If there’s one thing that you could change on your phone, what would it be? For the majority of phone users, the answer would be the battery. No matter what phone we have, how much we charge our phones and are cautious with our usage, it is hard to avoid a fast battery drain, which isn’t ideal - just like a message popping up to say you have no phone storage left!
Typically, the lifespan of a phone battery is between one and two years, which equates to around 300 to 500 charging cycles. If your phone battery is older than two years old, it is advisable to get the battery replaced to give your phone a new lease of life! If you decide to do this, make sure you purchase a battery and get it installed by professionals, otherwise you may face issues with your phone.
Once charged, a smartphone battery should last a full day at least – a far cry from the old-fashioned flip top phones which used to last several days on a single charge! But if you have noticed your battery is rapidly deteriorating, you may be wondering how do I make my phone battery last longer? Here we outline our top tips for Android and Apple devices to make your mobile battery life last.
10 simple ways to make your phone battery last longer
1. Change your screen settings
It’s pretty obvious that most of our phone’s battery life is taken up by powering the screen, and it doesn’t help when we’re at an age where many people are smartphone addicts! Here are some ways to change your screen settings to preserve your battery:
- Turn down the brightness
By using the Auto Brightness feature, it helps to save battery for most people by automatically reducing screen brightness when there’s less light. To save the most battery, it is best to manually set your screen brightness to the lowest point whilst not in use. This is easily changed using Apple and Android devices.
- Reduce screen timeout to 1 minute
If you regularly leave your screen on without using it, it will automatically turn off after a few minutes. You can reduce energy by reducing your phone’s screen timeout to a reasonable time, to prevent it eating your phone battery. Think about changing to 1 minute or even 30 seconds, depending on your usage.
- Choose a dark theme
Most modern phones offer a dark theme which helps to prevent significant battery usage. However, it is worth noting that if your screen does not have an OLED screen (this includes all iPhones before the iPhone X), a dark theme won’t make a difference to your battery life.
Click onto the Settings app and select Display & Brightness. Here it should give you options to personalise your iPhone appearance, such as “light” or “dark” mode, turn on “Night Shift” mode or adjust the screen brightness.
Android phone’s a much easier to personalise – you can select dark themes in the Android store for free.
- Use battery saver mode
Most modern phones feature an easy-to-use battery saving option that can be switched on through your Settings page. On iPhones, it’s called “Low power mode” and on Android it’s called “Battery saver”.
Head to Settings and select “Battery”. Here you will find the low power option. Apple claims this mode will keep your screen brightness low, minimize animation and apps will not use background data either.
Android’s battery saving mode can be found by swiping down and clicking the Battery saver icon. You can also set your phone to turn on Battery saver mode automatically via the Settings app and selecting Batter saver. If you choose to have a Battery saver activate automatically, you an also set the mode to come on when your phone reaches a specific battery percentage.
2. Turn off push notifications
Some apps abuse push notifications and send you updates multiple times a day, which can light up your display even when you’re not using your phone, thus using battery life. To preserve your battery life, you may want to turn off push notifications.
The process of doing this will be slightly different depending on your phone, but generally speaking you should do the following:
Go to your phone settings, find Notifications, then select the relevant application. From there, you’ll select the option to disable notifications on the apps that cause you the most annoyance and kill your battery life.
3. Turn off vibrate
Although vibrations are handy for telling you if your phone is ringing or you are receiving a notification, but this can use more battery than standard ringtones and silence. Therefore, if it is not necessary, consider switching off all vibrations on your phone.
Putting your phone onto silent mode will use less battery too. Even though it's not ideal because you won't know if someone calls or texts you, but desperate times call for desperate measures!
4. Stop any apps running in the background
Many people are blissfully unaware that apps running in the background can significantly drain your data and battery life. It is often reported that Facebook is a major problem for draining battery life, so it may be a good idea to delete the app and use the browser instead.
To limit background battery use, you can prevent apps running and refreshing in the background whilst you’re using different software. You can do this on both Android and Apple devices by changing the following settings:
Visit Settings, select General and click Background App Refresh. From there, you can select Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi & Cellular Data, or Off – it is advisable to select Wi-Fi or Off.
Open the Settings app, press Battery, then tap the More symbol and click Battery Usage. This page will list how different apps are draining your phone’s battery life. Select the app for which you’d like to display background use, then select Background restriction. When the “Restrict app?” notice pops up, click Restrict.
5. Turn off auto-downloads
Much like apps running in the background, downloads can also cause issues with your data and battery life.
Go to Settings and select iTunes & App Store. Scroll down to Automatic Downloads and ensure all of the options are set to “off”.
Go to the Play Store settings and tap Auto-update apps. Turn off auto-updates or change the settings to ensure that updates only occur over Wi-Fi (which also helps to save battery).
6. Switch off your Bluetooth
If you’re not connecting to a Bluetooth device, such as a smartwatch or Bluetooth headphones, it is advisable to switch off your phone’s Bluetooth connection until you need it. This small change to your settings can make the world of difference to your battery life.
7. Use 2G when not in use
It might seem strange and a step back into the Middle Ages for internet addicts, but switching off your 3G, 4G or 5G connection can significantly help your phone’s battery life. As a result, if your battery is low and you aren’t using your phone much, consider making the switch to 2G temporarily.
Don’t worry, you won’t be cut off from the rest of society and transported back to the days of dial-up internet connections. 2G still works, just be aware that the connection will be slower than what you are used to.
8. Avoid using voice control
Voice control personal assistants – such as Siri, Google Now and Cortana – can surprisingly be a massive drain on your battery. Therefore, it is best to avoid using altogether if you can help it to preserve the battery life as much as possible.
If you need to find the answer to something or call someone, save your battery the extra work and do it manually!
9. Try battery saving apps
Battery saving apps can help you to adjust settings like location, Bluetooth and screen brightness in order to conserve your battery. You may like to choose the following:
- Battery Doctor (iPhone and Android)
- DU Battery Saver (Android)
- Battery Magic (iPhone)
10. Keep your phone’s software updated
As much as it is an annoyance having to constantly update your phone, they are there for a good reason. These updates offer the most efficient software to ensure your phone is giving you the best battery life possible, whilst also helping to keep your phone secure too.
If worse comes to worse, consider purchasing a new battery for your phone. Alternatively, you may want to buy a new phone altogether, but what do you do with your old electronics? Sell them to us and we’ll give you money for your phone.
Feature image credit: Bloomicon / Shutterstock