a black iPhone resting on a gray slate surface, plugged in.

11 savvy tips to boost your iPhone’s battery life

When it comes to battery life, Apple is no stranger to controversy. Thankfully, the headlines generated from iPhone power usage concerns have prompted the tech giant to take action and implement some useful features. Here are 11 tips to improve daily usage and lifetime longevity of your iPhone battery:

Unplug your phone after it’s fully charged

Lithium-ion batteries that power iPhones have a capacity for about 500 charge cycles before their capacity drops below 80%. (Once your battery health is lower than 80%, Apple may slow down your phone’s performance.)

A charge cycle completes when you’ve used up your phone’s entire battery.

Overcharging your phone will reduce the lifespan of the battery because it is constantly topping off every time the battery falls to 99%.

If you often charge your iPhone while on long car rides or working at a desk, this unnecessary, repeated charging will reduce the battery’s long-term life.

The best way to prolong the battery’s life is to keep it charged between 40 and 80 percent.

Another good practice is to avoid doing intensive tasks while your iPhone is charging. High temperatures will cause extra wear on the battery. When you use your phone while it’s plugged in, the battery will heat up, which can reduce its lifespan faster.

Toggle location services

Many apps use your location to provide you with relevant information, but if you’re not using the app, there’s typically no need for it to constantly check your location.

To turn off location across your iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and set the switch to Off.

You can also enable or disable location services for individual apps. Scroll down to the list of apps and tap an app, then select Never, While Using the App, or Always.

11 savvy tips to boost your iPhone's battery life

Turn off Wi-Fi when you’re not using it.

Your iPhone is constantly searching for available WiFi networks even when you’re not actively using your device.

Of course, there are some great features like WiFi Calling that you’ll want to take advantage of when you don’t have cell reception.

But if you’re rocking a power-packed Unlimited phone plan, you should feel confident letting the cellular network do the work until you return home.

Open Settings > Wi-Fi, then turn the switch to Off.

You can also quickly toggle Wi-Fi from the Control Center.

Dim your screen and turn on Dark mode

A brighter screen requires more power and will drain your battery faster. If your environment doesn’t require it, try dimming the display.

Automatic Brightness

Better yet, go handsfree and enable Automatic Brightness, which will use your iPhone’s ambient light sensor to detect the conditions of your surroundings and adjust the brightness accordingly.

You can turn this setting on by opening Settings > Display & Brightness > Automatic.

Dark Mode and OLED Screens

The iPhone now offers Dark Mode, which can help reduce the strain on your eyes and battery. When activated, Dark Mode will switch your phone’s theme to a primarily black color palette. This can help save battery life, as displaying darker colors may use less energy. (Remember Blackle?)

The feature is particularly useful on iPhone models with an OLED screen, as the pixels are completely turned off when displaying the color black.

To turn on Dark Mode, open the Settings app and tap Display & Brightness. Then, select Dark under Appearance.

Dark mode: Settings > Display & Brightness > Dark

Toggle Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode disables all wireless communication on your device, including cellular data, phone calls, text messages, and Wi-Fi. If you feel comfortable going off the grid when you’re in a pinch, Airplane Mode can significantly improve your battery life.

Easily activate airplane mode by opening the Control Center and tapping the airplane icon. You can confirm it’s on when the Airplane graphic flies in and replaces the Wi-Fi and Cellular indicators in the top right of your screen.

Use Low Power Mode

Low Power Mode temporarily disables some features, like background app refreshing and iCloud photos, to help conserve power. You might notice performance hiccups because some visual effects like refresh rate and brightness are affected.

To turn on Low Power Mode, go to Settings > Battery and turn the switch to On.

When the battery indicator turns yellow, Low Power Mode is on.

Discover which apps are using the most battery.

If you’re noticing that your battery is draining faster than usual, you may want to take a look at your list of apps and delete the ones that are using the most power.

To see a list of apps and their battery usage, go to Settings > Battery.

Here, you’ll see a list of apps and how much battery they’ve consumed over the last 24 hours or 10 days.

If you see an app that’s using a lot of battery but isn’t giving you much value, you can delete it from the home screen or app drawer by long pressing on it, then selecting Remove App.

Delete apps that drain battery. Settings > Battery. Long press > Remove App. Delete app.

Customize your notifications

Getting bombarded with notifications all day long can be draining on the brain and the battery!

Every time you get a notification, your display lights up and the haptic engine vibrates. If you’re getting a lot of notifications throughout the day, that can seriously add up and drain your battery.

iOS makes it incredibly easy to swiftly disable notifications for apps you don’t want to hear from, right from the Notification Center.

Just swipe a notification to the left, choose Options, and select Turn Off.

To custom-tailor notifications for individual apps, go to Settings > Notifications. From there, you can enable or disable an app’s notifications entirely. You can also choose how you want to be notified — whether that’s with a banner, an alert, or a badge icon.

Create a Focus

If you want to take notification management a step further, you can temporarily disable certain notifications by creating a Focus. This is useful when you need to focus on certain tasks. These are essentially custom Do Not Disturb modes that only let certain apps and contacts reach you.

For example, my Work focus lets apps like Slack and Calendar send notifications, while my games and social media are disabled. I’ve also got a Sleep focus, which blocks all notifications except for incoming calls from my favorite contacts.

To set up a Focus, open the Control Center, choose Focus, and tap the three dots (…) on an existing Focus. Or, create a brand new one by tapping the + icon!

Update to the latest version of iOS

One of the most common reasons for bad battery life is that you’re running an outdated version of iOS. Not only does each new release bring new features and boosted security, but it also includes performance improvements that can help preserve your battery.

To update your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Software Update.

If you’d rather set it and forget it, you can also enable Automatic Updates, which will install iOS updates overnight when your iPhone is plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi.

To do this, go to Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates and toggle both switches to On.

Enable Optimized Battery Charging.

Introduced in iOS 13, Optimized Battery Charging enables your iPhone to learn from your charging habits to improve your battery’s longterm lifespan.

Your battery health is best when kept charged between 20-80%. With this feature, your iPhone will charge to 80% and attempt to time it so that it hits 100% right before you would normally disconnect the device.

In the best-case scenario, the software learns your habits well enough that you never even realize this feature is on.

To turn on Optimized Battery Charging, go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health > Optimized Battery Charging.

Although our batteries will inherently age with time, there are a few things we can do to help boost iPhone battery life and keep it running as long as possible. Taking advantage of Apple’s battery-saving features will go a long way in helping you conserve your battery power. And if you’ve got no other choice but to replace the battery, you can save a whopping 5 dollars if you DIY!

Any secret battery hacks we missed? Let us know your favorites!