Tip: How to make your iPhone battery life last longer

Need to find out how to make your iPhone's battery life last longer? There are quite a few ways in which you can help your iPhone save power. Some are very intuitive but hopefully we will tell you a few which you have not yet thought of.

Special thanks to michaelchang516 from the forums for this tip!

The basic idea is this: anything running on your iPhone uses up the battery, so we're going to go into the Settings app and turn some things down, and turn others off altogether. The more you turn off, the longer your batter will last -- but of course the less you'll be able to do. It's a balancing act but one that can help you squeeze out a little extra juice when you really need it.

  • Set Auto-Lock to 1 minute
  • Turn off any extra sounds, like keyboard clicks
  • Turn off the iPod EQ
  • Use headphones instead of the speaker if you have to listen to audio or music
  • Turn down the screen brightness
  • Turn off Bluetooth when not using it
  • Turn off Wi-Fi when not using it
  • Turn off 3G when not using it
  • Turn off Location Services when not using them
  • Turn off Push Notifications
  • Set all email, calendar, and contacts accounts to "Fetch" (turn off Push)
  • Double-click the Home Button to activate the multitasking dock, hold your finger on an app to enter "jiggly" mode, and kill any apps that might be running in the background, especially VoIP (like Skype), streaming audio (like Pandora), or navigation (like TomTom).

Bonus tip: If you're really desperate, put your iPhone in Airplane Mode and save the radios for when you need them. If you're really desperate, you can also turn your iPhone completely off until you need it (it will still use a tiny amount of power but far, far less than anything else).

So how did these tips work out for you? Give us your feedback, and any other tips for saving iPhone battery life you might have, in the comments!

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you’d like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to dailytips@tipb.com. (If it’s especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we’ll even give ya a reward…)

Georgia

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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Tip: How to make your iPhone battery life last longer

51 Comments

I've heard it before that push uses more battery power than fetch, but it doesn't make sense. Does push function more often in order to send things the second they happen? It's not that I don't believe it, I would just like to understand how it uses more power. Thanks!

Ok, I've now turned off all those items. Unfortunately for some reason my iPhone now thinks it's a Nokia 6110 ???

I'm on wifi for 23 hours a day (exception is to/from work). I use SBSettings + SBSchedule to turn my data off. Both are Jailbreak apps. By 5 PM, my battery is still at 85%. I get a lot of emails via push (prob 60+/day).
Not only does it save my battery, I only end up using arond 75 Mb of data per month (I'm on the 200 Mb plan).

Personally I just turn off Wi-Fi when not in use and put the screen brightness to the halfway point and that works fine for me.

Rolan, wifi will be off when standby... So u are actually using data from edge. Sometimes even u turn off data from sbsetting, as long as u r not in plane mode, email still works as ur still connected to ur service provider

@Ronald
Ha ha ha u keep ur phone locked in a box or what? I use my iPhone 4 for play radio steaming on wifi, browsing web, checking mails.. Doing all kind of things which smart phone suppose to do and There you goes it's hardly last 8 hrs maximum.
Wish Apple can come up with a really lasting battery for iPhone...

Interesting article, Since switching from the iPhone 3g to the iPhone 4 am so spoiled, for example, on the iphone 3g i could never keep my wifi on it would just kill the battery, Now on the iphone 4 my wifi is always on and the battery life is still excellent!
So I guess what am saying is if you want bettery battery life start with an iphone 4.

My battery already lasts 15x longer than my friends with a droid x and htc evo. I'm happy as is without switching off every tiny thing. Lol

I really like this phone but on the road a lot the battery sucks. I need 3g so i can conference call and still work on the phone.
I like the screen brighter BECAUSE thats why i bought the phone, best screen on market..
Turn off push notifications, I should go back to my RAZOR...
You have to charge this thing at least once mid day or run out of juice by 5pm..
Not apple's fault, some day battery tech will catch up to the phones tech

The information is good to know for those who were not aware of it. I don't do any of those things, as it defeats the point in having the phone in the first place. I am rarely away from a charging source for more than a few hours a time.

Great post. Your bonus tip of turning off my phone to conserve my battery really works. Also, i no longer receive annoying phone calls, nor email, nor texts. As a matter of fact, my phone hasnt made any noise in hours but my battery is still at 95%. GREAT TIP.

......i'm a new "apple convert"..ipad..mac..iphone.and I love these tips on extending battery life on my iphone , i've basically used all the tips since most of the things I used my iphone for..I now do on my ipad..great tips thanks!!!!

My favorite battery-saving tip is to disable "Ask to Join Networks" under the Wi-Fi settings. It really does save a lot of battery when you're roaming (it won't go looking for every Wi-Fi network out there)- not so much if you stay put at home. I leave Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on 24/7 and never have trouble getting a day's worth of use out of my iPhone. Of course iPhone 4 is better at this than previous generations.

Ok so all these tips are great, but this sort of thing tends to annoy me a little. Simply because what is the point in having an iphone if your not going to use these features. Kinda defeats the point of having the phone.

Just buy a New Trent Super External Battery. Fully recharges iPhone 5x with one full battery. Very nice.

Oh Georgia I love you girl!! Owwwwww!
As an aside, my 3GS lasts all days without really doing anything to it. Brightness at half and 3G on.

I just man up and buy chargers and battery packs. If I'm on the road all day I have a car adapter, especially for GPS.
If I'm at a trade show I have 2x juice packs or similar and an AC adapter.
Heavy use needs heavy charging.
However, if I'm stuck and have nothing else left, I do do all of the above.
Desperate times, desperate measures.

Other comments/tips:
-The battery life on my iPhone4 was poor for the first week or so. It just took a couple of complete run downs and full charges before battery life became long/consistent.
-A full run-down (below 10 percent or until it powers down) and then a full charge (at least 4 hours) every once in a while really seems to improve batter life. I believe Apple recommends doing this at least once a month.
-I tend to keep wifi and 3g on, along with location services. I'm not religious about closing background apps (primarily because I don't think background apps really suck up much/any juice) and I still have been getting 40 hours of heavy use before charging (as in, 10 hours of wifi/3g/data/phone/games/otherapps use and 30 hours of stand-by). A charge every other day does the trick.

I have saved a lot of people's batteries just by turning off wifi. The original ,3G and 3GS wouldn't last a full day with wifi on. With it off, I can easily get it to last 2 days with average use. The 4 is better in how it handles wifi and it's overall power management and battery is absolutely stellar.
I would also be careful about turning the phone all the way off. Only do that if you have absolutely no need for it and need to save power for later. Like you are at 50% and don't need it for 6 hours but won't have power for a while after that. Or you are at 5% and know you have to make a phone call in an hour. If you want to save power and in 5 minutes need to make a call, you are just wasting power having the phone cycle down and cycle back up. This might be common sense to some but I just wanted to make sure it was out there.
This is a great article for people who are not using some aspect of the phone, like the equalizer, or having the phone too bright.

^same here..only thing i have off is bt since i don't use it and i have a car charger with aux so it's charging on my way to and from work..got the charger at work and at home..but I never charge it at home since the AC charger is here at work :)

Does jailbreaking offer any more control? Like timed data (3G) switching where you could setup times or intervals for the phone to turn on 3G, check for emails and notifications, then switch data back off?

^^^Yea, what Dave said above. I can go charging every other day too. (ip4) I've also just bought a 1900mah external portable battery pack off of eBay for $8.95. Does the job too and great for traveling.

Actually, here's a small tip: If you don't have good AT&T reception where you are, turn off 3G.
I have an iPhone 3GS and, here in Southern California, I get about 2-3 days with light usage. If I go visit my folks in Vermont and the phone is just sitting around, it lasts about a day.
The difference? Crappy cell reception.
(Before I inadvertently start a round of AT&T bashing, I'll also point out that Verizon is just as crappy. It's the location. The house sits in a valley right next to a large hill, essentially blocking anything from the west, east, and north. South is the only way out and the NIMBYs didn't want a cell tower blocking their natural beauty.)
So if you're going to spending some time in a place where the phone says "No Service", turn off 3G and "Cellular Data." It isn't going to work anyway and your phone will just eat it's battery trying.

@Peter
Actually if you're spending much time in an area with "No Service" put you're phone in Airplane Mode and just turn on WI-fi if it's available.

Good article and good tips, esp. @Peter. To hammer his point down -- if any specific radio is not connected, it is going to repeatedly try to connect, burning battery at an increased rate. This is my experience. Turn off WiFi if not at home or work. Turn off Bluetooth if out of the car. Turn off 3G or even cell data if you don't need it - you'll still get phone calls, just not voice mail (requires cell data). This can easily double standby time.
SBSettings is the best thing about jailbreak. You can quickly turn off and on things as you need it. Really, Apple, you could make radios much easier to deal with!

Hint to all your family you need a car charger, and anything else you may need in the way of battery charging products. They really make great gifts.

A different solution to this problem I have just tried:
I was reading an article just like this 2 weeks ago but decided I was so bored of navigating menus just to keep the battery happy. I did a load of research and came to the conclusion that there is no way of instantly turning all those options off without jail-breaking my phone - and even if there was I'd have a pretty crippled device.
Therefore I thought if I could find a small battery charger that was cheap and very portable it'd probably solve all my problems (esp since I just bought battery burning bluetooth headphones).
In the end I found one on Amazon for only £11! (see link below).
This past weekend I tried it out: I left bluetooth, 3G and all push notifications on for 15 hours whilst I went to London: playing music and making calls a lot of the time (note: I have a fairly tired 3GS battery). Sure enough by the end of the night the battery was low - but I plugged in the small mobile charger and all was fine again.
I woke up miles from where I needed to be but with 100% battery AND could still charge it more if needed - this thing cost £11 and has totally stopped me from faffing around with my settings while I am out. It takes up hardly any space in your pocket eitherhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001B214II/ref=oss_product
If you have more than £11 to spend I think you can get ones that charge your phone fully a few times. Careful though some with the same stats as the ones I bought cost over £50.

My battery issues have completely gone away since getting the iPhone 4. The 3G battery was horrible and the 3GS was better, but I still found I was getting battery warnings at dinner time. Now, with the iPhone 4, my battery lasts all day and I don't even worry anymore. I used to JB for SBSettings but I just leave bluetooth and Wifi on all of the time and don't notice a difference.
I also noticed my battery charges faster and holds battery charges much better if I charge using my car charger or wall outlet, as opposed to charging off of my USB port.

Turning wifi off when not needed does really immprove battery life. Always been this way. More so on the 3GS. I only keep wifi on when downloading a app over 25 MB's or Facetime chats as I have excellent 3G speeds.

Good article, bit the best solution for me has been to keep it plugged in on my work desk (it's not in my hand anyway) and still keep all my pushes. ;0)

An app that turns on and off Bluetooth and Wifi would be nice.
Now we have to turn them on or off one by one manually deep in the Control Panel.

Jailbreak and install MyProfiles. You can set it up so that when you go to work and it connects to WiFi, it automatically turns off bluetooth and 3G. When you start your car and it makes the bluetooth connection, it turns off WiFi. When you walk in your house and it connects to Wifi, it turns off bluetooth. Set it so that when your battery gets below a certain percentage (I set mine to 10%), it automatically turns off WiFi, bluetooth and 3G. Added bonus: At night (I set it for between 10pm and 7am), when connected to the charging dock, it turns off all notifications except phone. This doesn't save battery (it's charging), but it keeps me from being not bothered in the middle of the night with vibrations and pinging. It's a great program.

I have none of those things turned off but wifi stays off. (I don't have a job where I get wifi like you office type folks.) I get about 15-17 hrs of bat life much better on my iPhone 4 than my 3GS. Prob would get about 3 days of juice if I followed this guide.

I put my iPhone in the freezer on the weekends after a full charge. This extends my battery life almost by 400 times. The iPhone is a little uncomfortable to hold at first though.

Why worry about running out of power, get a Mili Power pack for your iPhone and double your battery life and go on with your life.

Sorry for the "stupid" question. I am a new Verizon iPhone user. I don't see an option for turning 3G off. I won't really be doing it regularly, but in case my battery got low enough to the point where I wanted to shut it off, I'd like to know how. Settings > General > Network ... no option for controlling 3G. Any hints? Thanks

Airplane mode is a good idea.
Oh, also good if you don´t wanna get interrupted during work.