Sunday, November 27, 2016

How to Get iPhone 6S Repaired When the Battery Shuts it Down

If you own an iPhone 6S and have experienced random shut downs when remaining battery life is anywhere between 30-60%, you may have a faulty battery. Two weeks ago Apple pinpointed this issue as a battery issue. This issue exists for a small number of batteries installed in the iPhone 6S. Apple is fixing the affected phones for free but getting the battery replaced is a process. Here is what you need to know to get an iPhone 6S suffering from this unpredictable battery issue repaired.

How to Get iPhone 6S Repaired When the Battery Shuts it Down

First things first, each iPhone 6S must be identified as one that qualifies for a battery replacement. Find one of the following that is closest to you:

  • Apple Authorized Service Provider 
    • Click on the Service button
    • Type in your location, product, and carrier
    • Press Go to find the nearest locations
  • Apple Retail Store
    • Click on the Bring in for Repair button
    • Sign in with your Apple ID
    • Select the iPhone with the issue
    • Select "Battery, Power & Charging"
    • Run through the wizard
  • Call Apple Technical Support
Initially I tried finding out if my phone was part of the recall as I had already experienced the problem twice. I found running through Apple's online wizard a little less intuitive than I was hoping for and was disappointed there was no place online to enter my unique IMEI to find out if mine qualified. Luckily, an associate with the Geek Squad working at a Best Buy, a local Authorized Service Provider, was able to check the IMEI on my phone and within seconds verified it qualified for the replacement. This is the beginning of the IMEI on my phone that qualified, keeping in mind the range of qualified IMEI's is unknown.

Unfortunately, without an appointment I would need to wait days to get my phone fixed. If an Apple Retail Store was closer by, I could likely have had the issue fixed same day with an appointment.

Which leads me to the next step. If you have an iPhone that qualifies for the replacement, make an appointment to have it repaired before going to get it fixed. This can be done calling Apple's technical support or by using Apple's online wizard through the retail store or directly with some Authorized Service Providers like In my case, the closest Apple store is 45 minutes further than a Best Buy so it was worth taking it there to verify it qualified. Whether taking the iPhone to an Apple Retail Store or to an Authorized Service Provider, making an appointment significantly reduces the wait time and may be the difference between getting it back within hours or leaving it for up to a week. Note: Calling to verify there is a replacement battery in stock is highly recommended. Even with an appointment I arrived only to find there were no replacement batteries available. If a battery replacement must be ordered, the iPhone it is ordered for has to be surrendered and left until the replacement arrives. This process would be much easier if Apple would simply send replacement batteries ahead of time or at least let customers return with their phone later, however in my experience that was not an option yet.

The third step includes backing up the phone. Once an appointment is set, be sure to back up the phone just before taking it to be repaired. While removing the battery does not directly wipe anything off the phone or lose settings, if something happens during the battery replacement process, you may end up with a replacement phone rather than new battery. As the process was explained to me, the batteries require a deal of skill to remove and risk breaking the tabs holding the battery in place. If either tab is broken, the phone must be replaced. If your phone is replaced, your data and settings will not be on the new phone. This is the reason making a backup of your phone before taking it in for repairs is imperative. Even if the backup is not needed, the peace of mind is absolutely worth the 5 minutes required to back it up just in case. NOTE: Be sure to run a backup, not just a sync. Under the section for backups, verify the last backup date is the current date and time.

Next, take the phone in for the repair. If the battery is replaced without issue, you are done! If something happens during the replacement and you end up with a new phone, connect the new phone to the iTunes account with the backup. Restore the backup onto the new phone. This process can take up to 20 minutes depending upon how much data is being restored. When the restore finishes the phone can be used normally. NOTE: Passwords for specific accounts like email and within apps, may need to be inputted if the backup was not encrypted.

Having a phone that unexpectedly turns off when the battery has anywhere from 30 - 60% remaining is frustrating. In my case I could not shut the phone down or turn it back on without first plugging it into a charger. Once plugged into a charger the phone came back within minutes with the original battery charge remaining. However, there are times when a charging cable or place to plug it in might not be available rendering the phone unusable. So, while the process for getting the battery replaced will take some time, it will be worth the effort to have a reliable phone again.

As always, new technologies sometimes create new issues. Knowing how to deal with them so they do not slow you down is key!

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