Apple has confirmed it slows down iPhone devices after the batteries reach a certain age. Older batteries can cause some iPhones to unexpectedly shut down, and slowing down the phone allows it to better handle the power output from these batteries. Still, that leaves you with a slow phone, which can be frustrating.
The good news is you don’t need to buy a new iPhone. You can replace your iPhone’s battery, which should improve the device’s performance — but if you’re going to do so, you’ll need to do it soon. Here’s how.
Replacing the battery via Apple
The most convenient and reliable way to replace your iPhone’s battery is to do it through Apple. The process usually costs $79, but Apple is offering a $50 discount as an apology for one year, so the replacement process will only set you back $29. Keep in mind, however, that the one-year period ends on January 1, 2019 — so if you’re going to have Apple replace your iPhone’s battery, you’ll want to do it now. We recommend going this route, as you won’t void your device’s warranty or risk damaging your iPhone by replacing the battery yourself.
If you have an iPhone 6 or newer, the new battery will only cost $29. If you have an older iPhone, the service charge of $79 remains. There are a few ways to get Apple to replace your iPhone’s battery for free. If you have AppleCare+ or your phone is still under warranty, and Apple deems that the battery is defective, then repairs are free. The battery being found defective is rare, however, so it’s likely that you’ll have to pay for the replacement.
If you purchased an iPhone 6S between September and October 2015 and your iPhone is randomly shutting down, you may be eligible for a free battery replacement. Apple has released a tool to help you figure out if your phone is eligible, which you can find here. To get the battery replacement, your phone needs to have no water damage or screen cracks.
The easiest way to start the process is to head to the nearest Apple Store, which could either take one visit or a few days, depending on the complexity of the repair. If there are no Apple Stores nearby, you can opt to ship your iPhone in — but the process will take quite a bit longer, as Apple will send you a box to ship your iPhone in, replace the battery, then ship it back to you.
Replacing the battery yourself
It is possible to replace the iPhone battery yourself, but we do not recommend this approach. That’s largely because iPhone devices use a lot of glue and other materials you’ll have to get through to replace the battery, which can be tricky, and doing it yourself means your waterproof iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus will no longer be waterproof.
You can follow in-depth instructions from websites like iFixit, which also sells kits with the tools needed to replace your iPhone’s battery. Most of these kits cost around $25 to $30, so in the end, you’ll pay around the same as you would to just get Apple to do it if you have an iPhone 6 or newer. The instructions vary depending on which iPhone you have — so make sure to follow the right guide. You can find guides for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus. You do not need to replace the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X’s batteries anytime soon, as they likely won’t see issues with the battery for another year or more.
Apple said it will introduce tools to help check your device’s battery health in an upcoming iOS update, which should make it easier to know when you need to change your phone’s battery.