Why Does My Android Battery Die So Fast? The Best Phone / Tablet Battery Life Savers!

Android phones are powerful machines, but sometimes they don’t work like we expect. We certainly don’t expect an expensive phone to die in the middle of the day, which leads us to the ultimate question: “why does my Android battery die so fast?” In what follows, I’ll explain everything you need to know to get your Android battery life to last as long as it can.

Android Phones Aren’t As Optimized As iPhones

As an Android user myself, I have to admit one simple fact: Android phones just aren’t as optimized as Apple’s iPhones. This means that your battery drain can be very inconsistent from one app to another. Apple gets around this by being the engineer of both the software and hardware in their phones, so they can ensure that all apps are as battery efficient as possible.

With Android, things aren’t so simple. There are many different manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Motorola, Google, and more. They all have their own special software skins over Android, and apps are designed to work on all of these different devices with different specifications.

Does this make Android phones worse than iPhones? Not necessarily. That flexibility is a great strength of Android, and generally Android phones have higher specs than iPhones in order to outweigh the downsides of less optimization.

Some Apps Drain Battery More Than Others

Left: a list of apps and their battery usage data. Right: battery usage data for Snapchat, showing that it uses a lot of battery in the background

The flexibility of Android apps means that they can be a jack of all trades, but master of none. The best Android apps for battery life tend to be the ones made by the phone’s developers. For example, a Samsung app will be much more optimized on a Samsung phone than on a Google Pixel.

Aside from the optimization issues, some apps just tend to drain more battery than others. YouTube, Facebook, and mobile games are common culprits. Just think about what they’re doing: YouTube brightens your screen and keeps the display on for long periods of time, Facebook checks for updates in the background, and mobile games require more processing power to display 3D graphics.

Being mindful of your usage is the first step to figuring out strategies to make your Android phone last longer. Simply using these apps a little less can be a life saver for your battery.

Is Your Phone Old? The Battery Might Be Going Bad

Smartphones, as of right now, use lithium ion batteries. Over time, these batteries degrade thanks to annoying buildups of structures called dendrites in the battery, and the materials also wear down.

If you’re using a phone that’s several years old, it may be time for a new battery. However, it might be more worth it for you to just get a new phone. Newer phones have much higher battery capacities than phones from a few years ago, as you can see in the following table.

Data from gsmarena.com
PhoneYear ReleasedBattery Capacity
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge20163600 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S8+20173500 mAh
Google Pixel 220172700 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S10+20194100 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S20 20204000 mAh
LG V60 ThinQ20205000 mAh

Close Out Of Apps When You’re Not Using Them

A pair of screenshots demonstrating how you can close all your apps at once in the task view.

Most of the best life-saving strategies for your Android phone’s battery life are good habits, and the most important habit of all is to close out of apps when you aren’t using them. Some people argue that this isn’t a good idea, but that’s just plain wrong. Closing out of all your apps when you aren’t using them prevents the apps from using power by running in the background.

All you need to do is tap the task button at the bottom of your screen, usually on the lower right (on Samsung phones it’s on the left). Then, tap Close all. You can lock apps you don’t want to close by tapping on their icons in the list and tapping lock.

Android Battery Saving Mode

A pair of screenshots showing that you can turn on battery saving mode. The right side shows an example of the Samsung maximum battery saving mode home screen, which is dark to save power.

This varies from brand to brand, but most Android phones have a battery life-saving power saving mode that you can take advantage of to save power. This does a few things such as,

  • Limits the maximum speed of the phone’s processor.
  • Reduces maximum display brightness.
  • Reduces screen time-out limit.
  • Restricts the background usage of apps.

Some phones, like Samsung Galaxy phones, can go all the way up to a maximum power saving mode which pretty much turns the phone into well…a normal phone. Your home screen gets a black wallpaper and the number of apps you can use gets restricted. In some cases, this mode can allow your phone to last days or even a week on a single charge, but you sacrifice all those great smartphone features to do so.

Dark Mode! Optimize For OLED

A pair of screenshots showing the difference between light mode and dark mode.

Samsung’s maximum power saving mode turns your home screen black, but why? Most smartphones these days use OLED or AMOLED display technology. The basic concept is that individual pixels on your screen that are completely black turn off and don’t use any power, so black backgrounds use less energy than white.

Dark mode is a feature of many apps and newer versions of Android that’s intended to be easier on your eyes and more importantly be a battery life-saving feature. Your phone’s display drains more battery than any other part of the device, so reducing the energy used by the screen is a must!

Switch to a dark background and turn on dark mode in your app settings! I guarantee you will see positive results for your battery. Unfortunately, this trick doesn’t work for older LCD-display phones.

Turn Down Your Brightness

A bright, vibrant screen is amazing to look at, but it’s just not good for your battery at all. Turn down your brightness when you can. Auto-brightness typically gets the job done unless there’s something blocking the sensor.

Keep in mind that your phone’s screen may brighten when you’re outside in the sun. It may not look very bright when you’re looking at it outside, but it’s actually using way more energy. Be mindful of your usage when you can.

Keep Your Phone Cool

When your phone runs hot, it becomes less efficient. Having it out on a bright summer day with the screen brightness turned all the way up isn’t just bad for your battery. It can even melt some of the internal components and break your phone!

Try to keep your phone cool when you can. Be careful when using it outside in very hot weather. That being said, don’t try and put your phone in the freezer, as getting too cold can be bad for the battery too!

Turn Connectivity Off When Not In Use

A pair of screenshots showing connectivity settings.

Another battery life-saving trick that you can use is to turn off connectivity features when they aren’t in use. For example, if you’re out and about and don’t need a Wi-Fi connection, turn it off! This will keep the phone from constantly searching for new Wi-Fi networks.

Turn Off Wi-Fi

To turn off Wi-Fi, you’ll want to swipe down from the top of your screen and tap the gear to get into your settings. Tap Network settings or Connections and then tap Wi-Fi. From here you can turn Wi-Fi on or off.

On most devices you can also do this by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping the Wi-Fi button in your quick settings.

Turn Off Bluetooth

If you don’t need to connect any Bluetooth accessories, you can just turn this feature off. Turning off Bluetooth is a great battery life-saving strategy. You’ll find your Bluetooth settings in your network settings just like with Wi-Fi, or you can tap on it in your quick settings.

Turn Off Mobile Data

If you’re not getting very good reception at all, it might be best to just turn off mobile data. When you’re having trouble finding service, your phone will constantly search for signal, and this can drain your battery life fast.

Turning it off when you don’t need it can be a life-saver for your battery. Head back into your Network settings and toggle it off in the Mobile data menu.

Turn On Airplane Mode

This is an extreme option, but turning off your wireless connectivity completely will definitely save your battery if you really need it. This is great if you don’t need to send or receive messages and calls while on a trip while still using your phone for things like watching locally stored videos.

This is also good for airplane mode’s intended purpose: preventing interference with airplane communications when you’re on a flight.

Progressive Web Apps: Use Websites Instead Of Apps When You Can

A pair of screenshots showing that the Twitter app and the Twitter website look almost exactly the same on mobile .

In the image above, you’ll see two versions of Twitter. One is an app, and one is a website. Can you tell the difference?

This might seem as extreme as turning on airplane mode, but uninstall Facebook, Twitter and Instagram right now. You don’t need them! Their website counterparts work almost exactly the same, and you can even set them up so that they appear and work like the app.

Progressive web apps, or PWAs, are a fancy word for websites that pretend to be apps. They don’t take up storage on your device if you add them to your home screen and you won’t have to open your browser each time to use them. They also aren’t constantly running in the background, so you don’t have to worry about them hogging your battery life.

By going into your browser settings while on one of these websites, you can tap Add to home screen to add a shortcut to them. If the website is a PWA like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, when you tap on the icon it will hide the browser UI and show the site as if it was the real app.

Adjust Or Turn Off Location Settings And GPS

Location services can be a serious battery drain. Adjusting them to a lower setting or turning GPS off completely can be an amazing battery life-saver. Go ahead and head to your settings and find your location settings.

Your phone uses more than just GPS to pinpoint your location. Your settings might look different depending on your phone, but there should be some options in your location settings about improving your accuracy by using Wi-Fi scanning and even Bluetooth.

If you don’t need a super accurate location, then just turn these functions off so that your phone is only using GPS. If you don’t need your location at all, you can turn off location services entirely to save your battery.

Turn Off Always On Display

A pair of screenshots showing always on display settings

On some phones, while the screen is ‘off’, the screen will show a dim clock or image. This works without using much battery because of the OLED technology explained earlier in this article. However, it’s still using your battery, so turning it off might be best.

You’ll likely find your always on display options in your display settings, but it might be elsewhere. Wherever it is, try turning it off as a good battery life-saving strategy when you need it.

Your Android Battery: Extended!

Now you’re ready to get your Android phone’s battery to last through the whole day using these life-saving strategies. Even trying just a few of these methods will definitely help improve the life of your phone. Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions about Android batteries, please leave a comment below.

About Author

I'm a fourth year English major who loves to write about tech! I'm no stranger to Android phones and Windows 10 computers. I love keeping up with the latest innovative devices to see what adventures are in store for us next in the tech world.

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Ryan Muneer Tura Tapodoc
3 years ago

Is super task killer not the same with phone boost from clean master?

Wendy Carpenter
3 years ago

Thank you for your invaluable help. Ive recently bought an Iphone and your website has been massive in giving lots of tips and help.

Rey Sianson
3 years ago

Thank you for the tips

Jigar Sutaria
3 years ago

What if I am travelling in other counrty and keeping my local SIM inside the phone. Will my phone try to find the netweork that doesn’t exists in that counrty as the SIM is still inserted and eventually endup draining battery?

Patsy Lindsey Hardy
3 years ago

Appreciate the help.Sound like a deal. Was a lot of help.Thanks

Johanna Forgy
3 years ago

I don’t have the “kill selected apps” option…

Veronica Losier
3 years ago

I don’t even have data and my phone went from 70% to 2% overnight without me using it

Tony Gadaleta
3 years ago

Thanks John “Wiggums” Miller – excellent guide

Marlene Hyde
3 years ago

I have Samsung galaxy note 3 phone and my battery runs down so fast.what can I do to prevent this from happening please thankyou

Velda Watts
3 years ago

I am new to these phones and require a tutoroal class yto gain knowledge. No library classes available. I need help

Julie Mikolowski
3 years ago

I have the Galaxy S6. Without having to download other apps, I have a question…
Under:
SETTINGS…
SMART MANAGER…
RAM… If I click on the “End All” button under RAM, would this close all apps properly, and then keep them closed until I go to use it again?

Thank you, Julie

Reagan Hamasaka
3 years ago

Great info,thanks.

Katie West
3 years ago

Are all of the battery saving apps necessary? I feel my phone is constantly telling me to clean this or that when I’m not even it.

jaycbrf4
4 years ago

Everything out there says you should NEVER use a task killer or you will worsen batter life.

Zachary Nayer
4 years ago

If anyone is still having these problems you may just need to buy a portable charger, I just bought one for my girlfriend that she loves and its also a compact mirror with an LED light, you can find it at fifthandninth.com

Daniel Regan
4 years ago

I have a galaxy s3 and i just purchased i new battery and it still drains so fast! I always keep my brightness at lowest it can go and i keep my data,wifi, Gps, etc. Always off unless of course im using it. The only thing i can think that might be causing it to drain is 1. Its just not a good battery from factory or 2. My apps are not closing out like you stated. Im going to download the task killer you said too and hopefully this will work. I downloaded an app called battery life repair… Read more »

Umar Tahir
4 years ago

Thanks man

Horsethief666
4 years ago

In the “about author” it says he loves the BBC. Does this mean something else or is this guy into black dudes?

Chris
4 years ago

Myou galaxy Evant battery drains faster than it charges. Ex: right now it’s plugged in and when using it (for work) it continues to drain faster than it charges. Can u help

tee O
4 years ago

I love my android phone, but the battery life on the tablet is so short it’s not even worth using so i basically spent $600 for nothing. Going to give these tools a shot, and if still no good, I’ll have an expensive photo frame!

Azusa Nya
4 years ago

My phone is Samsung Mega and the battery is week it takes like 5hours to charge and be 76% and like 4hours to be 15% what should I do and I followed every thing you said..

Aairus Vamp
4 years ago

I have an LG optimus G phone. Whenever the charging drops to 80% it starts to vibrate and then shut down the apps the I’m using (but they are still running) that’s when I know that I should start charging my phone but that is so stupid! It shouldnt do that! Please help me!!!!

Nikki Chavez
4 years ago

Hello John I recently bought a kingpad tablet on ebay brand new and I barely use it for 15 minutes on a fully charged battery and after 15 to 20 minutes it’s already at 15% battery. I have done all your steps except install that app task killer. I hope it works. And the only thing that I try to modify and work with us the brightness setting because the color is weird and hard to see. I do my jigsaw puzzle game and just to see the right color of the puzzle piece I have to look at the… Read more »

mcmuffinfly
4 years ago

Most of your issues can simply be resolved by using your phone all the way to 0% then charge it back up to 100% without going on it then once that’s done the battery should last way longer if not then maybe you dropped your phone or ur phone just doesn’t have that much battery life also could need a new battery

Best Battery Life Android |
4 years ago

[…] Why Does My Android Battery Die So … – From an Android tech: The real reasons your Nexus, Galaxy, Note, or other phone / tablet battery drains and real Android battery life savers and apps! […]

Eduard K. Tobias
4 years ago

Probably you didn’t know that almost every battery can be reconditioned to be useful again! This can save you lot of money and also you contribute to protect the environment 🙂

Check this link to learn more about it! http://reconditionyouroldbattery.co.nf

Zone Breaker
4 years ago

Thnz to u….Now my battery last longer……

Christopher Guillory
4 years ago

Which Quick Settings app from Android do I need to use? There are several that come up. The first one on the list is one from “Super Android”. Suggestions?

shazuan sabudi
4 years ago

Do unoriginal battery make my android battery die so fast? Tq

Jermaine Moreno
4 years ago

My lenovo tablet was running low for 10%. I charged and after 1 and 30 minute, its already 100%! And then after 15 mimutes of use, its 94%. What is happening?

Debbie Stachowdki
4 years ago

Since I did a reset to factory settings on my Android Moto X it changed my whole operating system and I don’t like it. I never gave it permission to change to 5.1. I’m not sure if it is lollipop or what. Battery drains in 5 to 6 hours. Could someone tell me what could have happened. I’m not too savy.

alyssa llanto
5 years ago

bakit ang aking tablet ang bilis naman malobatt

Wajid Qureshi
5 years ago

Miller, i downloaded the advanced task killer free and uninstalled facebook and messenger but still battery draining fast please help.

angela rodrigo
5 years ago

i have samsung trend plus phone and i got on last december . normally used the battery for about 3-4 days but now it comes down o fast i didnt even open any app yet it losses the battery time soo fast i dont know wht to do ???

Ayame
5 years ago

Last night my tablet’s battery was getting low(20%) and I didn’t want to look for my charger so I hit the power button and selected ‘power off’ this morning when I turned it back on it was at 7%! Wth? I have an Asus memo pad, I didn’t upgrade so I think it’s still running jellybean. I set the WiFi to turn off when not in use and activate or deactivate the Bluetooth as needed. I might get the task killer, I hate this thing running stuff I’ve never used.

ellie
5 years ago

so basically my phones turned off pretty quickly today said it was 0% put it on charger n suddenly showed 55% been turnin it on n off took battery out too as soon as i take it of charger it completely turns off what should i do? 🙁

ArtScott
6 years ago

Avast! states the Super Task Killer Free is Malware (Android:Helir-M[Trj]) …

Anyone got any ideas?

Christian Moore
6 years ago

Since the kit Kat software installed on most android phones I have noticed a significant decrease in battery. If u go into settings > accounts and click on your Google email address there are a TON of Google services running that I never use … such as “Drive”, “Google “, “Google pictures”, “picasa”, and others. I returned off everything except contacts n calender n gmail along with suggestions above. It had a very positive impact on my battery…

Wayne L.
6 years ago

I guess I am stuck with a battery that dies quickly because I use everything that you listed except for Bluetooth which I already have turned off. I constantly use GPS, need WiFi on for the GPS, constantly use the phone to search the net and take credit cards from customers so I need 4G and Mobile data. However even if I was able to turn those off, wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of a smart phone? Lol… Here guys buy android but if you want to be able to use it then you have to turn off everything that… Read more »

ETCollier
6 years ago
Reply to  Wayne L.

I was able to use all of those apps without worrying about my battery prior to my OS upgrade to 4.2.2. Now I can’t use my mobile data or wifi without the battery going “crazy” and draining rapidly. I can actually watch the charge percent tick down like a timer. Really weird.

Baby Your Batteries… and Save Money | eQuipping for eMinistry
6 years ago

[…] Why Does My Android Battery Die So Fast? The Best Phone / Tablet Battery Life Savers! […]

ETCollier
6 years ago

Something weird I’ve discovered about my HTC One X: when the battery is draining excessively fast, if I let it completely drain until it shuts down, then leave it off for a while and recharge, when back on it just sips the battery and lasts all day with plenty to spare. That is, if I leave off the Wi-Fi and Mobile Data. If I turn them back on, my battery drains very quickly and is quite warm…sometimes over 100 degrees. Thoughts?

sumit Sood
6 years ago

im using Samsung g 7562, and battery runs very efficiently even with wifi on till 30% as soon as it gets lower than that it just takes 10min to reach to 16% even with wifi off, and next 10min it totally drains out! what can b the problem?
help

Theresa Stadler
6 years ago

I am not the best with the latest devices but rather than let my 5 kids think they are so much smarter than me, I search for answers myself. My new phone died so fast I wanted to see how to help it last longer.I have since tried everything you’ve said and will let you know how it worked. My 21 yr old daughter has the same phone and she Facebook s alot and I see how it is a drain .I will share with her how I learned these battery saving tips from you soon, I just like watching… Read more »

ETCollier
6 years ago

I appreciate all of the information you have taken the time to put together and share with us. I have a few questions.
My HTC One X doesn’t seem to have an option to turn off 4G and use only 3G, just Mobile Date on or off. Is there some other way?

ETCollier
6 years ago
Reply to  ETCollier

Another question: How do I know which apps are essential and which I can disable without disrupting the phone function? In my list of running apps are several that I am not sure of the importance of their function, such as ATT Ready2Go, Bluetooth Share, HTC Services, HTC Sence input, Google Play service, etc. Thanks for your guidance!

Mark Cruz
6 years ago

Hey, I really appreciate the post and I think these tips will definitely help. I will try these tricks, I have found another blog post in which they mentioned a device for charging batteries of smart phones. I would like to share that post with you all guys, here is the post – http://bit.ly/1irwEBn

Wendy Embleton
6 years ago

Thanks for the tips. I’m not sure about uninstalling the Facebook app though – I use it regularly to “check in” and upload photos and share “Map My Walk” – can m.facebook.com be installed as an app with a button for easy access?

c.h
6 years ago

All of this helps a great deal, could you possibly help on another andriod problem of a samsung s2 that won’t charge, has been fixed a couple of weeks ago (fitted with a new charging port), its not the charger , and the reception is never picked up – ive had this phone since April 2012?

Rhonda Buttery
6 years ago

How do you uninstall Facebook from android?:
The usual uninstall options are not available.
Thanks
Rhond

Why Does My iPhone Battery Die So Fast? The iPhone Battery Fix!
6 years ago

[…] PS. I recently asked my friend John, a technician who is as fanatical about Androids as I am about iPhones, to write a “sister post” about how to make Android batteries last a whole lot longer. He has some great insights, so if you or someone you know has an Android tablet or phone, they’d probably enjoy checking out John’s post: Why Does My Android Battery Die So Fast? The Android Battery Fix! […]

Lee Fudge
6 years ago

You’re right, fb app is woeful, posts are out of chronological order, quite random. But it’s included in my plan for free. I guess accessing m.facebook.com would not be included in my plan?

Colleen Fulton
6 years ago

Thank you very much for the info….