There are a multitude of reasons why your phone might stop charging at 80%. But it turns out, not all of them are detrimental. Here are some things to consider when optimizing the battery life on your iPhone.
Optimized Battery Charging
By default, iOS 13 and later have Optimized Battery Charging (OBC) toggled on by default, which is designed to optimize the lifespan of your battery. Batteries naturally degrade over time. A battery’s lifespan depends not on the date of manufacture, but on its temperature history and its changing pattern. As the lithium-ion battery chemically ages, the amount of charge it can hold will go down, reducing both its battery life and overall performance.
If you want your phone to charge to 100% every time, you can disable OBC by going into Settings > Battery > Battery Health, where you can turn off OBC.
However, charging to and maintaining 100% over a period of time can put a strain on the battery and reduce its lifespan. Keeping your phone charged while it’s already at 100% can also cause the battery to heat up, which - you guessed it - is another strain on its lifespan.
iOS’s OBC feature is designed to extend your battery life by tempering the charge. First, the software tries to understand your general charging habits. It guesses when the phone will be left on charge for an extended amount of time, and reduces the rate of charge during those times. It may charge quickly from 0-80%, but will slow down the rate of charge between 80-100% to extend the battery life.
Avoid the heat
Phones, being made of glass and aluminum, are also especially sensitive to temperature. If your phone gets too hot, it may stop the charge at 80% altogether to protect the battery and other functions. If this happens to you often, consider whether your phone is too warm when charging. You can lower the temperature by turning it off, undocking from the charger, taking it away from heat sources, or moving it to a cooler location.
Stay between 20-90%
While intuitively, you might want to use your battery until it’s at 0% and charge it back to 100%, today’s smartphone batteries operate optimally between 20-90%. Stay within that range as much as possible to extend the battery life.
Check your charger for damage
If your iPhone isn’t charging as normal, it may also be an issue with your charger. Check for damage on the charging cable or the USB adapter, such as obvious frays or areas that are bent out of shape. Protect your device by discarding damaged charging accessories. Bring your phone to a technician if you believe there may be an issue with the charging port itself.
Optimized Battery Charging is a new feature that can encourage users to learn about the factors that influence battery life and how to take it seriously. Taking the time to understand the various factors that impact your battery life will go a long way to helping it last longer.