How to See Your iPhone’s Battery Percentage All the Time Again

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Photo: MichaelJayBerlin (Shutterstock)

When you look at the battery icon on your iPhone, you get a rough enough idea of how much battery life you still have to work with. But if you want to know exactly where you stand, you need to swipe down from the top right into Control Center, where Apple has hidden away the battery percentage for years.

It didn’t use to be this way. In the early days of the iPhone, Apple gave all users the option to see the battery percentage in the menu bar. However, with the introduction of the iPhone X, Apple inexplicably changed things—suddenly, your brand-new iPhone had one feature taken away.

Why can’t I see the battery percentage on my iPhone?

While the iPhone X and iPhones like it have never had this battery percentage option, Apple offered the choice to all iPhones with a Home button: Whether you have an iPhone 8 or an iPhone SE, you can choose whether or not to display the battery percentage. Apple never explained their thinking here, but it likely has something to do with the limited space of the “X-style” iPhones, where the battery icon is placed in the top-right corner next to the notch. Home button iPhones have a uniform 16:9 display with no notch, so adding that extra number doesn’t crowd the screen.

Apple changed their tune, though: With iOS 16, the company is adding the battery percentage option to Face ID iPhones for the first time. But there are two caveats.

The first is only temporary: The feature is available as part of iOS 16 developer beta 5 and public beta 3, which means you’ll need to be running the latest beta on your iPhone to access it. If you’re interested in the beta, you can follow our instructions here to install it on your iPhone.

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If you don’t want to take on the risks of installing beta software on your iPhone, you’ll be able to try out the battery percentage option on your iPhone when Apple rolls out iOS 16 to all compatible devices in the fall.

However, not all iPhones running iOS 16 will get the feature. For some reason, Apple decided to drop a handful of iPhones from the list, some old and some new. Here is the current lineup of battery percentage-compatible devices:

  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone SE (2nd and 3rd gen)

That means iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 11, and iPhone XR still don’t have the ability to show your battery percentage at all times. For these phones, it’s business as usual, but it’s strange for Apple to not include the option. It’s possible Apple isn’t confident it can comfortably fit the battery percentage on the minis’ smaller displays, or the 11 and XR’s lower resolution screens. But since iOS 16 is still in testing, Apple could end up adding the feature to these phones after all. We just won’t know until future beta versions, or the official release of iOS 16.

How to show battery percentage on your iPhone

Assuming you don’t have one of the omitted iPhones mentioned above, and assuming your iPhone is running iOS 16, you can enable your battery percentage in a few taps: Head to Settings > Battery, then tap the toggle next to Battery Percentage. On a Face ID iPhone, you’ll then see your battery percentage pop in the middle of your battery icon.

When you charge your iPhone with this setting enabled, the entire battery turns green; when you enable Low Power Mode, it turns yellow; when your iPhone dips to 20% battery or lower, it turns red. That said, these special features only apply to Face ID iPhones. If your iPhone has a Home button, you’ll still only see the battery percentage appear to the left of your battery icon, without the new color schemes or design.

This article was updated on Tuesday, Aug. 9 when Apple released public beta 3 containing the battery percentage feature.

 

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