Appledystopia: Independent Technology News

How to Replace Your iPhone’s Battery

how to replace iPhone battery

updated by Chad Evans
May 28, 2023 at 3:42 p.m. PST
  • Apple and its third-party certified repair shops are most qualified to replace your iPhone’s battery.
  • It costs between $49 and $99 to have Apple replace your iPhone battery.
  • If you prefer to do it yourself, third-party companies offer kits; however, their replacement batteries don’t guarantee 100% Maximum Capacity.
  • If your iPhone is still under warranty or covered by AppleCare+, battery replacement is free if Battery Health Maximum Capacity is below 80%.

How Do I Know My iPhone’s Battery Needs Replacement?

If your iPhone battery can’t hold a charge, it may be time to replace it. You can do this without taking your device in for service; however, it’s always best to have a certified Apple shop repair your iPhone. We’ll look at service options later in the article. Let’s first examine how to determine whether your iPhone’s battery requires replacement.

Examining its Battery Health Maximum Capacity is the easiest way to check whether your iPhone battery needs replacement. You can do this by tapping on Settings > Battery Health & Charging. You’ll see a statistic labeled “Maximum Capacity.” If it’s below 80%, you should consider replacing your iPhone’s battery.

There are qualitative considerations beyond Maximum Capacity. Suppose your iPhone battery’s Maximum Capacity is below 80%, but it performs as expected and delivers a full day’s battery life. In this case, you should postpone battery replacement unless there’s a deal or promotion. (We update this article regularly to inform readers about battery replacement sales, deals, and promotions.)

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After Apple revealed that it slowed iPhones with failing batteries, the company offered a fantastic battery replacement deal to appease angry customers. I had my iPhone 6 battery replaced for $29, and they waived the “below 80% maximum capacity” requirement. Back then, I held onto my iPhone for a long time, so I got a few more years out of my device. I still have it today, although my daily driver is an iPhone 14 Pro Max.

These days, with Apple’s excellent buy-back program, I get a new iPhone every year. It’s not as expensive as one would think. My iPhone 14 Pro Max has 99% Maximum Capacity after seven months of use. If the battery were to dip below 80%, I would get it replaced for free, as it’s still under warranty. When I replace it with an iPhone 15, my current iPhone’s Maximum Capacity will still be well above 90%.

Not everyone needs the latest, greatest iPhone. As someone who works in tech and writes about Apple products, it’s necessary. For others, keeping an iPhone until it’s no longer eligible for iOS updates is the best option. You can hang on to an iPhone for four or five years before Apple stops supporting it with updates.

If you plan on keeping your iPhone, its Maximum Capacity is below 80%, and it’s not delivering all-day power or slows down unexpectedly, you should replace the battery. Other options, such as external battery cases, are also covered in this article. Unfortunately, these are bulky, inconvenient, and may cost as much as battery replacement.

Try Calibrating Your iPhone’s Battery Before Considering Replacement

Before you sign up for battery replacement service, you may want to try one last thing. Your iPhone’s battery may be fine, but iOS’s battery metering has drifted away from physical reality. As your iPhone’s battery chemically ages, iOS must redetect how long it delivers power at a functional level. Your iPhone may shut down before it reaches 0% when this information is inaccurate.

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Battery Calibration (sometimes called recalibration) is a method to reset an operating system’s software-based estimation of battery life. If your iPhone shuts down before the battery reaches 1% and its Maximum Capacity is above 80%, try calibrating the lithium-ion cell. You may find battery replacement unnecessary.

Battery calibration is nothing new. Although Appledystopia was the first website to write about iPhone battery calibration, it applies to virtually every device with a lithium-ion smart battery. The iPhone, iPad, MacBook, AirPods, Apple Watch, and virtually every Apple and non-Apple product benefit from battery calibration.

Apple added a “recalibration” feature to iOS 14.5, but in my experience, it doesn’t work. My new iPhone 14 Pro Max ran for 30 minutes at 1% battery life with everything cranked up. Apple’s battery “recalibration” process didn’t activate. I did it manually, and the battery meter is much more accurate.

Appledytopia has the original and best battery calibration guide on the web. Others have copied it, adding unnecessary steps that will shorten battery lifespan. Calibrating your iPhone’s battery correctly won’t impact Battery Health or shorten its lifespan. Please read “How to Calibrate Your iPhone’s Battery” for more information.

Now that you know how to tell if your iPhone’s battery needs replacement, let’s look at how to get it done. We’ll cover battery replacement from the Apple Store, certified third-party repair shops, and alternatives to battery replacement, such as cases with external batteries.

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Replace Your iPhone’s Battery at the Apple Store

Apple is the best resource for iPhone battery replacement. After all, the company created the iPhone. Apple also has a vast network of brick-and-mortar stores located throughout the world. Apple Geniuses have the tools and know-how to service your iPhone quickly and reliably. If you’re not near an Apple Store, they can direct you to a certified third-party repair shop or send you post-paid packaging to mail in your iPhone to an Apple service center.

Warranty coverage is the best reason to have your iPhone serviced by Apple. If their technicians replace your battery and the part fails, or they accidentally damage something else, they will fix it or replace your entire iPhone at no cost. Do-it-yourselfers who end up ruining their iPhones have no recourse. Ultimately, they didn’t even save much money because the kits are costly, and the entire process is time-consuming.

The main drawback to having Apple service your iPhone is that you might be without one for a few days if you opt to send it in for service. If you schedule an appointment online and bring it into an Apple Store, they will replace it within 30 minutes to a few hours. It’s the best approach.

If you live far from an Apple Store, consider Apple-certified third-party repair shops. They offer a similar service, where they order the new battery ahead of time and install it immediately at the appointment. It ensures you’re not without an iPhone for long.

Those who have a spare iPhone or Android device are in luck. Most cellular companies make it easy to switch eSIMs. If you have a physical SIM card, you can usually remove it from your iPhone and place it on another device. Sometimes you must give your carrier the IMEI number, but you can do this online or over the phone. When your iPhone returns from service, simply re-appropriate the SIM or eSIM.

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If you have a cellular Apple Watch, you may be able to manage for a few days. You can communicate via phone, email, and text, but you won’t be able to use all of the iOS apps on your iPhone.

The Apple Store currently charges $49 to $99 to replace your iPhone’s battery. There aren’t any promotions now, but this can change. A few years ago, Apple replaced all iPhone batteries for only $29, regardless of Battery Health Maximum Capacity.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment or check how much it costs to replace your iPhone’s battery, simply visit Apple’s iPhone battery replacement webpage.

Replace Your iPhone Battery at Certified Third-Party Repair Shop

Apple stores are all over the world, but they aren’t everywhere. You may live in an Apple Store desert, even in the United States. If this is the case, it’s possible that an Apple-certified third-party repair shop, such as Best Buy, can perform a battery replacement. When I had my iPhone’s battery replaced for $29, I did it at Best Buy instead of the Apple Store because it’s closer and offers more convenient parking.

Here’s a short list of some of the more popular Apple-certified third-party repair shops. It’s a short list because so many online repair shops are fraudulent, with the better ones tending to be local.

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These are the bigger repair shops, but you may have a few Apple-certified service establishments in your area. Make sure to search Google to find these local service providers.

Apple’s Self-Service Repair Program Doesn’t Cover iPhone Batteries

In a move to appease lawmakers pushing a “right to repair” agenda, Apple developed a Self Service Repair program. It’s a humorous look at how corporations try to appease lawmakers with token measures.

When I first saw this site, I was blown away! Apple will sell me parts and provide manuals to repair my devices? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Apple’s Self Service Repair program is a joke that isn’t very funny. They don’t provide parts, tools, or manuals for battery replacement.

The program only deals with a small fraction of Apple products with minimal parts supplied. Many of the repair manuals display “page not found” errors. The program wasn’t done in earnest. It’s a scheme to evade criticism from the “right to repair” movement. You may think it won’t fool people, but it gives Apple’s legal team enough fodder to convince authorities and the public that the company is sincere.

If you want to replace your iPhone’s battery yourself, you’ll need to look for third-party parts, instructions, and tools. Apple’s Self Service Repair program is all about placating lawmakers.

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DIY iPhone Battery Replacement Not Recommended

First and foremost, we do not recommend replacing your iPhone’s battery on your own. Even for seasoned technicians, it’s no easy task. Apple constructed the iPhone with compactness, not repairability, in mind. They buried many components under other parts, which are often glued in.

You may want to try DIY battery replacement if you have an old iPhone and nothing to lose (except $50). The following section provides an overview of DIY battery replacement. Try it if you’re up to the task and have and older, less valuable iPhone. If you have a new-ish iPhone and want to keep it, it’s best to let Apple or a certified third-party repair technician service your device. Those with AppleCare+ or warranty coverage should definitely have Apple perform battery replacement because it’s free, and they’ll do a better job.

Overview of DIY iPhone Battery Replacement

There are a few different iPhone battery replacement kits on the market. Each kit offers various tools and instructions for replacing the battery. Overall, the process is similar, regardless of which package you purchase. Most kits come with tools such as the iPhone 5-point pentalobe screwdriver, a tiny Phillips screwdriver, a spudger, adhesive strips, a small suction cup, and tools for opening the iPhone. Other implements, such as scissors and tweezers, are typically not included and must be supplied by the customer.

The following steps are an overview of the battery replacement process. The exact steps will vary based on the battery replacement kit purchased. The instructions provided here are for informational purposes only. Follow the instructions or online videos provided by the DIY iPhone battery replacement package you are buying.

It takes about 20 minutes to replace an iPhone battery. This task is moderately difficult. If you are concerned about damaging your iPhone, take it to a qualified technician for service.

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Before starting this process, it’s a good idea to back up your iPhone, just in case something goes wrong. Ensure you haven’t connected your device to any charger or power source. Next, shut down your iPhone by holding the sleep/wake button and sliding the power off switch on the screen.

Using the pentalobe screwdriver, remove the two screws next to the Lighting connector at the bottom. Next, use a suction cup and provided tool to pry the iPhone’s case open. Be careful not to damage the home button connector cable.

With the case open, carefully pry off the bracket and then the home button connector cable. Next, remove the cable bracket at the top of the phone. Remove the cable connectors and the display panel. Using the spudger, remove the battery connector cable. Pull out the adhesive strips that hold the battery in place using a pointed tool. Finally, remove the battery and replace it with the new one.

Reassembling the device is done in the reverse order of disassembly. You tape the iPhone battery into place and reconnect and secure the cables and brackets. Finally, replace the iPhone screen and secure the assembly with screws. Charge your iPhone fully before use.

Wow! That’s a lot of work, and you’re paying $50 or more for the kit. I’d rather have someone else do it.

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Calibrate Your iPhone Battery After Replacement

Since your iPhone has a new battery, which is different from the original, calibrating it after replacement is a good idea, whether you did it yourself or had Apple perform the repair. We covered calibration in a previous section, along with a link to our popular article about iPhone battery calibration.

Some may contend that Apple surely calibrated the battery after they replaced it. If they service your iPhone’s battery in 30 minutes, this simply isn’t possible. Apple is a massive, profit-driven company. They won’t babysit your iPhone through a lengthy calibration process, so you must do it yourself. It’s not difficult but may be time-consuming.

Those who did a DIY battery replacement must calibrate the battery. These kits often use unofficial parts. Even reputable vendors, such as iFixit, admit that their batteries probably won’t display 100% Battery Health Maximum Capacity after replacement.

Consider External Battery Pack Instead of Battery Replacement

Replacing an iPhone battery is not easy, but it is possible. It isn’t something you want to do every day. The internal battery makes the iPhone more slim, solid, and robust. It should last 10 hours a day with normal use, which is sufficient for most users.

Some may find that 10 hours of use between charges is not enough. Other options include external batteries and even cases with built-in batteries. The exterior options connect to the Lightning connector and charge the battery anywhere. These external batteries can be recharged and reused. Simply attach the external battery as needed.

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I know many people who have coped with an old, dying iPhone battery using an external lithium-ion cell case. These days, iPhone battery cases run about $25 to $30 and offer slim, form-fitting designs. Given that it costs at least $49 and a fair amount of time and effort to replace your iPhone battery, these cases can keep your old smartphone alive by continuously charging it.

One concern with these cases is that fully charging an old, failing battery will damage it even faster. This is because a fully energized lithium-ion cell is under more stress than one only charged to 80%. If you end up using a battery case, remove your iPhone from the case when it gets up to 100% or less, then replace it when the battery indicator dips below 80% or less. This practice will keep your chemically aged battery from deteriorating faster.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who use these battery cases leave them on permanently. This will completely destroy your iPhone’s battery in a matter of months.

The iPhone is limited to a few models, making it easier to design specific accessories. External battery cases designed for the iPhone are often form-fitting and slender. These can often double the capacity of your iPhone. Just be aware that this is no panacea. A battery-equipped iPhone case could keep your iPhone’s battery at 100% indefinitely, and that’s not good.

Apple Store Battery Replacement Is Your Best Option

Given the problems and pitfalls of DIY battery replacement, it’s best to get your phone serviced by a certified technician. Bringing your iPhone to the Apple Store guarantees they will use official parts and perform the service correctly. Apple Stores offer some of the best prices on battery replacement too.

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While there are plenty of legitimate third-party repair shops, in my research, there are all sorts of scams and ripoffs. Most common is listing a low price for a battery, then charging a premium for service. Apple’s $49 to $99 battery replacement service covers labor and provides a warranty for the new part.

If you can’t go with Apple, Best Buy is a great option. I have no affiliation with either company, but I had my iPhone 6’s battery replaced at Best Buy, and they did a great job with a fast turnaround time.

There are many fine local repair shops with Apple certification. Make sure to search Google for local service options and read the reviews carefully. But, in my opinion, even as someone who is often critical of Apple, I must admit that their iPhone battery replacement service is the best deal. Even DIY kits with unofficial parts usually cost more than the Apple Store.

Remember, you can also send your iPhone to Apple for repair, which will take time. You won’t be able to use your iPhone for a few days, but perhaps you can use a spare smartphone or a cellular Apple watch. They make it remarkably easy by mailing you a safe and secure box to send in your iPhone. It’s prepaid with an included shipping label.

Regardless of which option you choose, if your iPhone’s battery is failing, it’s best to replace the battery or upgrade to a new model. You’ll find all sorts of web pages and videos claiming you can restore your iPhone’s battery with calibration or some other process. These are falsehoods. We wrote the original guide on iPhone battery calibration. Calibration will help with inaccurate battery metering but cannot rejuvenate Battery Health Maximum Capacity. If you want to restore your iPhone battery’s Maximum Capacity back to 100%, you’ll need to replace the battery.

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