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 included 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 iOS 10, 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!


  1. David Payette –
    You are amazing- Just read like three of your articles in a row. Initially, my issue was that my iPhone would only charge through my macbook. Well, as of 2 days ago I mean…. So, probably a year ago a message popped upon on my screen that said that “the accessory” (my charger that I’d bought from CVS) wasn’t compatible with my device. I was so confused and frustrated because it wasn’t a new charger. I’d been using it for quite some time. But, I figured it was because it wasn’t “Apple quality” or something like that. From then on, I only used chargers that I had gotten either from the Apple store or with my iPhone at the initial purchase. A couple months ago, I was at my Uncle’s house and borrowed his 10 foot iPhone charger and I got the same message that I had previously. He claimed that it worked fine with all of his family’s Apple products(like 2 iPhones, 2 iPod touches, 4 iPads). However, I still wanted an extra long charger, so I drove over to the local Apple store and bought one. I got a new purple charger of normal length and a 10foot charger, both Belkin brand but sold through Apple. I’ve been using them every day/night since without an issue. Until like 2 days ago when they both stopped working when plugged into the wall. Plugged into my computer, they work okay. My phone has started doing this weird thing: even if it is plugged in and I’m not touching it, it will go back and forth from charging to not-charging pretty often. Sometimes it can even be every second. I’m sure you can imagine how annoying that is, especially since it vibrates every time it switches from charging to not-charging and vice versa. I feel like this is probably something you’ve seen before, at least I’m hoping- I’m out of warranty and in college and not wanting a steep bill for an easy fix haha.

    One more question- like I said, I’m a college student and the wifi on campus really sucks. I realize it’s probably because there are so many people trying to use it at once. But, I have a really great data plan so I don’t need to use wifi if I choose to use data instead, right? I would rather use data because I am constantly losing the wifi connection or just having to put up with the super slow connection all the time and it drives me crazy. But, why won’t it work well if I have data turned on and I’m not connected to wifi? Why do I need it?

    On another note- I followed your battery life improvement steps fully and I have no doubt that they will help improve my battery’s life 🙂 Thank you so much for starting this website and taking the time to share your insider knowledge with the rest of us. I hope you can answer my questions, and I hope I gave you enough info for you to be able to do so. Thank you so much!!

  2. My iPhone 4s had got to the point where a full charge was lasting about 4 or 5 hours only. I followed all the steps you mention in your article and I am delighted to say that I still have an 80% charge left after 8 hours. Also, the general responsiveness of the phone has increased dramatically. I am not a ‘heavy’ user of the phone, I spend far more time on the iPad, but even so your advice has worked very well for me. Thank you!

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