Editor’s note: This article was updated to reflect that Battery Health is no longer in beta and to include how to enable optimized charging.

Way back in iOS 10.2.1, Apple introduced a feature called battery throttling that was designed to slow down devices with aging batteries. The feature would kick in automatically when battery wear was bad enough that a charge wouldn’t last a whole day, but people weren’t thrilled with it, especially since Apple did it without notifying iPhone owners that their devices would be slowed down to preserve battery life. Pushback from iPhone users led to Apple offering discount battery replacements and added a new feature to iOS 11.3: The ability to disable battery throttling.

Fast forward to 2020 and iOS 13, and battery throttling is still built in to Apple devices, but with an additional feature that should reduce the need to use it at all: Optimised charging. If you’re worried about the life of your iPhone battery, want to check to see if it’s being throttled, and want to use iOS 13’s battery-saving charge optimization technology read on.

SEE: Get more done with your iPhone: Tips and tricks for power users (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to install the latest version of iOS on your Apple device

In order to see the option to disable device throttling you’ll need to be on iOS 11.3 or later, and to take advantage of optimized charging you’ll need to be on iOS 13 or later. Here’s how to make sure you have the latest updates installed on your iOS device.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Swipe down until you see General. Tap on that.
  3. Under General, tap on Software Update.
  4. The Software Update screen will either tell you that you have the latest version installed or prompt you to update to the latest version of iOS. If you’re on a version older than 11.2 you may have to perform more than one update to bring your device current.

How to disable device throttling and enable optimized charging

iOS 11.3 gave users the option to disable the CPU throttling that caused so much controversy, and also adds a lot of battery health information. Apple added features to display the health of the battery and inform the device owner if the battery needs service. That information can be found in the Settings app under the Battery tab.

SEE: Hiring kit: iOS developer (Tech Pro Research)

To find out if your device is being throttled, go to the Battery tab and look for the button labeled Battery Health–tap on that.

On the screen that appears look for the area that says Peak Performance Capability. Under that you’ll see a bit of text saying that your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance and that built-in software and hardware that counteracts performance impacts may be noticed as your battery ages, or that performance management has been applied. If it says the latter, throttling has been enabled on your device.

Along with the message saying that performance management has been applied you should see the option to toggle it off, and disabling it will disable device throttling. If you don’t see the toggle your battery is in good shape and you don’t have anything to worry about.

Below Peak Performance (in iOS 13 or later) you’ll see Optimized Battery Charging. This is a feature that allows your phone to learn your daily charging routine and slow down charging so that the battery doesn’t overcharge and lose maximum capacity. If you charge your iPhone overnight, this means you’ll charge a lot more slowly when first plugging your phone in, and charging should schedule to complete by the time you usually unplug it in the morning.

There should be a toggle next to Optimized Battery Charging, and toggling it on will enable the feature. It’s advisable to do so–anything that saves your battery and reduces the chance of throttling is a good thing.

Image: Sarah Tew/CNET