9 Tips for Extending Your iPhone’s Battery Lifespan

by Sarah Dobson on June 08, 2020

Like many iPhone users, you’ve probably asked yourself, “how long does an iPhone battery last?” Of course, it varies by how often you use your iPhone and what apps you’re using. But the last thing you want to worry about is your battery dying when you’re taking an important call or capturing family memories.

Battery life plays a significant role in your iPhone lifespan. Along with cracked screens and water damage, battery replacement is a common reason to bring your iPhone in for repair. But if you know how to improve iPhone battery health, you won’t have to replace it as soon as you might think.

Your iPhone should have enough battery life to last a full day in normal usage. If that’s not the case for you, these tips should put you on the right track.

Tip #1: Replace a Worn-Down Battery. 

A feature first introduced in iOS 11.3 enables you to check your battery’s health. Go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health, and read the advice that appears. If your battery is nearing the end of its lifespan, your best bet is to have a new battery installed.

No rechargeable batteries last forever, so don’t take it personally if yours runs out of steam after a few years. You can limp along with an aging battery, but it will become increasingly bothersome, shutting down and forcing you to connect to power throughout the day. Don’t wait so long that your iPhone becomes unreliable.

Fortunately, the cost of getting a replacement battery for your iPhone is reasonable. It’ll also breathe new life into your iPhone. Can you imagine not having to charge your iPhone every few hours? Plus, if you’re not ready to upgrade to a new iPhone, replacing a battery is certainly the most cost-effective option.

Tip #2: Keep it Cool. 

 

Exposing an iPhone to temperatures over 95° F (35° C) can permanently reduce the battery’s lifespan, so you’ll need to replace it sooner than you would have otherwise. Don’t leave it in a hot car in the summer! Keeping it in a cool climate can help improve iphone battery health.

Tip #3: Reduce Backlight. 

The screen’s backlight drains a lot of power, but you can avoid unnecessary power loss with Auto-Brightness, a feature that automatically adjusts the backlight level based on ambient light, reducing brightness when the room is dark.

We recommend that you use this feature, and you can verify that it’s on in Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations. You can also reduce the backlight manually with the Brightness slider in Control Center. To open Control Center, swipe up from the bottom of the screen on most iOS devices; swipe down from the right corner on the iPhone X.

Tip #4: Use Wi-Fi Over Cellular When Possible. 

Another power hog is the iPhone’s cellular radio. When you have a choice, all else being equal, use Wi-Fi instead of cellular.

If you are in a new location, such as a friend’s home, you may be able to connect to Wi-Fi even if you don’t know their network’s password (see our article Here’s a Trick for Sharing your Wi-Fi Password). Wi-Fi is on and will be used preferentially when you see a fan-like icon in the status bar at the top of your iPhone screen.

Tip #5: Use Low Power Mode. 

If your iPhone asks whether it’s okay to turn on Low Power mode, let it. You’ll see this message when the battery is down to 20% (if you decline, you’ll see it again at 10%). When in Low Power mode, iOS makes behind-the-scenes power-saving adjustments and temporarily shuts off some features, including AirDrop and iCloud sync.

You can also toggle Low Power mode on and off manually in Settings > Battery, and it shuts off automatically once your iPhone is sufficiently charged.

Tip #6: Follow Your iPhone's Advice

Look for Apple’s recommendations in Settings > Battery, in the Battery Life Suggestions section (you can see an example just above).

Tip #7: Control Your Apps. 

Some apps may be consuming a disproportionate amount of power in relation to how much you need to use them, or using a lot of power in order to download data (like new email messages) in the background.

To identify these apps, go to Settings > Battery, scroll down to the Battery Usage section, and scrutinize the list of apps. You can choose from two different time periods by tapping a button at the top of the list, and be sure to tap the Clock button at the top of the list to see full details.

Use this information to modify your behavior (maybe you don’t need to use Facebook so frequently, for instance) or adjust your iPhone’s settings (experiment in Settings > General > Background App Refresh; you may want to turn off background app refresh for certain apps or tap Background App Refresh to turn it off entirely).

Tip #8: Plan for GPS Use. 

When using your iPhone as a GPS on trips longer than a few hours, you may find that your battery can’t go the distance. We recommend plugging your iPhone into a charging port in your car while it handles mapping. If you’re walking or cycling, consider bringing a battery pack—some bike-specific iPhone cases have one built in.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to extend your iPhone battery’s lifespan and ensure that it can last for a full day of use. Speaking from experience, we want to reiterate that suffering with an aging battery will probably result in losing power at an inopportune time—it’s much better to replace the battery before it becomes annoying.

Tip #9: Charge iPhone to 50%

Have a new iPhone but still want to keep your old one as a backup? Or maybe you’re going on an extended vacation and you don’t need to use your iPhone. One of the best things you can do to increase your iPhone’s lifespan is charge it to 50%.

If you’re planning to stash your iPhone away for an extended period, stick to a routine of charging it to 50% before you shut it off and place it in a safe place. Believe it or not, charging it to 100% can decrease efficiency and force your iPhone into a deep discharge state where it’s unable to maintain a charge.

Wrapping Up

Figuring out how to save battery on your iPhone or increase your iPhone’s lifespan is simpler than it may seem. With these tips, you can join the ranks of people who have managed to keep their iPhone intact and kicking for over ten years. Though iPhones are no strangers to eventual obsoletion and outdated hardware, some older iPhones may become bricks in a matter of six years

Whenever you’ve run out of ways to extend your iPhone battery life and your device decides to kick the can, you can always consider upgrading. At Simply Mac, we make it easy to trade up. Whether you’re looking for expert Apple advice or in-store service, we’re here to help you, every step of the way.

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