Top 4 things that are killing your iPhone battery (and how to fix them)

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The top 4 things killing your iPhone battery

iPhone battery life… how do you extend it?

I’m going to tell you a secret. It’s the number 1 reason that iPhone batteries die. Are you ready?

It’s because you use your iPhone all the time!

I know, big revelation, right?

But seriously… even when you’re not actively using your phone, it’s still busy doing things for you, such as checking your mail, updating your apps, lighting up the screen and showing you notifications… and it does this all day long. The key to making your iPhone stay charged longer is to limit that kind of activity. This article will show you 4 things that you can adjust to make your phone stop working so hard when you’re not using it.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

The first step to find out what’s killing your iPhone battery is to check your settings.

Settings - General - Usage - Battery Usage

Battery Usage Settings

  • In iOS 8, go to Settings – General – Usage – Battery Usage. In iOS 9, visit Settings – Battery
  • The apps at the top of the list are the apps that get used the most, either by you or by your phone in the background.
  • Make a mental note of the apps that appear at the top of the list
  • Touch the “last 7 days” tab and look at those as well
  • In iOS 9, there is a clock icon that will show you more information

Now that you know which apps are burning through your battery, what do you do?
Stop doing that!

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You could just stop using the apps that consume the most power.

Fix your settings

Did that last tip scare you? I’m sorry. You don’t want to stop using your favorite apps, do you? That’s crazy. You want to control what your iPhone is doing on it’s own that is wasting your precious battery life.

iPhone Battery Life Tip #1. Tame Your Home and Lock Screens

home and lock screen battery setting

Home and Lock Screen Battery Usage


Is “Home and Lock Screen” high on your battery usage list? This might be because app notifications are making your screen light up when you’re not using your phone. It could also mean that you’re leaving your iPhone’s screen on too long after you stop using it. Fixing these problems are easy.

Adjust lock screen notifications:

In order for a notification to show on your lock screen, your iPhone has to wake up from sleep, turn on the screen and show you that notification for several seconds. If it’s doing this all day long, your battery life will suffer. Only leave “show on lock screen” turned on for notifications that are important to you.

To adjust notification settings:

Turn off notifications that turn your screen on

Turn off notifications that turn your screen on

  • Go to Settings – Notifications.
  • Touch an app name
  • Either turn off all notifications for that app or turn off “show on lock screen.”
  • Repeat these steps for other apps.

If you are afraid of missing notifications because you’ve turned off this setting, just make sure that those notifications appear in notification center. Drag your finger down from the top of the screen to see your notification center.

Auto-lock settings:

Do you just set your phone down when you are finished using it? If so, you can adjust the time that it takes for the screen to turn off on it’s own and this can save some battery life.

iPhone Battery Life lock screen setting

How long until your screen locks on it’s own?

  • Go to settings – General – Auto-Lock
  • Select 1 minute

iPhone Battery Life Tip #2. AAAAAhhhh Refreshing

Do any of the apps in your battery usage list display “background activity” under the app name? This means that the app continued to do something in the background while you were using a different app.

iPhone Battery Life background activity

Background Activity

Your first reaction may be to make it stop doing that, but not all background activity is bad. In my example, the Podcasts app is using some background activity, but I’m OK with that. It uses a very small percentage of the total battery consumption. Also, I want it to play and update my Podcasts, even when I don’t have the Podcasts app open.

Take a look at the percentage of power that your apps are using in the background and ask yourself if it’s a big deal. If it is, you can turn off background activity for those apps.

To turn off background refreshing for an app:

iPhone Battery Life Background App Refresh

Background App Refresh

  • Go to settings – general – background app refresh
  • Switch off any apps that you do not want refreshing in the background

iPhone Battery Life Tip #3. Hello? Is It Me You’re Looking For?

Take a look at your battery usage list again and focus on the top apps. Do these apps try to find your location? If an app is always trying to find where you are, you can make it stop doing that. First make sure you WANT it to stop doing that. Obviously, you want something like Maps to find your location, but do you care if Facebook knows where you are? You can turn it off, but you’ll lose some functionality, such as the ability to check in to places.

To turn off location services for an app:

iPhone Battery Life Location settings for a single app

Location settings for a single app

  • Settings – Privacy – Location services
  • Touch the name of an app and decide how you want it to track your location.

iPhone Battery Life Tip #4. Push it. Push it Good.

When you set up your email account on your phone, most modern email providers will “push” new emails to the Mail app. This means that your phone is constantly checking to see if you have new mail, and if you do, it grabs that mail and brings it to you immediately. This constant checking and pushing can use a lot of power, especially if you have multiple email accounts and if you are also syncing contacts, calendars, & notes along with that email.

Instead of “pushing” information to you, you can tell your phone to “fetch” that information at longer intervals. Instead of constantly checking, it waits for a certain amount of time before it checks for new content.

To change push settings:

iPhone Battery Life Fetch and Push settings

Fetch and Push settings

  • Settings – Mail, Contacts and Calendars – Fetch new data
  • If push is on, you can turn it off
  • If you have multiple email accounts, you can set some to fetch and some to push. Just touch the account name to set it
  • Scroll all the way down and set the frequency that you’d like your phone to fetch. Manually means that it will only fetch mail whenever you open the app.

Did you like this article? You’ll probably also like learning about how to save your text message conversations from your iPhone. Check it out.

Interested in Home Automation? Check out HiTechMom’s companion site, where you can find “recipes” to make your smart home devices work together. Similar to the way that a traditional recipe can make plain ol’ chicken taste better by mixing it with a pinch of salt and a dash of lemon juice, our smart home recipes make your current smart devices even better by creatively mixing products together or adding a dash of a service like

iPhone Battery Tips

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