How to check battery health and disable iPhone battery performance throttling in iOS 11.3

As promised, Apple has included a new section in Battery Settings to include information about Battery Health. Battery Health (Beta) is available in iOS 11.3 and later and displayed on all iPhone models since the iPhone 6. You can see the estimated battery capacity and the screen explains whether the battery can offer peak performance. iOS will now tell you in this screen if your device is being throttled due to a degraded battery.

When you update to iOS 11.3, the device will have performance management. The device will be throttled automatically when the system first experiences an unexpected shutdown. You can disable the slowdowns in the Battery Health screen if you want. Read everything about Battery Health after the jump …

Apple says that all devices on iOS 11.3 begin with performance management features disabled. Performance management throttles CPU if the battery can no longer provide peak power output.

Currently, performance management may be enabled by the system on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. iPads are not impacted by this throttling as they have much bigger batteries that take much longer to degrade.

iOS 11.3 is also smarter about the throttling when enabled. Apple says the system is now more fine-grained and ‘adaptive’. iPhone 8 and iPhone X include new hardware upgrades that allow Apple to apply power management on demand, so throttling on these devices will be much less noticeable than on older iPhones.

Battery capacity can be viewed on any iPhone introduced since 2014 or later, starting with iPhone 6. You need iOS 11.3, so go to Settings -> Software Update if you aren’t on the latest iOS release just yet. After updating, open Settings -> Battery -> Battery Health.

The Maximum Capacity readout gives an estimate of the amount of total capacity the battery can hold. New phones should report 100% capacity. A lower capacity means that the iPhone will not as long between charges.

The second section is titled ‘Peak Performance Capability’. You have to read the grey text beneath this cell to see whether battery management (i.e throttling) is activated.

When your iPhone experiences an unexpected shutdown, it will enable the power management throttling. When the device reboots, a notification on the Lock screen will tell you that this has happened. The alert will say something like ‘This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. Performance management has been applied to help prevent this from happening again.’ Read on to find out how to disable it, if you want to risk unexpected shutdowns.

If the battery is still in good health to provide peak power, the screen will look like this. It simply confirms that the battery is supporting the maximum performance it can. You cannot enable or disable anything here, it is off. This is the state your device will be in after upgrading to iOS 11.3.

If the iPhone unexpectedly shutdowns because it cannot sustain maximum performance, the device will enter this state with performance management enabled. Performance management slows down the CPU dynamically to reduce peak power demands on the battery.

If you do not want to be throttled, users can get a physical battery replacement (at a discounted $29 rate from Apple through 2018) or disable the throttling, a new option in iOS 11.3.

To disable, select the blue Disable link. You may have to squint, the text is very small. The iPhone screen will then look like the following screenshot, indicating that performance management has been disabled.

If you disable performance management, it cannot be re-enabled. The device will be unthrottled until the next time the device shuts down because the battery could not provide enough peak power.

The iPhone will automatically turn performance management on when an unexpected shutdown arises. This means this is not a fire and forget feature. If you want to never experience throttling, you will have to go back into the Battery Health screen repeatedly and disable it every time it is automatically switched on again.

In cases where the battery is severely degraded, often when maximum capacity has dropped below the 80% mark,  Apple will still let users disable performance throttling but the likelihood of unexpected shutdowns increases dramatically. The iPhone will display an additional notice in Battery Health directing users to get their device serviced. You can tap the ‘More about service options’ link to find out how to arrange a repair.

In some instances, the system may be unable to determine battery health. The Battery Health screen will also direct users to get a replacement battery if this is the case.

Whilst iOS 11.3 is now out of beta, the Battery Health screen is still carrying a ‘(Beta)’ label. This indicates that Apple will add further features to this screen in future releases. For now though, this is a good response to #BatteryGate customer complaints and the inevitable lawsuit court cases.

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