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, in an attempt to address the problem of battery discharge in its older mobile devices, Apple rolled out the iPhone throttle, a tool that limited the power of the device. 

However, despite the tech giant’s presumed good intentions, not everyone was grateful for this new feature. In fact, many users were unhappy that their iPhones now had a feature that they didn’t ask for in the first place.

Nevertheless, Apple insisted that the throttle was a great idea and that the feature helped maintain the great UX in older iPhones. Their owners disagreed and ultimately, the complaints escalated into a full class-action lawsuit, forcing Apple to pay out a $500 million settlement as well as offer replacement batteries at a reduced price.

Some years have passed since 'batterygate', yet Apple hasn’t removed the controversial feature. In fact, throttling is still treated as the main option for extending an iPhone’s battery life, which might not be ideal for some users.

However, did you know that users whose iPhone runs on iOS 11.3 and later have the option to disable throttling on their phone? Luckily enough, in this guide, we explain how the feature works, why it was introduced, and how to turn it off.

It's important to note, Apple does not recommend turning off throttling. This is why we also explore the potential consequences of this decision. Also, if your iPhone is currently running an iOS version older than 11.3, we have also included a quick tutorial on how to install the latest version of the operating system onto your device.

What is iPhone throttling?

Throttling is the reduction in system performance below the components’ capabilities in order to improve a device's life span.

Apple once used this process to stop MacBooks from overheating. However, in the iPhone, throttling preserves battery life.

Why does Apple throttle its iPhones?

While it’s no fun to suddenly have your iPhone running at a fraction of its power, 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 threshold, your iPhone might also randomly turn off after a few hours of usage.

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

How to turn off battery throttling on the iPhone

how to turn off battery throttling in iPhone, screenshot

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.

In order to access the battery throttling menu, follow these steps:

  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, this will shorten your battery's lifespan.

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 lower than the price of a new iPhone.

The new Optimized Charging Feature

Optimised battery charging in iPhone, screenshot

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 to 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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