Why Does My iPhone Battery Die So Fast? Here’s The Real Fix!


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 while I worked for Apple. Here’s one example:

Your iPhone tracks and records your location everywhere you go. That uses a lot of battery life.

Battery in iOS 9iOS 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.

I recently created a YouTube video series to go along with the iPhone battery fixes I explain in this article. Whether you prefer to read or watch, you’ll find the same great information in the YouTube videos that you’ll read in this article.

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.

  1. Go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Fetch New Data.
  2. Turn off Push at the top.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and choose Every 15 Minutes under Fetch.
  4. 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

hidden system services copyLocation 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

  1. Go to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Turn off Location Services for apps that don’t need to know where you are.
    • IMG_0743What 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.

On the next page, we’ll start with something huge: How to close out your apps. Then we’ll talk about why configuring Notifications is so important and the importance of turning off your iPhone – the right way.

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About Author

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. Hi David,
    So I did all the steps, even the factory reset and my phone went back to normal. Until the following day. The battery went from 100% to dead in only 3 hours. When I plugged it back in, I checked the diagnosis and usage and saw the following listed 21 times: SCHelper. I have no idea which app is that. Can you please help me!!!

  5. After I fully charged my iphone6 into 100% I usually turn on the ” lower Power mode” button, will it damage my iphone somehow if I do this everyday? or is it a safe way and advisable to turn on the power mode option everyday? Will it affect my battery quality in normal battery consumption if I will not use lower power mode since my phone battery is used to have the power mode on always?

    Because if it will not affect the battery quality in the future i will always use power mode on after Its fully charge coz its so good that my battery last for 8 -12 after !


    • I did all the steps, even the factory reset. My phone was back to normal until the following day when the battery started dying out quickly again. I checked the diagnostic and usage and there was something that would come up 21 times: SCHelper. What is that? which app is that so I could remove it please.
      Thank you

  6. I have an iphone 4S. Ever since I have had the phone I have had an issue with the phone dying with various amounts of battery life left when I take a picture. I have a job that requires me to take photos at the end of my job for proof that I have completed the work. This is a huge problem!! I can have 85% battery life and take two pictures and immediately after the second (an example) pic is taken the phone shuts down and won’t turn back on until I start to charge it. The frustrating part is that once the phone comes back on I have the same battery life that I did when the phone shut down. It definitely appears to be an issue with the camera interacting with the phone. Can you suggest anything????? I have completed all of the setting adjustments you recommended and still cannot resolve this issue. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

  7. I went through and made all the suggestions in your article. However, what I keep have happen is very random. I have a job that requires me to be on-call. When I know I’ll for sure be going in sometime within 24 hrs, but am just waiting for the call, my phone keeps dying at night! I’ll go to bed with 60-100% battery life, only to wake up in the middle of the night with my phone completely dead. It happened several times in August when I was expecting calls, and then this is the first time in almost over a month that I’ve had two clients need me and it happened again.

    Last night I went to bed about 1am with 100% and work up in a panic at 5:50a to it dead. Took a good 20 minutes before it came on. It’s ONLY doing this when I’m expecting calls in the middle of the night. If there is a voicemail, sometimes it’ll take a few hours to come through after it’s comes back on. Any ideas?

    • Hey Jennifer,

      It sounds like a serious software issue is causing your iPhone battery to die in a matter of hours. Try the steps in this article, and if you’re still struggling, you may need to back up and restore your iPhone like I describe on the last page. Without seeing it, it’s impossible for me know exactly what the problem with your specific iPhone, but I do believe you’ll be OK after you address the software issue that’s causing your battery to drain so quickly.

      Best of luck and thanks for writing,
      David P.

  8. thank you for a great article.
    I’m using an Iphone 5S, for marathon running. It always dies before I finish any of my long runs (3 hours). I have just gone through all the steps provided in the article, in the hopes that it will help.
    I’m wondering, if you believe that it is reasonable to expect that I can get 4 hours of battery life out of my phone while running the following programs….if i’ve done everything that you have suggested above?
    I have the Nike+ running app(using GPS), which also uses streaming for music on Spotify. I need it to last 4 hours…and am wondering, if maybe it is not possible – no matter how good the battery is.

    • Hey Lori,

      Great question! I do think it’s reasonable to expect to make it through a run without your iPhone battery dying. What you said is correct – the apps you’re using are battery-intensive. You’re using GPS and streaming data at the same time, but I still think you’ll be able to get at least 4 hours out of your iPhone if you optimize your battery using the tips in this article.

      A couple things to consider: Are you running in an area with good cell / cellular data service? When you’re running in areas with low service, your iPhone uses more power to maintain a connection to the cell towers. Second, how are you carrying your iPhone when you run? An arm case? Your battery might be affected if your iPhone is heating up during your runs.

      And a final word of warning for all runners: Be careful that sweat doesn’t drip down the cord of your headphones and into the headphone jack or charging port. The 6th generation iPod nanos were the worst – we’d see athletes all the time who had unwittingly water-damaged their iPods with their own sweat. The iPhone is much better at preventing sweat from getting in there, but it can still happen – just something to be aware of.

      I think it’s awesome you’re running marathons with your iPhone. It’s a great example of how technology can enrich our lives. Thanks again for the awesome question and I hope it helps!

      David P.

  9. Dear David,
    i wanted to know lightning cable affect the battery life.because when the charge my battery with genuine cable that time my battery having very good response after breaking of apple cable at the connector then i purchase local china made cable and suddenly i take 4-5 hour to 100% charging and battery die with in 8 hour how i can resolve this problem now i have mipow lightning MFI cable same no progress with the cable.

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