How to fix iOS 8.1 and iPhone 6 battery life problems!

iOS 8 is here for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches, and iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are available now for everyone, and while they provide more features and functionality than ever before, updating to new software and upgrading to new phones can often have an impact on battery life. Whether it's from a restore gone bad or new features overloaded for the first time, some people don't aren't getting the same charge out of their new iOS install or iPhone purchase as they used. But worry not! Almost all battery life problems are easy to identify and fix. You just need to know what to look for and what to do!

Update: iOS 8.1 is here. If you're experiencing any battery life issues with it, the same tips apply!

Note: iOS updates or restores can use a lot of power at first. Whether it's reindexing content, re-dowloading a ton of apps or media, or otherwise getting everything set up and ready, your Wi-Fi might be spinning and your processor might be churning for hours if not a day or two. If iOS is still restoring, you'll see a bit of text on the Lock screen telling you just that. Give it some time and let it finish. If not, proceed on to the tips!

1. Test battery life on standby (put your device down)

Whenever you update to a new version of iOS or get an new iPhone, it's only natural to want to try out all the new features. Maybe it's Extensibility or Continuity, maybe it's Touch ID apps or Photos editing, or simply all the new, cool iOS 8 apps, you'll likely do a lot more on update or upgrade day than you did on any normal day. Yet every time you sling sound bites, interact with notifications, pull down widgets, switch between custom keyboards, or do any one of a hundred other fun new things, the screen will light up, the radios will fire, and the battery will drain.

The point is, it's almost impossible to realistically assess a change in battery life if you've also changed your usage pattern. in other words, if you're battery feels like it's only lasting half as long, the first step to fixing it is figuring out if you're using it twice as much.

So, before you do anything else, note down how much battery life you have left. Then put your device down for 10-20 minutes. When you pick it back up, note down how much battery life you have left again. f there isn't a big change while in standby, you're probably okay and your battery life will return to normal when your usage returns to normal (after the novelty wears off). If your device continued to drain, and drain fast, even when you weren't using it, there's a problem.

2: Check for software problems

If, in general, your battery life is consistently short and you're basically just watching the indicator drain down before your eyes, here are some things to try, in order of how easy they are to do.

  • Check battery usage: iOS 8 brings something similar to OS X Mavericks-style battery usage — aka battery shaming — to the iPhone and iPad. Located in the Settings, General, Usage section, it tells you which apps and system services are using power, and how much. Obviously the ones using the most power are doing something wrong and should be shut down, right? Wrong. Like many things, the answer is far more complex and nuanced than simple power bad, quit good. Here's how battery usage monitoring works on iOS 8.

  • Check your cell signal. If you're in an area of weak signal, or at the edge of LTE or 3G support, your iPhone's radio could be screaming away on full power just trying to stay on the network, or switching between connection types, and wasting a lot of power. Good LTE signal is more power efficient than good 3G signal (because the radio can fire up, do its job, and power down much, much quicker), but bad LTE signal is just as bad as bad 3G, which is terrible. If you're at the edge of LTE, switch to 3G. If you're almost off the grid, turn off the radio unless and until you need it. Then get back to world as fast as you can!

  • Reset your network settings. If you're getting a bad cell signal or your carrier is working on towers causing your signal to jump, resetting your network settings can sometimes help alleviate issues. Try this before anything else if you're noticing only 1-2 bars of signal in certain areas you frequent.
  • Quit power hungry apps. Double-click the Home Button to activate the multitasking car view and quit, hold your finger down on power-hungry apps, and then fling them off the screen to close them. This is key for apps like VoIP (like Skype), streaming audio (like Pandora), or navigation (like TomTom). Anything running all the time will drain battery. That's how batteries work. Some apps can also fail to sleep properly when not in use. If quitting Facebook or Skype stops your battery drain, quit Facebook or Skype. After some experimentation you'll find occasional and chronic offenders alike. Here's how to quit/kill apps in iOS 8
  • Restart/reset your device. If you haven't rebooted in a while, give it a try. There could be a rogue process or something else doing what it shouldn't be doing, and a restart can often fix that. Here's how to reboot)
  • Power cycle. About once a month, and certainly if you think you're having problems, you should completely drain your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad's battery -- drain it until it shuts down on its own -- and then charge it back up to full. That re-calibrates the battery indicator and you'll get a more realistic idea of what your levels are. can solve by either swapping it for another device or otherwise figuring out a fix.
  • Go to the Apple Store. Sometimes you do get a lemon, or your iPhone or iPad develops a real problem that only Apple can fix — by servicing or replacing your device.

3. Restore your device as new (not from backup)

The single biggest cause of battery life problems with iOS devices occurs when they are restored from backup and not set up as new devices. Whether it's cruft or corruption, bit rot or simply bad bits, a clean install as a new device — incredible pain in the butt though it may be — is usually the best fix for any battery life issues. This is the nuclear option. You will have to set up absolutely everything again, and you will lose all your saved data like game levels, but in most cases your battery life will be better than ever.

4. Turn off Location Services, Background App Refresh, and Push Notifications

Anything running on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad uses up the battery. So if you've tried everything else and it turns out you're just using your device more than the battery will allow for the length of time you need to use it, you'll need to make some hard choices. You'll need to stop using some of the features you don't really need in order to keep using the ones you do. 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.

  • Turn off Location Services. GPS requires a huge amount of power, especially for things like turn-by-turn navigation and Find my Friends tracking. If you suspect location services are chewing up your battery when you're not using them, go to Settings, Privacy, Location Services, and turn off any app and system service you really don't need tracking or using your location.
  • Turn off Background app and content refresh: Background Refresh does everything it can to coalesce and schedule downloads to minimize battery drain. However, any background download will use battery. If you need power more than you need fresh content, go to Settings, General, Background App Refresh shows you everything you can turn off. Also go to Settings, App Store and turn of automatic app and content downloads. Here's how to turn off Background Refresh
  • Turn off Push Notifications. Likewise, go to Settings, Notifications, and turn off any app you don't care to be alerted about.

There are some old tricks you can try when you're in a jam as well, and the new Control Center makes it really easy to do many of these really quickly now!

  • 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
  • Set all email, calendar, and contacts accounts to "Fetch" (turn off Push)

5. Airplane mode!

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

How to get more help with your iOS 8 battery life

If you need more help, or just more personalized help, with trouble shooting your iOS 7.1 battery life problems head on over to the iMore forums! Either way, tell me — how's your battery life under iOS 7.1, did any of my tips help, and have you got any of your own to share?

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

How to fix iOS 8.1 and iPhone 6 battery life problems!


iPhone 6 Plus are not available everywhere! Actually sold out everywhere until around November.

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Yes, and the Morphie battery pack my wife needs on her Samsung S3 to make it through the day makes her phone look ridiculous. It's as heavy as a brick. Of course she could lug around an extra battery as suggested in the Samsung Ads. All smartphones have battery issues, as they are small computers generating quite a bit of heat.

Kinda sensitive there.... My iPhone 6 does not last as long as galaxy s3 or Moto X before it. Sure a lot of them have battery issues but some are worse than others.

I'm looking at the apple store right now, it says 3-4 weeks for the iphone plus. That's mid October at the latest. Most of the time they are 1 week early.

Yeah when I checked with att it said I'd receive a 64gb plus between 11/9 and 11/29 online. Knowing my luck I'd say it'd be the later one

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my iPhone 6 takes a good six minutes to connect and it eventually loses connection

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Yes - my 5s sometimes switches between 3g and WiFi, seemingly unable to settle. Sometimes, when it appears to have settled on WiFi, I'm convinced that it's actually on 3g as apps (including iMore) update contents slowly (home 3g signal isn't great).

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me! and i thought its my internet connection. but other ios products in the house on ios 7 are not having this issue.

If you set up as new do you lose all your pictures and stuff too, or do they come back once you sign in to iCloud on your phone after its restored as new?

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My battery dies really quick when it gets to 20% or less. Like 2% a minute. Any one else have this problem. iOS 8, iPhone 5s

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You could always get a spare battery to swap out when the first one gets low.

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While I understand the snarky point you are trying to make, even if I could switch batteries, I wouldnt. I hate taking my life proof case on and off a lot.

One critical thing to add - check what is using your battery in iOS8. Go to General - Usage - Battery usage while on battery power (and ideally after using the phone for hours) and see what's listed.

Also, under Push Notifications turn off things that are frequently updated like Facebook. Turning off apps that rarely push things anyway won't matter as much, but turning off FB or the like may make a lot more difference.

However, my primary advice when people have new devices or a new OS or both? Ignore the battery issue for several days until you're really back to normal use. It's overwhelmingly likely that, if things were fine before they're fine now and you're just using the device more.

My battery on 5s with iOS 8 seems to last almost 2X as long... Even with updating stuff constantly over cellular and wifi due to new os and updates to support it!

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Maybe, but so far (and I mentioned this before), my iPhone 6 battery life is exactly the same as the iPhone 5 jailbroken, crappy as hell!!! I go from a full charge to 80% with the same usage as the iPhone 5 after 90 min.

Clearly I have a lemon but so far this is technically already a replacement because the first one I got was DOA (yup, that's the kind of luck I have). And going to the Apple Store yet again is just a bit too inconvenient at the moment.

So I'll just wait until the phone completely depletes itself (In particular around Summer time). I also know that if I go now, they'll give me some BS about how I should simply do a Full, fresh which I've done twice already!!!

That's exactly what you need to do with an android phone. iOS phones don't need that kind of treatment. After an iOS update, just give it a couple of days to reindex itself and the battery issue to be gone. After each iOS update, I've noticed that... the battery level goes down quickly for a period of time and then everything's back to normal.

Pay no attention to that blabbering nonsense smartphonenerd is spewing. He's a Samdung drone obviously.. He'll never know that feeling of pure bliss that you get when using spotlight to search for virtually anything on your phone. Funny how google does it so well on the web, but not on Android.

I have everything running on my phone all day. And Wifi at home. 9 hour work day. Bluetooth and GPS on. LG G2. Gets through a day and a half average. Can go 2. You... are. wrong. Not saying there is anything wrong with the iphone 6 or ios 8 haven't tested it yet.

Thanks for the tips. I don't really have battery problems, but I reset my network settings anyways. I probably use up most of my battery life optimizing my device to save battery.

For some reason my 6 wont charge over 85% i guess maybe it needs calibration? Though i thought that wasnt as necessary these days as it used to be, i know its bad for lithium ion batteries to be run all the way down and i usually try to avoid doing so. Guess i will have to if i ever wanna see this thing go to 100%

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Hey guys just wanting to shout that hangouts is killing my battery life should add that little advice checking the bew per app battwry ussage hangouts is using over half of my battery time

Thanks for putting this up with the video. Sometimes I forget to turn some of this stuff off and my battery starts to drain faster.

Is the battery life on the 6's really this problematic? These suggestions have the user disabling everything that makes the phone desirable in first place. Leave your phone in Airplane mode?! I was waiting for the 6 hoping for battery improvements but This makes me seriously think about android. Does anyone have any experience with this issue in 6?

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You should consider Android... I unplug my M8 in the morning, leave WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth on all day, use the hell out of my phone all day, and plug it in around 11pm with 30% or better still... Apple can't come close to that.

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No, the battery life is great actually. Don't listen to people, read reviews. The reason I say that is because there's always going to be a small percentage of phones with bad batteries which should be exchanged, and those are going to be the people with the loudest voice because they are upset. Happy people don't bother to come here and say they're happy. Also, most people don't understand the technology, this includes the Fandroid Sheep who have nothin better to do than troll Apple focused websites. When the iPhone is fresh from a new install it is doing a ton of work in the background for hours, even a day. Any battery review from a lay person after the first day or two won't be very reliable. They might be commenting while their phone is still working hard re-indexing files and such. I know better and I can tell you the iphone 6 battery is so far looking to be around 15 to 20% better than my iPhone 5s was and that thing gave me around 7 hours of screen time.

I would rather have seen battery improvements than thinner phone, curved glass or bigger screens. What good is a smartphone if you can't use it? Again, What good is a smartphone if you can't use it?

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Same thing on my iPhone 5S. I regularly get two full days with everything on with normal/light usage. When I really beat on the phone I've never been able to get it lower than 20% by bedtime.
See, the whole "iPhones have terrible battery life" thing is a total myth perpetuated by Samsung and iHating Fandroid Sheep (why do they even come to Apple focused sites to comment, no life?). There is a tiny percentage of iphones out there with bad and/or weak batteries, and those are the voices you hear complaining. You don't hear much from people who have no problems and love their phones, those people don't typically frequent these sorts of sites or bother to talk about their smartphones so much.

I have to charge the 4s at least 2 sometime 3-4 times a day. I do put it on maximum brightness to see in the daylight. And I don't even actively use its all the time. But anytime I use it it looses like 1-2% a minute. Apple Store says it's fine.

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I would have much rather Apple made the phone a little thicker and eliminate the camera bump and at the same time make the battery wider and obviously more powerful. That extra thickness would have made a huge difference.

I have an iPhone 5. My wife and I and many of my iPhone friends have battery issues. I frequently have to charge twice a day. Took it to Apple Store a couple of weeks ago and they said the battery was "fine". That's why I am asking if anyone with the 6 has experienced the battery problem this article mentions. Because I don't want to spend that kind of money for the new one if the battery is a problem, no matter how high quality the rest of the product is.

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Dude, don't listen to the guy claiming iPhones have great battery life... My 4S needed charged at LEAST twice a day using it like I use my M8... He's full of shit.

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I'm going on 2 whole entire days!!! With my 6 plus. And still at 21% here at 1:03 am .... What battery problems ? This is INSANE

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I love it!
So to be able to enjoy your great Iphone for longer, you should shut off most of the features that it provides, also I love the comment that "they" should add more plug in's to public places. That made me spit coffee on my monitor and non Apple hand held device.

Good luck folks.

iPhone 5S here with 7.1.2 yielding a maximum of 9 hours usage albeit that's the best I've ever had. As soon as updating to iOS 8 with a clean install my battery life has been significantly worse. I can't imagine the iPhone 6 with it's larger screen and slightly larger battery will yield much better results than the 5s which is why I will be sticking with my 5S on 7.1

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What's the point of spending almost $1000 for a phone when you have to shut everything off to get a better battery?

I am a big apple user but I think it is silly to have to shut off push notifications, set emails set to fetch or buy a battery pack case.

I am a big apple user but I think it is silly to have to shut off push notifications, set emails to fetch or buy a battery pack case.* (SP Sorry)

Battery was fine on my touch after 8 but this 8.0.2 has probably ruined it.. I am still testing and observing though..

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iOS 8 update from 7 was smooth for me on iPhone 5 and I have not had any battery issues. I'm holding off on 8.0.2 as I'm not having any issues on 8.

Maybe I am a realistic user. I got the phone set up, got everything done while it was being charged and then after that I used it how I would normally use a device.

I received the phone in the Evening, I am last drop for UPS, always have been and receive my packages between 7 and 8 at night (doesn't stop me sitting and waiting rather than taping the pre-sign notes at the front and side doors), had it set up and then the following day I used it how I always use it.

First day I started my working day at 4.30am, when I went to bed at 9.45pm it still had 35% left on the phone. That including taking pictures, sending receiving emails, playing games, listening to eBooks and streaming music.

Today I started my working day at the same time, it's 8.11pm and while I streamed less music over LTE/3G than yesterday I have 69% left on the battery.

When I used the LG G2 I would have to charge the phone half way through the day, the Nexus 5 I would have to charge the phone, in fact I would carry an external battery pack plus battery pack with solar cell to allow the pack to charge slowly recharge in sunlight. Not only did I have to charge the Nexus 5 it would be three sometimes four times during the day and I would stick it on the car charger as often as possible to try and keep the battery level from going to nothing.

I don't know whether my idea of heavy use and others is different but I've yet to have bad battery life with any iPhone compared to Android devices. (The one Samsung I used temporarily really sucked when it came to battery life).

Rene, I usually love everything you post. But not that I'm a smarty pants at a fruit stand or anything but, doing a hard reset like that with the power button and the home button can actually be the equivalent of pulling your power plug out of your computer. The less anyone does that the better. Unclean shutdowns are probably the number one reason for eventually having corrupt software.

You guys are being drastic about replying to what he says about it being a useless 1000 paper weight when you turn everything off. He's saying that if an app you use only once a week or so is using a nice amount of your battery life then you have to consider if its worth keeping at all or at least taming in terms of how many times it reaches for information vs how many times you actually use the app. If i had some app from the app store that I used barely ever but yet it looked for my location ever hour and wanted to refresh all its data every hour,in case i opened it (which i won't probably because I never use it) then its probably ok to delete it. Plus a lot of people have a secondary weather app they use, why let two weather apps use location services when i only open one.

Life is relative people. So is advice.

iOS 8 update from 7 was smooth for me on iPhone 5 and I have not had any battery issues. How to get more help with your iOS 8 battery life.

Your solutions to fixing the battery issues with iOS8 are simplistic and not particularly helpful. I upgraded from iOS7 to iOS8 and saw immediate problems with battery life so I switched off all the non-essentials which for me is just about everything. I always make sure I have no apps running I'm not using. And I've done a reset. Standby time is fine but yesterday I spent 12 minutes just checking my email via WIFI and going to a couple of web sites. I could literally watch the batter percentage dropping. In 12 minutesof use I used 12% of battery life. That's not iOS7 normal. And my usage has not changed from before I upgraded. And now my phone does odd things like fetches emails even while Fetch is switched off. A company sets expectations and when they get it wrong we're supposed to suck it up and change the usage habits that they have allowed and even encouraged us to develop? That's not on. Apple screwed up and now they need to pay the piper. Fix it Apple or I'm going elsewhere for my next phone. You're not the only game in town.

Hey, i have a Iphone 4s and i didnt update to ios 8 and i had still ios 7.1.2
but my battery life still drained very fast i had that issiue only 1 week ago and i that i need to update so i did and check the usage of battery and it says

Settings: 50%
background: 38%

but i did everything on all the vidoes

help me

My iPhone 6 is losing 25% or more overnight while I sleep. I've turned off everything in this post like I've always done with my other iPhones, tonight I'm going to toggle off iMessage as I now think it's that causing it. If it is I won't be using it again, my previous iPhone lost no battery % overnight. Not happy!

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If I have to turn all of these things off just to get better battery life why not just start writing letters again

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I tend to use my iPad more than my iPhone for day-to-day stuff. I just got my iPhone 6 last week. I can get thru two days before I need a charge, just like I did with my old flip phone which it replaced. My iPhone is on 8.0.2 right now (I'll be updating it to 8.1 tonight). I updated my iPadAir from iOS 7 to 8.0.2 two days ago, and to 8.1 last night. It's working just fine and not draining extra battery life.

Actually, since I've updated my iPhone 6 ti 8.1, battery is awesome! Still 51% at 8pm... Oh and it fixed the Bluetooth issue in my car.

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Richardyarrel1 get lost and got and troll on some Shamesung Android site no one is interested in anything you have to say.

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The battery in my iphone 5c lasts for about five hours after I updated to 8.0.2. Basically, I have to have it connected to a charger during the night to make sure that I can use it to wake me up in the morning, otherwise it dies during the night, even though it is fully charged when I go to bed. After I basically turned EVERYTHING off on the phone, the battery lasts for eight hours instead of five, which is still totally unacceptable to me. The phone is basically worthless to me as it is. I got it after moving to a new country, because of the navigation possibilities, but I can't even be sure that the phone is not dead when I really need it for navigation purposes.

And I've been a mac user since 1991, so there is no hidden anti-mac agenda going on here. Basically this phone is the worst disappointment I've experienced in decades.

Just found out what the problem is. I had put "never" on screen lock! Just changed it to "1 min" and I now have 22 hours of standby and three hours of usage, and I still have 48% left of the battery.

Great info, Rene. A horrible practice in writing is wasting readers' time. Your first 3 paragraphs contribute nothing to providing the info promised in the headline. Get modern, utilitarian, more skilled than the typically bottom of the barrel tech "writers," and respectful of your audience.

You promise info in a headline, so deliver it instead of making readers suffer through irrelevance: "iOS 8 is here for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches, and iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are available now for everyone...[blah, blah, blah]" No shit. And what does that tell anyone about saving battery life? Nothing.

Skip the tripe and start with Point #1, for the sake of everyone with a life with more important things to do than blindly follow some idiot teacher from 7th grade.