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How to Extend Your Battery Life (iOS)

How to Extend Your Battery Life (iOS)

Immediate and Long-Term Tips for Saving Battery on iOS Devices

March 9, 2015

Today’s smart devices are modern miracles, with all the built-in capabilities of a super-computer.

As smart devices and operating systems increase their technological capabilities, it’s becoming more important to ensure that we can utilize this power at all times.

To achieve this, the goal is fewer restrictions on device usage, which begins with longer battery life. With a dead battery, the best device in the world is just a hunk of metal and plastic.

Below are a series of important tips for the modern age and its inhabitants with iOS.

Check out our other posts about saving battery and data:


For Immediate Results

Enable Auto-Brightness

We devote incredible percentages of battery life to having the brightest HD screens, when lower brightness settings may actually work better, depending on your surroundings (e.g. lower light settings when checking your phone in complete darkness).

  • Settings
  • Display & Brightness (or Brightness & Wallpaper in iOS 7)
  • Slide Auto-Brightness to On

Reduce Screen Brightness

Alternatively, keeping the brightness low at all times (and only manually adjusting as needed) could help save even more battery life.

  • Settings
  • Display & Brightness (or Brightness & Wallpaper in iOS 7)
  • Make sure the Auto-Brightness slider is Off, then manually slide to a comfortable (but low) brightness level.
  • You can quickly adjust this brightness level by swiping up from the bottom of your screen and using the brightness scale.

Stop Motion & Animation

Recent iOS updates (see How to Update your Apple Device with iOS 8) added a display feature that included more animation in the basic navigation of Apple devices. It’s visually-pleasing, but an absolute battery-drainer.

  • Settings
  • General
  • Accessibility
  • Reduce Motion
  • Slide to On

Turn Bluetooth Off

One of the easiest ways to free up more battery life: get in the habit of turning your Bluetooth sensor off when you don’t need it.

  • Settings
  • Bluetooth
  • Slide to Off
  • You can quickly turn Bluetooth back on by swiping up from the bottom of your screen and tapping the Bluetooth icon.

Turn Off LTE or Cellular Data

When you’re not connected to a WiFi network, using data to surf the web or use apps can take a huge toll on your battery. Here, you have two options:

  • Settings
  • CellularOPTION 1:
      1. Slide “Enable LTE” to Off – You can choose to turn off LTE, allowing yourself to use cellular data (albeit at a slower rate)

    OPTION 2:

      Slide “Cellular Data” to Off – You can turn Cellular Data Off altogether, and only use the Internet when your device is connected to WiFi

Turn Off WiFi When Not in Use

Allowing your device to search for available WiFi networks at all times is, you guessed it, a huge waste of battery life.

  • Settings
  • Wi-Fi
  • Slide to Off
  • You can quickly adjust this setting by swiping up from the bottom of your screen and tapping the WiFi icon.

Turn Off Location Services

For the most part, location services and your device’s GPS are unnecessary functionalities that drain a LOT of battery life. Just turn it on when you really need it (e.g. When using a running app that tracks distance and speed).

  • Settings
  • Privacy
  • Location Services
  • Slide to Off

Turn Data Push Off

The Push setting essentially enables your phone to check for new data (e.g. emails, Facebook notifications) whenever possible. While this certainly keeps you connected at all times, you probably don’t need it constantly updating in the background and using valuable battery power.

  • Settings
  • Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  • Fetch New Data
  • Push
  • Slide to Off

Fetch Email Less Often

As an addendum to the tip above, there’s an option for individuals who turned off Data Push, but would still like to check emails at regular intervals. If you do need to be connected to your email daily, just change the frequency that your phone checks for new mail – especially if there’s no difference between checking every 15 minutes versus every hour.

  • Settings
  • Mail, Contacts, Calendar
  • Fetch New Data
  • Select new time (the longer between checks, the more battery life will be saved)

Auto Lock Sooner

You’re finished checking emails for now, but you’ve put your phone down and forgotten to manually lock it. Now it’s just sitting there, the display is still on and it’s using valuable battery life. Changing settings to lock your device 20 seconds sooner might not seem like a huge change, but even the smallest alterations can make a huge difference.

  • Settings
  • General
  • Auto Lock
  • Tap preference (the shorter the time, the more battery life will be saved)

Turn Off Equalizer

While the Equalizer is a cool feature, few use it or even know what it is. Essentially, it’s a way to enhance your music experience on the go, changing the sound based on genre. For example, the Bass Booster setting does wonders for dance music. Users who don’t listen to music on their devices can do away with this feature, and your battery will thank you.

  • Settings
  • Music
  • EQ
  • Tap Off

Ensure Personal Hotspot is Off

This is another great feature that is invaluable when it’s needed, but a huge waste of battery when it’s not. Make sure you’re only using Personal Hotspot when necessary.

  • Settings
  • Personal Hotspot
  • Slide to Off

Identify the Battery Killers (iOS 8)

For more personalized insight into your battery usage, check out the Battery Usage section. Here, you can see notes beneath each item, providing more detail on why the app drained so much battery. These notes can also suggest solutions to reduce the battery drain.

  • Settings
  • General
  • Usage
  • Battery Usage


For Long-Term Care

Beyond just removing the battery-sucking settings, it’s also important to take good physical care of your device’s battery – especially since, these days, fewer and fewer devices have removable batteries.

In short, “you’ve got to take good care of the one you got.”*

Keep it cool

Your smart device runs on a lithium-ion battery, which degrades fastest when exposed to heat (regardless of whether you’re using it or not). Thus, one of the most important tips for keeping your battery in optimal condition is to protect your device from spending long periods of time in hot environments.

Avoid wireless charging and “fast charging”

The lithium-ion battery’s sensitivity to heat means that wireless chargers, which generate a lot of waste heat, should be avoided whenever possible. If you have the time, stick to standard plug-in charging.

With that being said, many new devices have “fast charging” features to reduce the amount of time spent plugged into an outlet. It’s great for those in a time crunch; but your battery will benefit more from being charged and discharged at low, consistent speeds.”*

Top it off

Lithium-ion batteries perform best when topped off whenever possible. But, use caution and follow these best practices:

  • Try to keep it above 50 percent.
  • Once a month, however, run the battery down as much as possible for “calibration.”*
  • Unplug your device before it hits 100 percent; leaving it plugged in when already full can shorten the battery life.

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* Limer, Eric. How To Take Care of Your Smartphone Battery the Right Way, Gizmodo. Gawker Media.