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How to Save Battery Life on your iPhone

Every little percentage counts toward saving a lot for those "just a few more" moments. Here are some tips on how to save battery life on your iPhone, without making it less of a smart phone.

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iPhone is a power bank
Simple steps on how to save battery life on your iPhone.

We all have moments where we wish we could have just a few more percentage of battery life to take a shot of that precious moment. Or just a few more battery juice to send a message to a love one. Whatever iPhone model you’re using, here are simple tips on how to get more of your battery life without making your iPhone less smart and get through those “just a few more” moments.

How to Save iPhone Battery Life

  • Check for iOS Updates

    Every iOS update contains numerous bug fixes and battery optimization for your iPhone. Make sure to check if you are running the latest version of iOS. You can download the latest update by going to Settings > General > Software Update. You can also enable Automatic Updates by clicking on the option and making sure that both Download iOS Updates and Install iOS Updates are on.

  • Check your App Usage on Battery Settings

    The first step after making sure you’re on the latest software version is to check your battery statistics. As they say, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

    Apple introduced a way to check battery statistics on iOS 12. This has made it easy to identify which apps are draining your battery and take action on it. Go to Settings > Battery to see an overview of your battery level and activity for the last 24 hours and up to the last 10 days. You can further drill down by clicking on an app to see how much on screen and background time it’s using.

    If an app shows No Cell Coverage and Low Signal, it means that the app is constantly searching for signal. If your phone is struggling to make a connection, it starts working harder to try and find you a cellular connection. This can happen when you’re using your iPhone in a location where there’s poor reception. if you are on an iPhone 12 or later, you may disable 5G as outlined in the next section.

    If you see an app with a high background activity, then you can follow the next section outlining how to disable Background App Refresh for that particular app.

    If an app is constantly sending you updates, Notifications appear right below the app. You can check the section Silence Non-Essential Apps below.

    Apple introduced Battery Health starting with iOS 11 where you can check how much capacity your battery can still hold when fully charged. This is a good indicator of overall battery performance, as having too low of a number can indicate a faulty battery or a battery that’s severely degraded and needs to be replaced. When that happens, bring your iPhone to an Apple Authorized Service Provider to have your battery replaced. You can read more on the tips of how to prolong battery life towards the end of this article.

  • Disable 5G (For iPhone 12 and later)

    The iPhone 12 is the first iPhone to employ 5G modem. As with most of what’s new in the tech world, it takes time to refine technology. Sometimes, what is great on paper doesn’t live up to real life test yet. LTE has had several generation of refinement since the first LTE phones came out, which were a battery hog as well and included the same option to turn it off and revert to 3G.

    If you are experiencing battery drain, make sure that your device is set to 5G auto. You can go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data and choose the number whose option you want to change. With 5G Auto option your iPhone automatically switches to LTE mode to save battery life. And for those moments where you really want to save on battery, or you’re simply in a location where 5G is still not availble, you can switch to LTE instead.

    You can also turn on Airplane Mode when you are out of reception areas so that your iPhone will not be constantly hunting for signal.

  • Disable Apps in Background App Refresh

    After knowing which App Usage inside Battery Settings, you can identify which apps are huge battery drain. This can be due to a your apps constantly updating in the background, or it could simply be a poorly developed app that wasn’t using iOS power optimizations. You can turn off Background App Refresh for apps that are a source of battery drain. We suggest you choose Wi-Fi as it would only update whenever you’re at a location where you have access to a power source. And Wi-Fi signal is more stable than cellular data. To save aggressively on battery, set the Background App Refresh to Off.

    And if there is still an app still causing a great amount of strain on your battery, you can reinstall the app by deleting it from your phone, and downloading it back again from the App Store.

    Background App Refresh is not about having your apps active in the background but it’s a feature that enables apps to update with new information in the background.

  • Silence Notifications from Non-Essential Apps

    Checking your Battery App Usage above can also reveal when you should review your background notification. Whenever an app is constantly sending out a notification it lights up the screen and uses up resources.

    Go to Settings > Notifications and disable the apps that you can live without calling your attention every time it has something new for you. Cutting down on these interruptions can save your battery and your sanity. You can also choose to have your notification show up only when you opened your phone or when you are actively using it. Click on an app under Notifications and uncheck the Lock Screen option. This is especially useful for group chats that keeps on lighting our phones up non-stop.

    You can check on the number of notifications you receive across your Apple devices by going to General > Screen Time > See All Activity. Choose between day or week and scroll to the bottom to see your average notifications received per day. You’ll get an idea of which apps are keeping your iPhone busy and perhaps driving you insane.

  • Disable Location Services

    Location Services is another battery draining feature that is essential for Navigation and Weather Apps. If you don’t constantly find the need to check on the latest weather update, or use any of the maps or navigation apps like Google Maps, Apple Maps or Waze – then you can turn off location services by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and turn the toggle off. Or you can choose from the list by turning off specific apps that you don’t need to have that feature.

    Apps using location services can have a major impact on battery life. For the apps that you find essential to knowing your location, you can choose the setting While using the App instead of Always to save on battery. This will allow the app to use your location only when you open it.

    We do not recommend disabling location services for System Services as this will turn off essential features such as Find My which tracks your Apple devices in the event that it’s lost or stolen.

  • Use Manual Brightness

    The screen is one of the most battery consuming part of the phone and during those moments where you need some extra battery, you can slide down on your battery brightness manually. Note that after a few hours, your iPhone will revert to using Auto-Brightness unless you manually turn that settings off.

    iOS is good at picking the right brightness for the environment that you are currently in. Apple is so confident that it buried the Auto-Brightness toggle deep in the iPhone’s settings.

    You can find the Auto-Brightness settings by going to Settings > Accessibility > Display.

  • Use Dark Mode

    iOS 13 gave us a system-wide Dark Mode that iPhones with OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) panels can take advantage of. OLED screens can illuminate or turn off each pixel unlike LCDs which has a backlight that glows up the whole screen. You keep a lot of the background black by turning on dark mode which technically saves you power. A lot of apps like Facebook and Twitter follows your system display preference so that it follows by using dark mode whenever you use other apps as well. You can turn on Dark Mode by going to Display & Brightness > Dark.

  • Use Low Power Mode

    Your iPhone is designed to be a functional beauty. And in those moments where you absolutely need to sacrifice some of the smart functionalities of what makes the phone an iPhone, you can enable Low Power Mode. It is also useful if you are anticipating a long day away from a power source. iPhone also asks you if you want to turn on Low Power Mode when your battery is at 20%.

    Low Power Mode performs only the most essential of tasks. It throttles down processor performance, turns off display after 30 seconds of inactivity, and disables background app refresh and mail fetch giving you plenty more time with your phone.

    To turn on, go to General > Battery > Low Power Mode. The battery icon on the upper left part of your phone becomes yellow once it’s turned on. Charging your iPhone to 80% will automatically disable Low Power Mode.

  • Turn Off Dynamic Wallpapers

    Dynamic Wallpapers are backgrounds that bring subtle animations and constant movement to your iPhone. These animations uses processor power and consume more battery. That could be one of the reason why Apple don’t constantly give us new Dynamic wallpapers.

    You can choose other wallpapers that don’t use animation by going to Settings > Wallpaper > Choose Wallpaper and selecting a Still or Live wallpaper.

  • Disable “Hey, Siri”

    Your iPhone assistant is always in the background listening whether you need her or not. If you are not a heavy user of this feature, you can turn off active listening which can help with battery drain. You can disable this feature by going to Settings > Siri & Search > and disable Listen for “Hey Siri”.

    The next time you need to get a hold of your assistant, instead of using your voice, you can just long press on the side button to call on Siri.

Tips on iPhone Battery Best Practices

The battery is the only component in our iPhone that degrades over time no matter how much we take care of it. We can however extend battery life by following some best practices –

  • Enable Optimized Battery Charging to reduce battery aging. With this feature enabled, your iPhone will learn from your daily charging routine and will charge your iPhone to 80% and reserving the last 20% for when you will be using it. This is especially useful if you charge your phone when you go to bed as it will wait till when you’re about to wake up before it fully charges. You can enable it by going to Settings > Battery > Battery Health > Enable Optimized Battery Charging.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures. Do not charge your iPhone when the temperature is too hot. And don’t leave your iPhone inside the car under sun. Rapid changes from very cold to very hot are bad for your batteries, too.
  • Avoid letting your battery completely discharge. Keeping it above 20 percent may help it last longer.
  • Only use fast-chargers when it’s necessary as it degrades your batteries more quickly than standard charging.
  • If you won’t be using your iPhone for a long period of time, run down your battery to 50% then power it down completely.

Troubleshooting Tips

When all else fails, and you still have a decent amount of battery health, you can try to do a hard reset of your iPhone to see if it helps with your battery life.

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