Wondering how to calibrate the battery on your Android smartphone? Looking for answers on why calibrating the battery is even necessary? Well, these are some of the questions we aim to answer with the help of this article.
The Android operating system needs to keeps track of your battery and charge levels so that it tells you when it is full or empty. The problem is that it sometimes becomes corrupted and starts displaying data that isn’t real, which, for example, causes the phone to turn off before it reaches 0 percent. This discrepancy in data can also be caused by aging.
All batteries degrade over time, and an older battery can no longer hold as much charge as it did when it was new. However, the software your phone runs do not usually take this degradation into account while displaying the battery status on the screen.
Calibrating your Android battery simply means getting the Android OS to correct this information, so it is reflective of your actual battery levels once again. It's important to understand that this process does not actually calibrate (or improve) the battery itself. Nor does battery calibration improve the battery life of your phone. It will only help the phone accurately display battery stats.
Calibrating your battery isn't something you'd do on a regular basis. As mentioned earlier, battery calibration archives only one purpose: ensuring the battery stats displayed by the phone are reflective of the actual condition of the battery. In case you aren't facing any issue with your phone showing you erroneous battery stats, chances are, you do not need to calibrate your battery. Listed below are the circumstances under which it might be a good idea to calibrate your battery.
- Your smartphone suddenly shuts down even after it showed there was enough charge left.
- If your charging percentage remains stuck at a single point for long periods of time.
- Your smartphone is really old, and you suspect the battery stats shown are inaccurate.
Sometimes, it is simply easier (and better) to replace your smartphone battery than to flog an old horse and try calibrating them. This was easier to do on older smartphones that had removable batteries. On such devices, checking the battery for damage/issues was easy as turning the device off, removing the cover, and inspecting the battery.
If you do have such a phone lying around, you will need to look for bulges or leaks. In the image below, you'll see what a normal battery looks like next to a swollen one.
On most modern smartphones, removing the back cover isn't an option, and there is no way to take a peek at the physical condition of the battery. However, one method of identifying a damaged battery on smartphones with non-removable batteries is to check if it doesn't sit flat on the table anymore - a situation that can often arise due to a swollen battery.
Additionally, calibrating the battery is not an all-weather fix to any battery-related issue.
This is because there are plenty of other things that can cause a battery to malfunction. If your phone doesn't charge, there might be a problem with the port, so check our guide on what to do when a phone won't charge.
In case you recently updated your phone to new software, and the battery-related issues have manifested right after, chances are it is caused by the new firmware and not the battery itself. In such a scenario, it is better for you to simply wait for the brand to issue a fix.
The process mentioned below is applicable to all Android smartphones. In case you own a Samsung device, click here.
- Discharge your phone fully until it turns itself off.
- Turn it on again and let it turn itself off.
- Plug your phone into a charger and, without turning it on, let it charge until the on-screen or LED indicator says 100 percent.
- Unplug your charger.
- Turn your phone on. It's likely that the battery indicator won't say 100 percent, so plug the charger back in (leave your phone on) and continue charging until it says 100 percent on-screen as well.
- Unplug your phone and restart it. If it doesn't say 100 percent, plug the charger back in until it says 100 percent on screen.
- Repeat this cycle until it says 100 percent (or as close as you think it's going to get) when you start it up without it being plugged in.
- Now, let your battery discharge all the way down to 0 percent and let your phone turn off again.
- Fully charge the battery one more time without interruption and you should have reset the Android system's battery percentage.
Samsung smartphones come with an option called 'Quick Reset' that is usually accessed by the technicians to calibrate phones that report inaccurate battery stats. Here's how you can use this option to calibrate the battery on Samsung devices.
- Use the smartphone until it reaches 5%, and make sure your phone isn't connected to the charger.
- Open the phone dialer app and enter the following code: *#0228#.
- A pop-up menu appears with an option that says 'Quick Start'.
- Press 'Quick Start" and then press 'OK.
- Wait for the display to power back on again and check if the battery percentage has gone down.
- Charge the phone to 100% again.
- Power the phone off and then turn it on again and then unplug the charger.
- Repeat these steps 2, 3 times
- Plug the charger in again and the battery at 100%, turn the phone on again and open the dialer, and type: *#9900#.
- Scroll down to "batterystats.bin reset" and tap.
- Exit the menu and restart the phone.
Remember that it is not recommended performing this process regularly. Even when your battery is so dead your phone won't even turn on, your battery still has enough reserve charge to avoid system damage. But you don't want to poke the tiger with a stick. Perform this process once every three months at the most. If it is required more often than that, you have bigger problems at hand.
Put plainly: fully discharging a battery is bad for it. Trying to overload a battery is also bad for it. The good news is that charging batteries will shut off automatically when they've reached their safe limit and there's always a little in reserve even if your phone won't start. Again: only do this when really necessary, because it does have a negative impact on battery life.
That's it. Have you tried any of these methods to calibrate your battery? Do you know an alternate way to fix battery problems? Let us know in the comments.
This article was last updated in June 2021. Older comments have been retained.