How to Tell You Need to Replace Your iPhone Battery

iPhone batteries are good for about two years—or sometimes even longer. But how do you know when to replace your iPhone battery? In this article, we’ll explore some major factors that indicate it’s time for you to do so.

It Has a Visibly Swollen Battery

One of the most obvious signs that your iPhone battery needs to be replaced is if it has become visibly swollen. This can happen for several reasons, including overcharging your iPhone, physical battery damage, or simply aging.

A swollen battery can cause your iPhone casing to bulge or warp, particularly around the back panel. The iPhone’s surface may also feel uneven or slightly squishy when pressed, indicating a swollen battery beneath. In severe cases, the pressure from the swollen battery can force the screen to separate from the iPhone’s frame.

If you notice that your iPhone battery is swollen, stop using it immediately. Take your iPhone to a local Apple Store or the nearest Apple Authorized Service Provider for replacement or safe battery recycling. Remember that ignoring this issue could lead to further damage or even compromise the structural integrity of the device.

Don’t attempt to repair a swollen battery yourself. The internal components are hazardous and require specialized handling.

There Is a Drastic Decline in Battery Life

Your iPhone is powered by a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. And unlike older battery technologies, Li-ion batteries offer longer lifespan and faster charging times. However, even Li-ion batteries have a finite lifespan. Over time and with repeated use, your iPhone’s battery loses its ability to hold and release energy efficiently. As a result, you’ll see a significant drop in battery life.

That’s why your iPhone’s battery, which used to last all day, now barely makes it through a few hours. You might also find yourself needing to charge your iPhone multiple times a day, even with moderate usage. Your iPhone’s battery percentage indicator may also drop at an alarmingly fast rate, even when performing basic tasks. Or, in extreme situations, your iPhone might only function when plugged in.

So, if you experience any of these issues, it’s a sign that your battery lifespan is severely degraded, and you should consider replacing the battery.

The Battery Health Is Less Than 80%

This is a clear way to determine whether you need to replace your battery. According to Apple, if your battery health is more than 80%, you have a healthy battery.

Navigate to Settings > Battery > Battery Health & Charging to check your iPhone’s battery health.

Here's how to check iPhone's battery health.

The “Maximum Capacity” value displayed there indicates the battery’s remaining capacity relative to its original capacity. If this value is less than 80%, consider replacing the battery for better performance and extended device lifespan. You’ll also see an important battery message at the top of the screen warning you to take your phone to an Apple Authorized Service Provider for battery replacement.

iPhone battery health maximum capacity relative to when it was new.

Your iPhone Frequently Overheats

A degraded battery is one of several reasons why your iPhone may overheat. An iPhone’s internal components sometimes generate heat during regular usage, and this heat is typically dissipated through the device’s casing. But if your iPhone is overheating for no apparent reason, even if you aren’t using it in the sun or running demanding apps, this is another sign of a bad battery.

When the battery degrades, it tends to generate more heat. This can further damage the battery and shorten its lifespan. Therefore, if you notice your iPhone frequently overheating, especially during light usage, it’s a strong indication that your battery needs to be replaced.

There Are Unexpected Shutdowns and Performance Management Alerts

Have you experienced your iPhone suddenly shutting down without warning? Or have you received a notification that your phone’s performance has been managed? These unexpected events are often signs that your iPhone’s battery is struggling to meet the demands of your device and needs to be replaced.

Over time, iPhone batteries degrade and may not be able to provide enough power. This reduced capacity can lead to unexpected shutdowns, especially when the battery is under heavy load.

You may also receive performance management notifications. These notifications indicate that your iPhone no longer supports normal peak performance. By navigating to Settings > Battery > Battery Health & Charging, you should see a message underneath “Peak Performance Capability.”

iPhone's peak performance capability message.

It tells you that your iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown, and performance management has been applied. This means that Apple’s software has limited certain background processes or features so that you don’t face unexpected shutdowns again.

You Experience Lagging Apps and Slow Performance

Do your iPhone apps or overall system performance feel like they’re stuck in slow motion—with every tap and swipe sending you into a waiting game? If yes, then it may be time for a new battery for your iPhone.

The performance issues are all too common for users with degraded batteries. Even basic tasks like opening and switching between apps can become a chore, with noticeable delays and unresponsiveness.

While other factors can also contribute to performance slowdowns, a degraded battery is often the one to blame. So, if you’re experiencing lagging apps, slow system performance, and a general feeling of sluggishness, it’s time to consider replacing your iPhone’s battery.

How Long Can a Normal iPhone Battery Last?

The average lifespan of an iPhone battery is two to three years, but this can vary depending on a number of factors. One major factor affecting battery life is how often you use your iPhone.

Frequent and intense iPhone usage puts more strain on the battery and reduces its lifespan. And engaging in processor-heavy tasks, like playing games, streaming videos, or using navigation apps, consumes more power and depletes the battery faster. Additionally, using apps that require significant processing power or continuous background activity uses more battery power and can drain the battery faster.

Don’t forget that improper charging practices can also drastically shorten your iPhone’s battery lifespan. Avoid overcharging, leaving your iPhone plugged in for extended periods, and using incompatible chargers to prevent premature battery degradation.

And that’s it! You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a new iPhone just because you notice one of the issues discussed in this article. Instead, you can breathe new life into your iPhone by replacing its battery. This could not only boost speed and performance but also extend your iPhone’s battery life—all at a fraction of the cost of a new phone.


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