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iPhone Battery Dying Way Too Fast?

Brandon Mack February 18, 2014 1 Comments

Everyone that owns an iPhone has had this problem. Half of it is your own fault, half of it can be prevented by changing some settings on your phone. I know, I know, it’s not my fault! Yes, in this case, it most likely is. So, how do I fix that little problem?

This was written with iOS7 in mind but some of this is available in older versions as well.

I’m Killing My Battery?!

Stop Leaving Your Apps Open!

Alright, it’s not all your fault. It may barely be your fault. But this one is a killer regardless. Since Apple has introduced the “multitasking” feature (I use the term multitasking very loosely) iPhone users have left everything they have ever used on their phone open in the background. With Background App Refresh (I talk about later on) turned off your phone will suspend background apps in most cases. But even so, closing everything you’re not using is a good habit to get into.

  1. Press the Home button twice, as if you were double clicking a mouse.

  2. This should show you a list of everything currently open on your phone. For the apps you would like to close, slide them upwards. Quick hint: if you use two fingers, one per app, you can close more than one app at a time.

My Phone Is Committing Suicide?!

Turn On Auto-Brightness

The iPhone has a light sensor on the front of it. You may have noticed that when you put your phone up to your ear to answer it, the screen blacks out, when you move it away, it reappears! It’s as if there is a little phone gremlin flipping a switch every time you lift the phone to your face. There isn’t. I know, I ruined that fantastical notion, I’m sorry!

Turning on the Auto-Brightness will adjust the screen brightness depending on the amount of light present. This will only up the brightness, which kills the battery a bit quicker, when in darker rooms.

  1. Settings

  2. Brightness & Wallpaper

  3. Auto-Brightness On

Turn Down Screen Brightness

After that last one, it should go without saying, turning down your brightness will keep the battery going that little bit extra.

  1. Settings

  2. Brightness & Wallpaper

Turn Reduce Motion On

One of the features I like quite a bit, that a lot of people don’t even realize exists (or that is turned on by default) is the motion feature. If you tilt your phone on different angles watch the icons and the background. They will move at slightly different rates. Turning on Reduce Motion will get rid of this.

  1. Settings

  2. General

  3. Accessibility

  4. Reduce Motion

Don’t Use Dynamic Backgrounds

Very similar to the Motion feature, Dynamic Backgrounds give you moving background images. General rule of thumb, anything moving all the time is probably going to kill your battery.

  1. Settings

  2. Wallpapers & Brightness

  3. Choose Wallpaper

  4. Don’t choose Dynamic

Turn Off Location Services

Location Services take advantage of your built-in GPS. Because you are constantly moving, it is constantly sending and receiving data. Turn this off to save some battery and only turn it on when you’re using it.

  1. Settings

  2. Privacy

  3. Location Services

Turn Off Other Location Settings

Some other Location settings that the phone uses may be draining your battery and most likely you don’t use them anyways.

Turn off Diagnostics & Usage and Location-Based iAds.

  1. Settings

  2. Privacy

  3. Location Services

  4. System Services

  5. Turn off Diagnostics & Usage and Location-Based iAds

Background App Refresh

Refreshing apps in the background, even when you aren’t using them is a HUGE battery drainer. If you don’t mind having the app refresh only when you open it up, turn this off. At the very least, turn this off for some of your apps.

  1. Settings

  2. General

  3. Background App Refresh

Don’t Automatically Update Apps

In iOS7 there is a feature that will automatically update any apps when a new version is released. Turns out, this kills your battery.

  1. Settings

  2. iTunes & App Store

  3. Updates

Turn Off AirDrop/Bluetooth

AirDrop lets you share things between phones and it uses Bluetooth to accomplish this. Two recommendations, turn off Bluetooth and AirDrop until you actually need it.


  1. Settings

  2. Bluetooth


  1. Slide open Control Center from the bottom of your screen

  2. Turn off the AirDrop icon

Spotlight Search

Spotlight is constantly indexing the data on your phone so that when you search, it’s available instantly. Turn off the sections you don’t need it to index or in other words, the sections you don’t search.

  1. Settings

  2. General

  3. Spotlight Search

No More Kamikaze Battery

Going through your phone and dealing with these things should allow you to get that one last email in before your phone kicks the bucket. If you know of any other options or tips that can help save some of that precious battery life, feel free to comment below!

One Comment

    April 14, 2016 Reply

    The information posted about auto-brightness is actually incorrect. The screen dims in darker rooms and gets brighter when you step into sunlight and other bright areas. If it were the other way around then you couldn’t see your screen when outside. On top of that, using auto-brightness actually drains battery even quicker than just having your phone on a low brightness setting constantly. Having auto-brightness on while lowering the brightness manually is pointless because the second you step into a brightly lit area, it will go all the way up to 100% again to accommodate.

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