iPhone Battery-Saving Tips

Simple energy-saving techniques make a difference

iPhones charging

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Modern portable devices such as the iPhone are great at streaming digital music, movies, and music videos, but the constant use of these media services can cause an iPhone to run out of battery power. The battery has a finite lifespan; getting the most out of it between charges is essential. One way to preserve battery power is to turn off services and apps that run in the background. Here are some other tips to optimize power usage on your iPhone so that the battery isn't recharged more than necessary.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones running iOS 12 or iOS 11, although similar instructions are available in earlier versions of the iOS.

Use a Music Service's Offline Mode

Streaming music uses more of the iPhone battery reserves than playing locally stored audio files — either the ones you downloaded or synced. If the streaming music service supports an offline mode (Apple Music and Spotify are two that do), use offline mode to download frequently played songs. If you stream songs multiple times, download those songs to your iPhone providing storage space isn't an issue. You can then listen even when there's no internet connection.

See Which Apps Are Battery Drainers

On iPhones running iOS 8 or higher, there's a battery usage option in the Settings menu that lists the apps (by percentage) that use the most battery power. Streaming apps, in particular, can drain a battery quickly so close these apps if you're not listening to music.

To see which apps use the most battery power:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Scroll down and tap Battery.

  3. Tap either Last 24 Hours or Last 10 Days to view usage times and activity.

  4. The apps are listed in order, with those that use the most battery power listed first. See which ones you can use less often. Pay particular attention to the ones that are marked as a background activity.

    Battery, Last 10 Days, Background Activity status in iOS Settings

Use Earbuds or Headphones Instead of Speakers

More power is required to listen to music over the iPhone internal speaker or a wireless setup than to listen with the wired earbuds that come with the iPhone. Using earbuds reduces the amount of power needed.

Limit Background App Refresh

The background app refresh feature keeps apps up to date all the time, so they are ready to go when you are. Turn off background refresh for most apps or limit the feature to Wi-Fi connections only to save battery power.

  1. Open Settings, then select Background App Refresh.

  2. To leave the feature turned on to refresh through both Wi-Fi and cellular connections, deselect the apps that don't need background refresh.

  3. To limit when apps can refresh in the background, tap On next to Background App Refresh. Then, tap to place a check mark next to either Off or Wi-Fi, neither of which affect battery usage.

    Background App Refresh, On, Off in iOS Settings

Turn Your Screen Brightness Down

Screen brightness is a huge power drain. Reducing the screen brightness is a quick way to save battery life.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap Display & Brightness.

  3. Move the slider to the left to dim the screen and save battery power.

    iPhone Display & Brightness settings

Disable Bluetooth

Unless you are currently streaming music to a set of Bluetooth speakers, it's a good idea to disable this service. Bluetooth unnecessarily drains the battery if you're not using it for anything. Here's how:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap Bluetooth.

  3. Turn off the Bluetooth toggle switch.

    Bluetooth, Toggle OFF in iOS Settings

Disable Wi-Fi

When listening to locally stored music, you don't need Wi-Fi unless you want to stream to wireless speakers. If you don't need the internet (via a router, for example), temporarily disable this battery drainer.

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap Wi-Fi.

  3. Turn off the Wi-Fi toggle switch.

    Wi-Fi link and Wi-Fi toggle OFF in iOS Settings

Turn Off AirDrop

AirDrop for sharing files is enabled by default. Although convenient, it is a security risk and uses battery power while running in the background. Turn it off if you aren't using it.

To turn off AirDrop:

  1. Open Settings, then tap General.

  2. Select AirDrop.

  3. Tap Receiving Off to place a check next to it, this indicates that the feature is turned off.

    General, AirDrop, Receiving Off

Download Music Videos Rather Than Streaming

Watching videos from sites such as YouTube usually involves streaming. Download music videos instead to save power.

Disable the Music Equalizer

The EQ feature is great if you use it, but it is CPU intensive. To turn it off:

  1. Open Settings, then tap Music.

  2. In the Music screen, select EQ.

  3. In the EQ screen, tap Off to place a check by it.

    Music, EQ, Off buttons in iOS Settings

Disable iCloud

Apple iCloud seamlessly works with all your devices. Disable this service for apps that don't need to be synced often to save power. To disable iCloud:

  1. Open Settings, go to the top of the screen, then tap your name.

  2. Choose iCloud.

  3. Review the apps that use iCloud to sync with your other devices. Turn off the apps you don't need.

    Apple ID, iCloud, toggle buttons in iOS Settings

Don't turn off the iCloud connection for all apps. Turn on Find My iPhone to protect your phone if it is lost or stolen. If you back up to iCloud, turn on iCloud for the backup app.