iOS 13 Draining Your iPhone Battery Life? Here Are 12 Ways to Fix It

While we’re excited for Apple's iOS 13, there’s an unfortunate tendency for iPhone battery drain that comes along with new updates. If you recently updated to the latest version of iOS, you’re probably trying to figure out why your iPhone battery is dying so fast, or even wondering if it's time for a battery replacement. We’ve got a bunch of tips to save battery life with iOS 13 or earlier. Even if you have an iPhone 6S that needs better battery life, the tips below can help. If you have the iPhone 7 Plus, battery drain should get better overall. Of course, even the newest models like the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max can have battery life problems because of Apple's default settings. Changing some simple settings will do wonders for improving your iPhone's battery life. Regardless of the model of your device, whether iPhone or iPad, fixing battery drain is a top priority for every user. 

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How to Save Battery on Your iPhone or iPad

If your iPhone battery life is draining faster than usual, the first thing you want to do is figure out whether or not you’re using your iPhone differently. That could account for some of your battery problems; but if you’re confident it’s more than that, we’ll help you fix the new update problems and save that battery life.

These tips will work on all iPhone models, including iPhone 5S, 6, 6s, 7, 8, and X, and all the new iPhones. 

iOS 13 on the iPhone: Battery Drain Suggestions in Settings

With iOS 13, your iPhone will recommend specific settings changes to save your battery life. To see what your iPhone recommends you change:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Battery.
  3. Tap Battery Health, where your iPhone will suggest changes to settings that will improve battery life. 
  4. You can tap on each suggestion to jump to the setting that needs changing.
  5. Or, if you don't want to make the change, at least you know it's contributing to your battery drain.

If you don't see the Battery Life Suggestions section, your iPhone doesn't currently see any ways to improve battery life via Settings. However, we'll have to respectfully disagree. Check out the tips below for more ways to save your iPhone's battery in iOS 13 and earlier. 

Related: These Popular Apps Are Causing iPhone Battery Drain. Here's How to Stop Them.

Dim Your iPhone's Screen or Turn on Auto-Brightness

Keeping your iPhone's screen at full brightness contributes to battery drain, but it's easily remedied. To dim your screen manually:

Open the Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of your screen if you have an iPhone 8 or earlier, or down from the upper-right corner for iPhones X and later.

  • Drag the Brightness slider to the bottom, or as near to the bottom as you can go and still comfortably read your display.

reduce iphone screen brightness in control center

Auto-Brightness settings adjust your screen lighting automatically, based on ambient light levels. To turn this feature on:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility
  4. Tap Display & Text Size.
  5. Toggle on Auto-Brightness.

    iphone display and text size accessibility featuresiphone auto brightness
     

Turn Off Raise to Wake on Your iPhone

All models of iPhone have the Raise to Wake function turned on by default (iOS 10.3 or later). This might be part of your problem, especially if you pick up your iPhone a lot or walk with it swinging in your hand. That iPhone screen constantly turning on will definitely drain your battery. To turn off Raise to Wake on iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Display & Brightness.
  3. Find Raise to Wake and toggle it off.

    save iphone battery by turning off raise to wake
     

Update All Apps That Are Available to Update on Your List

When Apple releases a new iOS update, developers have to play catch-up too. That’s why there’s a beta version of iOS for developers, so they can prepare and optimize their apps for the latest and greatest operating system. If you don’t automatically update your apps on your iPhone, taking the time to update all the available apps on your list could seriously help with iPhone battery drain. To update your apps:

  1. Open the App Store app.
  2. Tap your account icon at the upper right of the screen.
  3. Tap Update All, then tap Done at the upper right of the screen.

    update apps to save iphone battery lifeupdate all iphone apps in settings
     

Reduce the Number of Widgets on the Lock Screen 

Widgets allow you to quickly view information in the Today View such as the weather, your calendar events for the day, activity progress, and much more. But all those widgets take power to keep up to date. If your iPhone battery is dying too quickly, consider getting rid of any widgets you don’t need. To access the Today View from Lock Screen, swipe right from the main lock screen. To access the Today View from the Home Screen, swipe right from the first Home Screen.

To remove widgets you don’t need:

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the Today View screen; tap Edit.
  2. If you started from the Lock Screen, you’ll need to unlock your phone to make changes.
  3. Here you can add or remove widgets.
  4. To remove widgets, tap the red circle next to a widget name.
  5. This will reveal a Remove button; tap Remove.
  6. Then tap Done.

    edit iphone today viewadd or remove widgets from today view
     

Restart Your iPhone

Restarting your device is troubleshooting 101. If you ever have any issue with a device, Apple-made or otherwise, a simple restart almost always helps. Restarting your iPhone probably won’t fix the problem of battery drain with iOS 13 completely, but it’s likely to give it a bit of a boost.

How to Restart Your iPhone X or Later:

how to restart iphone x and later

  1. Hold down the Side button and the up or down volume button; the Power Off slider will appear.
  2. Drag the slider to turn your iPhone off.
  3. Wait a minute, then hold the Side button again until the Apple logo appears, and release. 

How to Restart Your iPhone 8 or Earlier, or iPod Touch

how to restart iphone 8 and earlier

  1. Hold down the Top or Side button until Slide to Power Off appears on screen.
  2. Slide to power off the iPhone.
  3. Wait a minute, then hold the Top or Side button again until the Apple logo appears, and release. 

Turn Off Background App Refresh

Background App Refresh allows your apps to check for new content and update even when you’re not using them. This is intended to save you loading time when opening up apps as the latest information should be ready and waiting since it refreshed in the background. However, allowing all your open apps to continually update and refresh in the background is a sure-fire way to drain your iPhone battery. To turn off Background App Refresh:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Background App Refresh.
  4. Tap Background App Refresh again, then select Off.

    background app refresh in settings appturn off background app refresh
     

iPhone Location Services: Only While Using the App

Location Service is another sneaky way your iPhone could be leaking battery power. Lots of different apps want to know and use your location for various reasons, but most of them don’t need to track your location when you aren't using the app. Yet some apps have the option to always know your location, regardless of whether you’re currently using it or not. Now you might want to leave tracking on for, say, a navigation app. But most apps don’t need Location Services on all the time. You can quickly go through your apps and choose whether they can use your location Always, While Using the App, Ask Next Time, or Never. If the app never needs your location, feel free to select that. For most apps, it makes the most sense to allow Location Services only while using the app. To do this:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Privacy.
  3. Tap Location Services.
  4. Select individual apps to choose when Location Services can be used. If the app never needs to know your location to be fully functional, go ahead and select Never.

    iphone location servicesiphone apps location services options
     

Place Your iPhone Face Down

When your iPhone is facing up, the screen illuminates whenever you receive a notification. If you receive a lot of notifications, they could easily be part of your battery problem. Especially since notifications in iOS 13 are rich, meaning you can see conversations, images, and more directly from the Lock Screen. Doing so might mean you’re actually on your iPhone more by virtue of being able to do so much without unlocking the device. Stop yourself from being tempted to reply each time a notification appears by leaving your iPhone face down on your desk or side table. Doing this will preserve battery life since your iPhone won’t light up when you receive a notification.

To Make It Last: Turn On Your iPhone's Low Power Mode

I hesitated to include this because it seems like such an obvious tip. However, not everyone is aware of the beauty that is Low Power Mode. Sure, we’d love our iPhone battery life to last forever without it. But when you’ve got three more hours until you can charge your iPhone, and your iPhone battery percentage is at thirty percent, Low Power Mode is an iPhone battery lifesaver. To turn on Low Power Mode, you can activate Siri and say, “Siri, turn on Low Power Mode”. Alternatively, you can turn Low Power Mode on in Settings manually.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Battery.
  3. Toggle Low Power Mode on.

    turn on iphone low power mode
     

Pro-tip:

Better yet, users with iOS 11 and later can add Low Power Mode to their Control Center to be able to easily toggle it on and off. Just go to the Control Center tab in Settings and tap Customize Controls. In the same way you added and removed Widgets from the Today View, you can add, remove, and rearrange your Control Center.

customize iphone control centeradd apps to iphone control center

Turn On Reduce Motion

If you’ve been enjoying the interesting effects (fireworks and confetti anyone?) and reactions in Messages, you’re using a lot of animations that require lots of iPhone battery life. While the flashy features of the Messages app might be fun, they’re sure to cut into the amount of time your iPhone can stay alive. Beyond the Messages app, the iPhone has animations for everything. Simply switching from an app to Home screen has its own animation. Each animation may not use much battery life, but the little bit each transition uses adds up quickly. To turn on Reduce Motion:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap Motion.
  5. Toggle on Reduce Motion.
  6. While you're on this page you can also toggle off Auto-Play Message Effects and Auto-Play Video Previews to save even more battery life. 

    iphone accessibility settingsiphone motion settings
     

Use Wi-Fi & Turn On Your iPhone's Airplane Mode in Locations with Poor Reception

If a secure Wi-Fi network is available, log in to it rather than using your cellular data plan. As well, if you are out and about in a location with poor cellular reception, having your iPhone constantly searching for a cell signal will deplete your battery in no time. To prevent iPhone battery drain, open Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of your Home screen and tap on the Airplane mode icon (it looks like a miniature airplane.) On iPhones X and later, swipe down from the upper-right corner of your display to open Control Center and do the same. Once you're back in an area with a strong cellular signal, use the same steps to turn off Airplane mode.

Top Image Credit: PIMPAN / Shutterstock.com

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Conner Carey's picture

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.