As iPhones have become more and more sophisticated, many users have been left increasingly frustrated about how quickly their batteries drain. But is this just cause and effect, in the same way, that someone who begins to order three take away meals every day might start to notice their waistline is expanding? Maybe the payback for enjoying all the advantages of the latest iOS update is that you have to put up with a battery which seems to last less time a Donald Trump soundbite. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are ways to combat the problem and make your iPhone battery last longer.
What’s Draining My iPhone Battery?
If you’ve ever turned to a friend or colleague in exasperation and asked ‘why is my iPhone battery draining so fast?’ you first need to find out which apps are making your device work so hard. Fortunately, there is an easy way to check. Start by going to Settings > Battery, then scroll down.
The percentage of battery power used by each app over the last 24 hours (or the last week) will be displayed, and you will also be able to see how much of the drain has come from the active use or from having the app running in the background. Anything with a large amount of background use should be particularly concerning – as it means your battery is being used without you realising it. If you are rarely using these apps or don’t really need them, hit the delete button.
At the very bottom of the page, you can also see a time for ‘usage’ and a time for ‘standby’ since your phone was last charged. The usage time should match up to how long you have been actively using it, and unless you have your phone constantly strapped to your palm it should be a significantly lower number than your standby time. If it’s not, you should consider one of the following iPhone battery tips.
1. Enable Low Power Mode
When your battery is on its last legs you will normally be prompted to turn on Low Power mode, allowing you to extend its life until you can lay your hands on a charger. You can either go to Settings > Battery and turn it on manually or simply activate Siri and ask for Low Power mode to be enabled. When iOS 11 is released, it will also be possible to switch to the Low Power feature from the Control Centre.
2. Turn off Background App Refreshing
One of the biggest drains on your battery comes when apps refresh themselves. You can easily remedy this by heading to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Look through the list and turn off anything you don’t want or need. Facebook is one app which refreshes itself so regularly that it puts a real strain on your battery.
3. Turn off Push/App Notifications
Receiving useful notifications is all very good, but the problem is that it means your iPhone is constantly having to monitor the app. Then, when something comes through, your phone will wake up for a few seconds and light up. Each notification will not have a massive impact on its own, but they can soon add up so it is well worth thinking carefully about which ones you really need. Go to Settings > Notifications and click on any app to turn off Allow Notifications.
4. Don’t Automatically Update Apps
While it is generally a good idea to update apps and software, and you will usually see improvements, it is still sensible to be selective. If you go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > and turn off Updates, this will prevent any apps automatically updating without your say so. Also, make sure Use Mobile Data is switched off so you only use wifi when downloading/updating apps.
5. Turn off Location Services
Regardless of what sort of app you are using, the chances are it will want to know your location. And while you may be happy for a weather app to know where you are at all times, in most cases you do not need to keep Location Services on all the time. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and scroll through your list, choosing whether to share your location always, never, or only whilst using the app.
6. Disable Push Email Temporarily
Push email is a great feature when you need to see straight away that a new message has dropped into your account, but it can also be the main cause of battery drain for many users so it may be worth disabling for a short amount of time to see if things pick up. The problem is that the system can sometimes be erratic, especially with accounts like Exchange and Hotmail, and effectively starts going round and round in circles looking for new emails. Go to Settings > Mail > Accounts > Fetch New Data and switch it off temporarily.
7. Alter Display Settings
Think about how often you pick up your phone each day, because each time you press the Home Button, your display uses a bit of power. If you go to the Control Center (scroll once up on your screen) and you’ll be presented with a range of settings you can edit to your preference. Screen Brightness should be put to a minimum as it has a big effect on battery drain so the duller you can keep it, the better. To do this just move the toggle to adjust it to the brightness you want. You can access other battery saving settings in the control centre, but we’ll go into more detail about those later.
8. Enable Airplane Mode in Areas with no 4G and Service
If you find yourself in a black spot, your phone will be working extra hard to try and find reception and the battery percentage will be dropping faster than the value of the pound after Brexit. To save power, swipe up from the bottom of the Home screen and select the Airplane mode. It’s the icon that looks like a tiny plane which can be accessed in Settings or the Control Centre and will help your battery last longer until you get back into an area with a stronger signal.
9. Disable Wi-Fi
If you’re not using Wi-Fi, you can make your battery last longer by turning it off. Otherwise, your phone will just keep searching for available networks and gradually eat away at your battery’s life. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi to disable Wi-Fi, but just make sure to turn it back on again when you need it or else your data usage will be quickly decimated.
You can also easily change the Wi-Fi settings from the Control Centre, just look for this button:
10. Leave iPhone Facing Down
It’s an understandable habit to leave your phone facing upwards, so you can see the screen illuminate when you receive a notification. By flipping it round to point down on your desk or chair, the screen won’t light up and you will save power. As an added bonus, you are likely to be less tempted to reply every single time you see something new coming through. Alternatively, you can go to Control Centre > Do Not Disturb and this will turn off notifications completely.
11. Reduce Number of Widgets on Lock Screen
The number of widgets on your locked screen can have a direct impact on battery use. While it may be handy to see your calendar or weather updates, all these widgets require power. Reduce the number by swiping right, scrolling to the bottom of the page and tapping Edit. Once your phone is unlocked, you can tap the red circle next to the widget name and then click Delete.
12. Turn on Reduce Motion
The animations on iOS have been a very welcome addition for many users, but all those flashy effects are like tiny wood axes chipping away at your phone’s battery. You can stop the animations by going to Settings > General > Select Accessibility > Reduce Motion.
13. Turn off Bluetooth
If you don’t need your iPhone to link up with other devices, turn off Bluetooth by heading over to Settings > Bluetooth. Alternatively, you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen for the Control Center and press the Bluetooth icon to disable it. If you do use Bluetooth accessories, you can turn it on and off as required to keep the power use at a minimum.
As it is unlikely that your battery is draining quickly because of one single cause, it is best to take a combination of steps to try and preserve its life for as long as possible. Of course, most users will normally get into a habit of regularly charging their phone, but everyone forgets from time to time so the best advice is not to wait for the battery to run too low if at all possible.
Think about investing in a spare charging cable for work and plug it in whilst you are at your desk, or why not get an iPhone battery case? Instead of waiting for your battery to drop below 20%, plug it in whenever you get a bit of time – even a few minutes of charging could be enough to help your phone get through to the end of the day. You certainly shouldn’t feel that you have to stop using your phone as you would like to, and hopefully, just by following these few easy steps you will no longer need to stress about your battery’s lifespan.