How to save battery life on your iPhone
Our iPhones keep getting faster, bigger, and better at taking photos and videos—but while battery life has improved over the years, so have our demands on those batteries. As a result, many phones still last about a day (or a bit more) with regular use.
It’s great if you can charge your phone every night, but what if you forget to do it? Or what if you’re away for a night or two? Or what if your battery starts draining alarmingly quickly for no apparent reason? There are many scenarios where you may need to get your iPhone’s battery to last a little (or a lot) longer than normal.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to squeeze every last bit of juice out of your iPhone’s battery. Combine them together, and you can get significantly more time between charges without too much of a trade-off.
It’s a good idea to check which apps use the most battery power.
Adjusting your screen to a dark mode can save battery power.
See which apps are draining the battery
How quickly or slowly your iPhone loses battery power depends on what you do with it. Apps that make higher demands on system resources (like games) or use GPS (like mapping apps) are going to drain your battery faster, so the less you use these apps, the better – as far as battery life is concerned.
You can see which apps drain the battery the most:
Go to Settings > Battery. Scroll down to see which apps used the most battery power. You can see the percentages over the last 24 hours or the last eight days.
Decrease the brightness of the screen
Screen brightness can also make a big difference in extending battery life.
To reduce the brightness, you can either swipe down to the Control Center and use the brightness control or go to Settings > Display & Brightness and use the slider there. The True Tone control in Settings > Display & Brightness will automatically adjust your brightness setting. This can be a good thing, as it will keep your brightness adjusted to account for the lighting environment; however, if you feel it might not fit what you want it to have or you feel it keeps things too bright, you can turn it off. Having your screen on when you’re not using your phone also drains power. In Settings > Display & Brightness, tap Auto-Lock and lower it to 30 seconds or the lowest time you’re comfortable with. If the screen locks after less of a delay, it’s going to spend more time showing the darker lock screen which is easier on your battery. In Settings > Display & Brightness, tap Dark to switch to dark mode, which uses less energy.
Cell signals and Bluetooth
Another factor that can affect your battery levels is cell signal quality. When your iPhone is on a patchy link, it has to work harder to stay connected, so if you know you’re going to be in an area with poor cellular coverage for a while, you might want to put your phone in airplane mode until you have to actually go online. The easiest way to do this is to open the Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner of the screen and then tapping the airplane mode button.
Bluetooth can also be a drain on your battery. If you’re using a smartwatch connected to your phone via Bluetooth and you’re running low on phone power, you may want to disconnect the devices. Additionally, if you’re going to be using your phone consistently for long periods of time without recharging, you might want to consider a pair of wired (rather than wireless) headphones. And by the way, playing at the highest volume can harm your battery life and your ears.
Limit what apps can do in the background
Apps like to be able to run in the background when you’re not actually using them, so they can, for example, upload your photos or check for incoming emails. However, this can have an impact on battery life. You can check to see what apps are running in the background and limit which ones have that capability.
Open Settings and select General > Refresh background app. Tap Background app refresh to get the option to turn it off for all your apps, to allow it for Wi-Fi only (which you might want to consider if you’re not on an unlimited plan), or to turn it off for Wi-Fi -To allow Fi. Fi and cellular data (in other words, all the time). You can also scroll down the list of apps and turn off background app refresh for each app individually. Alternatively, open Settings, scroll down to the list of apps you have installed, tap any one of them, and disable Background App Refresh. On those same individual pages for each of your apps, you can tap Location > Never to stop an app from activating the iPhone’s GPS sensor (another battery drain). Your other location options will vary depending on the app, but you can choose to have the app ask for permission every time it wants to use GPS or to only use it while you’re using the app.
Constantly using your location for all your apps can drain battery power; keep it for those who need it.
You can also make up for some extra battery life by turning off Siri’s active listening feature.
Another option is to limit the notifications an app can send. It lights up your screen, and if there are a lot of them coming in from a particular app, it can make a difference. Notifications for an app can be managed from the same individual listings in Settings where you manage background refresh and location access, or you can go to Settings > Notifications.
Stop Siri from listening
You can also squeeze out a little extra battery life by turning off Siri’s active listening feature – if your iPhone is always listening for you to say “Hey Siri,” then it’s using more of your battery. To turn it off, open Settings and select Siri & Search, then disable the Listen for “Hey Siri” option.
When you get desperate
If your battery rate creeps past 20 percent and you’re not near a power source, there are still things you can do. To start, you can enable Low Power Mode.
Low Power Mode reduces screen brightness, minimizes system animations, optimizes device performance (so components aren’t overworked), and limits much of the activity that happens in the background on your phone.
You’ll automatically be prompted to activate it when the battery level reaches 20 percent and 10 percent, but you can actually activate it whenever you want, and it makes a significant difference in terms of how quickly your iPhone battery drains. To start it manually, open the Battery menu from Settings and turn on the Low Power Mode option.
You can also apply many other tips we mentioned:
Turn the screen brightness down as far as you can manage. Keep your phone locked for as much time as possible. Keep your phone in airplane mode for as much time as possible. Do not play any audio or run any games or demanding applications. Turn off GPS access completely via Privacy & Security > Location Services in Settings.