30 Tips to Save Battery on iPhone

Simple ways to use your iPhone longer

Most iPhones need to be recharged every couple of days if not every single day. There are ways to conserve iPhone battery life and many involve turning off services and features. One way to get ahead is to display your iPhone's battery life as a percentage so you can monitor it more easily.

The information in this article applies to iOS 13, iOS 12, and iOS 11. Any differences based on OS version are noted in the text.

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Prevent Background App Refresh

General, Background App Refresh, On, Toggle

There are several features that make the iPhone smarter and ready when you need it. One of these features is Background App Refresh. This feature looks at the apps you use most often and the time of day that you use them. Then it updates those apps so that the next time you open one of those apps, the latest information is waiting for you. For example, if you check social media at 7:30 a.m., iOS learns that and automatically updates social apps before that time. This useful feature drains battery.

To turn off Background App Refresh on the iPhone, open the Settings app, go to General > Background App Refresh, then choose Background App Refresh > Off. Or, toggle the option off for specific apps only.

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Buy an Extended Life Battery

Mophie juice pack air


Another way to save iPhone battery life is to get more battery. Accessory makers such as mophie offer extended life batteries for the iPhone. If you need so much battery life that none of these tips help, an extended life battery adds more days of standby time and more hours of use.

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Don't Automatically Update Apps

iTunes & App Store, Update toggle OFF

On iOS 7 or newer, disable the feature that automatically updates apps as new versions are released. This is a convenience and a battery drainer. Update apps manually when the battery is fully charged, but otherwise, turn off automatic app updates.

To turn off automatic app updates, open the Settings app, tap iTunes & App Store, then turn off Updates.

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Don't Take App Suggestions

Edit, red dot, Remove in iOS Widgets

Suggested Apps, introduced in iOS 8, uses your location to figure out where you are and what you're near. It uses this information to determine which apps you might want to use based on where you are. For example, get Walgreens alerts when you're near one of those stores.

This feature uses extra battery life to maintain your location and communicate with the App Store.

This feature was controlled in the Settings app but moved to Notification Center in iOS 10.

To disable Suggested Apps in iOS 10:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to open Notification Center.
  2. Swipe to the left to the Today view.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap Edit.
  4. Choose the red icon next to Siri App Suggestions.
  5. Tap Remove, then tap Done.
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Use Content Blockers in Safari

Slate.com on Safari with content-blockers

One of the best features introduced in iOS 9 is the ability to block advertising and tracking cookies in Safari. The technologies used by advertising networks to serve, display, and track ads uses a lot of battery life. 

The amount of battery power saved by blocking ads and cookies isn't as significant as other battery-saving tips. However, along with a small boost in battery life, the Safari browser runs faster and uses less data.

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Turn on Auto-Brightness

Accessibility, Display Accommodations, Auto-Brightness toggle

The iPhone has an ambient light sensor that adjusts the brightness of the screen based on the light around it. This sensor turns the screen darker in dark places and brighter when there's more ambient light. This saves battery and makes the phone easier to use.

Turn Auto-Brightness on to save energy because your screen will need to use less power in dark places.

To turn on Auto-Brightness in iOS 13 and later, open the Settings app, go to Accessibility > Display & Text Size, then scroll down and tap Auto-Brightness.

In iOS 12 and iOS 11, open the Settings app, go to General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations, then tap Auto-Brightness.

For iOS 10 and older devices, open the Settings app, tap Display & Brightness (or Brightness & Wallpaper in iOS 7), then turn on Auto-Brightness.

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Reduce Screen Brightness

Display & Brightness, slider set low

The brightness of the iPhone screen has an effect on battery life. The brighter the display is, the more power it requires. Keep the screen as dim as possible to save battery life.

To reduce the screen brightness, open the Settings app, go to Display & Brightness (or Brightness & Wallpaper in iOS 7), and drag the Brightness slider to the left.

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Stop Motion & Animations

Accessibility, Reduce Motion, Toggle OFF

One of the coolest features introduced in iOS 7 is called Background Motion. It's subtle. Move the iPhone and watch the app icons and background image move independently of each other as if on different planes.

This parallax effect is neat to show off and it makes the phone seem more alive. However, it offers little functionally and takes a toll on an iPhone battery. Plus, disabling this extra motion on an iPhone can reduce motion sickness for some people.

To turn off Background Motion in iOS 12 and up, open Settings, and go to Accessibility > Motion, and toggle on Reduce Motion.

For iOS 11 and under, open Settings, tap General > AccessibilityReduce Motion, then turn on Reduce Motion.

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Disable Wi-Fi When You Don't Need It

Wi-Fi, toggle OFF, Wi-Fi icon in Control Center

Wi-Fi has benefits and can save battery life if the Wi-Fi signal is stronger than the cellular signal. Keeping Wi-Fi turned on all the time to find an open hotspot drains the battery. Connect to Wi-Fi when it's available. If you're not around a Wi-Fi network (like when traveling), disable Wi-Fi to save battery on the iPhone.

To disable Wi-Fi, open the Settings app, select Wi-Fi., then turn off Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi can also be turned off from Control Center. Swipe down from the top of the screen, or up from the bottom (depending on the iPhone model), then tap the Wi-Fi icon to make it grey.

This tip doesn't apply to Apple Watch. Wi-Fi is required for many features of the Apple Watch, so don't turn Wi-Fi off.

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Make Sure Personal Hotspot Is Off

Personal Hotspot, toggle to OFF

Personal Hotspot turns an iPhone into a hotspot that broadcasts its cellular data to other devices within range. This is a useful feature, but it also drains the battery. Especially if you don't turn the hotspot off when you're finished.

When you use your hotspot, there's a list of tips to save battery while using your phone as a hotspot.

To disable the hotspot on an iPhone, open the Settings app, tap Personal Hotspot, then turn off the Personal Hotspot toggle switch.

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Find the Battery Killers

Battery system and analytics in iOS Settings

In iOS 8 and up, the Battery Usage feature shows which apps used the most power over the last 24 hours and the last several days. Go to Settings > Battery to check. There may be notes beneath each item that tell why the app drained the battery and suggest ways to fix it.

If an app appears in the list consistently, running it too often uses a lot of battery life.

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Turn Off Location Services

Settings, Privacy, Location Services screens on iPhone

One of the coolest features of the iPhone is the built-in GPS. It gives directions and locates nearby stores, restaurants, and other places. However, like any service that sends data over a network, it needs battery power to work. If you’re not using Location Services, turn it off to save power.

To turn off Location Services, open the Settings app, go to Privacy > Location Services, select Location Services, and tap Turn Off to disable it completely. Or, scroll down the page and deny Location Services for individual apps.

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Turn Off Other Location Settings

Privacy, Location Services, System Services, Setting Time toggle OFF

The iPhone performs many tasks in the background. Background activity—especially activity that connects to the internet or uses GPS—drains the battery quickly. Features that aren't required can be safely turned off to regain battery life.

To turn off background tasks, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, choose System Services, then disable items such as Location-Based Apple Ads, Popular Near Me, and Setting Time Zone.

These options aren't available when all location services are disabled.

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Don't Use Dynamic Backgrounds

Wallpaper, Choose, Stills screens on iPhone

Live and Dynamic wallpapers launched with iOS 8 and offer a neat interface to a static background image. These wallpapers also affect battery life. Sticking to still wallpapers only is an easy way to save iPhone battery life.

Dynamic Backgrounds don't need to be turned off because there isn't an enable and disable Dynamic Backgrounds function. Instead, don't select images in the Dynamic section when changing the iPhone wallpaper.

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Turn Bluetooth Off

Bluetooth, toggle OFF in iOS Settings

Bluetooth is useful with wireless headsets or earpieces, but transmitting data wirelessly requires loads of battery, and leaving Bluetooth on to accept incoming data at all times requires more power. Turn off Bluetooth to save battery on your iPhone. Or, only enable Bluetooth when you need it, and shut it down when not in use.

The option to enable or disable Bluetooth on an iPhone can be found in the Settings app under Bluetooth.

This tip to save battery on iPhone doesn't apply to Apple Watch. The Apple Watch and iPhone communicate over Bluetooth. To get the most out of your smartwatch, keep Bluetooth turned on.

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Turn Off Cellular Data

Cellular, Cellular Data toggle to OFF

Using 5G, 4G, LTE, or another cellular connection with fast transfer speeds, requires more battery power from the phone. The power consumption is higher during times of heavy usage like when streaming video or making HD calls. While it can be tough to stop all cellular data transfers, doing so improves the battery life on the iPhone.

To turn off cellular data, open Settings, tap Cellular, then turn off Cellular Data.

Wi-Fi still works when cellular data is turned off.

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Turn Data Push Off

Passwords & Accounts, Fetch New Data, Push toggle OFF

The email settings on an iPhone can be configured to automatically download messages to the phone when messages arrive on the email server. It's useful to have up-to-date email folders, but constant downloads drain the battery faster than necessary. Instead, open the Mail app and refresh it manually to check for new messages.

To turn off push to save the iPhone battery life, open the Settings app, tap Passwords & Accounts (or, Mail > Accounts), select Fetch New Data, then turn off Push.

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Passwords & Accounts, Fetch New Data, Hourly checkmark

Another option to save battery on an iPhone that involves email is to change how often your iPhone checks for new mail. You won't have to check for mail manually but you also won't get instant updates. When the phone checks for mail less often, it uses less battery power.

To set a mail update schedule, open the Settings app, select Passwords & Accounts (or go to Mail > Accounts on older devices), choose Fetch New Data, then select your preference (the longer between checks, the better for your battery). Choose from hourly, every 30 minutes, or every 15 minutes

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Auto-Lock Sooner

Display & Brightness, Auto-Lock, 30 Seconds

Having a phone auto-lock sooner saves battery. When a phone always displays something, whether the brightness is low or not, it constantly requires power. The quick fix is to lock the phone, but you can also adjust the auto-lock feature so that it locks automatically.

Pick an auto-lock option that works best for you. Anything less than Never increases battery life (the more frequent the lock duration, the more battery savings you'll experience).

To set the auto-lock, open the Settings app, tap Display & Brightness, select Auto-Lock, then choose a time from 30 seconds up to 5 minutes.

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Turn Off Fitness Tracking

Privacy, Motion & Fitness, Fitness Tracking toggled OFF

With the addition of the motion co-processor to the iPhone 5S and later models, the iPhone can track steps and other fitness activities. It's a great feature for those who want to stay in shape. But the non-stop tracking requires battery life.

To disable the feature if you don't use your iPhone to track your motion or you have a fitness band, open the Settings app, go to Privacy > Motion & Fitness, then turn off Fitness Tracking.

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Turn off Equalizer

Music, EQ, set to OFF

The Music app on the iPhone has an Equalizer feature that adjusts the music to increase bass, decrease treble, and other audio enhancements. Because these adjustments are made on the fly, they require extra battery power. Turn the equalizer off to conserve battery. However, disabling the equalizer gives a slightly modified listening experience.

To save battery life on your iPhone by disabling the equalizer feature, open Settings and go to Music > EQ > Off.

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Disable Cellular Calls Through Other Devices

Phone, Calls on Other Devices, Toggle ON

If your iPhone and Mac are on the same Wi-Fi network, calls can be placed and answered through your Mac using the phone's cellular connection. This turns the Mac into an extension of the iPhone. Using this feature drains the iPhone battery.

This tip only applies to Macs with OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or higher and iPhones with iOS 8 or higher.

To turn this feature off, open Settings, go to Phone > Calls on Other Devices, then turn off Allow Calls on Other Devices.

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Turn AirDrop Off Unless You're Using It

General, AirDrop, Receiving Off

AirDrop, the wireless file-sharing feature Apple introduced in iOS 7, can be extremely handy. To use AirDrop on an iPhone, turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, then set the phone to look for other AirDrop-enabled devices. As with any feature that uses wireless technologies, the more you use it, the more battery power it uses. To save power on your iPhone, turn AirDrop off when you're not using it. 

Control whether AirDrop receiving is on or off through Control Center. Swipe down from the top of the screen or up from the bottom, then tap AirDrop. Choose Receiving Off to disable it.

Another way to customize how AirDrop works is through Settings > General > AirDrop.

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Don't Automatically Upload Photos to iCloud

Photos, iCloud Photos toggle OFF

Any time you upload data, the battery runs down. Make sure that you're intentionally uploading, rather than automatically doing it in the background. Since the Photos app can automatically upload images to your iCloud account, this is the first place to check. Turn off auto-uploads and only upload from your computer or when you have a full battery.

To check whether photos always upload to iCloud, open the Settings app, tap Photos (on older devices, tap Photos & Camera), then turn off iCloud Photos or iCloud Photo Library.

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Don't Send Diagnostic Data to Apple or Developers

Privacy, Analytics, Share iPhone Analytics toggle to OFF

Sending diagnostic data — anonymous information about how a device is working or not working that helps Apple improve its products — to Apple is helpful and something you choose during the device setup.

In iOS 9, you can choose to send data to developers. In iOS 10, the settings have an option for iCloud analytics. Regularly and automatically uploading data uses the battery, so if this feature is turned on and you need to conserve energy, turn it off.

To prevent the iPhone from sending diagnostic data, open Settings, go to Privacy > Analytics & Improvements, (just Analytics in iOS 12 and earlier) then move the sliders for Share iPhone Analytics and Analytics Data to the Off position.

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Disable Unneeded Vibrations

Sounds, Vibrate on Ring toggle OFF

An iPhone can vibrate to get your attention for calls and other alerts, but to vibrate, the phone has to trigger a motor that shakes the device, a task that uses the battery. If a ringtone or alert tone is set up on the device, the vibration isn't necessary.

Instead of keeping vibration on all the time, only use it when necessary (like when the ringer is off). To turn off this feature, open Settings and go to Sounds (or Sounds & Haptics), then turn off Vibrate on Ring.

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Use Low Power Mode

Battery, Low Power Mode toggle, Battery icon in Control Center

When you need to conserve battery life on your iPhone and don't want to turn off settings one by one, try a feature introduced in iOS 9 called Low Power Mode. 

Low Power Mode shuts down all non-essential features on an iPhone to conserve as much power as possible. Apple claims that turning this on will add up to three hours of battery life.

Enable Low Power Mode from Settings > Battery. Another way is through Control Center; tap the battery icon to enable or disable it.

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Shut Down Apps Less Often

Swiping up on iOS app to force quit

Quitting apps when you're done with them, rather than letting them run in the background, isn't beneficial. Regularly quitting apps can make the battery drain faster. Re-launching an app over and over uses more battery than letting the app run in the background.

If battery savings is important, keep apps open when you're not using them.

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Run Down Your Battery As Much As Possible

Low iphone battery indicator

The more frequently you charge the iPhone battery, the less energy it holds. Over time, the battery remembers the point in its drain at which you recharge it and starts to treat that as its limit. For example, if you charge your iPhone when it has 75% of its battery left, the battery will start to behave as if it's total capacity is 75%, not the original 100%.

The way to get around a battery losing capacity in this way is to use the phone as long as possible before charging it. Wait until the phone is down to 20% (or less) of battery left before charging.

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Do Less Battery-Intensive Things

Happy child, showing us a fully charged phone

Avalon_Studio / Getty Images

Not all battery saving methods involve making changes in the Settings app. Some have to do with how you use your phone from day to day. Tasks that require a phone to be on for long periods of time or use a lot of system resources, use the most battery.

Here are some examples of battery-intensive activities:

  • Movie and music streaming
  • Video games
  • Web browsing
  • Downloading apps and other files
  • Uploading content to the internet

Some iPhones support wireless charging. Charging a phone wirelessly doesn't save battery time, and might slow down the time it takes to charge the iPhone when using a slow charger.

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