Keeping your iPhone fully charged is terrible for battery life – stop it now

AVOID keeping your iPhone plugged in at 100% charge at all costs – if you don't want to destroy your battery life.

Keeping your iPhone at full charge constantly puts the battery under serious stress, and will make your mobile degrade faster.

iPhone batteries – how do they work?

Apple's iPhones – and most modern gadgets – use lithium ion batteries.

That means they contain a chemical that charges and discharges, and degrades over time.

A lithium ion battery won't last forever, and will lose capacity the more you use it.

After about 500 full charge "cycles" (i.e. 100% to 0% and back up again), a smartphone battery would have 80% capacity compared to its new state.

So an iPhone that once lasted for 20 hours might only last for 16 hours after two years.

Why should you avoid keeping your iPhone at full charge?

When your iPhone is fully charged, the battery is in a very high-stress state.

This wears down the battery's components over time, ultimately reducing its lifespan.

"A battery's chemical age results from a complex combination of several factors, including temperature history and charging pattern," said Apple.

"All rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age.

"As lithium-ion batteries chemically age, the amount of charge they can hold diminishes, resulting in reduced battery life and reduced peak performance."

So to keep your iPhone in tip-top condition for as long as possible, you'll want to limit how long it spends fully charged.

How can you avoid charging iPhone to full?

In the daytime, it's easy: simply avoid keeping your iPhone plugged in once it's full.

It's not a bad idea to take your handset off at 80% charge – and only charging it to full a few times each month.

Perhaps trickier is charging overnight, when you can't keep a close eye on your iPhone.

Fortunately, Apple has invented a clever AI feature on your phone called Optimised Battery Charging.

It learns from your daily charging habits to improve your battery's lifespan.

"Optimised Battery Charging is designed to reduce the wear on your battery and improve its lifespan by reducing the time your iPhone spends fully charged," Apple explains.

Simply put, if you go to bed and charge your iPhone every night, Apple's algorithm will pick up on this.

And during the night, your iPhone will be limited to 80% charge.

Then just before you wake up, the handset will be taken to full charge.

When you put the iPhone on charge, you'll get a notification alerting you about when the charging is scheduled to finish.

If you need charge immediately, you can touch and hold the notification and then tap Charge Now.

Optimised Battery Charging is activated by default as long as you've updated to iOS 13 or later.

To change the setting, go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health > Optimised Battery Charging.

How to update your iPhone

Here's what you need to do…

The easiest way to update your iPhone is wirelessly – just follow these simple steps:

  • Plug your iPhone into a power socket, and connect to a Wi-Fi network
  • Tap Settings > General > Software Update
  • Tap 'Download and Install'
  • Tap 'Install' to update immediately, or tap 'Later' and choose 'Install Tonight' to update while your phone is plugged in overnight
  • You may have to enter your passcode

If you'd rather do a manual update using a wired connection, that's easy enough too.

  • First, install the latest version of iTunes on your computer
  • Then connect your device to your computer using the supplied USB cable
  • Open iTunes and select your device
  • Click 'Summary', and then click 'Check for Update'
  • Click 'Download and Update'
  • You may be asked to enter your passcode

In other news, your iPhone gets slower and loses battery life if you always swipe apps closed.

Putting your wet iPhone in rice won't fix it.

And this genius iPhone trick loved by mums lets you "lock" the touchscreen.

Are you careful not to leave your iPhone on charge? Let us know in the comments!

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