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How to Improve Your iPhone Battery

iphone wirelessly charging on a wooden charging pad

After time you may start to notice that your iPhone doesn't hold its charge as well as when it first came out of the box. No matter how big the batteries are, they are still not able to keep up with our digital needs. Despite performance-optimised processors and software features making our iPhones more efficient, Apple can't fully prevent lithium-ion batteries from degrading.

However, there are things you can do to help improve your iPhone’s battery life. So, let’s take a look at how a few small adjustments to your iPhone can help you keep it going for longer.

Why is my iPhone battery draining so quickly?

Batteries inside our iPhones work based on chemistry, i.e. the ion movements between negative and positive electrodes. The key indicator of your battery's health is its capacity to hold charge, but unfortunately, the more charge cycles the battery carries out over time, the more it degrades. This all depends on your usage patterns. Some of us might charge our phones twice a day while others might have phones that last until the next day because of how much less they are being used. 

Phone manufacturers claim that a lithium-ion battery's lifespan can undergo 300-500 charging cycles before you will notice any strain on performance, i.e. charging your phone from 0% to 100%. Reaching that threshold of 300 full charges will affect your phone's battery, ultimately decreasing its capacity to hold charge.

Things to do to improve your iPhone's battery life

Ensure your iPhone software is up to date

Ensure your iPhone is running the latest iOS version, as updates often include optimisations that can improve battery performance. If you’re using an older iPhone that may not support the latest update, ensure you have the latest version that your iPhone can have by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

You should also keep your apps up to date, as developers often release updates with performance improvements and bug fixes. Simply launch the App Store, tap on your profile avatar and navigate to Upcoming Automated Updates, and click Update All. Also, make sure that you install updates while connected to Wi-Fi to use less battery.

Charge your phone as little as possible

As previously mentioned, the battery in your iPhone can handle approximately 300-500 charging cycles before there will be an effect on performance. It’s also better to top up your charge in small bursts, for example, 30% to 60% rather than letting your iPhone drop to 5% and charging it to 100%. The more you can squeeze out of your phone on a single charge, the better. 

To find out which apps are draining your iPhone battery the most, head over to Settings > Battery > Scroll down and tap Show Activity to see battery usage by app.

To manage an app's background refresh rate on iOS, navigate to ‘Settings’ and look out for the app you found is draining your battery in the ‘Battery usage’ report. Then, tap on the app and turn ‘Background Refresh Rate’ off for that specific app.

Reduce the brightness of your screen

The reason why the Nokia 3310 could go weeks without needing to be charged was because of its dull monochrome display. Current iPhone screens, on the other hand, can be so bright that they can hurt your eyes. Those 6-inch + panels are the main reason our batteries drain faster.

Maximum brightness is handy when it's sunny outside because it helps you to see the content, but in regular conditions, it can drain your battery. Simply go to ‘Display & Brightness’ on iOS and set it up to adapt accordingly.

Set a low auto-lock time

Sleep timeouts can also be useful when improving your iPhone's battery life. Every time you tap on your screen, it remains active using energy for a certain amount of time. You can set your iPhone to auto-lock after just 30 seconds of inactivity, simply head to Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-lock on an iPhone, and choose the time that best suits you.

Use dark mode

The iOS operating system has Dark Mode built in, so make use of it. Devices operating in Dark Mode require less power to light up the pixels in our displays therefore consuming less energy. This is especially useful if you're constantly on the go and need your phone to stay alive for extended periods. Additionally, if you're looking to conserve battery life, try using darker wallpapers and lock screens on your iPhone. We also recommend using a static wallpaper instead of dynamic or live wallpapers.

Turn off what you don't use

Bluetooth, Mobile Data and Location are all features that will also drain your battery when not in use, so why keep them on? These can easily be turned off in the Control Centre on your iPhone. Vibration is another feature that uses power. Do you really need your phone to be buzzing when it's not on Silent Mode? Go through your Sound Settings and switch off what you don't need.

Decluttering your phone is a key way to improve battery life - don’t use it? Get rid of it!

Relevant reading:

Turn off unnecessary notifications

The majority of apps installed on your phone want to grab your attention and send you all sorts of notifications. Isn't it annoying when you hear a ping, unlock your phone and open an app only to find out that one of your Facebook friends checked in at a restaurant? This can be managed by controlling what apps you want to send notifications. 

Just go to Settings > Notifications and select the apps that you don't want to receive notifications from. The same applies to tweaking app permissions to monitor your location. Every single app pulling your location data is another source of power consumption. You can make a few changes to app permissions to save energy, simply by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services on your iPhone and setting location monitoring to Never or While Using a specific app.

Consider using "Do Not Disturb" mode or schedule it during times when you don't need to be notified.

Use power-saving modes

By default, the power-saving mode usually turns on automatically when your iPhone reaches a low charge at around 20%. However, rather than waiting for it to turn on automatically, you can turn it on manually at any charge which will make your battery last longer. The basic power-saving mode will prevent apps from updating and using RAM in the background. It will also disable lock screen animations and turn off notification sounds/vibrations.

The key takeaways about improving iPhone battery life

We now know that the more charging cycles that your iPhone goes through, the less energy your lithium-ion battery will be able to store over time. If you are savvy about what drains your battery and know what measures you can take to reduce your power consumption, you will not have to plug your phone in as much. Ultimately, this will result in an improved lifespan of your iPhone battery.

You can keep an eye on your iPhone's battery health by checking Settings > Battery > Battery Health.

If you see that your battery health percentage has dropped lower than 60%, then the time for a battery replacement has probably come or you could sell your iPhone. But, there's no need to panic and stop using your iPhone altogether. These easy-to-implement mindful practices will help you prolong your iPhone battery life, save you a bit of money and make you environmentally conscious by extending the life of your smartphone.


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