Don’t panic: there’s a reason your iPhone’s battery is draining faster than usual

iPhone low battery image
(Image credit: Shutterstock / boyhey)

Apple’s latest version of iOS – iOS 16.5 – became available to download on May 18, but the supposedly helpful update has left many iPhone users grappling with a frustrating battery problem.  

“iOS 16.5 is deadly for the battery,” reads one of the several complaints posted to social media in recent days, with users reporting faster-than-usual battery drain after downloading iOS 16.5 on their iPhones. 

The severity of the issue appears to vary case-by-case, but charging speeds seem to be affected across the board, too, with some unfortunate souls claiming that their iPhones are taking almost three hours (three hours!) to reach 100% charge. Yikes. 

The good news is that this annoying battery hiccup is completely normal. When Apple – or indeed any software developer – pushes out major operating system (OS) updates, phones often need to reindex data and recalibrate their battery settings, which in turn leads to faster battery drain. Crucially, though, this faster drain is temporary, and should resolve itself in a few days after first occurring. 

In addition to this recalibration, new OS updates often trigger a slew of app-specific updates that put even more strain on your iPhone’s battery. Once these apps have freshened themselves up for the latest version of iOS, however, this drain subsides. 

In all likelihood, then, your iPhone is experiencing an iOS 16.5-induced hangover, and there’s nothing to worry about in terms of long-term damage. If you’re still concerned about your handset’s battery health after a few more days, head to Settings, Battery, then Battery Health to check for any official battery warnings.

iPhone Battery Health screen

Your can check the health of your iPhone's battery in Settings (Image credit: Shutterstock / FellowNeko)

As for the improvements iOS 16.5 brings to your iPhone, Apple’s latest update patches a nefarious loophole that allows – or rather, allowed – anyone to access your contacts book from the lock screen (an issue that presumably arose as a result of the company’s decision to improve lock screen customization in iOS 16 proper). 

Previous versions of iOS 16 have patched similar vulnerabilities concerning access to Messages and the Wallet app through the iPhone lock screen, so iOS 16.5 looks to have fixed the final threat in this particular set of security risks. 

The new update also adds a series of Pride celebration lock screen wallpapers and a dedicated Sports tab in Apple News. The latter provides easier access to stories, scores, and standings for the teams and leagues you follow, with score cards now taking you directly to game pages.

iOS 16.5 addresses various issues relating to Spotlight, CarPlay, and Screen Time, too. The full list of updates can be viewed on Apple’s dedicated iOS 16.5 release notes page. 

Apple is expected to debut its next major revision to iOS – iOS 17 – at WWDC 2023 on June 5, so stay tuned to TechRadar for the latest on that software update.

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.