How to turn off battery throttling on an iPhone

Willing to sacrifice battery life for performance; here's how to turn off iPhone throttling

iphone 8 image

In 2017, Apple added battery throttling to help slow aging iPhones and extend battery life. Though Apple may have assumed it was helping iPhone owners, it ended up in hot water over it, as the throttling took place in the background, and the user had no idea.  

iPhone owners eventually filed a class-action lawsuit, but Apple maintained its stance that it throttled iPhones to ensure user experience was up to expectations on older devices. This didn't satisfy iPhone owners, and Apple wound up offering discounted battery replacements and eventually agreed to a $500 million class-action settlement

Today, Apple continues to offer throttling to extend battery life, but users can disable it in iOS 11.3 and later. Below, you'll learn how to turn off throttling on an iPhone. Kep in mind, though, Apple strongly recommends leaving throttling active. 

What is iPhone throttling?

Throttling refers to the reduction in a system's performance below the components’ capabilities. 

Apple used this in the past to prevent overheating in the MacBook. In the iPhone, though, throttling is there to preserve battery life.

Why does Apple throttle its iPhones?

While it’s no fun to suddenly have your iPhone running at a fraction of its peak performance, there’s a good reason why Apple throttles its iPhones past a specific age. The iPhone’s battery capacity reduces with each charging cycle and gradually loses its ability to offer peak power. Once the battery reaches a certain point, your iPhone might also randomly turn off after a few hours of usage.

Hence, Apple created software to throttle the iPhone’s performance to reduce demand on the battery. The throttling may prolong the battery's lifespan and help it retain its charge, but the performance reduction is noticeable.

How to turn off battery throttling on the iPhone

In the light of the controversy, Apple allowed users to manually disable the throttling feature, starting with iOS 11.3 via the Battery Health feature. 

Follow these steps to see if throttling is enabled and to disable it:  

  1. Navigate to the “Battery” tab and tap the “Battery Health” button.
  2. Check under the “Peak Performance Capability” section to see if your battery supports normal peak performance or if performance management has been enabled. If it shows that performance management is active, the iPhone throttling software is enabled. 
  3. If your iPhone throttling is enabled, you’ll see an option to toggle it to the “Off” position to disable the throttling. 
  4. Toggle performance management to “Off” to disable it.

How to install the latest version of iOS on your iPhone

The option to disable iPhone throttling is only available in iOS 11.3 or later versions, so you may need to upgrade to take advantage of it. 

Here’s how you can upgrade to the latest iOS on your iPhone:

  1. Open “Settings”
  2. Under “General,” tap on “Software Update.”
  3. The “Software Update” screen will either tell you whether you have the latest iOS installed or prompt you to upgrade to the newest iOS. If you are on an iOS older than version 11.2, you’ll have to perform more than one update to bring your phone up to date.

Should you turn off iPhone throttling?

If you prefer performance over extended battery life, then switching off the performance management makes sense. However, it’ll shorten your battery's lifespan quicker and result in faster battery draining.

Instead of buying a new phone, another affordable option is to replace the battery for $49 or $69, depending on which model you own. 

If you own a reasonably modern iPhone, like the iPhone 8, battery replacement may make more sense than buying a brand new iPhone. After all, $49-$69 is a lot cheaper than a new iPhone.

The new Optimized Charging Feature

Apple released another battery-focused feature in iOS 13 called “Optimized Battery Charging.” The feature reduces the wear on your iPhone battery and improves its lifespan by reducing the time your iPhone takes charge fully.

When you enable this feature, your iPhone learns your daily charging routine and delays charging past 80% in specific situations. 

For instance, if your iPhone predicts you’ll charge it for an extended time or overnight, it’ll automatically activate Optimized Battery Charging to delay charging. The algorithm prevents the battery from overcharging and losing its capacity.

The Optimized Battery Charging feature is on by default when you update to iOS 13 or later. To turn the feature off, go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health > Optimized Battery Charging.

When the Optimized Battery Charging activates, a notification will appear on the lock screen to inform you when your iPhone will charge fully. If you want your iPhone to charge sooner, touch and hold the notification and tap on “Charge Now.”

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