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How to check your iPhone's battery percentage on your Mac

The Menu bar on Mac
The Menu bar on Mac (Image credit: iMore)

9to5Mac's Zac Hall discovered a neat little trick you can do on your Mac. You can check the battery life of your iPhone (and not just the battery indicator icon) right from the Menu bar. You don't need a third-party app. Your iPhone doesn't need to be connected to your computer. You just need to hold Option + Click from the Wi-Fi menu.

Normally, when you click the Wi-Fi icon in your Menu bar, you can turn Wi-Fi on or off, enable your personal hotspot from a supported iPhone or another cellular device, see all Wi-Fi networks nearby, and access more network preferences.

When you hold down the Option key while clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the Menu bar, you'll get a little more detailed information, like your IP address and other internet data.

Wi-Fi menu with and without Option + Click

Under Personal Hotspot, you can see your iPhone, it's cellular connection, and a battery indicator icon showing a rough estimate of your remaining juice. This has been available in the Wi-Fi menu for years.

If you hover over your iPhone in the Personal Hotspot section, however, a submenu will appear next to it, showing your device's unique identifier number and the actual percent of your remaining battery power.

Seeing your iPhone's battery percentage by holding down Option while clicking the Wi-Fi icon, and then hovering over your iPhone in the Personal Hotspot section

It's a helpful little trick and I'm glad Zac discovered it. Thanks, Zac.

I'm not new to using the Option key to get more out of the Menu bar. I don't know when this was added to macOS, but I'm pretty sure it's fairly new. You can also, now, disconnect from a wireless network when you hold down Option and click on the Wi-Fi icon, and that definitely wasn't there before.

Do you know any tricks for getting more out of Menu bar widgets by holding down the Option key? Share them with the rest of us!

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).

5 Comments
  • Nice tip!! Thank you.
    Just one thing though you forgot to mention, bluetooth must be on in both devices for it to work.
  • This requires that either A) your devices are connected to the same iCloud account or B) the Personal Hotspot feature is enabled on your phone.
  • Cool
  • Here's a tip: when your Pencil is not connected, and you're charging the iPad Pro it's paired with, you can connect the Pencil to the iPad (assuming Bluetooth is on) by plugging it in to any other iOS device with an available Lightning connector!
  • Not the control key, but the command key. Hold down the command key and you can drag and reorder the icons on the top right of your menu bar. Always a fund way to customize your mac.