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Ask an expert: Diagnose battery issues

No time to drop into the Apple Store and ask the Genius Bar for help with your iPhone or iPad? Maybe one of our resident experts can help!

As Apple nerds, we get asked a lot of tech support questions — and some of those questions crop up time and time again. Here’s a recent query that we think will be familiar to many of you.

“My battery drains too quickly. What’s wrong?”

There’s no easy answer to this question. If your device is old, it might be that the battery needs replacing. If it’s new, it could be faulty – but battery drain can also be down to usage patterns.

As long as your battery isn’t draining at an alarming rate nor in a manner that leaves you vulnerable, note when it happens. Be mindful that Apple’s battery life specifications are best-case scenarios you’re unlikely to match.

Heavy use of cellular data can rapidly eat into battery life, and so use Wi-Fi wherever possible and minimize cellular data use when away from a Wi-Fi network. Demanding apps (especially games) can be a problem as well, as can screen brightness. In the latter case, turn on Auto-Brightness in Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations or use Control Center and manually dim your screen.

If concerns remain, access the Battery section in Settings. You’ll see power drain information from the previous 24 hours, which you can compare against your activities. Readings for the past ten days can also be explored to look for patterns.

Within Battery Health, you can find further details regarding your device’s maximum battery capacity compared to when it was new, and how it should be performing now. In theory, a degraded battery should be flagged here, and you should then consider having it replaced.

Beyond that, if you are seeing very rapid battery drain and none of the previous tips work, back up your iPhone and restore it. If that doesn’t help, contact Apple support.

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