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10 iPhone Settings Tech Experts Say to Change That Will Almost Double the Battery Life

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Writer, Smart Home

For years technology has been a big part of Gardy's life. He's an Android guy with a secret love for Apple products. When not at work, you can usually catch him drawing with a pencil. He is a writer at Gotechtor covering streaming media, TVs, and everything smart-home related. 

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Are you tired of constantly worrying about your iPhone’s battery life running out when you need it most?

What if I told you there are simple tweaks you can make to your phone to get more battery life without sacrificing functionality?

This is exactly what this guide is about. Today, we’ll go over 10 simple changes you can make to your iPhone settings that can almost double the battery life.

Some of these tips might be useful and can also help you save battery life on your Apple Watch. Let’s get started.

1. Turn Off Location Services

We all know GPS can drain your iPhone battery quickly. Location Services do the same since they use GPS, Bluetooth, crowd-sourced Wi-Fi hotspots, and cell tower locations to determine your location. That is heavy lifting for your iPhone battery.

Locations Services is a great feature and, for some, a life-saving feature. I use it all the time to get around. So we’re not telling you to turn it off completely. You’ll only turn off the unnecessary ones.

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select Privacy & Security.
  • Then, choose Location Services.

You’ll see a list of all apps that have access to your location and how they track you. Take time to only grant access to apps that need your location to work properly.

iPhone Location Services settings

Third-party apps always need access to your location, even if they don’t need it. They’ll usually abuse and misuse your location, so keep an eye on them.

1.1. Turn Off System Services

Scroll down and select “System Services.” You’ll see a list of options that are probably all on by default. You might think there’s a good reason for that and be skeptical about turning them off.

iPhone System Services settings

Don’t panic. You can safely turn them off. It won’t affect your iPhone functionality. Apple only collects all this data for marketing and research purposes to improve its products in future releases.

Just turn off everything except Find My iPhone (in case you lose your iPhone), Emergency SOS (in case you’re in danger), and Motion Calibration & Distance (fitness activities).

Those are the options I think most people should turn on, but it’s totally up to you. At the end of the day, it will conserve your iPhone battery.

1.2. Turn Off Significant Locations

You may not be aware, but your iPhone tracks and logs your location. Tap on “Significant Locations” to turn that off.

iPhone significant locations

It’s up to you to leave the “Status Bar Icon” feature on or off. It only lets you know if your location is being used. For some, it might be useful but could impact your battery performance.

2. Reduce Notifications

Notifications are great—they send you alerts about what’s going on. But they’re also power-hungry. I only enable the important ones.

I know people who allow Push Notifications for every app on their phones. It’s no wonder their phone batteries drain so quickly.

iPhone notifications panel

It can be annoying to have your phone always wake up to show notifications. Go to Settings > Notifications; you’ll see a list of all your apps on your iPhone. Go through them and check if you need those apps to send you alerts.

To turn them off, tap the app’s name and toggle off the switch next to “Allow Notifications.” The fewer notifications you receive, the longer your battery life will last.

iPhone notifications style

Depending on your iOS version, you may see some government alerts at the very bottom, and I suggest you leave those on for your safety.

3. Turn Off Push Email

Push Email is a perpetual battery drain if it’s not the worst. When it’s not set to “Manually,” the email app will constantly refresh itself to pull off new emails from the email server as they come in.

I set up all my accounts to receive updates manually for better battery life. You can do that by heading to Settings > Mail > Accounts > Fetch New Data and switching off the toggle next to Push.

iOS push email settings

Tap on each account and set the schedule to “Fetch.” Now, it’s up to you if you want to fetch manually (every time you open the app) or every certain period of time (hourly, every 30 minutes, 15 minutes). You decide what’s best for you.

4. Use Airplane Mode

Have you ever noticed your iPhone’s battery drains faster in places with poor reception? Yes, and it’s no coincidence. That happened to me at least once.

I was on my way to New Jersey with my iPhone fully charged. It was a brand-new iPhone, so the battery was in good shape. But surprisingly, my battery life went down to 36% with minimal use in just 4 hours.

In areas of poor reception, your iPhone or any phone constantly checks for a stronger signal. This drains the battery much faster than anything. There’s not much you can do about it besides putting your phone in Airplane mode.

5. Activate Low Power Mode

Apple introduced iOS 9 with a new Low Power Mode feature, which reduces power consumption and extends battery life.

You have to enable it since it’s not set up by default. Head to Settings > Battery and toggle the switch to ON next to Low Power Mode.

Low Power Mode in iOS settings

If your battery reaches 20%, a message will automatically appear on your screen offering to turn Low Power Mode on.

If you do so, the battery will turn orange, which shows Lower Power Mode is on. Once you charge your battery and it reaches 80% or higher, Low Power Mode will switch off automatically.

You should know that when your iPhone is in “Low Power” Mode, some features may not work. Here are the ones that don’t work.

  • Hey Siri
  • Email fetch
  • Automatic downloads
  • Background app refresh
  • iCloud Photo Library
  • Some visual effects
  • Auto-Lock

6. Turn Off Visual Effects / Background App Refresh

The Visual Effects first introduced in iOS 7 are marvelous but power-hungry. They continuously use your iPhone’s graphics processor to give you those pretty Parallax effects.

When Background App Refresh is on, certain apps can download content and refresh themselves even when you’re not using them. By disabling it, you can save a good amount of battery life.

Background App Refresh turned on in iOS

Those features drain your battery life quickly and can also slow down your iPhone’s performance. For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to speed up your iPhone.

To turn off Visual Effects, Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and toggle the switch to turn it on.

To disable “Background App Refresh,” go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh.

You’ll see a toggle at the upper right corner of the screen, where you can entirely turn off the feature. I would not recommend doing this since it can be vital for certain apps.

You can leave it on and scroll down through each app to turn off the ones you think it’s necessary.

7. Remove Widgets

The chances for iPhone users to use widgets are very low. If you use them, you should know that these widgets consume much power. They continually run in the background to give timely information from your favorite apps.

Edit iPhone widgets

You can turn them off if you don’t use them. To access Widgets, go to your iPhone’s Home screen, swipe to the right, scroll down, and tap Edit.

You’ll see a list of the widgets. To remove a widget, tap the red minus icon on its left, and you’re set. You should save a considerable amount of battery life by turning them off.

8. Turn Off Bluetooth / Wi-Fi / AirDrop

In iOS 11, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi always stay on so that you can use important features like AirDrop, Apple Watch, etc.

Bluetooth and WiFi icons in control center

They’re critical for assisted GPS (aGPS) (when you can’t receive GPS satellite signals) and to help you back up your iPhone to iCloud, but they do not always improve your battery life if you are not using it.

While away from home, your phone continually scans for nearby Wi-Fi networks. You can turn off these services by scrolling to “Control Center” and pressing the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons.

You can turn off AirDrop by pressing down slightly and then selecting the AirDrop menu option. Remember to turn these services back on as soon as you need them.

If your iPhone battery is running low, using Bluetooth headphones to stream music for long periods of time is not a good idea. I would suggest you use wired headphones instead.

9. Minimize Power-hungry Apps

Some apps use way more power than others. So it might be a good time to check what apps are sucking up your battery juice. Go to your iPhone Settings, scroll down, find Battery, and tap on it.

apps battery usage on iPhone

You’ll see a list of apps with details on battery usage for the last 24 hours and 7 days, with the heaviest battery-hoggers at the top.

Now, it’s up to you to delete those who consume more battery life or reduce your time on them. The latter option seems more doable since Apple introduced a new tool in iOS 12 to help you fight iPhone addiction.

10. Close Apps

This one is controversial, and there’s a myth behind it. Many people believe running apps in the background drains the battery quickly.

iPhone app switcher

Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi dispelled that myth by responding to a customer’s email to CEO Tim Cook. According to his answer, closing out running apps doesn’t save battery life.

iPhone apps crash more frequently now than you think. You can check the crash logs in Settings > Privacy > Analytics > Analytics Data.

Sometimes, apps will crash in the background and drain the battery life quickly without you even knowing it.

11. Turn Off Personal Hotspot

I use my Mac’s Personal Hotspot feature all the time, especially on long commutes.

While it’s nice to turn your iPhone into a wireless hotspot, it can also drain your battery quickly. It’s recommended that you turn it off if you’re not using it.

Personal Hotspot turned on in iOS settings

Here’s how to turn off Personal Hotspot on your iPhone:

  1. Go to your iPhone settings.
  2. Tap Personal Hotspot.
  3. Toggle off the slider on the right.

Final Thoughts on How to Save Battery on iPhone

So, these are our best tips to save iPhone battery life. Which ones are you going to implement to keep your iPhone running longer?

If you know some good iPhone battery-saving tips that should be in this guide, please let us know in the comments.

Writer, Smart Home

For years technology has been a big part of Gardy's life. He's an Android guy with a secret love for Apple products. When not at work, you can usually catch him drawing with a pencil. He is a writer at Gotechtor covering streaming media, TVs, and everything smart-home related. 

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