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iPhone Randomly Turns Itself Off with Battery Remaining?

Strange things can happen with your battery gauge on an iPhone: Your battery percentage is at 10 or 15 percent, but suddenly, the iPhone turns off by itself. What is causing your iPhone to shut down unexpectedly and prematurely? This issue was and is affecting a number of devices and can’t be pinned down to one specific iPhone generation. Fortunately, we have a number of solutions to this strange issue that you can try to fix your iPhone. If the device is still up and running for most of the time, you shouldn’t have to worry about a dead battery. Try some of our suggestions and see if they help!

Issue: iPhone turns off by itself before battery is empty

Just to clarify the issue we’re dealing with in this guide: Your iPhone shuts off by itself, before the actual battery percentage reaches a number that is lower than, say, five percent. It may be shutting of at 10 or 15 percent, or even earlier, while the battery life seems to have gotten worse over time. And if you reconnect your iPhone to a charger after losing power, it may display an irrationally high percentage of charge, which couldn’t be possible after such a small period of charging, right? This sounds like you could benefit from one of our three fixes for the “iPhone battery dead?” issue.


1. Check your time and date settings

Settings > General > Date & Time

In one of the support documents Apple details a possible solution to fixing issues with your iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus battery percentage.

If the battery percentage doesn’t update by itself, you can try going into your Settings app. Select General, then Date & Time and verify whether the option titled Set Automatically is active. When active, your timezone and the time will be updated automatically according to your location and the battery percentage should update as well.


2. Calibrate your iPhone battery

The most common solution would be to calibrate your iPhone’s battery. This is pretty easy. Simply use your iPhone until it turns off due to low power, deplete the battery as fully as possible. You can do this by turning up the brightness and watching a few streaming videos on YouTube or iTunes via Wi-Fi or playing a demanding game.

Then wait for a minute or two, after the iPhone turns itself off. Connect the iPhone to a charger and let it charge until it is at a full 100 percent. Wait for another 60 to 90 minutes before you unplug it, just to make sure that the device is fully charged, as the charger goes into “trickle-charging” mode at the end of the cycle. Your iPhone battery should now be fully calibrated and provide you with more accurate readouts. You can repeat the process to further increase the accuracy.

3. Restore your iPhone (without a backup)

Settings > General > Reset

Before exchanging any kind of hardware, we recommend checking the software side of things. The easiest way to check whether any of your settings, apps or a part of the operating system is interfering with your battery life, is to fully reset your iPhone.

Open up the “Settings” app, then go to “General” and finally “Reset”. Now tap the button titled “Erase All Content and Settings”. Then follow the assistant to set up your iPhone as a new device, instead of selecting your most recent backup. This will provide you with an opportunity to test the iPhone as a clean slate, so to speak. If your battery issues are gone, you had a software issue. If you still experience the premature shutdown issue, check the next solution.

4. Battery replacement

Last but not least, there is always a possibility of hardware failure. Most of the time this is simply due to the fact that the lifespan of your iPhone battery has reached its end. This means that Apple, a service provider or you will have to replace the battery in the device.

If you belong to the small percentage of iPhone 5 users that has purchased a device between September 2012 and January 2013, you might be eligible for a free battery replacement via Apple. Enter your serial number on the Apple support page to see if this is applicable in your case.
iPhone battery replacement via Apple

Check out the corresponding Apple battery service page for your current region. Depending upon where you live, conditions may vary. In the United States, Apple is offering a full-fledged battery service for $79 plus $6.95 for shipping.

iPhone battery replacement via third-party service providers

There are also third-party providers such as iCracked or ubreakifix, who also provide battery replacement services for iPhone users. It might be even cheaper to obtain the replacement battery yourself and diy the repairs using iFixit’s handy guides.

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