9 Ways to Extend Your Android's Battery Life

Use these tips to keep your Android smartphone running while on the go

Mixed race woman plugging in digital tablet
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We've all been there. You're away from home, and your Android's battery is quickly slipping away. You need to squeeze out all the battery life you can until you can plug in, but that's not for several hours. What's a desperate on the go, have-to-be-connected person to do?

Luckily, there many ways you can conserve battery life, whether you're down to almost nothing or looking to keep your Android going longer as a general practice. Here are nine ways to save battery life whether you're at flying high at 75 percent or lurching toward 10 percent or less.

The tips below should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

1. Shut it Down

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, location Services, and NFC all drain battery, even if you're not connected.. If you're not using it, turn it off. Switch on Airplane mode if you're somewhere with a poor signal, so your phone doesn't keep trying to connect.

Android network connection controls

2. No Really, Shut it Down

Better yet, power the phone off until you need it again. If you're not waiting for an important call or text, just unplug for a bit. Maybe even read a book!

3. Why so Bright?

Your screen can easily devour battery life if you don't pay attention. In those dire moments when you need a battery extension, turn down the brightness a couple notches. 

Android adjust screen brightness

Dynamic brightness settings can be a real drain too. While it's convenient to have your phone adjust itself, it can become a real problem when your phone keeps adjusting itself. Consider setting the brightness yourself to better manage your battery.

4. Find the Culprit

Look at which apps are taking up the most battery life by going to Apps & Notifications and looking at the apps currently running on your phone. You can get there through Settings > Apps & Notifications and tapping on an app. Here, you can see how much bandwidth each app is using, and even force stop it, if necessary. You can also check out the Battery stat for the app to see the percentage of your last charge that went to the app.

Android app battery settings

Tap the Battery stat to get even more detailed information on how the app is using your charge and which power saving options are in place.

For even more battery info, check Settings > Battery. Under this section, you'll find more information and settings to control how your battery is being used. At the bottom of the screen, you'll see a list of the biggest power hogs among your apps too.

5. Keep it Simple

OK, this is obvious, but it has to be said: avoid using power hungry apps like games and videos, and any app that's powered by ads, thus requiring a network connection. Seriously, if you're trying to save power, use your phone as little as possible, and kill any apps that may be running in the background. Remember, just because you don't see the game on your screen doesn't mean it's not downloading a half-gigabyte update in the background and sucking your battery dry.

6. Join the Lollipop Guild, the Marshmallow Brigade or Just Have an Oreo

Introduced in Android Lollipop, a power saving mode turns off haptic feedback (vibration) on your keyboard, dims your screen, and slows down your smartphone. Marshmallow added a Doze Mode, which kicks in when your device is idle for an extended period of time and keeps apps from running in the background. Android 8, aka Oreo, was tweaked to ensure background apps behave better and don't eat up so much battery life. In other words, upgrade your OS!

7. Of Course, There's an App for That

Download a task killer app like Clean Master or Juice Defender, which help manage power-hungry apps and adjust battery-draining settings in the background to keep your phone running efficiently.

8. Root Out the Problem

Rooting offers battery-saving benefits. First, you can clean up your phone by removing bloatware, and at the same time, you can access apps designed for rooted phones that can help you save on battery life, such as Greenify.

Android root power saving apps and update

If you choose to flash a custom ROM, you may even get power saving controls baked in to your version of Android too. The extra control that comes from rooting your phone means more control of your battery.

9. Always Bring Backup

Finally, get a smartphone case with a built-in battery. You can find charging cases in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes from Mophie, PowerSkin and uNu. Alternatively, you can purchase a portable charger from Anker, PhoneSuit, Powermat, and others.

If you don't like the idea of a bulky battery case, there are plenty of options in external battery packs too. You can easily find one anywhere phone accessories are sold, and you won't need to sacrifice your phone's sleek profile to get a little extra charge.

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In the meantime, Android smartphones are becoming more and more efficient, while Google adds more power-saving features to the OS. For example, the Marshmallow 6.0 update includes Doze Mode, which prevents apps from checking for updates when the phone has been idle for a while, and a Do Not Disturb feature, which, when enabled, lets you choose which notifications come through for a set period of time. Manufacturers have added their own features, such as Samsung's ultra power saving mode, which changes your screen to a grayscale theme and limits app usage.