If it feels like you're constantly charging your iPhone or are always on the lookout for an outlet to plug in, your phone's battery health may be deteriorating.
Thankfully, Apple has some built-in tools (with more coming in iOS 14.5) to let you know for sure if you're imagining a quickly draining battery or if your phone really is about to die.
Understanding how your battery is doing can keep you from dropping big bucks to start over with a new phone. You can make the most of what you're working with by treating the battery right and implementing a few tricks and tips.
Here are some ways to monitor your iPhone battery and keep it running like (almost) new.
How to look up iPhone battery info
Hop over to "Settings" and open "Battery." You'll see a breakdown of when your battery was in use and which apps are using up the most juice. You can look at the past 24 hours or past 10 days.
There's also a section called "Battery Health." Click that for a quick analysis of how used-up your battery is currently. My iPhone 8, which I bought new in December 2019, is at 85-percent maximum capacity. The closer to 100 percent, the better off you are. Apple warns that "lower capacity may result in fewer hours of usage between charges."
Even if you have a lower than 100-percent capacity, you can still operate at "peak performance." Under "Battery Health" you'll see if the battery is still able to work as normal — or not. If the latter is the case, you might notice some of these issues with your iPhone:
Longer app launch times
Lower speaker volume
It's not hopeless if your iPhone has a reduced battery capacity. Apple says anything above 80-percent capacity will let your phone operate as usual. Here are some different tricks and settings you can use to try to salvage your battery:
Lower your screen brightness. Even better, turn on Auto-Brightness in Accessibility settings so you don't have to think about adjusting.
Use WiFi as much as possible. It takes up way less energy to connect through your wireless internet than by using cellular data.
Toggle on "Optimized Battery Charging" in the Battery Health section. That lets your iPhone learn your charging habits so that it doesn't overcharge while it's plugged in.
Avoid cooking your phone in temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It's easiest to avoid overheating by keeping it out of direct sunlight. You can put it in a pocket, or a backpack or other covered bag when you're out in the heat. Even better: leave it inside your air-conditioned home.
Keep the software updated. This isn't just for security, but Apple adds battery improvements and new settings regularly.
Limit background activity like "Background App Refresh," automatic email checks on the Mail app, and location services. Go to "Settings" then "General" where you'll find the "Background App Refresh" toggle. For Mail settings, look up "Mail" then adjust the"Fetch New Data" options. For location settings, you'll find those under "Privacy."