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Understanding Optimized Battery Charging

Power - by Joe Weber - updated on 11/17/2023

Person looking at their phone at a table with coffee and bakery item.

In today's fast-paced world, our lives are tethered to our smartphones. However, as important as these gadgets have become, battery life remains a critical concern. Over time, the batteries inside these devices degrade, leading to shorter usage periods between charges. One thing being done to address this issue in Apple iPhones is an optional setting known as Optimized Battery Charging.

What Is Optimized Battery Charging?

Optimized Battery Charging is an intelligent feature available in newer Apple iPhones running iOS 13 or later that when turned on, uses machine learning to keep track of your charging habits and works to ensure your battery doesn't stay at 100% charge for too long while it's plugged in. Doing this helps your battery last longer and maintain its capacity over time.

Is It A Good Thing to Use?

100 percent, yes.

Maintaining a constant 100% charge when your device is connected to a power source for an extended period places unnecessary stress on the battery. It can even shorten the life of the battery when this is done regularly.

Beginning with iOS 13, the Optimized Battery Charging feature enhances the charging behavior of Apple batteries. It prevents the battery from reaching a full 100% charge, even with a trickle charge, because it has learned that you may not immediately require a fully charged device at that time. Instead, it initiates the charging process just before you typically disconnect the phone from the charger to complete the charge to 100%.

This feature is particularly effective if you maintain regular charging cycles while you sleep. It ensures that your phone is fully charged right before your usual wake-up time, making it convenient for your morning routine while simultaneously providing less strain on the battery.

How Does Optimized Battery Charging Work?

Optimized Battery Charging works in a few ways to keep your battery healthy.

  1. Your iPhone monitors your everyday charging habits to keep tabs on when you connect it to a charger for an extended period. For example, when you go to sleep at night.
  2. Optimized Battery Charging charges the battery like normal to 80% when it's plugged in and not used, but then stops.
  3. After learning your charging habits, it predicts when you will unplug the charger and delays finishing charging to 100% until just before then.

How Do I Turn Optimized Battery Charging On or Off?

Optimized Battery Charging is set to "On" by default when you set up your iPhone. This is a good thing because it does help keep your battery healthy in the long run.

However, if you do want to turn it off it's pretty simple.

  1. Tap the Settings icon from your home screen
  2. Scroll down and tap Battery
  3. Close to the top of the screen, tap Battery Health & Charging
  4. About two-thirds of the way down on the screen, tap the toggle switch for Optimized Battery Charging to turn it off or on.

Does Your Battery Charge Slower When Optimized Battery Charging is On?

Optimized Battery Charging doesn't necessarily charge slower, just differently. As we learned above, Optimized Battery Charging will charge the phone to 80% like normal, then pause charging the final 20% until just before you normally wake up.

What Happens When I Turn Optimized Battery Charging Off?

If you want to charge your iPhone the old-fashioned way, meaning it will charge up to 100% and continue charging so it stays at 100%, you can just turn off Optimized Battery Charging.

I wouldn't recommend turning it off though. While nothing bad will happen, the iPhone won't have the ability to learn your charging habits. Instead, it will pump more electricity into your battery every night than it should and that is not great for the longevity of your battery.

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