How to See Your iPhone Battery Life as a Percentage

How much battery do you have left?

Illustration of a smartphone with a large low battery
image credit: Logovski/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

The battery icon in the top right corner of your iPhone lets you know how much juice your phone's got left, but it doesn't offer much detail. From a quick glance at the little icon, it's hard to say whether you've got 40 percent of your battery left or 25 percent, and the difference can mean hours of battery use. 

Fortunately, there's a small setting built into iOS that makes it easy to get more information about how much energy your phone has left. With this setting, you can view your battery life as a percentage and hopefully avoid the dreaded red battery icon

With your iPhone's battery percentage in the top right corner of the screen, you'll have easier-to-understand and more accurate information about your battery. You'll know when it's time to recharge (if it can) and whether you can squeeze out a few more hours of use or if it's time to put your iPhone into Low Power Mode.

iOS 9 and Up

In iOS 9 and up, you can view your battery life as a percentage from the Battery area of the settings.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Battery.
  3. Slide the Battery Percentage button to the right to turn it on, making the button green.

In iOS 9 and up, you'll also see a neat chart letting you know what apps have been using the most battery. There's more on that below.

iOS 4-8

If you're running iOS 4 through iOS 8, the process is slightly different.

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Choose General (in iOS 6 and higher; if you're on an older OS, skip this step).
  3. Tap Usage.
  4. Slide Battery Percentage to green (in iOS 7 and up) or On (in iOS 4-6).

Tracking Battery Usage

If you're running iOS 9 or higher, there's another feature in the Battery setting screen that you might find useful. Called Battery Usage, this feature gives you a list of which apps have used the most battery life in the last 24 hours and the last 7 days. With this information, you can pinpoint battery-hogging apps and then delete them or use them less, and thus extend your battery life.

To change the timeframe for the reporting, tap the Last 24 Hours or Last 7 Days buttons. When you do this, you'll see what percent of total battery used in that period was used by each app. Apps are sorted from most-battery-used to least. 

Most apps include some basic information beneath them about what caused the usage. For instance, 13 percent of my recent battery use came from there being no cell coverage because my phone was using lots of power trying to find a signal. In another instance, a podcast app used 14 percent of the total battery by playing audio and by performing tasks in the background.

To get more detailed information about each app's battery use, either tap the app or the clock icon in the top right corner of the Battery Usage section. When you do this, the text beneath each app changes a bit. For example, a podcast app might tell you that its 14 percent battery usage was the result of 2 minutes onscreen use and 2.2 hours of background activity.

You'll want this information if your battery is draining faster than you expect and you can't figure out why. This can help you find apps that are burning through the battery in the background. If you're running into that issue, you'll want to learn how to quit apps so they don't run in the background anymore.