I am going away on holiday for a week but don't want to take my phone with me because I'm afraid of running up a huge bill, is it safe to turn the phone off for this long? Or can it damage the battery?

6 Answers 6


This answer is somewhat outdated as Apple has added very robust and intelligent overcharging, over rate charging, temperature controls and adaptive charging to extend the life and avoid many of the situations where 2010 to 2015 era battery and charge system tech could result in less service length than ideal.

Even for 2010 era, what is described is still certainly safe - just turn it off and enjoy your trip. Newer gear makes this even more safe to do. You really have to go out of your way to exhaust batteries - and only random failures result in swaps in my experience now.

iPhone and all other Apple Products shipping in the last 5+ years (excepting the Apple Battery Charger which are NiMH AA cells) have lithium polymer (lipo) batteries. The MacBook Pro and Air batteries are a bit more sophisticated than the iPhone/iPod/iPad batteries but the underlying chemistry is the same.

It is safe to store them for months and it's best to charge them 50% and turn off the device for long term storage. All lipo batteries work best when they get a normal serive charge and discharge cycle once a month, but slowly draining from 50% to 0% over 6 to 12 months and then getting charged back to 50% is quite safe for several years of storage.

I wouldn't worry about leaving it off even 5 months if you starting over 50% but less than 70% charge in a not-hot location.

  • The worst thing for a battery is to use or charge it above 95 degrees F.
  • The next worst is deep, deep discharge (well past when the device shuts off) - make sure you charge up the battery past half before long periods of storage.
  • Repeated long storage while full. (don't make a habit of leaving it 100% full and off for months at a time)

I still have my original iPhone going strong (for occasional testing) by waking it up every 6 months at a minimum. If I leave it around 2/3 full and wake it six months later - it's usually got more than 1/4 battery left. I then use it for a few days charging and discharging fully before shutting it off again.


Long-Term Storage

If you don’t plan on using your iPod touch for more than three weeks, Apple recommends that you store it with the battery charged between 50%-75% and the device completely turned off, not just put to sleep.

If you store it when the battery is fully discharged, it could fall into a deep discharge state, which renders it incapable of holding any charge. Conversely, if you store it fully charged for an extended period of time, the battery may experience some loss of battery capacity, meaning it will have a shorter life.

I'm not sure if this will apply to your situation or not, seeing as it was intended for iPod's and not iPhonee's, but I would think that the concept would be the same.

This is the apple page where I got the information from.


I would agree with what @Senseful says above but with a caveat about storing electronics in refrigerators. I suspect that they're not especially dry environments so if you are storing a device in one, a sealed container containing a dessicant might be the best way to do it.


As long as you keep the phone in a cool, dry place, it will be fine.

You only need to be worried about battery damage during storage when it is long term (e.g. months/years), in which case you would want to keep the battery at 40% and keep it in a cool place such as a refrigerator.

More info can be found at batteryuniversity.

  • I would worry less about cool and more about preventing deep discharge after months of storage. As long as the phone is dry and it cools slowly - very low temperatures won't hurt, but don't help either. Condensation forming from a humid device rapidly cooled will corrode or damage the insides so risking that isn't normally a good idea.
    – bmike
    May 16, 2011 at 21:01
  • Thanks for the info guys I will just make sure it is charged up befor I go away and just turn it off and leave it in the draw..
    – Gavinlee
    May 18, 2011 at 19:13

Yes. You can store an iPhone for much longer than a week with around a 50% charge on the battery. I store my old iPhone test spares often for several weeks between uses, and haven't seen the slightest problem. Apple probably stores repair spares for far longer in their stockrooms.

But if you just don't want to run up any charges, take it with you and use it as an iPod, but leave it in Airplane mode for the entire duration of the trip. If you're paranoid about accidentally turning on cellular data, you can also remove the SIM card, which will prevent any cellular billing to your account.

Or leave it at home plugged in to the charger, off or on, but locked and in Airplane mode.


Absolutely, You will notice that your iPhone was at full charge when you turned it on for the first time, despite it traveling around the world in shipping containes, and siting in a shop store room. Chances are that period was longer than a week and has not harmed your device, another week will not do any harm.

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