculate. Then the button ‘show activity’ can be pressed to reveal a breakdown of both background and on-screen activity. If you tap ‘battery usage,’ this will take you back to the analysis of your usage by percentage.

Again, just like before, you can also look back by tapping the last 10 days, to get a more in-depth look at what your device has been using.

Checking iPhone Battery Health

When it comes to checking your iPhone’s battery health, it hasn’t always been possible. In fact, it was only made available after iOs 11.3. It is said that batteries with over 80% of their capacity are considered healthy, while those with less than 8% can be eligible for a replacement from Apple.

If you are interested in finding out how to check the health of your phone’s battery, here’s how it’s done.

First, open the settings on your phone, and then tap battery. You should see a ‘battery health (Beta)’ setting, and this will lead you to find out the maximum capacity of your iPhone’s battery. This will show you the capacity in comparison to when it was first bought, and will also indicate the performance level that your iPhone supports.

Understanding Battery Usage

Some of the biggest culprits when it comes to battery drain on both iPhone and iPads are the screen lighting, music and radio, and chip processing. Apple shows you all of these as being ‘on screen’ factors, for example, the screen lighting up and ‘background’ as music, radio or processors which work when the screen isn’t even lit.

Even if an app uses a large amount of power, whether on screen or working in the background, it doesn’t mean there is an issue. If you are on Instagram or watching videos on YouTube, for example, specific videos may show a high ‘on screen’ usage. Similarly, if you download many videos, music or podcasts from the internet, or stream for an extended period, this may show up as a high background usage.

When the numbers, however, don’t tend to match with what you are doing on the phone, then this is where there is likely to be a problem. For example, if one app is showing a high level of battery usage, yet you have never opened it, then you should focus your attention on this.

One way to check which apps are taking your precious battery life is to look at the percentages and see what uses what. Instagram, for example, doesn’t take too much time to complete actions, and the percentage between on screen and background is relatively similar.

Larger apps like Facebook, however, can use twice as much battery working in the background as it does on screen which is not a positive sign. Apps like this can possibly take too much at times and are best to use on the laptop if you want to save your phone’s battery for its usual duties.

The Power Usage Readout – iOS 12

In iOS 12 there is the option to see a complete power usage readout. This is very useful when understanding exactly where your battery life is being used. Like the app-specific breakdown shown previously, this readout is presented in two charts. These charts will display information from the past 24 hours during the last ten days.

The first chart is, of course, the battery usage, which is pretty simple. However, the chart will change based on the exact time that you are receiving the information. When it comes to viewing your battery usage over the last 24 hours, you will see how the battery reacted, including periods when it drained, as well as when it was charged. Looking at the past ten days, this will instead show you a day-per-day description of the battery’s percentage that has been used. Therefore, if you used almost all of your battery, decided to charge it and then use again, your usage would be over 100%.

The second chart is all about activity and shows you exactly how much time your device was being used, and is broken down by hour or day. This activity chart has a dark blue color which represents activity when the screen was on, and light blue to represent off screen activity, which helps to understand the two differences.

To learn how to keep on top of your battery usage, it’s essential to understand how to read these charts and do it daily in order to better preserve your battery in the future.

Is it Possible to Reduce Background Activity?

The good news is, yes, it is possible to reduce your background activity. If you want to minimize the on-screen battery, it’s pretty straightforward – reduce the amount of time you spend on the app. You can also reduce the background activity of an app if you want to.

Simply launch the settings from the home screen and tap general. Then you should see a setting which reads ‘Background App Refresh.’ Once you are in here, you can switch off any app with background access that you wish to minimize. However, keep in mind that when you turn off the background app refresh, this can often make apps a little less convenient. For example, if you decide to turn off background app refresh on a messaging app such as WhatsApp, you may still receive all the notifications, but not the messages themselves which can be less useful.

Another thing many apps do in the background is to use your location. This is something which can slowly drain your battery if you let it. You can too prevent this by removing automatic access. Just go to settings, tap the privacy icon and continue to location services. You should then see a list of apps which are currently using your location and can change the setting to never or while using the app, which means they will only use the battery while the app is open.

Keep in mind that turning off location means your apps won’t be able to alert you when you are near friends, or if there are specific offers or events nearby. It also means it won’t be able to track you and some apps might be harder to use for navigating when finding your way around, i.e., Google Maps. This is where you need to decide on what is most important for you. The best recommendation is probably to turn things off when you aren’t actively using them, and only turn them on when you require them – that way you will save in the long run.

Force Quitting Apps

There are some apps which have been accused of cheating on background access. The big names include apps such as Facebook, which take up a lot of space as well as battery life. If you think an app has begun to take up too much power, then there is a way you can stop it.

Force quitting an app is a simple, yet effective way of stopping apps from consuming too much background battery. In order to force quit an app, press the home button twice (when the phone is unlocked), and you should see a minimized selection of apps and services which are still running in the background, and consuming your battery life.

To force quit, all you need to do is swipe the page you want to close, and this will shut down the app completely.

Resetting your iPhone

If you still feel that after all these measures, there is always something draining your battery’s life, or if something isn’t working as it should be, then you can resort to performing a full reset. This isn’t something you should often do, however it can really clean out your phone and bring it back into shape.

To carry out a reset, start by holding down the on/off button on either the top or right side of the phone depending on the model you have. Then, at the same time, press and hold down the Home button which is on the front of the iPhone. You should keep both buttons pressed until the screen turns off and then back on again and the Apple logo appears. When this happens, it means the phone has successfully been reset.

An Alternative Option

As we mentioned, some of the larger apps such as Facebook and Snap Chat tend to destroy battery life, and sometimes there is not much you can do to change that. If you have tried using the apps less, removing location access and force quitting more often yet still feel it hasn’t improved, there is another alternative you could think about.

  • Uninstall the problematic app and use the website instead. This means you could delete Facebook, and open it in Safari instead.
  • Another method is to uninstall the app and then re-install it when you need to use it. An example could be deleting Google maps and reinstalling it before you know you will be using it.

To keep on top of apps, make sure to download their updates as soon as they are made available, as they are always improving. If you decide to delete some, always check up on them to see if anything has improved for the better.


Battery life is vital for your iPhone to function well, and it is essential if you want your phone to last when out and about. Therefore, knowing how to read your battery usage and see where the usage is going will help you to maintain it for longer, and in turn, save more battery for when you really need it.

To conclude, we hope that this article on how to check battery life iPhone has helped you to become more aware of the various settings available on the iPhone or iPad, and hopefully, you will be able to free up some extra battery space from unwanted apps, as well as understand how to read your iPhone’s usage in the future.

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