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How to improve your iPhone battery life

Is your iPhone battery dying faster? Here are some general advice you can follow to increase the battery life of your iPhone.

If you have an iPhone, you should follow some general guidelines to increase your phone’s battery life. The performance of rechargeable batteries naturally degrades over time. But, how you use that battery has a profound effect on how long the battery lasts before you need to replace it. In this article, I’ll share some general advice that you can follow to improve your iPhone battery life.

Update your iPhone to the latest version

By going to Settings → General → Software Update, you can update your iPhone to the latest iOS version. Make sure your iPhone has at least a 50% charge or is connected to a charger. It should also be connected to a stable WiFi connection.

How does updating your iPhone to the latest version help improve battery life, you ask? It’s simply because the latest iOS versions have technology that can maximize the battery life and performance of your iPhone. For example, “Optimized Battery Charging” will help keep your iPhone from overcharging, which negatively impacts your iPhone battery.

Don’t forget to check out this article to learn more about Optimized Battery Charging on iPhone.

Keep iPhone away from too hot or too cold environments

I don’t just mean surfaces that are too hot or too cold; I mean the ambient temperature as well. For reference, here’s what Apple defines as too hot or too cold for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

iPhone battery comfort zone.

In short, if you’re in a location where the ambient temperature is below 0° C or 32° F, it’s too cold for iPhone to operate normally. It might work just fine, but if you keep the iPhone in that condition for too long, the battery will be damaged, potentially permanently.

If you’re in a location where the temperature is above 35° C or 95° F, it’s too hot. You should avoid charging your iPhone in such temperatures. When charging your iPhone, the device itself naturally heats up a little bit. So that will push the temperature higher than the stated 35°C/95°F. You don’t want to do that.

To be clear, you won’t notice an immediate issue with the iPhone battery as soon as you go into such extreme temperatures. iPhones are designed to work surprisingly well even under extreme conditions. But if you are exposing your iPhone to such temperatures regularly, and if you charge your iPhone under such cold/heat, your iPhone battery will lose its capacity much faster.

Observe how hot your iPhone gets when charging in a case

Most of us use some sort of case or cover to protect our iPhones from accidental damages (like dropping on the floor or spilling coffee over it). While some cases are designed to protect iPhone from the elements, they may have negative consequences for the battery.

This can be true especially if:

  • You are using a cheap case/cover from an unrecognized brand. (So they may not be following Apple’s guidelines for designing accessories.)
  • You live in hot weather. (So when iPhone is heating up further when charging, the case or cover doesn’t let the heat dissipate, resulting in degraded performance and shortened battery life.)

What you want to do is charge your iPhone for some time and then take it out of the case to see if it’s too hot to touch. You don’t need a temperature meter to be precise here. Generally, if it’s too hot for you to touch the iPhone’s surface, there’s a good chance your iPhone is overheating due to the case.

If that happens, you should seriously consider replacing the case with a better one or go bold and get rid of the case altogether.

Turn on Auto-Brightness on iPhone

This may sound so simple, but your iPhone’s display brightness is one of the biggest things that drain the battery. The higher the brightness, the faster the battery charge depletes. As a result, you need to charge your battery more frequently, resulting in more battery cycles, which eventually leads to a battery replacement.

If you prefer to keep your iPhone display brightness high, that’s okay. But I recommend turning on Auto-Brightness so that the iPhone can adjust the display brightness throughout the day as needed using its ambient sensor.

Auto-brightness is by default turned on for all iPhones. But if yours got turned off somehow, here’s how to turn it back on.

  • Go to Settings → Accessibility → Display & Text Size
  • Scroll down and turn on Auto-Brightness

You can also just swipe down anywhere on the homescreen, type “display” and tap on “Display & Text Size.” Then turn on Auto-Brightness at the bottom of the page.

Check battery usage history

There may be apps on your phone that are drawing power from the battery in the background. Some, you probably need or want. But other apps may be doing so without you knowing about it.

A good place to investigate that and take appropriate actions is at Settings → Battery.

Once there, you can dig down into the “battery usage by app” to see which app used what percentage of your battery life over a period of the past 24 hours (or 10 days, if you use the toggle at the top).

This will give you a good idea of apps that may be drawing power unnecessarily.

If you find an app that is drawing power while you were using another app (background app refresh), you can turn it off by going to Settings → General → Background App Refresh. You can then turn the background app refresh off for specific apps using the toggle on that page.

How does it improve your iPhone battery life? Simple. Less battery usage means fewer battery cycles. Fewer battery cycles delay the need for a battery replacement. So in the end, you win!

Turn on Optimized Battery Charging

Your iPhone has a trick up its sleeve (only if you’re running iOS 11.3 or later, that’s why you should update your iPhone to the latest version). The trick comes in the name of “Optimized Battery Charging.”

It can prevent your iPhone from overcharging by ‘delaying’ the charge so that your iPhone doesn’t remain connected to the power.

It is also turned on by default, but you can check by going to Settings → Battery → Battery Health.

If you want to find out what Optimized Battery Charging is, check the link in the next section.

Finally, check your iPhone battery health

Checking your battery health doesn’t somehow automatically help make your iPhone battery last longer, but it’s a good thing to periodically check. I’ve written here why and how you should check your iPhone battery health, including some explanations on what optimized battery charging is, how it works, and why you should turn it on.

I hope you find these tips helpful. No matter what you do, battery capacity will degrade over time. But if you follow these suggestions, you can ensure your iPhone battery lasts a long time before you notice degraded battery performance.

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