Why Does My iPhone Battery Die So Fast? The iOS 8 Battery Life Fix!

Why Does My iPhone Battery Die So FastI’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! Now that the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 are out, it’s time for a fresh update to this article that’s already helped millions of people solve their iPhone battery life issues.

Take my word for it:

The vast majority of iPhone battery issues are software related.

If you haven’t installed iOS 8 yet, skip right ahead to my complete list of iPhone battery life saving tips. We’ll cover a wide range of battery fixes, including:

If you’ve already updated to iOS 8, let’s begin with a new feature that is a great starting point for tracking down which apps are using the most battery life.

New for iOS 8: Battery Usage in Settings

iPhone Battery UsageLet’s head to Settings -> General -> Usage -> Battery Usage. When you open Battery Usage, the first thing you’ll see is the list of apps that have used the most battery life on your iPhone in the last 24 hours. This doesn’t tell you how to fix the problems – but that’s what I’m here for. Here’s how to decipher the messages you might see:

If an app shows Background Activity, it means that the app has been using battery on your iPhone even when it’s not open. This can be a good thing, but often times allowing an app to run in the background causes an unnecessary drain on your battery.

  • The fix:  Check out my seventh iPhone battery life saving tip, Background App Refresh, and learn how to choose which apps you’d like to allow to keep running in the background while you’re doing other things.
  • Here’s the exception: If the Mail app shows Background Activity, check out my second iPhone battery life saving tip (and it’s a big deal!), Push Mail.

If an app shows Location or Background Location, that app is asking your iPhone, “Where Am I? Where Am I? Where Am I?”, and that uses a lot of battery life.

  • The fix: Check out my first iPhone battery life saving tip, Location Services. (I’ll also show you how to stop your iPhone from tracking you everywhere you go.)

If Home & Lock Screen has been using a lot of battery, there’s an app that has been frequently waking your iPhone up with notifications.

If you see that No Cell Coverage and Low Signal has been causing your battery to drain, it means that your iPhone has been in an area with poor cell coverage. When that happens, your iPhone tries extra hard to find a signal, and that causes your battery to drain very quickly.

  • The fix: If you know you’re going to be traveling to a remote area, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Command Center and tap the airplane icon to enable Airplane mode.
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We’re just getting started. On the next page, we’ll cover the biggest iPhone battery life killers, starting with Location Services and Push Mail.

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I’m David Payette, the founder of Payette Forward, Inc. I am passionate about helping people to grow personally and professionally using the power of technology. Thank you for visiting payetteforward.com and I look forward to hearing from you!


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  4. Wayne Bradley
    August 9, 2014

    I have a GPS app that I use often and when I use it the battery drains pretty fast and it will also heat up the phone. The heat problem will stop if I run the program in the background. Is there any settings I can change that would allow me to keep the app on screen without heating up the phone and to be able to run the app without draining the battery?

  5. Angela Cacciavillani
    August 5, 2014

    This is by far one of the best iPhone articles I have ever read and shared. Thank you so very much!

  6. nicm
    July 30, 2014

    This is great info! Thanks so much for taking the time to write it!

  7. johnciacci
    July 30, 2014

    David, in the mail prefs did you mean to have it fetch every 15 minutes or Manually?Because it states for better battery life, fetch less frequently. So for now I turned off Push and changed all account to Fetch with Manually selected.

    ” Go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Fetch New Data -> and turn off Push. Scroll down to change Fetch to Every 15 Minutes and set each individual account to Fetch. “

    • David Payette
      July 30, 2014

      Dear John, great question! I suggest choosing to fetch ‘Every 15 Minutes’ because the difference between checking mail all the time (push) and checking every 15 minutes is so great that even that small change is more than sufficient to solve most people’s battery life issues with mail. You’re absolutely correct that changing to fetch even less often or manually, which means that the iPhone would check for new email only when the Mail app is opened, could possibly save even more battery life. I’m all about finding the balance between convenience and battery life, so on my iPhone, I’ve found that fetching mail every 15 minutes both saves me battery life and keeps my mail coming in regularly in the background. Thanks so much for the thoughtful question and I wish you all the best! – David P.

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    July 27, 2014

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  11. George Mulloy
    July 18, 2014

    I followed your advice on how to make my battery last longer. In the 45 minutes since I did that my battery percentage has trained 20%. I’m not sure why I’m draining battery faster now after following your instructions. Is there anything you can think of that I might have done incorrectly that has caused this increase in battery drainage?

    • David Payette
      July 19, 2014

      Dear George,

      I saw the comment you left on my website and I wanted to take the time to respond to you personally. How is your phone doing now? Sometimes software issues run deep and you may need more than a quick fix. I’m not aware of any suggestions I made that could make a battery life issue worse, but I don’t doubt you. Here are a few suggestions and I’m sure we’ll get your issue straightened out:

      The first thing I’d try is to power off your phone by holding the top button until ’Slide to power off’ appears. Slide your finger across the bar to power off your phone and wait for the spinner to stop. Next, turn the phone back on by holding the power button until you see the Apple logo appear. Sometimes turning your phone off and on completely sorts out issues with any of the little invisible programs that run in the background.

      If that doesn’t help, I’d recommend you retrace your steps through my article and switch the settings back to the way they were, or better yet, head to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings. This wipes out your Wi-Fi passwords, so make sure you know them ahead of time, and it changes your wallpaper back to the default, but that’s easy to fix. What it doesn’t do is remove your email accounts, and if you’re willing, I’d like you to double-check that your iCloud and Mail account passwords are entered correctly and that all your mail accounts can send and receive mail. If a password is entered incorrectly there, your iPhone can get ‘stuck’ trying to send or receive mail over and over again, but it keeps failing because of the incorrect password, and that causes your battery to drain very quickly.

      If that doesn’t help, it’s almost certain that you have a deeper software issue going on and you may need to backup and restore your iPhone to sort everything out. Check out this Apple support article
      or my article about
      How To Fix iCloud Backup for step-by-step instructions.

      I would never want to steer anyone in the wrong direction. After being read by over 6 million people, yours is the fourth message I’ve received where someone has said their battery life may have gotten worse after reading my article. Let me know how things are going for you and I’ll do my best to help.

      All the best,
      David P.

      • hurls
        August 12, 2014

        Hi David, I followed all the steps you have here and made a lot of changes to my phone to save the battery. To be fair, the battery has always been quite good since I got the iPhone 5s so maybe I shouldn’t have changed anything. Anyhow, I have noticed since I made the changes that when I listen to the radio now with the phone plugged in, the battery runs down as I am listening. This never happened before. In the last two days I have listened to the radio in the morning as the phone is plugged in and when I turned it off to go out I noticed the battery was down in the 60% region. Normally it would be at 100%. Is there some setting I have changed that has caused this? I think there must be but I don’t know what it is. Thanks! Mairead

        • David Payette
          August 12, 2014

          Dear Mairead, thanks so much for reading and for your question. If your iPhone isn’t staying charged at 100% when it’s plugged in, something’s not right. It shouldn’t matter what you’re doing – listening to the radio, surfing the web, etc. – it doesn’t make a difference to the iPhone. None of my suggestions can cause the issue you’re having, but I’m happy to help you sort it out. A couple things could be going on here: Right off the bat, check the charging port on the bottom of your iPhone. Is there gunk in there? If there is, try brushing it out lightly with a toothbrush (one you’ve never used before) to remove any debris. How is your iPhone plugged in? Are you using the Apple USB cable and wall charger? Sometimes third-party chargers can cause issues, but my gut tells me this isn’t your problem. Next, power the phone all the way off and turn it back on again. Press and hold the power button on the top of your iPhone until the red slider appears. Use your finger to drag the slider and wait for your iPhone to turn all the way off. Then, hold the power button until the Apple logo appears and try it again. Let me know how you make out and I’m sure we can get to the bottom of this. All the best, David P.

          • hurls
            August 14, 2014

            Hi David, in one of the steps the other day, I switched off the radio station I was listening to in the Background App Refresh. I turned this one back on and it seems to have resolved the problem. I don’t know if that sounds peculiar or not? Anyhow, my phone is back to normal now and thanks for taking the time to reply. Mairead

  12. Chukwuma Ugwuozor
    July 15, 2014

    thanks a lot. I’ve done the needful. I hope it works. cheers

  13. Linda Savell
    July 15, 2014

    Thank you for all the great info. I have completed all of the steps and I am sure it will make a huge difference.

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  15. Bobbi Rose
    July 12, 2014

    Ever since I did the IOS7 update I can no longer use my WIFi. My phone is just over a year old and I definitely do not want to get another phone. Any options or ideas, other than the crazy stuff on youtube to try lol. Thanks so much in advance.

    • PlanetERF
      July 20, 2014

      Interesting you say that as I had the same problem. Funnily enough, I followed the instructions on here for my phone overheating & it brought back my WiFi, even thought that wasn’t what I was trying to fix at the time.

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