Daily use of a smartphone can quickly drain its battery life, which can be an inconvenience when out all day with no access to a charging point. How fast the battery loses life is dependent on what you are doing with it, but there are other causes of battery loss you might not know about.
It’s possible to extend your iPhone’s battery life, and these tips are the best way to preserve it for longer. If you or someone you know is on the hunt for a new handset, check out our range of iPhones for a bit of expert inspiration.
How to extend your iPhone’s battery life
1 – Check the battery’s health
Before making any changes to your iPhone, head to the settings to check the battery’s health. Often, the battery can drain quickly due to being in poor condition, in which case it will need replacing.
Go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health, where you can review the unit’s maximum capacity and optimise its charging pattern.
2 – Update your software
As regular phone maintenance, you should be keeping your iPhone up-to-date with the latest software. If you’re struggling to make it through the day without your phone battery running out, it’s worth checking that you have the latest update installed.
To get the latest version of iOS, visit Settings > General > Software update. Plug your device into a power source or your computer while updating.
3 – Adjust the brightness
Maintaining an ultra-bright screen can use up battery life, especially if you’re in a dim room where it isn’t necessary. If you are hoping to preserve your iPhone battery for as long as possible, turning the brightness down can help. You can do this in the control centre by dragging the toggle up or down, or go to Settings > Display > Brightness.
Some phones also have an Auto-Brightness feature, which dynamically adjusts your screen’s brightness depending on the content you’re watching and how illuminated the area is around you.
4 – Enable auto-lock
It’s easy to make the mistake of leaving your device unlocked when not using it. Not only does this put you at greater risk of phone theft, but it means your handset is constantly working and using battery power.
If you don’t know how to turn on the auto-lock feature, it can be accessed in Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-lock. You can choose how long your phone needs to be left unattended before the screen automatically locks.
5 – Turn off location services
Keeping location services on at all times can be a huge drain on the battery. Limiting or even restricting all app access to location services can help extend the life of your battery, and you’ll be surprised how many apps are using your location when it’s not needed.
Open Settings > Privacy > Location Services to switch the location services for each app to ‘never’, ‘ask next time’, ‘while using the app’ or ‘always’.
6 – Disconnect Bluetooth devices
Similarly, each app in your phone requests access to Bluetooth services to run settings such as location tracking. For apps that don’t need to use Bluetooth, you can turn it off in Settings > Privacy > Bluetooth to help prolong the battery life. You can also turn Bluetooth off for your whole device in the Control Centre.
7 – Change background app refresh
Even if you don’t have an app open, it will use the background app refresh feature to download updates and load messages. While a useful feature, it can have a notable impact on an iPhone's battery life.
You can choose which apps you want to refresh in Settings > General > Background App Refresh, or turn it off all together to lengthen the battery life as much as possible.
8 – Use Wi-Fi where possible
We don’t always pay attention to whether we’re connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data when using our phones. Making a conscious effort to connect to Wi-Fi where possible will help save some battery power, as it can use less battery than a data connection. Luckily, most public transport links and workplaces have free Wi-Fi to use.
9 – Turn on airplane mode
When you find yourself in low-signal areas, your phone works overtime trying to find a signal and connect to phone data. Instead of allowing the constant activity to reduce your phone battery further, you can activate Airplane Mode in the Control Centre by pressing the airplane icon. It’s unlikely you will be able to use your phone online much in low-signal zones, so leave this feature on until you can connect again.
10 – Limit notifications
Every time you receive an app notification, the iPhone display lights up to deliver the message. If you’re someone who is inundated with notifications, this is likely to burn through the battery quicker than most would like.
You can adjust which apps you get notifications from, and even the type of notification you receive for each app, in Settings > Notifications. You can switch them off entirely or have them deliver quietly, so they don’t appear on the lock screen.
11 – Activate Dark Mode
Anyone with iOS 13 onwards will have access to the Dark Mode feature, which is a great way to extend the life of an iPhone battery. It reduces the intensity of the OLED display so it utilises less battery power.
Go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Dark to adjust Dark Mode manually, or you can activate it quickly in the Control Centre.
12 – Don't manually close apps
It’s a common myth that manually closing apps by swiping them away is an effective method for saving battery life. However, this can actually lead to further battery drainage as it requires the app to be reloaded when you open it, rather than coming off pause. Instead, leave your apps suspended in the background.
13 – Limit widget usage
Home screen widgets are a great shortcut for iPhone users, but a downside is the amount of battery they use up because of how regularly they need updating. It might be worth deleting some widgets you don’t need if you notice your battery deteriorating more than usual.
Just press on the widget until it enters jiggle mode, and tap the minus button to delete it from the home screen.
14 – Keep the device face down
A simple way to save iPhone battery is to place your device face down when you aren’t using it. When an iPhone receives notifications, the screen lights up to send an alert for the user, which in turn uses battery life. Turning the device face down stops the display from illuminating, saving battery life each time.
15 - Enable Low Power Mode
Low Power Mode has been saving battery life on iPhones since 2015. A pop-up automatically appears when your phone reaches 20%, making it easy to switch on the battery-saving solution. If you want to enable Low Power Mode before your iPhone gets that low, you can ask Siri to do so or go to Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode.
As you’ve seen, iPhones can be optimised in a myriad of ways for each users' personal preferences, whether that’s gaming, music or work. If your battery has come to the end of its life and you need a new phone, our guide will help you transfer the data from your old phone, to your new one.
What is the lifespan of an iPhone battery?
An iPhone that has been used heavily since leaving the factory will typically last about 2 years before the battery starts to become less efficient. This is because a heavily used iPhone will require charging more frequently, and therefore will use up its 500 recharge cycles quicker than a lightly used iPhone. A charge cycle is utilised when recharging the device from 0% to 100%.
If you use your iPhone sparingly throughout the day, it can last around 5 years before it begins retaining less maximum charge.
At what percentage should I charge my iPhone?
Between 20-80% charge is when an iPhone works best and degrades the least, so if you are able to charge your phone before it reaches below 20%, this will be optimal for your device.
If the maximum capacity drops to 65-70%, you are likely to notice the performance of the battery decrease. When at 80-100% maximum capacity, an iPhone will hold its charge between 8-20 hours depending on usage.