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I replaced my iPhone battery myself. Here’s what happened



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Andrew Hoyle / CNET

I thought I had found a bargain when I discovered a pristine look Iphone 6 on eBay for just £ 75 (about $ 1

00 or AU $ 140). But that excitement quickly subsided when I realized that the battery was so out of date that the software slowed down its performance. But instead of shedding the phone and getting the buyer’s regrets, I decided to buy a replacement battery and tools from iFixit to replace the battery myself.

After an hour of work I replaced the battery and the iPhone 6 worked perfectly again. I’m not giving step-by-step instructions here – go to iFixit and grab a kit if that’s what you’re looking for – but I want to describe my experience, including how easy this was to do, and hopefully answer some of the questions you may have if you also needs a new battery.

Keep in mind that any maintenance you do on your own devices is entirely at your own risk.

1. Why does the battery of an iPhone need to be replaced?

Batteries age over time, and considering the iPhone 6 was released six years ago, it was no surprise that the one I bought wasn’t working in top condition. One time, the phone rebooted unexpectedly during use and a warning dialog box flashed saying, “This iPhone turned off unexpectedly because the battery was unable to deliver the required peak power. Performance management has been applied to prevent this happening again.” phone itself knew it had a battery.

In short, a phone’s performance can be limited if it can no longer meet its power needs. There is the option to disable throttling, but this will result in more frequent crashes. Neither situation is ideal, so a battery replacement seemed like a smart way to move forward.

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Open my iPhone 6.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

2. How much does a replacement iPhone battery cost?

Specifically, the problem with my situation was that I bought the phone for so little in the first place that spending more money on a battery replacement service wiped out some of those initial savings. Apple’s official replacement service costs £ 49 ($ 49), which is more than half the price of my iPhone 6 I bought. Since I was in the middle of the coronavirus freeze when I tried this, I couldn’t go to an Apple Store to pick it up, and mailing it would bring the total cost to £ 56.44.

However, iFixit sells a DIY replacement pack for £ 35 (including shipping to my home in Scotland). It costs $ 30 in the US and shipping costs are $ 37.96. It’s not a huge savings over Apple’s official replacement, but every little bit helps.

3. What’s in the iFixit battery repair kit?

The kit from iFixit comes with a third party replacement battery not from Apple, as Apple does not sell the parts separately. It also has all the tools needed to open the phone and remove the old battery. All I needed more was a hair dryer to heat up and remove the glue.

4. Does your phone’s warranty expire if you replace a battery?

Opening an iPhone will void the warranty, but if your battery is so out of date that it needs replacing, chances are the 12-month warranty period has already passed.

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Prying out the old battery was tricky, and I wasn’t always sure I was doing it safely.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

5. Is it safe to replace your iPhone battery yourself?

This one is not that easy to answer. IFixit’s manual gives very detailed instructions on the steps, but there were a few points that made me nervous. One step was to heat the back of the phone with a hair dryer to loosen the glue holding the old battery in place.

In particular, it noted that the heat is “a little too warm to touch comfortably,” which I found a bit vague. Especially since that section also warned that “iPhone overheating can ignite the battery.” But how hot is too hot? What signs would I see if it overheated? I couldn’t find this information, and as such I wasn’t too sure how close I was to overheating.

Shortly after, while trying to pry the old battery out, I accidentally tore what appeared to be the black wrap around that battery. I was pretty sure the battery itself hadn’t been punctured – there was no smoke or hissing – but I would have felt a lot more comfortable if I had “emergency” instructions on hand on what to do if the battery would ignite.

6. Can I replace the battery of my iPhone myself?

To some extent yes, and normally I’m not “handy” in a DIY sense. IFixit’s instructions were easy to follow, and there were only seven internal screws to remove, which were easy to replace.

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The iPhone 6, old battery removed and all traces of the glue removed.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

What I found a little confusing was that iFixit’s instructions on the webpage end at the point where you remove the old battery. The only instruction in the conclusion was to follow the previous steps in reverse order. Granted, that wasn’t particularly difficult to do, but I would have appreciated more guidance at the time.

One problem I ran into independently of iFixit was that while removing the screen, I broke the screen protector that was in place. I noticed the hairline cracks and was concerned that I had damaged the screen myself, but luckily that was unharmed.

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With its new battery, this iPhone 6 should work optimally again.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

7. Is it worth replacing an iPhone battery?

It really depends on the age and value of your phone. If, like me, you’ve bought a cheap used iPhone and just want to get it back up to speed, that’s a great way to breathe new life into old technology without spending a fortune. However, keep in mind that these weren’t going to be my headphones, nor did I buy them with my own money. For me, the risk was low and if I got it wrong and messed up the phone it wouldn’t have been a big deal. You need to consider whether you can really do without it, just in case the worst happens.

If you are using a more recent device, such as an iPhone X ($ 900 at Boost Mobile)For example, I would probably take it directly to Apple. The savings you can get from doing it yourself aren’t so great as to justify the potential cost of damaging a more valuable handset.


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