iPhone battery life was, is and will be a hot topic. With every major iOS release everybody is posting an article or video on how to improve battery life for that iOS release.
So here’s a basic guide of what you can do to maximize your battery life on iOS 11 and beyond. Obviously future (major) iOS releases might bring slight variations but this is a good place to start.
NOTE: some of the tips might not be convenient for you. You can skip them. Just start here and get creative. Test to see what works for you. Also, it doesn’t hurt to start looking more into privacy when it comes to your digital life. For example, look for alternatives to anything owned by Google and Facebook.
Here we go…
1. Games and AR apps are battery hogs. Expect these apps to drain a good amount of battery. There’s nothing wrong with your iPhone or iOS.
2. App detox. Do you really need all those apps on your phone? Chances are you can delete 60% of them. Just delete them. If you REALLY need any of them, you can easily reinstall.
3. Delete the official YouTube app and get something like Tubex.
4. Just delete Facebook and Messenger. Best way is to use Facebook is through a browser. TIP: if you do that, just request the desktop version of the site and bang… you can use messenger. If you don’t want to use Facebook in a browser, look for alternative apps like Friendly.
While we at it, you might want to remove all Facebook-owned apps like Instagram and WhatsApp. You can use Instagram in the browser and WhatsApp… just use something like Signal.
Privacy tip: if you use the Facebook/Instagram in a browser, logout when you’re done and clear cookies and browser data.
5. Go to Settings>Privacy>Location Services>. Scroll down on the page and turn off “Fitness Tracking” if you don’t use it.
6. Go to Settings>Privacy>Location Services>Analytics> and turn off “Share iPhone Analytics” and “Share iCloud Analytics”. Why would you want to share that?
7. Go to Settings>Privacy>Location Services>Advertising> and turn ON “Limit Ad Tracking”.
8. Go to Settings>Privacy>Location Services>Share My Location> and turn off “Share My Location”. Why would you willingly do that?
9. Go to Settings>Privacy>Location Services> and go through all of your apps to allow or deny location access.
You can choose between Never, While Using the App or Always. “Always” is never a good idea. So it’s between “Never” and “While Using the App”. Personally, I have most of them set to “Never” and apps like Maps and Weather set to “While Using the App”.
10. When you’re done with granting or denying apps to locate you, go to System Services and turn off basically everything. You might not want to turn off “Find my iPhone”. That one is up to you. You can also turn off “Compass Calibration” and “Setting Time Zone”. Find an explanation of what these services do below…
Compass calibration: it’s used by apps where constant access to a refreshed compass reading is required. If you use any kind of Mapping apps, you might not want to turn this off.
Emergency SOS: When enabled, you can call emergency services without unlocking your iPhone by quickly pressing the Sleep/Wake button five times.
Find my iPhone: Allows you to track your iPhone on a map that you can access from your iCloud.com page. Even if it will come handy if you loose your device or it gets stolen, it can also be a privacy/security risk. Turning it off is your choice.
HomeKit: control supported third-party smart devices and accessories. Example: automatically turn smart lights on or off when you arrive or leave home. If you don’t use such devices and/or accessories, turn it off.
Location-based alerts: Receive locations based on your location. Example: reminder to call someone when you arrive at a specific location. Privacy/Security risk. Turn it off.
Location-based Apple ads: Allows Apple to track your location in order to deliver ads relevant to you. I mean if “track your location” and “deliver ads” doesn’t make you turn this feature off immediately, you should really stop reading this article.
Location-based suggestions: When you use Spotlight suggestions or Safari suggestions, the location of your iPhone at the time you open Spotlight, use Look Up, or submit a search query to Spotlight or Safari will be sent to Apple to make location-based suggestions more relevant and to improve other Apple products and services. Turn it off!
Mobile network search: Allows Apple to record and keep a database of cell towers in your area and monitor reception. Turn it off!
Motion calibration & distance: allows iPhones and Apple watches to keep track of how much you’re moving. I would turn it off and find other ways to keep track of my activity. But it’s up to you. If not used, you can turn it off.
Setting time zone: self-explanatory. If you travel to different time zone often, your iPhone will automatically set the correct time zone as soon as you’re connected to the internet. I would turn this off ( even if it’s on in the screenshot above ) but it’s up to you.
Share my location: allows you to share your current location with friends and family via the Messages app and Find My Friends app. Privacy/Security risk, might want to turn it off.
Wi-Fi Networking: Just like “Mobile network search”, this feature allows Apple to collect information about nearby Wi-Fi networks. Turn it off!
Significant locations: this is just creepy, and a privacy/security risk. Turn it off. You can find an explanation of what it does in the settings.
iPhone analytics: sends analytics, diagnostic, and usage information to Apple. Turn it off!
Popular near me: sends Apple info based on what apps you use in a specific location so they can offer “better apps and services” in that area. Yeah, just turn it off!
Routing & Traffic: This allows Apple to monitor you in real time so they can improve its Maps. Just turn it off!
11. Go to Settings> iTunes & App Store and turn everything off. You don’t really need any of these options, and when turned on they run in the background eating battery.
Automatic Downloads: you can manually update your apps.
Video Autoplay: this is just annoying
In-App Ratings & Reviews: if you want to help developers email them.
Offload unused apps: this is a cool feature but unnecessary. Because you detoxed your phone by now right? You don’t have tons of apps that you’re never using anymore…
12. If you don’t use Handoff, turn it off. Go to Settings>General>Handoff.
13. Manage your Notifications. Go to Settings>Notifications and allow or deny apps to send you notifications. Pro tip: also set to show previews “when unlocked” only. This feature is enabled by default on the iPhone X.
14. Turn off background app refresh. Go to Settings>General>Background App Refresh to turn it off. If you don’t want to completely turn it off at least set it to Wi-Fi Only.
15. Turn off AirDrop if you don’t use it. Go to Settings>General>AirDrop to turn it off.
16. Manage your Siri suggestions. Go to Settings>Siri & Search scroll down and turn off all the apps that you don’t want Siri to search through.
17. Turn off Wi-Fi Assist. Go to Settings>Mobile Data scroll all the way down until you see the Wi-Fi Assist setting.
18. Disable Mail Fetch and set it to manual mode. That way mail will only look for new emails when you open up the app. Go to Settings> Account & Passwords > Fetch New Data > turn off “Push” and set fetch to “Manually”.
19. Manage your vibrations and sounds. Go to Settings>Sounds & Haptics and disable “Vibrate on Ring”, “Keyboard Clicks” and “Lock Sound”. Having your phone vibrate while ringing is useless on iPhone 6s and above due to the super low vibrations, and keyboard clicks and lock sounds are just annoying.
20. Manage your iCloud. Go to Settings> tap on the iCloud card ( the one that shows your name and photo ) > iCloud and manage the apps that use iCloud. For example you might want Contacts to backup to iCloud, but not Game Center.
21. Manage your photos. If you don’t use iCloud to backup your photos, turn everything off. To do that, go to Settings>Photos> and turn everything off.
22. Manage your display and brightness. Most people will tell you to use auto-brightness and/or turn down the brightness of the screen because you know… that huge screen sucks a lot of battery juice. In my opinion, while sort of true, doing this is just retarded.
I have this big beautiful screen, and I need to turn the brightness down? No, I don’t use auto-brightness, I don’t use True Tone or Night Shift. I have my iPhone set to maximum brightness all the time ( I don’t use my phone in bed and IF I wake up during the night I couldn’t care less if I have any notifications on my phone, so don’t need to dim the screen ) and I don’t like True Tone and Night Shift. ( or f.lux for that matter ).
However, you can disable “Raise to Wake” and set auto-lock to 30 seconds ( or the bare minimum that you find tolerable. This is good for both battery and privacy ). To do this, go to Settings> Display & Brightness.
23. Manage Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. When turning off bluetooth and Wi-Fi from the control center you don’t really turn them off, you just disconnect them. Turn them off when not in use via Settings app.
24. Make a habit of turning off Wi-Fi when leaving home and using mobile data, and vice-versa. Turn off data when using a secure, trusted Wi-Fi. Tip: when you disable mobile data via the control center, you actually disable it. No need to turn it off via Settings app.
25. You can still use “Low Power Mode” but if you take care of most of the things on this list, this setting will become pretty much useless. You can still turn it on when prompted. Placebo effect.
26. Stop killing background apps. You don’t need to do that, in fact doing this will kill your battery even more than having them in the background. iOS is awesome at background management. Just stop closing backgrounded apps.
You can close background apps when/IF they’re misbehaving and maybe a good idea to always kill apps like Google Maps and Uber. Other than that, just don’t do it.
27. Stop “formatting” your battery. That shit doesn’t work. Here’s Apple’s guide on how to maximize the battery life and lifespan.
In order to get the most battery life, just use your common sense. Always ask yourself if you really need and app or a game. Stop blindly install, store and use apps.
Always pay attention to what an app wants access to. For example Instagram ( remember I suggested to use it in a browser whenever possible ) will ask for your permission to use the camera, microphone and photos. If you don’t allow those permissions, the app is pretty much useless.
BUT… if, let’s say a calendar app wants to access your cam, mic and photos you most probably don’t want to allow it. And if it does, maybe it’s a good idea to just look for an alternative app.
When it comes to iOS preferences…. I know we disabled a lot of settings. But ask yourself, do I really need to be tracked by Apple in order to “offer better product and services”? Or do I really need this feature? Do I need all the iOS noise? Just because a feature is available it doesn’t mean it should be used by everybody. Turn it off, it’s no big deal. You can always turn features back on.
Now enjoy your battery life and iPhone…