Streaming videos, browsing the internet, texting your friends, checking out new posts on Facebook, replying to emails, and everything else that you do on your iPhone has an effect on its battery level. Luckily, there are ways to prevent your phone from running out of juice at the most inconvenient moment.
Let's look at the most effective tips that can prolong your iPhone's battery, plus a few factors that have no effect on its life.
How to Check Battery Health on iOS
It's normal for a smartphone's battery to degrade over time. When your phone is two years old, it won't hold as much of a charge as it did when it was brand-new. This is referred to as "battery health," while "battery life" refers to how much time you can go in between charges.
Apple makes it possible for iPhone users to check their battery health on iOS 11.3 or higher. In a couple of taps, you can find out whether your phone's battery is still healthy.
Here's what you need to do:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and tap on Battery.
- Select Battery Health. The higher the Maximum Capacity number is, the healthier the battery. For example, 95 percent means that when full, your battery holds 95 percent of the charge it did when it came from the factory.
You'll usually start to notice degraded performance when your battery holds 80 percent or less of its original charge. While you can still use the below tips to extend your battery life in that case, expect worse battery life overall.
If your iPhone's battery capacity is particularly bad, you should consider getting a replacement from Apple or upgrading your device.
How to Make Your iPhone's Battery Last Longer
Active iPhone usage and background activity both drain your phone's battery. The tips listed here cover both, allowing you to get the most from a full battery charge and keep your phone going a bit longer when it's almost dead.
1. Manage Your Screen Brightness
A brightly lit screen drains the iPhone's battery a lot faster than a dim one. To reduce the brightness, you need to open the Control Center (swipe down from the top-right on iPhones with Face ID, or up from the bottom if your iPhone has a Home button) and drag down the brightness slider.
Disabling Auto-Brightness can also help save battery. Otherwise, the feature will automatically raise your screen's brightness when necessary, such as when you're outside under bright light.
To switch this feature off, go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size, scroll to the bottom of the page, and disable Auto-Brightness. Just keep in mind that you'll need to manage your brightness more closely with this disabled. Don't leave your phone at a high brightness for long periods of time when using it.
2. Switch to Dark Mode
For phones with an OLED display, switching to Dark Mode is beneficial for the battery's life. Here's a list of iPhone models that have this type of display at the time of writing (available on iOS 13 and higher):
- iPhone X
- iPhone XS/XS Max
- iPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max
- iPhone 12/12 Mini/12 Pro/12 Pro Max
If you're an owner of any of these iPhone models, switching to Dark Mode isn't just for aesthetics. OLED displays are capable of turning off individual pixels, meaning that any black pixels don't take power to light up.
Turning on Dark Mode is easy: head to Settings > Display & Brightness and tap on Dark. Alternatively, you can turn it on through Control Center by pressing and holding on the brightness slider.
3. Use Low Power Mode
This feature does an awesome job in saving battery life, but it has trade-offs to squeeze out more battery life. When you switch to Low Power Mode, some of your iPhone's features are disabled, such as automatic downloads, iCloud backups, email fetching, "Hey Siri", and similar.
Your phone will ask whether you want to switch to this mode when the battery level drops down to 20 or 10 percent. But you can also turn it on manually. Simply go to Settings > Battery and toggle on Low Power Mode.
You can also add a control for this feature to the Control Center for quicker access. Just open Settings > Control Center and tap the green icon next to Low Power Mode. Then you can toggle it without going to Settings every time.
4. Turn Off Push and Fetch Emails Manually
If you receive a large number of emails daily, make sure that you disable push syncing, which updates your device with new messages as they come in. Instead, you can increase the fetch interval so it only checks for new emails on a set schedule. For a drastic change, you can fetch manually all the time so your phone doesn't sync mail until you ask.
This can be quite inconvenient. But as soon as you can charge your iPhone or aren't worried about the battery as much, you can change the settings back to usual.
To adjust this feature, head to Settings > Mail > Accounts > Fetch New Data. At the top of the screen, disable the Push slider, then at the bottom, tap on Manually or set a schedule.
After this, tap each of your accounts in the list to change the settings from Fetch to Manual as desired.
5. Lower the Auto-Lock Timeout
Auto-Lock is a feature that locks your iPhone's screen when you haven't used it for a certain period of time. You can choose from 30 seconds all the way to 5 minutes before this feature activates. It's best to choose the shortest amount of time if you aim to conserve your phone's battery life.
To turn on Auto-Lock, head to Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Lock. Select a period of time before your screen will go dark.
6. Avoid Apps That Drain Battery
Your iPhone collects data about the apps you use that consume the most battery life. To check out this information, head to Settings > Battery. This section will tell you how much battery a certain app has used in the last 24 hours and the last 10 days.
If you see Background Activity under an app's name, it means that the app drained your iPhone's battery while you weren't actively using it. To prevent this from happening again, you should turn off Background App Refresh for the app under Settings > General > Background App Refresh.
Most of what you see on this screen should make sense based on your use. While all apps drain battery by keeping the screen on, apps that need a lot of resources, like video streaming or heavy games, will use the battery much faster.
7. Reduce Notifications
When you receive a notification on your iPhone, the screen lights up, consuming its battery. By managing these, you can cut down on battery drainage.
Decide which app notifications aren't important for you and turn them off. To do this, open the Settings apps and go to Notifications. Then select an app from the list and toggle off Allow Notifications to disable it.
If you don't want to turn off an app's notifications for good, turning on Do Not Disturb on your iPhone will also prevent notifications from waking your device. Use that when you need some extra battery.
What Doesn't Help With Saving iPhone Battery?
Some say that manually closing apps can help to prevent battery drainage. But in fact, doing this can use up even more battery life. While apps running in the background can affect your battery level, iOS does not let apps run rampant in the background. As a result, the only apps using significant background battery should be messaging apps, navigation apps, music streaming services, etc.
However, closing out an app and then reopening it constantly wastes battery power because your phone has to keep starting and stopping the process. It's best to think of the recent app switcher as a set of shortcuts instead of running tasks that need to be closed.
Another common misconception is that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth drain the iPhone's battery when turned on. While this was once somewhat true, neither one is a big battery drain these days. Using a Bluetooth device will consume battery, but simply having it turned on will be negligible.
And unless you're at the edge of a Wi-Fi network and your phone keeps disconnecting and reconnecting, having Wi-Fi on won't have a major effect on battery. Wi-Fi also powers some location services, and Wi-Fi is more battery-friendly for pulling your location than using GPS.
More iPhone Battery Life for Your Day
With these tips, you can keep your iPhone running as long as possible. With a few adjustments to your workflow, you can go much longer between charges.
Meanwhile, there's a lot more to learn about iPhone batteries if you're interested.
Everybody worries about their smartphone batteries, so let's dispel a few myths and settle a few scores.