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There are times when the iPhone is at low battery level that it turns itself off.

Sometimes, it maybe when I am going to charge it but looking for where my cable is, it turned itself off.

So I wonder, if I missed it by 20 seconds, how come sometimes I had to wait 15 minutes or even 18 minutes of recharging before I can start up the iPhone again, say, just to look at my email to see what flight number it is.

So if I had plugged in 20 seconds earlier, I might be able to use it continuously, for as long as I want, vs now I have to wait 15 minutes. It is no issue if I am at home, but it matters more if I am at the airport trying to look up some info or to find a hotel due to flight cancelation due to weather.

So is there a way to charge it for 3 or 5 minutes, and force start the iPhone instead?

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No there is no way to do this but my recommendation is in such tight cases turn on airplane mode and screen brightness down to a minimum until you can plug it in. – Andrew U. Mar 19 '14 at 8:15

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way. As far as I know it charges to around 4-5% of battery capacity so that it's sure to be able to perform the whole boot process, even if it's unplugged, so not to screw something up when losing power while starting up the OS. 15-18 minutes seems long to me, though. It's usually 5-7 minutes using the iPhone charger. Are you charging off a PC USB port?

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sometimes from a PC or Mac, but more often charging from my car's USB port (some newer cars have a built in USB port). Sometimes I charge it from a portable charger. It could be that some of these chargers are a 5W charger... hm... but can't an iPhone use power to operate as well as let the battery charge? I suppose the risk is what if the operating power consumption is more than 5W... so if the phone can power up using a low power mode (dim the screen, lower the processor speed), then it will be best but it might be an advanced featuree – 太極者無極而生 Nov 9 '15 at 2:37

In short, no. There is no way to force it to restart when you are charing from "0%". In fact it is even posible when recharging and your phone is still alive, and you are continuing to use it, even then is it possible the iPhone shutsdown.

This is an build-in security, your iPhone shutsdown when it's almost empty just because before shutting down it still needs some time to do some jobs. For example:

  • It must inform your carrier that you're not available anymore
  • Must shut down apps
  • Must be sure that everything is saved so there is no data loss.

The reason why it takes 15 minutes to restart: It makes sure that it has enough batery power to execute this tasks, or even better has enough power to feed your (heavy) requests when it's on again. As said before it's possible that even when you're ontime to recharge your phone, it still shuts off because of too low power and prevent data loss.

Believe me, it's build-in to help you, not to plague you.

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yeah, but if it just shut off and I plug in the iPad 12W charger, then I think I should have a choice to have it start earlier. You can say, "yeah it is for you own good even if you have 12W charger." But then, when the mother in the movie Titanic thinks the daughter should marry the rich guy, she thinks that it must be for her own good too. The bottom line is, when the user is sure, there should be a choice for the user – 太極者無極而生 Mar 20 '14 at 5:23
"should have a choice" - this is an Apple product we're talking about. If it's choice you want, never in a million years buy an Apple product. – Chris Harrison Feb 22 '15 at 4:57
Past the first paragraph, this reads to me more like a speculative apologia than an answer—it even ends with a "believe me." The bulk of the text really doesn't address the hardware boot process at all. It's not clear whether the answerer actually has technical expertise about the internals of the iOS software and hardware charge and boot cycles. If yes, it could be improved with a little bit more technical detail and/or links to sources. If this is just general speculation, I would recommend deleting everything after the first paragraph. – Sarah G Aug 7 '15 at 5:54

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