New versions of iOS for iPhone include a “Battery Health” feature, which, much as it sounds, aims to inform the iPhone user if their iPhone battery is healthy and operating at full potential, and what the maximum capacity of the battery charge is.
The Battery Health feature is technically in beta despite being in a publicly released version of iOS, so it’s possible the feature will change as time goes on and it becomes finalized. To find the “Battery Health” section in iOS Settings, you must have iOS 11.3 or later on an iPhone.
Currently, Apple has limited the Battery Health section to iPhone models, so if you have an iPad you will not find the “Battery Health” section in iPad iOS Settings.
How to Check Battery Health of iPhone
Here is where you can find details of battery health, including performance and maximum charge capacity, on an iPhone:
- Open the Settings app on the iPhone
- Choose “Battery”
- Tap on “Battery Health”
- At the Battery Health screen, you will see two relevant indicators of battery health: “Maximum Capacity” and “Peak Performance Capability”
It’s likely that any newer iPhone is going to have a perfectly fine battery with at or near maximum capacity of 100%, and obviously the newer the iPhone the better shape the battery should be in. Rarely, a new iPhone could theoretically have a battery issue and it may show as such in the Battery Health screen.
If you don’t see the “Battery Health” section in iOS Settings, ti means you either do not have iOS 11.3 or newer on the iPhone, or it’s not an iPhone. As mentioned before, iPad does not currently support the Battery Health feature.
What “Maximum Capacity” in Battery Health for iPhone Means
All new iPhone models and new iPhone batteries will begin at 100% capacity, but over time as the battery ages, goes through many charging cycles, and experiences normal wear and tear, the maximum battery capacity may reduce below 100%. In practice, the further the number is from 100% maximum capacity, the less available battery charge there will be compared to when the device battery was new.
If you see a number less than 100%, that does not necessarily mean your battery is defective or not working properly, it just means it’s maximum charge is less than 100% of original specification.
Apple says the following about maximum capacity battery percentage:
“Maximum battery capacity measures the device battery capacity relative to when it was new. Batteries will start at 100% when first activated and will have lower capacity as the battery chemically ages which may result in fewer hours of usage between charges.
A normal battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles when operating under normal conditions. The one-year warranty includes service coverage for a defective battery. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers battery service for a charge.”
You can check your iPhone battery cycle count the same way you check a MacBook battery cycle count with System Information profiler, or by using a third party tool called Coconut Battery and connecting the iPhone to the Mac running that third party app. Currently, there is no native capability to check for iPhone battery cycle count that is available to the end user, but perhaps that will change in future versions of Battery Health iOS Settings.
If you are concerned about the maximum capacity value you see, you can contact Apple or an official Apple Support provider and have them run diagnostic tests on the iPhone battery, or replace it for a fee.
What “Peak Performance Capability” for iPhone Battery Means
The “Peak Performance Capability” section is where any reported problems with the battery will be shown, if those problems are degrading performance of the iPhone itself. Most newer iPhones will show a message stating “You battery is currently supporting normal peak performance” to indicate this, but there are other potential messages that could be displayed, which could suggest a battery issue. If the iPhone is not performing at peak performance, you will see a message under that section that says “Performance management is on” which typically indicates the device rebooted itself due to an issue with battery.
The battery performance section is really a topic of another article, but for now it applies mostly to limited iPhone models that are a little bit older and that may throttle down performance of a device in order to keep it from rebooting or crashing.
There’s also potential for seeing a message stating iOS “can’t check battery health”, which is sort of like the Service Battery indicator on a Mac. If you see that message, you may need to get the battery replaced, or at least get the battery looked over by an authorized Apple repair provider.