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Should You Charge An iPhone Before First Use? (REVEALED! 2024)

It should come as no surprise that this question is one that a lot of people have when purchasing a new iPhone.

And it’s not just specific to iPhones either; users of other smartphone brands usually have the same question as well!

iPhones typically come with batteries at around 50% capacity right out of the box. Therefore, you should be able to use the device right after purchasing it.

Given that it’s usable right then and there, should you charge an iPhone before first use?

It may be a good idea to charge your iPhone before using it for the very first time, depending on the iPhone’s model, the battery’s capacity, and the individual starting setup.

The iPhone is a modern, premium device that is usually treated with more care than most other phones on the market.

However, few users truly know how to care for an iPhone’s battery properly.

As you may imagine, knowing this is rather important as the battery’s health dictates how long you’ll be able to reliably use the device, and is directly related to the phone’s longevity.

In this article, we’ll discuss in more detail the battery technology that’s contained within a modern iPhone, as well as what you should do in terms of charging best practices!

Lithium-Ion Batteries: What You Need To Know!

apple iphone 7 showing its lithium ion battery inside

First things first, let’s get to know a little bit more about your new iPhone’s battery.

iPhones come equipped with internal rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

These batteries embody the latest advances in mobile device powering technology.

Lithium-ion batteries are lighter, longer-lasting, able to charge faster, and are built to have higher power output and capacity than previous phone battery types.

Talk about a do-it-all battery, amiright?!

A new iPhone usually ships with 50% charge available in its battery, though there have been reported cases of some devices containing a full amount of charge as well.

A battery works by supplying an electric current at a specific voltage defined by the potential difference between the battery’s terminals. The energy flows through the electric fields at the speed of light.


However, over time, the electromotive potential begins to equalize. In simpler terms, this is akin to your battery losing its charge, capacity, or energy.

Shipping a phone with a fully charged battery places extra stress and degrades battery life. However, a completely discharged battery can also have a negative impact. Therefore, a 50% charge is an ideal balance.

The user theoretically is provided with enough power to use the phone while avoiding the pitfalls of either extreme!

First Time Use

You can use your iPhone right out of the box.

Setting up a new iPhone, however, can drain the battery. Updating to a newer version of iOS, for instance, demands you plug in the charger to complete the process.

Therefore, it’s advisable to charge a new iPhone before use.

The only concern now is, how long should you charge the new iPhone before first-time use?

How Long Should I Charge My New iPhone Before First Use?

iphone with black case charging

There are many conflicting guides online when it comes to charging an iPhone for the first time. It’s essential to understand the charging process in order to make the right decision.

Lithium-ion batteries charge much faster than previous iterations.

Therefore, recommendations to charge a phone for eight hours before use are no longer valid!

If the phone is 50 percent charged to begin with, a full battery is well within the realms of possibility in under two hours of charging.

When you first get a new phone, you likely need to set it up by restoring your files from iCloud or another phone.

A new iPhone will then prompt you to connect it to a charger if necessary. However, not all updates and backup restorations take the same amount of time.

Therefore, it’s advisable to connect a charger right after setting up accounts, passwords and other restoration information.

First-time charging is also necessary for the battery level indicator to calibrate its sensitivity correctly.

Following that, you can start to use the device normally! Unlike older battery iterations, a lithium-ion battery doesn’t need to be cycled for proper configuration.

What Is The Proper Way to Charge An iPhone?

Your phone charging habits directly affect the durability of your iPhone.

Your battery will inevitably degrade over time even with regular use, so there’s of course a limit as to what you can expect.

However, it’s possible to extend your battery life and get more years out of your phone by following the tips discussed below.

Not only will your phone last longer, but you’ll also save money on potentially hefty battery replacement costs as well!

Use The Proper Charging Equipment

a bunch of lightning usb cables

It’s best to charge your iPhone using official Apple charging cables and power adapters if at all possible.

Unfortunately, the iPhone 12 and 13 don’t ship with charging adapters in the box (to much controversy)!

Instead, Apple now sells chargers on their own, as do the third-party licensed accessory manufacturers.

These licensed third-party manufacturers produce high-quality accessories that meet Apple’s standards.

We highly recommend that you use only approved chargers to ensure a reliable and safe charging experience.

iPhones have a wattage range rating between 18W to 23W for the vanilla and Pro models, and 23W to 27W for the Pro Max models.

Using a charger with a wattage outside these ranges could supply too much or too little voltage, as well as a whole host of other problems (like a burning smell!).

Needless to say, this can severely compromise battery health!

Practice Night-Time Charging

If you use your phone all day long, it’s pretty normal to find your battery completely drained by the end of it.

To ensure it’s ready for the next day, charge your phone at night when you go to bed. Not using the phone while it charges will help speed up the overall process!

Charge In An Ideal Environment

Place the phone in a cool and dry environment while charging.

Charging heats up the phone, and extra heat from the environment (such as on top of a microwave) can potentially degrade your device’s battery.

If your phone cover impedes heat exchange, it may be a good idea to remove it when charging.

Activate Optimized Battery Charging

iphone fully charged

iOS 13 introduced optimized battery charging as a way for your phone to learn your habits at night and ensure optimal charging patterns.

When you plug in your phone before bedtime, it will charge to 80% then stop.

Since the phone is aware of when you usually wake up, it then charges the remaining 20% before your alarm goes off!

Nifty, eh?

This feature minimizes battery degradation by slowing down the speed at which a full charge is reached.

Activate Low-Power Mode

If your phone’s battery level has dipped below 20% and you don’t currently have the opportunity to charge it, it’s a good move to turn on Low Power mode!

This mode preserves the remaining charge in your phone by minimizing various processes and resources.

It assigns power only to essential tasks such as calls and messages by turning off background activities. It’s advisable to automate this setting for convenience and ease of use!

By preventing power depletion at low percentages, you can significantly improve overall battery health and longevity.

Fast Charging

iphone 11 pro with accessories

Apple introduced fast charging to the iPhone 8 and every model since (except for iPhone 9… because it doesn’t exist, duh).

The company continued shipping these phones with standard 5W chargers until the iPhone 11, stopping with the newer 12 and 13 models.

Unfortunately, it’s doubtful that the company will reverse this (questionable) decision with later models.

Instead, users only receive a USB-C to Lightning charging cable in iPhone 12 and 13 boxes, signifying Apple’s support for fast charging as the function on iPhones is only available through a USB-C power cable.

While fast charging is convenient, its effect on the overall battery health is debatable.

Everyone appreciates charging their battery from 0% to 50% in half an hour. However, no one wants to incur a hefty battery replacement cost!

And while the competition has up to 120W fast charging, Apple tops out at 27W for the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

In Conclusion

So, should you charge your iPhone before first use?

Setting up a new iPhone may take a while. Restoring a sizable iCloud backup and years worth of media could take up to several hours!

Therefore, it is advisable to charge the iPhone before first use for practical reasons.

When prompted, proceed to charge the phone while observing charging best practices.

Use the supplied charging cable and charger adapter. If no charging brick is supplied, buy one from Apple or an authorized third-party accessory supplier.

Remember that it’s best to always use an official charger (or one with the same level of quality!)

The optimum charge range for an iPhone’s optimal long-term battery health is 20% to 80%. Keeping the charge at 50% would be ideal, but that’s nearly impossible on a day-to-day basis for most people.

Finally, avoid external battery degradation factors as much as possible, such as using or charging the phone in a hot environment and using chargers with the right wattage (12 or 18W… or even 45W?)

How long your iPhone lasts ultimately depends on your usage. Responsible charging should give you a considerable advantage over careless users- hopefully adding up to a significant sum of money saved when it comes to battery replacement fees!

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