You’ve probably noticed your phone’s battery life decreasing over time. It’s not just in your head — as batteries age, they gradually lose their ability to hold a charge. And sometimes, other situations cause your battery to struggle, like a 2017 controversy in which Apple apologized for intentionally slowing down iPhones with older batteries to prevent sudden shutdowns.
There are a few ways you can get your phone battery to last longer, drawing out the time between the dreaded 15 percent mark and when your battery goes fully dead. Here are some tips you can use to make your phone’s battery last longer, regardless of whether you’re using an iPhone, Android or anything else.
Keep your phone’s software updated
Phone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung issue updates for their devices all the time. It can be annoying when it feels like you’re constantly updating your phone, but those updates are there for a good reason: Having the latest, most efficient software can help make sure your phone is giving you the most battery life possible. (They also help keep your phone more secure.)
Generally speaking, you can see if you need to update your phone by navigating to the Settings app. From there, you’ll find options to update software, likely under a General tab then under Software Update. This may be slightly different depending on the phone you’re using.
Limit background battery use
Your phone should have a page dedicated to battery usage, typically found by navigating to the battery section of your Settings app. Depending on your device, a graph may appear, displaying how much battery life each of your apps are typically eating up.
Many apps run and refresh in the background while you’re using different software. You can choose to allow specific apps to do this, set it so all apps can do this, or prevent specific apps from doing this. If a particular app is using a lot of battery life, you could also choose to uninstall it completely.
Here’s how to change your background usage settings:
Navigate to Settings, select General, then Background App Refresh. From there, you can select Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi & Cellular Data, or Off.
Open the Settings app, hit Battery, then tap the More symbol and click Battery Usage. From there, your device will list how different apps are using battery life. Click the app for which you’d like to display background use, then select Background restriction. When the Restrict app? notice pops up, click Restrict.
Dim that screen
Keeping your phone screen’s brightness all the way up can really eat away at battery life. When you’re low on battery life, you’ll also want to avoid doing anything that needs a lot of processing power, like playing games, watching videos or using navigation apps.
Another option is to turn off push notifications, which can light up your display even when you’re not using your phone, thus using battery life. The process will be slightly different depending on your phone. Generally speaking, head to Settings, Notifications, then select the relevant application. From there, you’ll select the option to disable notifications.
If you’re desperate to save your phone’s battery life, turn on airplane mode, then manually re-activate Wi-Fi and connect to a wireless network. In general, connecting to the internet over Wi-Fi uses less battery power than with cellular networks — plus you won’t have to worry so much about data overages.
Use your phone’s battery saver
Your phone’s battery saver option is an easy-to-use feature that restricts your phone’s capabilities in order to extract the most possible battery life. On iPhone, it’s called low power mode. On Android, it’s called battery saver. When your phone gets low, you should receive a pop-up that’ll let you turn on battery saver with a tap.
Here’s how to activate your phone’s battery saver mode manually:
Navigate to Settings, then hit Battery. The low power option will be available there. According to Apple, low power mode is designed to keep your screen brightness low and minimize animations. Apps will not use background data, either. But you can still make phone calls, send messages and more.
You’ll find the battery saver option by swiping down and hitting the Battery saver icon. You can set your phone to turn on battery saver automatically by finding the Battery section in the Settings app, then looking for Battery saver. If you choose to have Battery saver activate automatically, you can also set a certain battery percentage that triggers the setting.