Stop charging your iPhone this way — it can zap your battery capacity

A photo of an iPhone 14 Plus on a worktop with a lightning cable lying unplugged, just next to the iPhone's lightning port
(Image credit: Future)

Here's something weird I didn’t think I’d be writing today: stop charging your iPhone with its case on. Yes, really. 

It might sound bizarre, but Apple actually recommends you don’t charge your iPhone with a case on, noting: “Charging your device when it’s inside certain styles of cases may generate excess heat, which can affect battery capacity. If you notice that your device gets hot when you charge it, take it out of its case first.” 

You might scoff at this but TikToker David Eluemunoh found that his iPhone stopped charging at 80% due to using a case. And our colleagues over at Laptop Mag found a similar thing.


♬ original sound - David Eluemunoh

It is worth noting that in iOS 13 and later there’s the Optimized Battery Charging feature that will delay charging your iPhone past 80% in certain situations. 

This feature learns from your daily charging routine and waits to charge at 80% when it feels you really need it. As such, some of the charging oddities noticed by Eluemunoh could be down to that feature. Optimized Battery Charging is enabled by default, so if you’re encountering any charging issues with your iPhone not fully filling up on electrical juice, then you may want to toggle the feature off in the settings.

Boost your iPhone battery life 

An iPhone on a grey surface showing the battery low symbol with a charging cable to the left of the phone.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Nevertheless, given it’s an Apple recommendation we suggest you take another look at your iPhone case and see if your phone is potentially getting a bit hot and bothered when on charge.   

Speaking of heat, Apple has noted a temperature range that's best for iPhones. The range goes from 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). Go below freezing and you could see your iPhone run out of battery faster; this is due to the laws of thermodynamics, but I won’t give you a physics lecture. And take your iPhone out on a sweltering day and you may find it gets overly hot and shuts down. 

Apple also has a mix of tips to get the most out of your iPhone’s battery life. Cupertino’s phones are already pretty good at delivering consistent battery life and lifespan, but taking action like shutting down apps from refreshing in the background or disabling location settings can eke out longer battery life from your phone. 

These are worth paying attention to as outside the iPhone 14 Pro Max, we’re afraid Apple doesn't have many of its handsets on our best phone battery life list. Equally, we’re afraid the longest-lasting phones aren’t shoe-ins for the best phones, but you can be assured that the phones on that list deliver strong battery life for their capabilities. 

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Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face. 

  • Zamroni
    Why put expensive good looking phone in ugly plastic case anyway???
    The only accessory i use is ring holder