How to Stop Google Play Services From Draining Your Battery

Find and eliminate sources of battery drain

Google Play Services isn't using your battery; apps using it are. Here's how to keep that battery usage in check.

How Do I Stop Google Play Services From Draining My Battery?

Google Play Services doesn't use your battery directly. Now, if you track your battery usage, you've likely noticed Google Play Services seems always to be using your battery. What's happening is Google Play Services needs power because the other apps on your phone are using it.

The way to lower the overall battery drain is to limit what your apps can do, especially with location services and background operations.

  1. Inventory the apps on your phone and delete any apps you don’t use regularly or don’t need in a day. The fewer apps you have, the less usage Google Play Services gets. 

  2. Go to Settings > Background Restrictions. This setting lets you disable apps that are on in the background, even when you’re not using them. Go through and toggle apps you don’t need, or don’t want, to operate in the background.

    On Android 12 Pixel phones go to Settings > Battery > Battery usage. Tap the app that says it's being using in the background, and then choose Restricted to restrict battery usage while in the background.

    Some apps may be slower to load when you turn off background services. If you need an app to load instantly, leave it on.

  3. Go to Settings > Apps > Permissions Manager > Location. You'll see these categories: Allowed All The Time, Allowed Only While In Use, and Denied. Click on each app and change its settings to your preferences. Limit apps allowed to use Location all the time to only those you need, such as mapping and directions, as location services are one of the biggest battery drains.

    On Pixel phones, go to Settings > Location > App location preferences. This lists all the apps with permission to get your phone's location. Tap an app to see these options: Allow all the time, Allow only while using the app, Ask every time, and Don't allow.

  4. In Settings > Apps > Permissions Manager, go through the other permissions and toggle off any permissions you don’t want apps to have. It will reduce their overall usage and how often they access Google Play Services.

    On Pixel phones, it's in Settings > Privacy > Permission manager.

What Is Google Play Services?

Google Play Services is a sort of central switchboard for the Google apps built into Android and those installed separately. Instead of each app performing the same tasks, they all work through Google Play Services to get tasks done. As a result, Google Play Services is constantly running in the background of your phone, routing data and otherwise keeping the phone running smoothly. 

What Does Google Play Services Do In The Background?

Google Play Services enables conveniences like:

  • Single sign-on, so you don’t have to keep logging into each app as you open it
  • Automatic file storage on Google Drive
  • The ability to use Google Maps information and data without opening the app
  • Security scans for third-party apps
  • Location tracking tools so you know where you are
  • Google Pay services
  • And cloud game saves and leaderboards on Android games

How Much Battery Should Google Play Services Use?

How much battery Google Play Services uses depends on using your phone. If you’re constantly making use of services like Google Maps, Hangouts, Gmail, and so on, then you can expect it to appear on your battery app as a possible drain.

Can I Disable Google Play Services?

You generally can't disable or delete Google Play Services. Since it does so much in the background for so many apps, removing it or disabling it would likely cause your phone to malfunction, and apps would either not work well or stop working entirely.

Instead, managing Google Play Services is about managing what your other apps do in the background. Keep them in line, and Google Play Services shouldn't pull too hard on your battery.

  • How do I update Google Play Services?

    In Android and on a Chromebook, you can update Google Play Services by going to its app page. If the button says "Deactivate," no update is available; if it says "Update," click it to get the new version.

  • What is Google Play Services for AR?

    Just as Google Play Services lets your Android device use apps from the Google Play Store, the AR edition unlocks offerings with augmented-reality features. It used to be called ARCore, but it is just a platform that lets you download and run apps.

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