I’m going to tell you exactly why your iPhone battery drains so quickly and exactly how to fix it. I’ll explain how you can get longer battery life out of your iPhone without sacrificing functionality. Take my word for it:
The vast majority of iPhone battery issues are software related.
We’ll cover a number of proven iPhone battery fixes that I learned from first-hand experience with hundreds of iPhones during my time at Apple. Here’s one example:
Your iPhone tracks and records your location everywhere you go. That uses a lot of battery life.
I’ll show you how to fix that in Tip #2.
A Word About iOS 9
iOS 9 includes a new section of Settings called Battery. It displays some useful information, but it won’t help you fix anything. I rewrote this article for iOS9, and if you take these suggestions, I promise your battery life will improve.
Our first tip is a truly a sleeping giant and there’s a reason it’s #1: Fixing Push Mail can make a tremendous difference in the battery life of your iPhone.
The Real Reasons Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Battery Dies So Fast
1. Push Mail
When your mail is set to push, it means that your iPhone maintains a constant connection to your email server so that the server can instantly push the mail to your iPhone as soon as it arrives. Sounds good, right? Wrong.
An Apple lead genius explained it to me like this: When your iPhone is set to push, it’s constantly asking the server, “Is there mail? Is there mail? Is there mail?”, and this flow of data causes your battery to drain very quickly. Exchange servers are the absolute worst offenders, but everyone can benefit from changing this setting.
How To Fix Push Mail
To fix this problem, we’re going to change your iPhone from push to fetch. You’ll save a lot of battery life by telling your iPhone to check for new mail every 15 minutes instead of all the time. Your iPhone will always check for new mail whenever you open the Mail app.
- Go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Fetch New Data.
- Turn off Push at the top.
- Scroll to the bottom and choose Every 15 Minutes under Fetch.
- Tap on each individual email account and, if possible, change it to Fetch.
Most people agree that waiting a few minutes for an email to arrive is worth the significant improvement in your iPhone’s battery life.
As an aside, if you’ve been having problems syncing contacts or calendars between your iPhone, Mac, and other devices, check out my other article called Why Are Some Of My Contacts Missing From My iPhone, iPad, or iPod? Here’s The Real Fix!
2. Hidden Location Services
Location Services are part of what makes the iPhone such a great device, so I’d like to be clear: I don’t recommend that you turn off Location Services entirely.
I’ll show you the hidden services that constantly drain your battery, and I’m willing to bet you’ve never even heard of most of them. I believe it’s important for you to choose which programs and services can access your location, especially given the significant battery drain and personal privacy issues that come with your iPhone, right out of the box.
How To Fix Location Services
- Go to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services.
- Tap Share My Location. If you want to be able to share your location with your family and friends in the Messages app, then leave this on, but be careful: If someone wanted to track you, this is how they’d do it.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom and tap System Services. Let’s clear up a common misconception right away: Most of these settings are all about sending data to Apple for marketing and research. When we turn them off, your iPhone will continue to function just as it always has.
- Turn off everything on the page except Find My iPhone (so you can locate it if it’s lost) and Motion Calibration & Distance (if you’d like to use your iPhone as a pedometer – otherwise, turn that off too). Your iPhone will work exactly as it had before. The compass will still work and you’ll connect to cell towers just fine – it’s just that Apple won’t be receiving data about your behavior.
- Tap Frequent Locations. Did you know your iPhone has been tracking you everywhere you go? You can imagine the excess strain this puts on your battery. I recommend you turn off Frequent Locations. Tap <System Services to return to the main System Services menu.
- Scroll to the bottom and turn on Status Bar Icon. That way, you’ll know your location is being used when a little arrow appears next to your battery. If that arrow is on all the time, there’s probably something wrong. Tap <Location Services to go back to the main Location Services menu.
- Turn off Location Services for apps that don’t need to know where you are.
- What you need to know: If you see a purple arrow next to an app, it’s using your location now. A gray arrow means it’s used your location within the last 24 hours and a purple-outlined arrow means it’s using a geofence (more about geofences later).
- Pay attention to any apps that have purple or gray arrows next to them. Do these apps need to know your location to work? If they do, that’s absolutely fine – leave them alone. If they don’t, tap on the name of the app and choose Never to stop the app from unnecessarily draining your battery.
A Word About Geofencing
A geofence is a virtual perimeter around a location. Apps use geofencing to send you alerts when you arrive at or depart from a destination. It’s a good idea, but for geofencing to work, your iPhone has to constantly use GPS to ask, “Where am I? Where am I? Where am I?”
I don’t recommend using apps that use geofencing or location-based alerts because of the number of cases I’ve seen where people couldn’t make it through a full day without needing to charge their iPhone – and geofencing was the reason.
3. Diagnostics & Usage Data
Here’s a quick one: Head to Settings -> Privacy, scroll to the bottom, and open Diagnostics & Usage. Choose Don’t Send to stop your iPhone from automatically sending data to Apple about how you use your iPhone.