Learn how to boost your smartphone battery life with these tips

These days, we’re on our phones more than ever, which means it’s more important than ever before to keep our batteries fully charged. But it’s not always easy to be within the range of a charger, so conserving battery life can save you from watching your phone die when you need it.

If you’re looking to conserve juice, there are a few things you can do to keep your battery from draining so quickly. In this article, we’ll cover all of the must-know steps you can follow today to maximize your battery life.

Don’t let your battery die

Try to keep batteries charged at an average 50% or above most of the time — at the very least somewhere between 40% and 80% — to preserve an optimal life span. Even though your charger can control electronic input to prevent damage, you should unplug the phone when power hits 100% and, if possible, avoid overnight charging.

Periodic charges throughout the day are more effective in preserving the overall life of your battery than letting it drain down to zero and charge back up to 100%. Not all batteries are the same, and different batteries respond to various charging schedules, but one thing is certain: All batteries will degrade eventually. It’s also best not to let your battery fully discharge too often, so try to charge it before it drops too low. When you do charge it, be sure to use the adapter that came with it and plug it into the wall socket — not your computer or your car’s USB adapter.

Airplane Mode is your battery’s friend

Airplane Mode cuts off all radio signals to and from your phone, halting email, messages, phone calls, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connections. This may make life uncomfortable for people used to being perpetually connected, but it’s a great help in conserving your battery when you don’t have anywhere to recharge. Swipe down on your Android Quick Settings tile and tap to enable Airplane Mode. On an iPhone, it’s available as a toggle within the Settings. To stop short of such a sweeping disconnect, you can individually disable Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC if you are not using them. Note that if you’re also wearing an Apple Watch or an Android-compatible watch, you’ll need Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for some watch features to function properly.

Update your apps and clean house

As soon as you see an app has released an update, jump on it because that will help maintain your battery. Developers upgrade their apps periodically, and part of the reason is to optimize memory and device battery life. Such updates are often tagged as bug fixes in the update notes on the app or in Google Play Store. They may not be splashy or rock new features, but they will help keep your smartphone battery in good working order.

Keep your phone tidy and up to date with only the apps you need and use. Your phone is not the place to get sentimental about old favorites. If you don’t use ’em, lose ’em. Every app that takes up needless bandwidth on your phone may be running battery-draining routines in the background. You can set your smartphone to update your apps automatically, or you can handle updates manually. Manually is better for preserving battery life.

Use dark wallpaper

Dark-wallpaper

Most people love wallpaper, especially the animated kind — it’s one of the fun parts of having a phone. But that viewing pleasure comes at the expense of your battery. On Android devices with AMOLED displays, black or dark wallpaper conserves battery life because the screen uses energy to illuminate only colored pixels. Black pixels are not lit and require less power to maintain the image. Not to mention, dark wallpapers are easy on the eyes and look absolutely gorgeous. Live wallpapers aren’t fatal, but they tend to use more battery power than static ones, though the effect is variable. Generally, it’s a good idea to go with static wallpaper, for the sake of your battery.

Dim the screen

Large, brightly lit AMOLED and LCD screens not only drain your battery fast, but hit you right between the eyes. Always decrease screen brightness to the lowest level you’re comfortable with. First, compare the screen brightness automatically set by your phone with the optimal brightness for your eyes. Often, the auto setting is brighter than you need, so feel free to override or disable it. Go to Settings > Display > Brightness on Android or Settings >Display & Brightness on an iPhone and make adjustments using the slider. You can also lower the screen timeout period by tapping Auto-Lock on the iPhone and Settings > Display > Screen timeout on Android. Set it as low as you can without it becoming too frustrating.

Disable location services

Most people don’t want or need their smartphone apps following them around, convenient though it may be if you’re using travel apps or geotagging your photos. Keeping location services on for all your apps is not only intrusive and unnecessary but also affects battery life. Most apps don’t need to track your location in the background, so first choose how each of your installed apps uses location services and disable the option whenever you can. On an iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > Location services and decide which apps can use location always, only while in use, or never. On an Android phone, you can set individual app permissions by going into Settings > Apps and then selecting an app and toggling on or off Location under Permissions. You can also toggle Android’s location widget from the Quick Settings tile.

Battery-saving apps

As with most things in life, there’s an app for preserving your battery — even though most battery savings result from more efficient hardware and settings. Battery-monitoring apps help you identify what is depleting your battery and compromising its overall condition. They let you save juice without having to dig into individual features or do a lot of manual tweaking. Some apps come with features that help you configure device settings to maximize your battery life. AccuBattery for Android lets you view battery consumption data, including which apps blow through the most power over time, while a variety of power-saving settings and presets let you tweak your settings to get the most time from your available juice. The free Battery HD+ for iOS offers useful insights and reminders for keeping your battery tip-top. It may be that it’s time to consider replacing your battery if your phone’s performance is affected — for example if it’s overheating frequently while charging or won’t run unless it’s plugged into the charger.

Ditch the widgets, pause the notifications

Android and iOS widgets are certainly convenient for your everyday life, but they can sap your battery’s resources. Multiple internet-connected widgets – social media, mail, weather – constantly sync and update, draining your battery. To remove unneeded widgets on iOS, swipe left on the home screen to get to the widget pane, then scroll to the bottom and tap the Edit button to add or remove widgets. On Android, tap and hold a widget icon on the home screen and drag any you don’t want into the trash. While you’re at it, switch off push notifications for email updates and nonessential services.

Disable app refresh, vibrate, and haptic feedback

Background App Refresh in iOS and Android automatically updates your apps. That’s cool, but it’s also a battery drain that may catch you at the wrong time. Here’s the fix: For iOS, go to Settings > General and disable Background App Refresh. You can switch it off for all apps, or just selected ones. For Android, the easiest way is to halt background app operations completely: Go to Settings > Applications >Application Manager to disable any ones you want.

Conserve power

Both iOS and Android phones offer a power-saving mode that automatically adjusts your settings. Toggle this on to use the least amount of juice necessary to keep your phone operational. Low Power Mode shuts down all nonessential features. For the iPhone, access Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode to toggle it on or off. Android’s power-saving mode is also accessible via the Settings menu. You can access Device Care > Battery > Power Mode and select High Performance, Optimized, Medium Power Saving, or Maximum Power Saving. Sure, this is an emergency measure, but it can make the difference between a functioning phone and a dead one.

Battery accessories

Mophie Juice Pack

If your smartphone has a removable battery, you can always keep a charged-up spare on hand. Most modern devices have internal batteries, though. Some protective cases have a built-in battery designed for specific models, though. The range of options means that you’ll find plenty for the iPhone, like the Newdery iPhone 11 Pro Battery Case, but you might have to search extensively to find one for offbeat phone brands. Chargers that fit your car are also a sweet deal for extending battery while you’re on the road. If you use your smartphone for navigation, it’s worth investing in a car charger for occasional or even daily use.

Avoid extreme heat or cold

You can also experience a short-term decline in your battery life in extreme cold. Frigid weather typically has less of a permanently-damaging effect, though. Once your device returns to an average temperature, your battery’s function should improve.

With our dependency on our phones these days, losing power can cause a lot of anxiety. Plugging into a charger will bring a sigh of relief, but these tricks can help you budget your energy until you have a trusty outlet nearby.

Editors' Recommendations