iPhone and iPad

How to Calibrate an iPhone Battery in 6 Easy Steps

Dan Price Updated 12-03-2020

Poor battery life is a perennial complaint of smartphone owners. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an iPhone or Android user; if you use your phone a lot during the day, the battery will be lucky to make it to sundown.

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However, did you know that something as simple as calibrating your iPhone battery can help? Let’s take a closer look at how to calibrate an iPhone battery and why calibration is important.

Why You Should Calibrate Your iPhone Battery

Calibrating your iPhone battery (also referred to as resetting an iPhone battery) is a surprisingly important part of iPhone maintenance. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize its benefits, and even fewer take the time to perform the necessary steps.

Without a correctly calibrated battery, you’re likely to experience inaccurate and erratic battery percentage readings, quicker battery drain, and a shorter total lifespan for your battery. If your iPhone shuts down unexpectedly when your battery life percentage hits single digits, poor calibration is almost certainly to blame.

Many factors can cause a battery to become incorrectly calibrated. Software updates, background apps refreshing, new features, and even plain old day-to-day use can all cause discrepancies.

And even if you haven’t noticed an incorrect calibration, performing the steps will ensure all the ions in the battery are flowing, thus improving the battery’s peak performance.

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While you shouldn’t need to calibrate regularly, it’s worth a try if your iPhone is older or you’ve had battery issues other steps didn’t resolve.

Preparing to Calibrate an iPhone Battery

Before starting the calibration process, there are a few steps you should take in preparation. They all revolve around disabling features and services so as few tasks as possible draw power.

This will help lead to an accurate reading later in the process. After you’ve reset the battery, you can re-enable all four of these options. It’s also worth ensuring you haven’t accidentally enabled low-power mode at Settings > Battery.

Disable Location Services

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To disable location services on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Privacy.
  3. Select Location Services.
  4. Slide the toggle next to Location Services into the Off position.

Remember, you can use location services to track a lost iPhone How to Track and Locate Your iPhone Using Location Services You can track your iPhone and share or find its location using the iPhone Location Services feature. We show you how. Read More , so make sure you don’t forget to re-enable this after you’re done calibrating.

Disable Background Refresh

Follow the instructions below to turn off the background app refresh:

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  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Select Background App Refresh.
  4. Tap on Background App Refresh a second time.
  5. Select Off.

Decrease Your Screen Brightness

Here’s how to lower the screen brightness on an iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Display and Brightness.
  3. Move the Brightness slider all the way to the left.

Turn Off Automatic Updates

Finally, to turn off automatic updates, follow these three steps:

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  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on iTunes and App Store.
  3. Slide the toggle next to App Updates into the Off position.

How to Calibrate an iPhone Battery

Now you’re ready to calibrate the battery on your iPhone. Be warned that it takes quite a bit of patience; you’ll need to wait around for a couple of complete charge/drain cycles to finish.

Luckily, you don’t need any third-party tools or apps. Anything you see in the App Store professing to reset your iPhone battery is at best unnecessary and at worst a scam. iPhone battery calibration is easy to perform without extra help.

Step 1: Drain the Battery

The first step is to completely drain your iPhone battery. You can do so during normal usage. If you want to speed up the process, you can play a long video on YouTube with the volume turned up to the maximum level.

Step 2: Wait Three Hours

You may have noticed that your iPhone will automatically shut down even if the battery has a small percentage left. This process is by design; it gives the device a chance to save the current state of your apps so you don’t lose data.

It’s important to let the last embers of the battery life die away. The only way to do this is to wait. Longer is better, but you should wait at least three hours. If you have time, letting it sit overnight is preferable.

Step 3: Charge Your Device

Now it’s time to refill the battery. To ensure the optimal performance, make sure you follow these three tips:

Step 4: Drain Your Device

Now you need to repeat the whole process a second time. It’s the same drill as before: completely drain the power out of your device.

Either use it as you normally would, or play videos on loop to move it along faster.

Step 5: Wait Another Three Hours

It’s getting repetitive by now, but stick with it. Once again, you need to ensure you drain that last bit of battery power from your iPhone. Like before, the longer you can leave it, the better.

Step 6: Charge Your Device

To finish the process, you need to recharge your device. Follow the same guidelines as earlier, ensuring you let your phone continue charging for a couple of hours even after it’s full.

Finally, you need to re-enable the services and functions you disabled earlier. Turn location services, background refresh, automatic updates, and automatic screen brightness back on.

Other Battery-Saving iPhone Tips

If recalibration hasn’t fixed your iPhone battery problems, it might be time to spend some money on a new battery. You can change the battery yourself if you’re feeling confident, but doing so will void your phone’s warranty.

Alternatively, head to Apple’s Battery Service page to schedule an appointment. A new battery and the required labor isn’t as expensive as you might think.

If you’d like to learn more about caring for your iPhone battery and extending its lifespan, we’ve got you covered. Check out our complete guide to iPhone batteries The Big iPhone Battery Guide Everybody worries about their smartphone batteries, so let's dispel a few myths and settle a few scores. Read More to learn more.

Related topics: Batteries, Battery Life, Charger, Hardware Tips, iPhone Tips, Troubleshooting.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. B.A.
    July 3, 2020 at 1:55 am

    Just another tip for draining the battery a lot faster than watching videos. A lot of the games that are out now that are available for many iPhones even older models, are very graphic intense and with running such games with all graphics settings set to the highest settings the battery is drained very quickly including when I'm using my iPhone XR. One such game I have been playing is Second Galaxy which can drain my battery when at full to 20% Ina few hours. Most iPhones should be able to run it also considering I had a prior Android device before this phone, a Galaxy j3, which could still run the game at the lowest settings even though it had only 1.5 GB RAM with the minimum game stating that it requires minimum 2 GB to run. A majority of iPhones being used probably have a lot better specs for the hardware running in their device than the j3 I mentioned. It doesn't matter if it's a different game as long as you are running it with the device having to work extra hard to handle the intense graphics some of these games are using now. Also if you need a little faster drain turn on the flashlight for a short time, the light used for camera flash does use a lot more of the battery than you think but don't leave it on and forgot, as with any lightbulb it doesn't have a infinite lifespan and should only be done in short intervals.

  2. Greg
    June 2, 2020 at 3:10 am

    During recharge.. is the power off or on? Does it matter if during the drain you turn on camera, location services bluetooth? Why do so many instructions of this differ slightly? would this work with an Android (why do you specifically say IPhone, what's different?)

    • B.A.
      July 3, 2020 at 2:08 am

      With my iPhone if the battery is fully drained the power is off but after a little bit of it gets recharged, the phone will automatically turn itself on. With the iPhone XR I use, Apple designed it to be left on while you charge it. Any time it's turned off the phone automatically turns on as soon as the cable has power going to the phone and it starts charging. It is possible to turn it off after the cable has been connected and the phone is charging. It's the only way I am aware of in charging the phone while it's off but you are unable to check the battery level and how much it's been charged while the phone is off and you will have to turn it on to see if it's finished charging. I personally leave mine on when charging but the method of what is being described her is also mentioned by many other types of items that use a rechargable battery than only a professional can replace such as some electric shavers. If the battery isn't retaining its power and draining faster than before, one company mentioned try recalibrate the battery also by doing a similar method but repeat it 2-3 times of drain the battery cometely then fully charge it for an hour, and repeat. If no improvement then the battery has outlasted it's lifespan and needs replacing or as I did with the shaver, bought a new 1