Apple has come under fire recently for admitting that they throttle CPU speeds on iPhones with old batteries. After a fair amount of pressure from both the media and customers, the company is including a way to disable this throttling in iOS 11.3, which should be available in the next few weeks.

Note: We’re working with the current beta right now, which is why you’ll see that in our images. When the update actually rolls out officially, we’ll be sure to test it out again and keep you updated.

What to Expect from the Battery Health Feature

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The new feature—called Battery Health—will show you two simple things: the battery’s maximum capacity and the “peak performance capability.” The latter is what you’ll be looking for if you’re concerned about CPU throttling.

To access this new option, you’ll first jump into the Settings menu, then tap the “Battery” option.

If you’re familiar with this menu at all, you should be able to pinpoint the new option almost immediately: Battery Health. Tap it to go eyes on with your options here.

The first option here—Maximum Capacity—is basically a way of gauging your battery’s health. It lets you know the actual capacity of your battery relative to its brand-new state. While a brand new phone will be 100%, this number will start to drop as the phone ages and the battery wears.

The second option—Peak Performance Capability—will let you know if your device is affected by the slowdown “feature.” If the battery currently reports that it “supports normal peak performance,” then the device has never experienced an unexpected shutdown then you’re good to go—no throttling for you. Be glad—but there will come a day when you won’t be.

Because one day, the battery might be “unable to deliver the necessary peak power.” And when that happens, it will automatically apply Performance Management, which basically means it’ll slow down the phone’s processor to avoid random shutdowns.

If that happens, you’ll have the opportunity to disable said feature. Once your device is affected, there will be an explanation of what’s happening along with a button to disable the feature.

Once you do, however, be aware that you’re opening yourself up to the problem of random shutdowns. Without that throttling, your phone may turn off without warning. And if it does, your phone will re-enable the “Performance Management” throttling. (You can’t re-enable it manually; it’ll just re-enable itself every time you experience an unexpected shutdown.)

If you see Battery Health Unknown instead of the above options, then there’s something going on with the battery and you should take that joker in to get checked out.

While the performance management in general isn’t a bad idea, Apple didn’t go about enabling the feature in a transparent way, which rightfully rubbed a lot of users the wrong way. Fortunately the company is making good on its promise of delivering a way of undoing any CPU throttling causing by battery degradation. And don’t worry. We’ll keep you updated as this update rolls out to the public.

Images via Apple

Profile Photo for Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is ex-Editor-in-Chief of Review Geek and served as an Editorial Advisor for How-To Geek and LifeSavvy. He covered technology for a decade and wrote over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times.
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