A freelance writer and NLP coach, I am always looking for ways to get my gadgets to perform at their highest best.
The last six months have been a very taxing period for the phone battery, what with all the extra zoom calls, online classes, video calls, increased time spent at social media sites and video streaming apps, all thanks largely to the coronavirus.
The most frequently asked question in the last few months, is how can I make my phone last longer without having to charge frequently? How can I avoid that red line when in an important class or meeting? Everybody I spoke to was experiencing a similar situation.
So here is a compilation of proven tips, tricks and hacks to get your iPhone battery go the extra mile and be always up and running.
There are two concepts at work here –
Battery Lifespan - It refers to how long the current battery can be used before it needs to be replaced.
Battery Life - It refers to the amount of time that you can use the phone before it is recharge time
Thankfully, there are definite ways to maximize both battery performance and life.
Maximizing battery life
1.Turn down screen brightness manually
This one simple move can really enhance your battery life.
2. Better still, enable auto-brightness also.
This helps the phone to reset brightness based on the ambient conditions. A combination of 1 and 2 works best. Screens are power-hungry and this one can save some serious power.
3. Enable Low Power Mode
In this mode, some activities are turned off such as automatic downloads, notifications, mail fetch, and screen brightness is reduced.
There is an interesting study conducted by Wired confirming that the battery uses 30% less power when in this mode. So you could call it optimum mode. Use it wisely though, as some functions slow down. Highly recommended when you have something big coming up and battery on short supply.
4. Enable Dark Mode.
Go to Settings - Display and brightness - Choose Dark mode
In this mode, the pixels that light up the screen are turned off which is why they appear black. Power saving. Only available on iPhones with OLED display which is the iPhone X and later phones.
5. Dynamic wallpapers, though attractive can be a drain on the battery. Favor stills if battery life is a concern.
Settings < Wallpaper
Your iPhone locks itself when it is not being used. Set it for 30 sec and save valuable battery.
Settings < Display and Brightness < Auto Lock < 30 seconds
7. Minimise Screen mirroring
8. If you watch a lot of movies on your phone, shift some of that viewing to a laptop.
9. Whenever possible connect to Wi-Fi rather than mobile/cellular data. Using 4G can consume a lot of battery. Logically the Wi-Fi is located close by whereas the mobile tower is surely not that close and the phone has to expend energy locating the tower.
10. When in an area with poor network connection, put the phone on Airplane mode, or the phone will keep trying and retrying to connect to a network draining the battery.
11. While roaming, switch off Wi-fi and Bluetooth.
12. Turn on Airplane mode
Of course, with this feature turned on, the phone stops being a phone. No signals, no calls, no notifications but when seriously low on power, this helps conserve valuable battery. Also, it would be a good idea to charge the phone in this mode. Freed of its other duties, the phone charges faster.
But fret not, you can connect to the Wi-Fi even on the Airplane mode, though then half the purpose of turning on Airplane Mode is defeated.
13. Disable Bluetooth all but when you are using it.
The App Trap
#1 Are you quitting/force closing your apps every time you use them?
For the longest time, I thought I was helping my iPhone battery’s cause by quitting apps soon after using them. But this is mistake #1 that most people including me are guilty of.
Do not force close your apps/ quit/swipe off especially those apps that you are checking all the time. Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube. These apps are simply in the background. They DO NOT consume battery resources.
Similar to a laptop having to reboot after shutdown. Power consuming. All of the hassle.
With your iPhone, it consumes more power. Makes the system slower.
The iOS algorithms that run memory management know their stuff well.
So, keep the Apps open. Period.
#2 Check which apps are using up the most power and draining the battery.
Go to Settings < Battery.
This can be a very revealing exercise. You get a thorough breakdown of the screen time and background time per app.
With the ones that are draining the iPhone battery, you have two options.
- Disable them when not in use
- Uninstall them
- Change your usage habits
# 3 Are all app notifications turned on?
Disable notifications for all but the most important applications. This way you can save some serious battery power.
This has another advantage of reducing distractions at work.
# 4 Is the background app refresh enabled?
This function works in the background keeping your app updated. It is akin to the refresh button on your mail, only it does it on its own. But it also drains your battery.
Disable it for all but the most important apps.
Disable it also when you are outside, low on battery, and are nowhere near a power source.
Settings < General < Background App Refresh and toggle it off for the apps where you don’t need this function or turn that function off. When you launch the app it gets refreshed anyway.
# 5 Are too many apps open?
Having too many apps open at the same time can drain the iPhone battery.
# 6 Do you want your phone to vibrate for notifications?
Remember every action drains the battery. If this doesn’t serve any purpose for you or you’d rather do without the distraction, turn it off.
# 7 Is Siri or Virtual Assistant turned on all the time?
If she is, and you don’t use this service much, consider going to
General> Siri > Toggle Off
# 8 Location Services
Are Location Services turned on/off?
Imagine being tracked 24/7! Do you like the idea? Location service does exactly that.
It helps the app know where you are, useful for a Google Maps or a Uber. But do all apps need to know? Surely no!
Go to settings < Privacy< Location
Go to each app and choose the option that meets your requirements.
If you are charging the phone through the laptop, ensure that the laptop is switched on to power and not on sleep or standby mode as then instead of the iPhone battery recharging, the battery drains out.
Switch off that flash while taking photos, unless necessary. Can be a huge battery drainer.
Maximising Battery Lifespan
Know how well your iPhone battery is performing on this parameter by going to
Settings > Battery> Battery health.
> 80% - Congratulations, your phone is at peak performance
< 80% - performance-related issues start showing up such as fewer hours of use between charges, the iPhone volume gets affected, the phone slows down and you are recommended to go for a battery replacement.
One factor that affects an iPhone's battery’s life is heat or cold. Behind all the gloss and tough exterior, your battery is just chemicals (Lithium Ion).
Apple itself has issued some warnings on this.
- Don’t leave your phone in your car especially on a hot day.
- Don’t expose your device to direct sunlight for a long time.
- In direct sunlight or when very hot, don’t use graphics-intensive games for too long.
- Heat negatively impacts battery performance.
- Don’t keep the phone in an enclosed space where it can heat up.
- When it does heat up, switch it off for some time.
Apple says that at 500 complete charge cycles - one battery cycle is when the iPhone is drained to 0% and then charged all the way up to 100%- the battery retains 80% of its original capacity. Beyond that, you need to go to your iPhone store for a battery replacement.
Here are some tips to ensure that your battery is in good health.
- It is much better to keep charge in the range of 30 - 80% rather than drain it completely and charge it all the way to 100%.
- Try not to use fast charge regularly.
- Always use authorized equipment be it cables or chargers.
- Don’t use the phone while it is charging, especially not for graphic intensive games.
- Though the jury is out on this one, don’t charge overnight.
- Whenever there are updates available, do install them. iOS 13 has inbuilt battery optimizations. To install updates go to
Settings < General < Software Update
If you are the restless sort and have the 'restless finger syndrome', find yourself frequently opening and checking social media, get yourself a Rubik cube or a book.
Lastly, thank God that you have a great resource in your hand and the whole world at your fingertips. Take good care of your iPhone and it will work that much harder and last longer.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 sowspeaks
Kalpana Iyer from India on October 01, 2020:
Very informative. I always switch off mobile data, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi when I am travelling. When I am abroad, I do not need these services so I keep airplane mode on.
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on September 27, 2020:
I agreed with the comment.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 27, 2020:
Informative and valuable tips here. A helpful hub to most of us and so interesting of your idea. I like this hub.
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on September 26, 2020:
Sowspeau, there's much information here than the mind can stored.
Danny from India on September 26, 2020:
Excellent tips to stretch battery life Sowrabha. I couldn't stop listing those.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 26, 2020:
Great tips. Multiple short charges during the day? I do not plug in to charge at night but I hear it is OK. I will not let it run down so low. Thanks.
sowspeaks (author) from Bengaluru on September 26, 2020:
Hi Chitrangadaji, thank you for being the first to comment and provide feedback and encouragement.
I think mothers and devices are equally eligible for the most hardworking tag during this period.
I wasn't sure if these tips equally to the android phones, though to some extent they do apply to iPad as well. Glad to know that they do.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 26, 2020:
A very well written and informative article.
You are right about the use or over use of the electronic devices, during these tough times. Everyone is working from home. Although, the lockdown has been relaxed, but people still prefer to work from the safety of their homes. It’s important to keep our devices fully charged, and in great functioning conditions.
The suggestions you have provided, are applicable to the other devices as well, besides the I phone.
A perfect, ‘How to—‘ article, useful for everyone. Thank you for sharing.