How to Save Your iPhone Battery

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on February 15, 2016, How To Guides

One of the biggest complaints consumers have about their mobile phones is battery life. There’s nothing worse than being far from a socket only to find that your phone is running at 3% battery and you’re about to be cut off. To be fair, many companies are working on improving mobile battery life, but for the time being, we’re stuck with what we’ve got. And if you’ve got a power hungry iPhone, then battery woes are going to be a common issue. That’s why we’re taking a look at how to save some of that iPhone juice. Stuck on the train with low battery? Here’s what you need to do to eke out a few more minutes (or even hours!) of juice…

Pay Attention!

First up, as long as you’re running the newest iOS incarnation (which would be iOS9), your phone itself is on the look out for low battery. As soon as you fall below 20% power, you should get a pop up message from iOS9’s built in low power facility. Simply click on low power mode on that pop up message and your phone will automatically shut off certain power hungry functions. Automatic downloads will stop, your phone will no longer automatically hunt for new Mail every few minutes, and visual effects will be downgraded, all to save you juice. This isn’t the only thing you can do, but it’s a good start, and you should switch to low power mode as soon as you get that message. If you’re waiting on an email though, don’t forget to go into your mail programme every now and again and update your inbox manually.

Cut Yourself Off!

Okay, probably the biggest reason you have a phone is to keep yourself connected, but if you’re running low on juice you’re going to need to cut some of those connections. Turning off WiFi, Bluetooth and AirDrop will save you some significant battery power. Why? Because your phone uses a lot of power constantly searching for signals for different networks. Unless you’re actually actively using any of these things (such as speaking through a Bluetooth headset, for example), you should just switch them off. You can always reconnect later when you’re closer to a power socket…

Go Dark!

It should come as no surprise that one of the biggest power drains on your mobile is the screen. Keeping that big screen brightly lit up and coloured sucks juice away like nobody’s business. If you’re running low, dimming your screen can help save a few percent to get you home. Just head into your settings menu, choose display and brightness, then turn down the brightness as far as you can whilst still keeping the screen visible. This won’t work out too well if you’re trying to watch videos or are reading web pages with dark backgrounds, but in general you can turn the scale down nearly all the way and still be able to read texts and make calls…

Stop Refreshing!

You’ve probably got at least a handful of apps on your phone that are constantly updating themselves, and the main offender here is Facebook, though plenty of news and weather apps do the same thing. Turning this automatic refreshing off will help you save a fair amount of battery power. Just head into your settings menu, hit general, choose background app refresh and then toggle off. Don’t forget to turn this back on again once you’re recharging though, or you’ll be missing your Facebook notifications!

Close Out Apps!

Actually, iOS9 is pretty good about not letting too much background stuff drain your power, but it’s always worth checking to make sure that you’re not running too many apps that you don’t need. Fortunately, this is really easy on an iPhone. Just double press the home button and you’ll get a gallery of all the apps that are currently running on your phone, swipe an app upwards to dismiss it and close it down. Keep open only the things that you’re actually using right now, and you should be fine. Simple.

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures…

Alright, so you’re down to the last 5% of battery, things are getting pretty desperate, and there’s really only one thing that you can do now: switch off mobile data. Go into the settings menu, choose mobile, then toggle off mobile data. What does that mean? It means no more 3G or 4G, which means no more internet connections. You will, however, be able to make calls and send texts using a 2G signal. That makes your smart phone basically a dumb phone, but it will ensure that you can both make and receive calls and those last few percent will last for a LOT longer…

No More Vibrations!

Weirdly, vibrating actually uses up a whole lot of battery power, especially if you’re the kind of person that regularly has their ring tone muted and opts for the more polite vibrate option instead. If you want to save a little power then switching off vibrations should give you a bit more time to get to a socket. Go to settings, then sound, and toggle off BOTH the vibrate options (there’s vibrate on ring and vibrate on silent).

Even More Desperate…

Right, we’re down to the last 3% or so now, what to do? Turning your phone off isn’t a great idea, since you might not have enough juice to turn it back on again (plus your phone will use a lot of power to come back on if it does). But you still really need to save that last few percent for something really important… The solution is pretty simple, switch your phone to airplane mode. You won’t be able to make or receive calls, nor can you send or receive texts, but you will be able to keep your phone switched on without it sucking up a lot of battery. Then when you need to send that important text you can switch airplane mode off and have full functionality. Neat.