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Get Better iPhone Battery Life

The achilles heel of the ever smaller form factor of iPhones is the battery. Storage of electricity has lagged behind the rest of mobile technology – we are waiting the big breakthrough that will mean all-week battery life: dream on!

By default everything is turned on when you get a new iPhone and set it up. Locations awareness, notifications, apps calling home, Bluetooth, all these use up battery so if you don’t need them and can switch them off it will mean much better battery life.

Notifications are the first area to look at. Go to Settings/Notifications and see that you can turn off anything that you feel doesn’t need to alert you instantly! Obviously you will keep telephone and Messages on, but all the others can be switched off unless you feel you need them.

All apps try to send you alerts but most don’t need to…

FaceTime is also on by default and can be switched off unless you use it – I don’t but you might! Go to Settings/FaceTime.


Next is Settings/General Background App Refresh. Again they’re all on like enthusiastic puppies, me, me, me. Switch off any that aren’t essential.

background app

The iTunes Store is set to automatically keep everything up to date but its better to do these updates manually when you’re at home on WiFi.

Go to Settings/iTunes and App Store and under Automatic Downloads turn off everything.

When you’re at home on WiFi open the App Store, click Updates and choose All and it will update your apps. You can also turn off the Use Mobile Data to stop your mobile data allowance from getting used up. Do the updates at home I say.

itunes store

Now here’s an interesting one: the iPhone keeps track of where you are so it can keep you updated with location relevant information. (I read this as enabling advertising but maybe I’m just cynical!) If you zoom around a lot and are always getting location based info then leave it on but otherwise turn it off and save some more battery time.

Look in Settings/Privacy/Location Services/System Services and turn off Frequent Locations.

Further down is PRODUCT IMPROVEMENT where you can turn off the 3 buttons again, unless you want the services they offer which are self explanatory.

Nearby in Settings/Privacy/Location Services/Share My Location you will find apps that have cajoled you to allow Location awareness. Some are useful and some unnecessary. make you choices, on or off. You will get asked as you install a new app to allow Location and Notification and many people just allow without knowing what they are allowing. Choices, choices people. Allow the useful and restrict the others.


Photo Streaming is a contentious area. Although it is cool to have any photos you take uploaded into your computer via iCloud, it uses data and battery and then can be a little confusing as to which photos are in which device! My personal choice is to do it manually by connecting the device to the computer and letting it import into iPhoto.

If you are of the same mind then turn them off in Settings/iCloud/Photos. You can always change your mind later…otherwise leave it on and your pictures will appear in iPhoto as if by magic – as long as iCloud is switched on in your computer and any other devices you want to sync.

Settings /iCloud /Photos then disable My Photo Stream. Also, if you have an option for iCloud Photo Library, you may also wish to disable this to prevent your entire photo collection from being stored in the cloud. The more photos, the more battery drain.


If you slowly jiggle the iPhone you might notice the 3D effect. Maybe, although I can barely discern it and as it’s another waste of battery can be switched off in Settings/General/Accessibility/Reduce Motion.

This time you’re switching it on to reduce.


Spotlight is the Search function that again, is switched on for everything. This means that it is indexing everything regularly. Switch off the areas you don’t use to minimise battery drain.

Settings/General/Spotlight Search is where you’ll find it and exclude any of them.


The relative brightness of your screen also eats up battery. Settings/Display & Brightness is where you can switch off Auto Brightness and reduce the Brightness too. I like it very bright but the more you reduce it the better your battery will last.

Wallpapers can be still or dynamic and obviously the former use less grunt! Is it imperative that they move around…?

Settings /Wallpaper/ Choose a New Wallpaper. Either select a background from the Stills category, or a static photo of your own choice.


Location based System Services is how apps keep in touch and a lot of them don’t need to have this accessibility. In fact they use it for ads! Plenty to switch off here.

Go to Settings/Privacy/Location Services. When On, scroll down to System Services, then uncheck all of these items. When you’re not using Location Services, such as GPS, then simply turn it Off.

system services

Apple gets your iPhone to automatically send data for their Diagnostics and Usage analysis. useful to them but not to your battery!

Settings/Privacy/Diagnostics & Usage and choose Don’t Send.


When you have an email account enabled on the iPhone it uses Push to get email all the time. usually we don’t need it this often so change it to manual so you check yourself when you need to rather than it being pushed to you.

Settings/Mail, Contacts, Calendar/ Fetch New Data. Disable the Push option and choose Manually or choose a time scale like every 15 minutes.

When you slide up from the bottom of the screen the Control Centre is exposed. Switch off WiFi and Bluetooth if you aren’t using them because they look for someone to connect to all the time… Very easy to switch them on and off as required here. This is also where you can make sure that Airdrop is Off because it too looks all the time…

These changes from the default settings will help preserve your battery, but also get into the habit of plugging it into a charger any time you can for a top up.

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