How to Fix an iOS 11 Battery Drain

Increase your battery life with these tips

Many iPhone users have reported that iOS 11 drains their phone batteries quickly. Here, we discuss a few ways to address the problem.

The tips in this article apply to any device with iOS 11, including the iPhone, from iPhone 5S and up; the iPad, from iPad mini 2 and the 5th-generation iPad and up; and the 6th-generation iPod touch.

What Causes iOS 11 Battery Drain?

There's no one-size-fits-all explanation or fix for iPhone battery drainage issues. However, the problem is usually the result of a bug in iOS or an app. Sometimes, a simple setting is enough to sap battery life.

iPhone with drained battery
Bence Bezeredy / iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus

How to Fix an iOS 11 Battery Drain

With so many possible causes, the range of fixes is wide. Here are a few to try.

  1. Upgrade iOS. Check that you have the latest version of iOS. All new versions are free, and Apple releases upgrades multiple times a year. You can upgrade wirelessly or use iTunes.

    Need to upgrade the iPhone's operating system but get an error saying there isn't enough free space? Learn how to update an iPhone when it doesn't have enough room.

  2. Check battery usage stats. See what uses up the most power over the last few days at Settings > Battery. Consider uninstalling unnecessary or infrequently used apps that consume the most power.

  3. Update apps. Just as bugs in the operating system can cause iPhone battery problems, so can glitches in the apps. App developers frequently release new versions to address these issues, so keeping the apps updated is a good strategy. Go to Updates in the App Store.

  4. Check the battery health. After the controversy about Apple throttling the speed of users' phones to prolong battery life, the company added a Battery Health feature to the iOS that shows how healthy the battery is. Find it in Settings > Battery > Battery Health. That screen shows if the battery is in good shape and, on some models, will let you change settings to adjust phone speed and battery life.

  5. Turn off background data refresh. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh > Background App Refresh > Off. iOS learns your habits—for example, when you like to check email or social media—and refreshes apps in the background so that the latest information is waiting for you. This is smart, but it also can contribute to iOS 11 battery issues.

  6. Set Mail to fetch instead of push. This is another example of an iPhone doing something smart behind the scenes that can drain the battery. If your iPhone is set to push email from the server any time new messages show up, the battery can run down fast. Go to Settings > Passwords & Accounts > Fetch New Data and choose Manually, Hourly, Every 30 Minutes, or Every 15 Minutes.

  7. Restart the iPhone. iOS 11 battery issues are almost always caused by software problems, and a simple restart can solve many of these problems.

  8. Restore the iPhone to factory settings. This takes the iPhone back to the state it was in when you first took it out of the box.

    Restoring to factory settings deletes everything from the iPhone. Back up your iPhone so you don't lose any data.

  9. Make an Apple Genius Bar appointment. Apple's tech support can determine if the problem lies in the hardware and, if so, how to fix it.

Now that you've discovered what caused the battery drain, find out how to get more life from an iPhone battery going forward, and consider getting an external battery to make sure you never run out of power when you're on the go.