Battery formatting – what is it and how to do it?

You’ve probably heard at least once about the idea of formatting a phone’s battery. What battery formatting is about, how to do it, but especially if it still makes sense to do it when we are talking about last-generation smartphones, we will explain in this material.

When we talk about formatting the battery on the phone (because it could also be done on tablets, laptops or other devices) we mean a battery calibration.

To understand how battery calibration is done, you first need to know some basics about how a phone battery works.

Each battery has a chip, which sends a signal that will indicate the actual battery level of a phone at the time of the check. This information is automatically sent to your phone’s screen via your device’s processor.

The chemical element of the battery (lithium or nickel) is what “stores” the energy. I put this term in quotes because the current is not actually stored in the battery, but we will use this generally accepted term, although the process behind it is much more complex than that.

The chip tries to read how much of this energy the battery has accumulated. For the most accurate reading, the chip must “learn” the battery capacity. If the battery is fully discharged to 0% and then fully charged to 100% the chip will know what the capacity of the battery is.

The more you use a phone, the more its battery will drain and recharge at multiple points. This process will cause the chip to “miss” the exact reading of the energy left in the battery.

Formatting or recalibrating the battery would therefore represent a “reset” of how the chip and battery chemistry communicate.

How do you format a battery?

Formatting or calibrating the battery is a simple task. Regardless of which phone model we are talking about, formatting its battery will basically be a full charge cycle.

Let the phone reach 0% battery. Once the phone has shut down, restart it so that the device shuts down again. Without restarting it, put it on charge and let it reach 100%.

After the phone has fully recharged, you can disconnect the cable and restart the device. If the screen now shows a lower battery percentage, charge it again until it reaches 100% battery.

This full drain cycle followed by a full recharge will allow the chip that tells the processor what the battery value is to calibrate its readings in terms of the battery charge cycle.

Format iPhone battery

If your iPhone shows that the battery is far from empty, and then it shuts down out of the blue, you can try to format its battery.

Before starting the battery calibration process, you need to follow some steps to leave the battery with as few charges as possible.

* if you have set the low power consumption setting, cancel it; you can reactivate   it later;
* disable GPS (Settings - Privacy - Location Services), but do not forget to return to this setting after the iPhone battery formatting process is completed;
* reduce screen brightness (Settings - Display and brightness - swipe to the left);
* disable automatic updates (Settings - iTunes and App Store - turn off updates from the corresponding button).

Now your phone is ready to format its battery. Here are the steps you can take to do that:

Step 1 – let the phone fully discharge.

Step 2 – wait about three hours.

Step 3 – let it fully recharge, but don’t remove it from charging even after it reaches 100%. It is important to use an original charger.

Step 4 – wait for the phone to fully discharge again and let another three hours pass.

Step 5 – put it back on charge and leave it for a while after it reaches 100%.

Don’t forget to reactivate the services and functions you previously disabled. Normally, your iPhone battery should now be recalibrated.

Format Samsung battery

There are no big differences between a Samsung battery format and a battery recalibration in the case of an iPhone. Here is the process you should go through to format a Samsung battery:

Step 1 – use the phone until its battery “dies” completely.

Step 2 – Restart your phone and wait until it shuts down again.

Step 3 – repeat the above step a few times until the phone stops responding in any way.

Step 4 – connect the fully drained phone to an original charger and leave it until you see it has charged to 100%. Do not remove the charger, but leave it like that for a few hours.

Step 5 – resume normal use of your phone, which should now have its battery recalibrated.
Does the external battery need to be formatted?

The short answer to this question is NO, the external battery does not need to be formatted. Instead, if you want to extend its life, you can follow the tips below:

 do not leave the external battery in the sun or at extreme temperatures;
 when you recharge it, don't forget it with the cable connected;
 even if you don't use the external battery for a long time, remember to charge it at least half way.

Does formatting the battery still make sense on new phones?

Battery formatting is a holdover from older phone batteries that were based on nickel combined with cadmium.

Until a few years ago, our phones, as well as laptops, ran on nickel-based batteries. Things have evolved, and today we can enjoy devices with Lithium-ion (Li-ion) or Lithium-polymer (Li-po) batteries.

Any app or software that promises to improve your health or phone battery life will have no real value. In other words, these are just myths. A phone battery, once exhausted as a result of frequent use of the smartphone, i.e. repeated recharges, must be changed at some point. Of course, this operation can only be done in an authorized service center, you cannot change the battery yourself.

If your phone’s battery drains way too fast, even if you recharge it to 100%, either change it or get another phone.