Many users are reporting cases where their iPhone stops charging at 80% and charges no further, no matter for how long they leave it to charge. Are you experiencing this? Read on to find out how to fix the problem and continue enjoying your MagSafe wireless charging technology.
Why Does MagSafe Charger Stop Charging at 80%?
One thing you need to remember is that, although MagSafe was released in 2006 for MacBook, it wasn’t until 2020 that it was redeveloped and made available to iPhones for wireless charging. Therefore, as far as technology is concerned, it is still in its infancy for iPhone.
So, it is expected that there may be issues from time to time as Apple continues to improve its technology. As for now, to resolve the issue of getting stuck at 80% charge, you would need to use an elimination method to try several fixes until you arrive at the one that works for you. So, if you’re ready, let’s get stuck in.
1. You Have Optimized Battery Charging Turned On
To be clear, Optimized Battery Charging is a good thing to turn on your phone. Apple designed this power feature for iPhone 13 and later to reduce the wear and damage on your battery and increase its lifespan by reducing the time that your iPhone spends fully charged.
You see, when you leave your phone plugged into power after it is fully charged, it causes damage to your battery because you are supplying more energy than it needs at this point. This is the main reason why Apple always advises that you never leave your phone to charge overnight.
With Optimized Battery Charging, Apple has used a technology called On-device Machine Learning to study your daily charging routine so that Optimized Battery Charging will activate when the machine learning predicts that you will leave your phone plugged into power for longer than you should. When it is activated, your battery will start charging very slowly when it is at 80%. Do you see the relationship?
So, if you are one to normally leave your phone plugged in for extended periods early in the morning while you go about your morning routine, that is when Optimized Battery Charging will activate, and when it gets to 80%, charging will slow almost to a halt so that your phone hopefully does not get fully charged until you get back to it.
So, as we said, this is a great feature to have, but it is also one of the reasons why your Magsafe stops charging at 80%. How?
- It may be that you are checking it just when the charge optimization started. So, it may be stuck on 80% for longer than usual, getting you worried. In which case, just leave it and give it some more time to charge
- It may be that the Optimized Battery Charging has developed a bug that will cause it to stop the power supply to your battery, making your iPhone battery get stuck at 80% no matter how long you leave it to charge.
Whatever the case, you can simply turn off Optimized Battery Charging to get your iPhone charging normally again
Fix – Turn Off Optimized Battery Charging
Although we recommend turning off Optimized Battery Charging, we strongly advise that when you do this, you should monitor your phone charging. MagSafe halves your iPhone’s charge time, so you should ensure that you don’t leave it plugged in for too long.
Now, to turn off Optimized Battery Charging, follow the steps below:
1. Unplug your phone from charge
2. Open Settings on your iPhone 13 or later
3. Scroll down and select Battery
4. Then, select Battery Health
5. Then go to Optimized Battery Charging, toggle to turn it off
6. After doing this, restart your phone and then plug it in again to charge, and see if the issue is resolved
2. USB-C Plug Too Weak
The next thing to look at is the USB-C plug that supplies power to the MagSafe wireless charger in the first place. As we explained earlier, MagSafe is supposed to be supplying 15W of power to your phone for fast charging. So, to support this, you need a fast-charge, high wattage USB-C plug that will supply this required level of power output to the MagSafe.
Think of it this way: imagine using the engine on a motorbike to power a MAC trailer? Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is that using a USB-C plug that cannot supply the required level of wattage will cause charging issues on your iPhone, such as getting stuck at 80%.
And it’s not just a mere annoyance; it could damage your iPhone battery in the long run. The only way to fix this is to replace the USB-C plug with one that has a higher wattage.
Fix – Replace USB-C Plug with Higher Watts
Check the Watt capacity of your USB-C plug. If USB-C plug isn’t 20 Watts (view on Amazon), it is not adequate for MagSafe. Even though MagSafe supplies 15W, you should use a plug with higher wattage than that to make up for an electrical power differential.
3. Bad Battery
Every iPhone user dreads a damaged battery, but it may well be why your iPhone won’t charge past 80%. If your battery is damaged, it will no longer be able to process electric charge as it should. This can cause issues like heating, backwards charging, or getting stuck at a certain charge percentage.
At this point, we believe it is important to let you know the main factors that could cause damage to your battery…because Apple really do make good, long-lasting batteries.
1. Overcharging – We highlighted this earlier, and we would like to reiterate it. If you leave your phone charging after it is 100%, it will cause the battery to start experiencing continuous charge and discharge cycles to keep the percentage at that 100%.
While overcharging at 100% is not bad in itself, the continuous charge and discharge at that point reduces its lifespan. Why? Because batteries have a fixed number of charge and discharge cycles during their lifespan, they lose optimal performance. So, leaving your battery charging for long after 100% is just bringing it unduly closer to the end of its lifespan.
2. High Temperature – Your iPhone battery comfort zone is 16 to 22 degrees Celsius or 62 to 72 degrees F. 35 degrees Celsius is still acceptable but anything higher than that will wear down your iPhone battery a lot faster than normal, causing permanent damage to its capacity.
So, exposing your iPhone to high temperatures will damage the battery, but, according to Apple, charging the battery under such high temperatures will damage the battery even further.
Hint: Also, make sure you remove thick protective cases from your phone while charging because the case may generate excess heat for the battery.
3. Storing at full charge or no charge – If you want to put your phone away for long periods, do not store it fully charged or fully discharged. Apple recommends storing at about 50% if you want to preserve your iPhone’s battery life until your next use.
Now that you understand the key factors that may cause damage to your battery let’s take a look at what to do in the event that it is already damaged.
Fix – Book Genius Appointment and Replace iPhone Battery
iPhones do not have replacement batteries. So, getting a new battery is out of the question. The first real chance you have of fixing battery-related issues is to book a Genius Appointment to have an Apple specialist take a look at the phone and provide a solution if possible. To book a Genius appointment, here’s what you need to do:
1. Make sure Location services is on
2. Open the Apple Support app on your iPhone
3. Select the device you’re having issues with under My Devices. In this case, the AirPods Max
4. Select your issue from the categories list
5. Select Bring In for Repair with the screwdriver icon
6. Select Find Authorized Locations
7. Select a preferred store
8. Choose a date and time for your appointment
Fix 2 – Replace iPhone
As we explained earlier, iPhone batteries are not replaceable. Scheduling a Genius Bar appointment is on the off chance that the damage is reversible or that the issue is still only related to how the battery processes the charge coming to it.
If the battery is irreversibly damaged, you would have to get another iPhone. We know how much of a bummer that is, but there is little else you can do in the case of a damaged battery.
Just make sure that this time, you do not do anything that will expose the battery to damage. Also, we advise that you do not buy a refurbished iPhone because you don’t know the state of its battery at purchase.
4. There’s A Bug on Your iPhone
Another reason MagSafe sometimes stops charging at 80% is that the charging phone has developed a bug or just run into a minor glitch. This simply means that, sometimes, some parts of the software running your phone may not work the way they should. Or, some parts of the hardware may temporarily stop functioning.
But the problem with fixing bugs is that you usually can’t tell where it has occurred in the first place. The bug may be on the magnetic interface on your phone (hardware), or on the power management function (software), or on the battery level display (software), or on the wireless charging circuit board inside the phone (hardware). You get the picture.
So, to fix a bug, you just have to try different debugging steps until you find the one that works for you. If none does, you would simply have to continue with the rest of the troubleshooting processes provided in this article.
Fix – Force Restart Your iPhone
The first thing to do when you have or suspect a bug on your device is restart it. This works on every device, and fixing issues with MagSafe charging is no different.
If the bug is caused by some software not loading properly, some circuits disconnecting, too much store of charge, or some hardware temporarily glitching, then a restart is sure to fix it. And these scenarios we listed are often the cause of issues with MagSafe charging.
So, when you have this issue, go ahead and restart your iPhone and see if that solves the problem. For such situations, a forced restart is better than a normal restart. That’s because a forced restart is more thorough in reloading all software and hardware and shedding off bugs and glitches. To hard restart your iPhone, follow the steps below:
To force restart iPhone with Face ID, iPhone 8, and iPhone SE Gen 2 and later:
1. Press and quickly release the volume up (+) button
2. Then press and quickly release the volume down (-) button
3. Then, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears
4. Please do these in quick succession or the sequence will break.
This method works for iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or any iPhone 11, iPhone 12, or iPhone 13 in addition to iPhone 8, and iPhone SE Gen 2 and later.
Fix 2 – Update Phone
Contact Apple for support on any issue or consult any of their technical documentation. You will find that the first thing they always recommend during troubleshooting is to update the firmware of your phone. And no wonder.
Keeping your iPhone up to date ensures the following:
- You receive patches that fix software bugs that may have occurred on your iPhone. These bugs may have caused the issue on MagSafe
- You receive features that improve the performance of your phone and its ability to integrate with other devices and software…like your MagSafe charger
So, updating your iPhone is not merely a nice thing to do; it’s a necessary part of using and maintaining your iPhone. To update iPhone:
1. Plug your iPhone into power
2. Open Settings on your phone
3. Scroll down and select General
4. Then, select Software Update from the options
5. Next, click on Install to install the latest updates
6. If you see Update Now and Upgrade Now, select Upgrade Now. This will install the latest updates and upgrade your iPhone OS.
7. Enter your passcode when prompted and complete the updates process
After updating your iPhone, charge your phone and check to see if the issue of MagSafe getting stuck at 80% is resolved.
Fix 3 – Contact Your Phone Manufacturer
Already, we have spoken about booking a Genius Bar appointment for your iPhone. You can also contact iPhone support for remote help with the charging issue you may be experiencing on MagSafe. To contact iPhone, go to their Support website and select the option that applies to you.
MagSafe works on other phone models like Samsung. If you are experiencing the issue on other such brands, you could also contact your phone manufacturer for help.
Fix 4 – DFU Restore Your iPhone
DFU stands for Device Firmware Update. When you do a Device Firmware Update restore, it reloads the software and firmware of your iPhone. This is more thorough than the standard recovery mode you may already know.
We recommend a DFU update, which has worked for many users, because it thoroughly cleans bugs in software (acquired and installed programs) and firmware (permanently programmed) on your iPhone.
DFU restore is so thorough that if it does not fix the problem, then you are 99% sure it’s a hardware problem.
Before performing a DFU update, you should definitely back up your iPhone because your data will be erased…that is the point of a DFU update in the first place. So, to back up your iPhone data:
1. Go to Settings on your iPhone
2. Tap on your Apple ID name and then tap on iCloud
3. Then tap on iCloud backup
4. Toggle iCloud backup on
5. If you already had this set up, iCloud will back up your phone every day when your phone is a. connected to power b. locked and c. connected to a WIFI network. All of these conditions must be met for automatic backup to happen
6. But to perform a DFU update, tap on Back Up Now to ensure that your iCloud has the latest backup of your phone.
After doing this, the next step is to put your phone in DFU mode to restore it. Here’s how:
1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac computer. You can also do this on Windows PC using iTunes
2. Quickly press and release the volume up button
3. Quickly press and release the volume down button
4. Press and hold the side button until the screen turns black
5. Keep holding the side button when it turns black, and then press and hold the volume down button. This means that you are now holding down the side button and the volume down button
6. Hold both buttons for 5 seconds, then release the side button while still holding down the volume down button
7. Keep holding the volume down button until your iPhone shows up on your computer and shows Restore Mode
8. You will be presented with a message that your computer has detected the phone in recovery mode, and you must restore it to use it. Press OK
9. Then click on Restore to begin the process
10. Do not ever unplug your iPhone during the entire process. If there is anything displayed on your iPhone at this point, you are not in DFU mode, and you would need to repeat the entire process.
5. There’s An Issue with Your Power Outlet
One often-overlooked but a common reason for the issue of MagSafe getting stuck at 80% charge is that your power outlet may be faulty. If the power outlet is faulty, it will not supply the adequate charge required by your iPhone. And already, Optimized Battery Charging slows down charging at 80%, so that’s a double whammy.
A faulty power outlet will simply not charge your phone fully, and it may even cause your phone to start losing charge when it gets to a certain point, like the 80% charge.
Fix – Change Power Supply
Well, the first thing to do, of course, is to change the power outlet you are using to charge. Simply unplug the power adapter that your Magsafe is connected to and plug it in another power socket, and then see if it charges past 80%
Fix 2 – Do Not Use An Extension Cord
Using an extension cord to charge your iPhone is very bad practice. Extension cords convert current from DC to AC or vice versa and could supply the wrong kind of current to your MagSafe. Also, many of them have inbuilt power regulators, which could cause them to supply too-low or too-high voltage to your MagSafe.
Even Apple recommends not to use extension cords because they are rarely ever built to meet iPhone specifications. So, plug your Magsafe into an adapter that is plugged directly into a wall socket and see if the charging issue is resolved.
6. It Slipped Off the Charger at 80%
There is every chance that the charger may have slipped off at that 80% mark. You may think that’s rather convenient, but it could indeed be the case. And by this, we mean that it could have either slipped off at the adapter or off your phone.
Remember that MagSafe is only held to your phone by magnetic fields. It is possible that some movement may have made the connection lose, thereby stopping the charge.
Fix – Make Sure You’re Not Disrupting Your Phone During Charging
MagSafe ensures that your iPhone charges at double the normal speed. Which is pretty fast. So, we recommend that when using MagSafe, you just let it be and do not disrupt the charge. Meanwhile, to fix the issue at hand:
- Unplug the Magsafe USB-C connector from the adapter and then plug it firmly back in
- Then, remove MagSafe from the back of your phone and then place it firmly back on
- Then see if charge resumes and gets past 80%
7. Your Magsafe Charger is Damaged
Or, could it just be that your MagSafe charger is bad? The quickest way to find out is to try using another one if you have it. Or, you could even use a standard lightning cable to try charging your phone. If your phone then charges OK and you have tried all the fixes provided so far without success, then it’s quite likely that your MagSafe charger is damaged
Fix – Replace Magsafe Charger
So, if you have confirmed that the issue is with the charger, you can only replace it. MagSafe chargers (view on Amazon) are available on online stores like Amazon, so you can get one from the comfort of your home.