5 things that may be draining your smartphone’s battery life

Ari Howard

Nov 2, 2020 — 3 min read

Small changes can add hours to your phone's battery life.

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According to a YouGov Omnibus survey, 41% of smartphone users say that longer battery life is the feature on their phone they want to be improved most. There are phones known for having better battery life than most, so if you are really frustrated with your current phone, you might want to invest in one of those. However, before buying a new device, try changing some of the following features on your smartphone first. 

Your brightness level is too high 

Although simple, it’s important to note that your brightness levels make a big difference in how long your phone lasts. Turning on auto-brightness helps preserve battery life as it lowers your brightness when you are in darker environments without you having to remember to do it manually. 

For most Android phones, you can find the auto-brightness setting in the Display category in your Settings app. For iPhones, you will need to go to the Accessibility section first and then to Display

In addition to turning on auto-brightness, you can also change your appearance from “Light” to “Dark” on most smartphones. The default setting is light, but by switching to the dark appearance, you can help preserve a little battery life.

For Android phones, open your Settings app and select General Theme. For iPhones, select Display & Brightness. 

You have apps running in the background 

Always make sure that when you are done using an app you fully close out of it instead of merely minimizing it. You should also go to Settings and check which apps are draining your battery life the most. If you spot an app draining your phone’s battery life that you rarely use or haven’t used in a while, that app is likely running in the background. To check your battery life, go to the Battery section in Settings

Even if you don’t have any unexpected apps draining your battery, it’s good to know which apps drain your battery the quickest, such as your gaming apps, so that when you need your phone most, you know which apps to avoid. 

You have too many push notifications on 

Surprisingly, pop-up notifications on your home or lock screen can cause your battery to drain faster. If the Home & Lock Screen category is fairly high on your battery usage report, consider getting rid of your least important notifications, such as for games or news sites you don’t read often. Go to the Notifications section of the Settings App to manage your pop-up notifications. 

You have all of your location services turned on 

One of the biggest battery drains is GPS. While GPS is commonly associated with navigation apps, that is not the only time GPS is used on your smartphone. GPS also gets used for all apps that track your location, which tends to be most of them. One useful trick for maintaining battery life is by regulating when apps are permitted to track your location, if at all. Although you probably don’t want to disable location services altogether, you can certainly reduce its usage. 

In your settings, you can decide which apps you want to be able to track your location and how frequently they can do so. The specific location services options vary depending on whether you have an iPhone or Android but you can control the available settings in the Privacy section for the iPhone and the Permissions section for the Android. 

You have your phone roaming for hotspots when you’re off Wi-Fi 

Wi-Fi preserves your phone’s battery life better than cellular data does, so always use Wi-Fi when you can. However, when you aren’t on Wi-Fi, your phone will roam for hotspots until you connect back to a Wi-Fi network, which can drain your battery quickly. To avoid killing your battery from hotspot roaming, shut off your Wi-Fi whenever you aren’t connected. Just make sure to turn it back on once you are in a place where you can connect again. You can also turn on Airplane Mode or even power off your device entirely when you don’t need your phone in order to preserve your battery life for the longest time possible.  

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Ari Howard

Written by:

Ari Howard

Associate Writer, Broadband & Wireless Content

Ari is an Associate Writer for the Allconnect team, focusing on broadband and wireless news, as well as broadband and TV provider deals. She recently graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor’s degree in… Read more

Shannon Ullman

Edited by:

Shannon Ullman

Editor, Broadband & Wireless Content

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