My iPhone 6 battery life was getting worse and worse. Eventually reaching the stage that it wouldn’t last half a day. Sometimes falling 15% in 15 minutes. Once it was down to 25% it would then suddenly drop to zero and switch off.

Genius

I bit the bullet and waited in line at the Apple Store in Westfield, London. Only a 30-minute wait, lucky me.

The Apple “Genius” ran some tests on the battery and pronounced it to be perfectly OK—in fact retaining 89% of its performance after two years of heavy use.

The solution? Wipe and restore the phone. Apparently the algorithm in the phone that calculates the battery percentage can get confused over time. So even though my battery had plenty of juice left, the software thought otherwise and shut the phone down.  (Did someone say Apple software is perfect?)

Starting from Scratch

The Apple Genius suggested two options: wiping the phone and restoring from the backup. Or, “if that didn’t work”, wiping the phone and starting from scratch.

Given how long it would take to restore from backup, and the risk that this might not solve the issue anyway, I jumped straight to the Year Zero option. After all, a spring clean can’t hurt? Can it?

Wiping your iPhone Isn’t Easy

I took screen shots of all of the settings and screens to remember what configuration I needed to reinstate.

To begin with, it was plain sailing—I was back up and running with email, calendar and contacts (all synced with Google) within a few minutes. And it’s great to lose all of those apps that you never use. I swear the phone feels lighter to carry.

But be warned, there’s an awful lot of other stuff on your iPhone that takes a long time to put back how you like it…

  • It lost sync with my Apple Watch, meaning I had to wipe and re-install that too.
  • That also meant two lots of Apple Pay to re-set, in turn messing up my London travel Oyster card account.
  • You forget just how many apps need a username and password to re-sync their data to the cloud.
  • Next time I got in the car, the Bluetooth connection was lost and had to be re-set up (which, if you’ve ever paired a phone to a car is something that requires a lot of patience).
  • All my old texts disappeared.
  • I’m still trying to train the mystical fingerprint reader.
  • I still haven’t finished downloading my 60GB of music from iCloud.
  • There’s probably more missing stuff that I’ve not found yet. I’ll find out at the least convenient moment.

Did It Work?

Was the pain worthwhile? Do I now have a phone that will last longer than 45 minutes away from a power outlet? The happy answer is ‘yes’. It took a few power cycles for the battery meter to re-calibrate but it’s now mid-afternoon and I still have 65% left as you can see in the photo. That’s after plenty of web browsing, calls and Spotify.

I’d conclude that it’s well worth going through the wipe routine if your iPhone looks like it’s not holding charge. Just be prepared for a lot of work to return to normality afterwards.