Can You Overcharge Your iPad / iPhone? (Do They Ever Stop Charging?)

Last Updated on March 21, 2023 by Ernests Embutnieks

If you’ve been charging your iPad or iPhone overnight, you might’ve wondered to yourself – can I harm my battery by keeping my device constantly on charge? Will my device overheat? Or do I end up overcharging it by doing so? 

No, your Apple device, whether an iPad or iPhone, cannot be overcharged as protection is built-in to the device to ensure that it never happens. Your device immediately stops charging as soon as it hits 100%.

In this article, we will discuss precisely how Apple prevents overcharging on an iPad and iPhone and whether they ever stop charging or not.

Can Your Overcharge Your iPad / iPhone?

No, you cannot overcharge your iPad or iPhone as built-in protections both in iOS and on the hardware front ensure that does not end up ever happening. In fact, the reason why these misconceptions came up in the first place is due to them being true from Nickel based batteries.

With modern Lithium batteries, though, these misconceptions can actually turn out to be more harmful than useful. For instance, you should not be draining your Lithium-based battery often. In most cases, you should start charging it before it hits 20%. 

This is because your battery health will quickly degrade when your battery has to push itself extra hard in order to supply all the required current to your phone. In essence, Lithium-based batteries that are present on all modern electronics, including iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, and the Apple Watch, cannot be overcharged and also should not be drained frequently.

How Does My Device Stop Itself From Overcharging?

Your iPhone’s built-in charger detects when it has sufficient charge and automatically stops receiving more power so that your battery is not overcharged. In the same way, your battery does not actually hit 0% when your phone dies.

Instead, your phone’s battery is depleted to a point where any further usage can cause it to permanently die as Lithium-based batteries cannot recover from being actually depleted to 0%. So, your Apple device ensures that it does not happen by shutting itself off before further battery life is lost.

In the same way, overcharging can be harmful to your battery. Therefore, your phone’s internal charger (the one present inside your charger) ensures that it does not happen. So, even if you use a low-quality / poor charger, overcharging will still be prevented as your device internally controls its charging mechanism.

Does Optimized Battery Charging Help Overcharging?

Yes, the optimized battery charging feature (released in iOS 13) helps reduce overcharging and keeps your battery healthier for longer by trickle charging your phone for a longer duration.

In layman’s terms, optimized battery charging identifies your sleeping patterns and when you generally start using your phone. After doing so, your phone will stop charging as soon it hits 80%. When it’s closer to the time that you wake up, your phone will trickle to charge to 100%.

During the night, instead of using your phone’s battery as a power source, it uses current directly from the mains to give your battery some time to rest or to ensure that it doesn’t heat up. This ultimately helps prevent overcharging too.

Personally speaking, we’ve seen a noticeable difference in our battery health by using this feature compared to keeping it turned off. However, it can be quite annoying sometimes to wake up an hour or two later only to see our phone not being fully charged. 

Can I Keep My iPhone / iPad On Charge Constantly?

As mentioned earlier, even if you plug in your iPhone / iPad overnight, there is no chance of overcharging. Charging will immediately stop as soon as your phone hits 100%. This begs the question though, how does your device remain at 100% if charging stops at a particular point?

Well, simple – instead of charging in one go, your phone enters small trickle cycles wherein the battery is depleted to a certain point since it isn’t charging. After that point, your phone picks pack up and begins to charge. This cycle can be repeated multiple times and is not harmful for your battery at all.

So, in essence, you can keep your iPad / iPhone constantly on charge for multiple days on end with no harm brought to your device. Thankfully, devices have gotten smart enough to ensure we don’t end up frying our devices. Although, some exceptions always exist..(Looking at you, Note 7)

If you haven’t noticed, iPads / iPhones are often used in POS applications where they’re kept on charge for extremely long periods of time. In fact, in some places, they’re never taken off charging! Even in these instances, they perform just fine and there is no harm done to the battery whatsoever.

What Is The Best Way To Charge An iPad and iPhone?

While there isn’t a certain ruleset that you need to adhere to, we’ve found these to be the most effective when it comes to charging our iPad / iPhone and ensuring they remain in good battery health.

  • Charge Your Phone Overnight: Since you can’t overcharge your phone overnight, with optimized battery charging, you will end up with a freshly charged phone every morning that’ll also be backed up to iCloud.
  • Do Not Let Your Battery Die: While exceptions happen, do not turn your phone going below 20% into a habit. You should put your phone on charge as soon as it hits 20% to avoid hits to your battery health.
  • Don’t Charge In Extreme Heat / Cold: Extremities of weather are already quite harmful to your battery. An icing on the cake, in terms of damaging your battery, would be to charge your phone in these environments too.

Related Articles:

iPad Battery Suddenly Drains Fast? – Fix It
Do iPads Get Slower With Age? How To Fix It
Why Does My iPad Take So Long To Charge? 7 Reasons

+ posts

I love tech and all about it. I'm interested in finding ways how they can make my life more productive, and I share my knowledge with my blog readers. I'm an iPad Pro, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch user, so I know a thing or two about these devices and try to write helpful content around these topics.