How To

What to do if your iPhone won’t hold a charge

What to do if your iPhone won’t hold a charge
Miranda Lucas

Miranda Lucas

  • Updated:

So, your iPhone has suddenly stopped holding a charge and you’re not sure what changed or what to do. Don’t panic! This doesn’t necessarily mean you have malware or that you need to drop $1,000 on a new iPhone. There are many other possibilities that could explain why your phone might be dying quickly.

What to do if your iPhone won’t hold a charge

iphone charging

1. A software update could be to blame

New software updates can be much more demanding on newer and older phones alike. If you were used to using your phone without much battery drain, but you’re suddenly seeing your charge rapidly disappear — especially if your phone is dying while you’re not using it — it could be because of a new software update. Check out Apple’s support forums to see if other users are having the same problem with the update. If this is the problem, you may have to wait until Apple corrects the issue.

Conversely, you may also be experiencing battery issues if you don’t update your phone regularly. Although you may seemingly have more battery issues with phone updates, you should update your phone regularly. Doing so could jeopardize your phone’s health and security.

2. Which apps do you use?

If you love to bounce between Facebook, Instagram, and Google Maps, this could be the reason your phone battery is quickly draining. Or, maybe the new version of your favorite app is too demanding for your phone. If you’re a huge fan of AR or VR, those could also be the culprit.

Go to your phone’s settings and click on Battery to see which apps are using up your battery the most.

phone battery

While in your settings, you should also go to General > Background App Refresh to see if you have too many apps refreshing while you’re not using them.

background appsYou may also want to see if too many apps are accessing your location (Settings > Privacy > Location Services), or if your screen brightness is too high. Note: Depending on your phone model, some of these might be in a different location in your phone’s settings.

location services

3. How old is your phone?

Do you have one of the latest iPhone models, or is your iPhone a few years old? It’s not unusual for a brand new iPhone to experience some initial battery drainage, but if this lasts longer than a few days, another issue may be at play. Regardless of age, if your phone isn’t holding a charge for more than an hour or so, that’s a problem.

It’s normal for any phone to stop holding a charge over time, especially after a year or two. Instead of going 24 hours between charges, you might have to charge it every 10 or 12 hours, depending on usage. Nonetheless, you may experience more battery drain issues with models older than the iPhone 7.

4. You could have a bad or old battery

If you’ve tested the above and your battery is still not holding a charge for a reasonable amount of time, then you might have an old or failing battery. If you just bought a new or refurbished model within the last few months, your phone’s battery should not be dying within a few hours. (Still, you need to consider your usage.) This could mean that you’ve got a bad battery. If your phone is under warranty, you can replace it for free. To check your battery health, go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health.

iphone battery

If your phone is two or three years old and it’s not holding a charge, your battery may be finally reaching the end of its lifespan. But that doesn’t mean you have to buy a new iPhone. Battery replacements, even out of warranty, are much more affordable than buying a new phone. Costs currently range from $49 to $69.

5. You’ve damaged your phone recently

While the newer iPhone models are water resistant for a certain amount of time and up to a certain depth, older iPhone models might experience battery issues if exposed to water. Try putting your phone in a bag of rice to draw the water out, and see how it functions after.

Additionally, if you recently exposed your phone to extreme hot or cold temperatures, this can also affect your phone’s battery life. If you left your phone out in the sun on a very hot day, and it won’t hold a charge when at a normal operating temperature, it might have irreversible damage. You’ll need to replace it.

Miranda Lucas

Miranda Lucas

Miranda Lucas is a writer based in Austin, Texas. Since graduating from the University of Michigan, she's written for numerous web-based publications. In her free time, she enjoys running, camping, and learning Spanish. Every year, she asks Santa for a second season of Firefly, but she's starting to think Santa isn't real.

Latest from Miranda Lucas