The Most Common iPhone Battery Problems – And How To Fix Them
If you’ve ever had to deal with a bad iPhone battery, you know the struggle. You check your phone only to find that you’re suddenly at 5% power – or the phone won’t turn on at all.
After a quick Google search, you’ll find quite a few articles that promise to solve your iPhone battery woes. The problem is that they all offer the same advice: turn off data for your apps, turn on Low Power Mode, reset the phone, or take the phone in for repair.
These steps might help some, but most people will end up buying a new battery.
Our customer service team at Orchard helps people with battery problems every day. Here’s what we know:
Most iPhone battery problems can be solved without spending a cent.
Here are the all the major iPhone battery problems you can run into, and how you can fix them.
Your Phone Won’t Charge
Do you find that you aren’t able to charge the battery at all unless you hold the phone at a specific angle? Maybe you plug the phone in, leave it for a few hours, and come back to find that you’ve only gone up 15%.
Sometimes when you plug the phone in, you see the lightning bolt in the top right corner showing that your phone is charging. You put it down, and the lightning bolt disappears.
As annoying as this is, this might be the easiest iPhone battery issue to fix.
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What’s most likely happening is that your charger isn’t connecting in the port properly because there is some debris built up in the charging port.
You would be surprised how often this happens.
All you need is a long, thin object like a toothpick. Carefully scrape the insides of the charging port. You should be able to work out a surprising amount of debris.
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If cleaning the port didn’t help, don’t give up on the battery quite yet.
It’s possible that the reason your phone isn’t charging is the cord itself.
Take a look at the cable. Is it at all damaged? Is this an Apple charger, or one you picked up at the dollar store?
The best way to find out for sure if the cord is the problem is to borrow someone else’s. A new cord is cheaper than a new battery!
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If you still can’t get a reliable charge, something’s wrong with your phone’s hardware.
It’s likely you could need a new battery, but your issue might also be the result of a faulty charging port.
Here’s the scenario: you’re heading out for the day… you’ve got your keys, your wallet, and your phone is 100% charged.
As you’re on the bus to work, you check the news. You can see your battery percentage is at 98%, then all of a sudden it drops to 75%!
Throughout the day, you notice the bar drop in chunks a couple more times. Eventually, the phone shuts off with about 20% battery life showing.
Probably time to get a new battery in that phone right? Probably not.
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What’s likely happening here is that your phone is not reading the battery’s actual percentage properly.
This problem is especially common after doing a major software update on the phone. Luckily, getting the phone to read the battery’s level properly is a piece of cake.
Here’s what you need to do:
Once all this is done, those sharp drops will be a thing of the past! That is, at least until your next iOS update…
iPhone Shuts Down With Battery Remaining
If your phone performs normally 99% of the time, it can be pretty frustrating if it suddenly turns off out of nowhere.
If you haven’t done a software update recently, the phone should be showing the correct battery percentage – so what’s up?
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A few years ago, after some incredibly cold temperatures in Eastern Canada, we wrote an article on how cold weather can affect your iPhone’s battery. You can check that out here.
Well, the cold this year has been historic, so it’s worth mentioning again.
iPhone batteries are powerful, but they sadly aren’t designed to operate in extreme weather conditions. As a result, when the temperature drops below 0°C or goes above 35°C, the battery reading shown on the phone is unreliable.
As long as this cold lasts, your best bet is to keep the phone toasty warm in your pocket, preferably under a layer or two. That way it’ll be good for when you need it most.
iPhone Won’t Turn On
This is probably the most troubling thing you can experience with your iPhone – it shuts off and won’t turn back on at all. As bad as the situation might seem, your battery still may not be a lost cause.
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If an iPhone hasn’t turned on after 15-20 minutes of being plugged in, most iPhone users will be ready to head to the repair shop.
The truth is, if a battery is completely drained, it can sometimes take up to an hour of charging before it boots up at all.
If an iPhone started booting but was removed from its power source, this could interrupt the boot cycle, and potentially cause damage to the phone’s software. For this reason, an iPhone won’t turn back on until the battery reaches a certain threshold.
If you’re confident that the phone’s charging port is properly cleaned, and the charging cable that you’re using is good quality, leave the phone charging for a little longer. It might just power back on after all.
If this doesn’t do the trick, there are a series of resets that you can try on a phone even if it’s not showing any life on screen.
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Sometimes, an iPhone just needs a kickstart. Doing this is a bit different depending on which generation of iPhone your using:
|iPhone 6S and older||Hold down the Power button and the Home button simultaneously for about 15 seconds.|
|iPhone 7||You’ll have to hold down the Power button and volume down button instead.|
|iPhone 8 and X||Quickly push the volume up, then volume down, then hold the power button.|
With any luck, you’ll see the Apple logo pop up, and your phone will start up. If not…
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I hope that you’ve backed your phone up to iCloud or iTunes recently.
Resetting your device to its factory settings will erase all data from the iPhone, but it might just be your best shot to get that phone running normally again. Here’s how to do it:
You might lose some data, but you’ll hopefully get your phone up and running in the process. If you’re still not having any luck, there’s one last thing you can try…
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DFU mode, or Device Firmware Update mode, is the most intensive reset available. Not only does it wipe your phone of all data, it will completely uninstall and reinstall your phone’s software.
Just as with a hard reset, how you activate DFU mode on your iPhone depends on the model you have. After plugging your device into your computer here’s what you should do:
|iPhone 6S and older||
|iPhone 8 and X||
Hopefully, iTunes will prompt you saying that it has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. Follow the onscreen instructions to restore the iPhone.
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Last Steps To Try Before A Repair
If none of the above applies to you, but your iPhone battery is draining at an alarming rate, there’s a chance that the poor performance has something to do with how you’re using the phone.
For some great advice on how to get a few more hours out of every charge, head over to our complete guide here.
If after all of that you’re still experiencing poor performance, it might finally be time to get your battery replaced. If you happen to be in the GTA, check out our article on the best Toronto iPhone repair shops.
If It’s Time To Move On…
While a battery replacement is usually going to get you a couple more years out of a phone, if you decide that it’s time to move on to a new(ish) phone, we have you covered 🙂
Orchard is Canada’s largest used phone reseller, and we have hundreds of high-quality iPhones and Androids in stock at any given time. Head on over to our shop to check out what’s in stock.