What's best for battery health?

Eric5273

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More than half of the time I'm using my iPad Pro, I'm using it at my desk with a Bluetooth keyboard. It is no issue to plug it in while I'm using it, but I'm not sure if that is what's best for the health of the battery?

If I use it while it's plugged in, it will stay at 100% the whole time. Does that mean that the time I'm using it does not count as a battery cycle? Is the iPad just using the power from the cable to run? Or is it continuously drawing power from the battery and then topping off the battery?

If I were to use it for 5 hours without keeping it plugged in, I'd probably have about 50% battery left by the end of the 5 hours. I could then recharge the battery. That would count as a half of a battery cycle. I know after 500-1000 cycles, the battery life will start to degrade.

If I were to use the iPad while plugged in, will that reduce my number of battery cycles?
 

Freakonomics101

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Nov 6, 2014
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I wouldn't baby your battery. By the time your battery begins to diminish you will be looking to upgrade your iPad.
Everyone isn’t that way. I plan on keeping my iPP until it gets to be really slow. I baby every device I have ever owned. My iPhone 7+ has 160 charge cycles on it with 0.2% wear on it. If you take care of your devices, they’ll last a lot longer. Plus when it comes to selling the device, if it has been taken care of, you’ll get more money for it.

My iPP has 120 charge cycles with 2% wear, but that’s because I play a lot of games on it that takes quite a bit of battery power. I never let either device get below 20% either.
 

kohlson

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Apr 23, 2010
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I think your battery will start degrading long before 500-1000 cycles.
I've always tried to follow the advice that you can make your battery last a long time if you run it off wall power, but at least 1x/mo you disconnect and run it all the way down. That said, my daughter's MBA lasted 1000+ cycles. She would recharge it only when it was down to the last 15%. My wife runs her MBA mostly connected to the power cord, and it failed after less than 300 cycles. When the Genius was helping us with this and another problem, he said that "about 4 years" is what they last. That was true for both the MBAs, and our iPad 2. That said, a friend has an iphone 4 with the original battery. "It doesn't last very long." He's waiting for the iPhone 6s/7/8 <- though I think this time he really means it.
 
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QueenTyrone

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Charge it between 15-20% but if you can don't let it go above 80, that's when it starts straining the battery.
 
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Eric5273

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Everyone isn’t that way. I plan on keeping my iPP until it gets to be really slow. I baby every device I have ever owned. My iPhone 7+ has 160 charge cycles on it with 0.2% wear on it. If you take care of your devices, they’ll last a lot longer. Plus when it comes to selling the device, if it has been taken care of, you’ll get more money for it.

My iPP has 120 charge cycles with 2% wear, but that’s because I play a lot of games on it that takes quite a bit of battery power. I never let either device get below 20% either.
How do you know those numbers? Is there an app you can download from the App Store that tells you this stuff?
 
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joeblow7777

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Charge it between 15-20% but if you can don't let it go above 80, that's when it starts straining the battery.
It’s best for lithium ion batteries to stay active and between 20%-80%.
It's not always practical to keep your power in this range, and honestly, it probably doesn't make that much of a difference. You should just use your device as is convenient for you. Aside from exposing your battery to temperature extremes, there's not much that you will do that will have a significant effect. As mentioned above, you will likely be ready to upgrade your device for other reasons before the battery becomes an issue.
 

willmtaylor

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It's not always practical to keep your power in this range, and honestly, it probably doesn't make that much of a difference. You should just use your device as is convenient for you. Aside from exposing your battery to temperature extremes, there's not much that you will do that will have a significant effect. As mentioned above, you will likely be ready to upgrade your device for other reasons before the battery becomes an issue.
While you’re probably right, and I use my devices as described, we simply addressed the topic at hand. He asked, and we answered. That is what these forums are for after all.
 

joeblow7777

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While you’re probably right, and I use my devices as described, we simply addressed the topic at hand. He asked, and we answered. That is what these forums are for after all.
I didn't say that there was anything wrong with your responses. I was just giving another point of view.
 
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BigMcGuire

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Jan 10, 2012
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Oooh another battery thread :).

How do you know those numbers? Is there an app you can download from the App Store that tells you this stuff?
If you have a Mac, coconutBattery is the best app. You install it on your mac, connect your Apple device to your mac via cable, you can get a ton of stats that way. http://www.coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/ - This'll tell you the charge cycles, battery health, etc... Keep in mind it's not 100% accurate and try to take readings when your at 100%.

As others stated here, li-ion batteries prefer 20%-80% (but it's often impractical to keep them at this percentage so I recommend keeping them 40%+ if you can). Keep them out of heat. Plug in when doing intensive apps like gaming. You should be good for a long long time.
 
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rui no onna

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Oct 25, 2013
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It's not always practical to keep your power in this range, and honestly, it probably doesn't make that much of a difference. You should just use your device as is convenient for you. Aside from exposing your battery to temperature extremes, there's not much that you will do that will have a significant effect. As mentioned above, you will likely be ready to upgrade your device for other reasons before the battery becomes an issue.
For the iPad, this is true. The iPad 3 we bought at launch still had excellent battery life when we finally traded it in this year.

iPhone, ever since the 5s, performance has been good enough that the primary reason we've replaced our iPhones was battery.
 
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Stefan johansson

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Everyone isn’t that way. I plan on keeping my iPP until it gets to be really slow. I baby every device I have ever owned. My iPhone 7+ has 160 charge cycles on it with 0.2% wear on it. If you take care of your devices, they’ll last a lot longer. Plus when it comes to selling the device, if it has been taken care of, you’ll get more money for it.

My iPP has 120 charge cycles with 2% wear, but that’s because I play a lot of games on it that takes quite a bit of battery power. I never let either device get below 20% either.
I got a first gen iPad that still works,and I never "nursed" the battery. Of course,even if the old battery is at about 70-80 percent of the capability when new,the outdated iPad is rather useless because it's age.
Basically,it's just an extremely slow web browser with a touchscreen. Soo,worrying about the battery is useless,when your battery is worn out,your iPad would already be replaced anyway,because Apple won't support it forever.todays mobile devices has a life span of 3-6 years,after that time most of them are replaced. However,the batteries can be functional much longer.
 
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ShaunAFC3

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Feb 28, 2016
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My iPhone 7+ has 160 charge cycles on it with 0.2% wear on it.

My iPP has 120 charge cycles with 2% wear,
What app do you use to know how much battery wear you have on the iPhone/iPad?? Is it the app called Battery Life or not?? o_Oo_O

I would really like to know how much wear my iPad Air 2 battery has in the last year since September last year(2016).
 

alecgold

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You Cannot give advice on how to pamper the battery if you don't know the exact chemistry. Li-ion is a name for a wide range of chemistries Lithium cobalts, lithium manganese, lithiums phosphate, lithium manganese cobalt, lithium nickle titanate, there are dozens of different compositions, each with there own specific strengths and weaknesses and their own specific requirements for charging.

In general you don't want to discharge lithium batteries to far, certainly not until it shuts down. In general you want to top up your lithium battery as often as possible.
And in general you don't want to leave your battery at 100% for long periods.
For storage it is better to leave the battery between 75% and 50% before storing.

Btw, the software in the charging chips is keeping my iPad Pro 12.9" always around 93% because it is almost always on the charger.

TL;DR use the hell out of your iPad, enjoy it for what it is: the best tablet there is!
 
It’s crazy how much conflicting (i.e bad) advice is going around here.

As others stated here, li-ion batteries prefer 20%-80% (but it's often impractical to keep them at this percentage so I recommend keeping them 40%+ if you can). Keep them out of heat.
This is what I’ve heard/trust the most. I’m not really sure how much a difference it makes, but I would imagine if you go through several hundred cycles it will start to be noticeable. In ideal scenarios I try to keep my iPhone/watch between 40-80%, but as stated It’s best not to stress about it if you can’t. I worry less about my iPad battery, because it goes through much fewer cycles than iphone/watch.

Keep this in mind. Tesla’s electric cars by default do NOT charge to 100% (I think it goes to like 90% or so) to conserve the battery. Of course you can “overcharge” it if you need to extra juice/miles. This goes to show that Tesla (arguably the leader in battery tech) believes its best to not fully charge to extend longevity.
 
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BigMcGuire

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It’s crazy how much conflicting (i.e bad) advice is going around here.



This is what I’ve heard/trust the most. I’m not really sure how much a difference it makes, but I would imagine if you go through several hundred cycles it will start to be noticeable. In ideal scenarios I try to keep my iPhone/watch between 40-80%, but as stated It’s best not to stress about it if you can’t. I worry less about my iPad battery, because it goes through much fewer cycles than iphone/watch.

Keep this in mind. Tesla’s electric cars by default do NOT charge to 100% (I think it goes to like 90% or so) to conserve the battery. Of course you can “overcharge” it if you need to extra juice/miles. This goes to show that Tesla (arguably the leader in battery tech) believes its best to not fully charge to extend longevity.
HAH nice :D There is someone else out there that knows about this! I mention this to most people and I get "yeah right..." "No way!!!" lol.
 

Ubele

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Mar 20, 2008
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My wife and I just upgraded our iPad 4's, purchased in late 2012, to the new iPad 9.7. We never babied the batteries -- just plugged them in most nights before we went to bed, or when they dropped below 20% if we'd neglected to plug them in at night, and charged them to 100%. We used them almost every day, usually for a couple of hours. Subjectively, we didn't notice the battery draining more quickly over the years, although we didn't perform any tests. We upgraded to new iPads only because the old ones had become too slow. To me, getting almost five years of useful life out of an iPad is more than reasonable, so I'm not going to stress out about when I do or don't charge the battery in my new one.
 

richpjr

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May 9, 2006
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It's always interesting to read threads on best battery practices because the advice varies so wildly about what you should or shouldn't do!
 
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Ubele

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Mar 20, 2008
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If it were not for all the disinformation we would not have these crazy battery thread to talk about! I do agree and am socked at how much old information is still out there.
It is funny. I was extrapolating to the batteries in the current iPads based on my experience with the iPad 4, assuming batteries must be even better now, but I don't know for a fact that what was true for the iPad 4 battery is true for current batteries. Now, if you'd asked me about MacBook Pro batteries, I would have told you about my experience with my 2008 MBP. I left it plugged in most of the time. By year 3, on the rare occasions I needed to use it unplugged, the battery would only hold a charge for an hour or so. The Apple technician told me that I needed to fully discharge the battery at least once a month. I have no idea whether that's still true, but I make sure to do it for my 2015 MBP. On the other hand, I'm sure I discharge my iPad battery more than once a month, because I don't always remember to plug it in every night.
 
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BigMcGuire

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Batteries today do deal with staying at 100% better than batteries in the past. Apple lets the battery drain to 95% before charging it back up to 100% over and over to keep the battery somewhat energized. That said, the BEST thing you can do for your battery is keep it 40-80%. And yes, definitely let it go down to 40% at least once every few weeks if you can to keep it from staying at 100% all the time.

iPad batteries are better than iPhone batteries. Apple says they maintain 80% of their design capacity after 1000 cycles while for the iPhone it is only 500 cycles. I'm sure size has something to do with it.
 
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ElectronGuru

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Sep 5, 2013
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Modern batteries have three main wear factors...

Age of the cell
Number of cycles
Time spent away from storage voltage*

*The further from about 3.8v, the harder the time.

The last is the most important because it's the easiest to control. Leaving it plugged in leaves it at 100%, exposing it to constant stress. Using it naturally (unplugged) gives many hours at lower stress voltages.
 
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The Apple technician told me that I needed to fully discharge the battery at least once a month. I have no idea whether that's still true, but I make sure to do it for my 2015 MBP. On the other hand, I'm sure I discharge my iPad battery more than once a month, because I don't always remember to plug it in every night.
My understanding is that the full discharge and recharge is for calibration (accuracy on displaying % battery remaining) and not for battery longevity.

Modern batteries have three main wear factors...

Age of the cell
Number of cycles
Time spent away from storage voltage*
I would add a 4th. Exposure to heat. For 2.5 years I had to leave my iPhone in the car when going to work. During the summer months my iPhone would sometimes overheat and turn off (even though I'd leave it in the enclosed center console). Later I found out the damage the heat was doing to the battery.
 
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