Ever been traveling, only to discover you’re down to only 5% battery left on your phone? And, of course, you need your phone’s map app to get where you’re going.
You can also use one of many apps for travel assistance. Tap or click here for 12 incredibly useful travel apps. But if your battery is low, no app can help you. Luckily, if you have an Android, there are ways to extend your phone’s power.
Don’t let the aging of your phone’s battery make it less effective — especially when you need it most. Never have that 5% issue again with these tips and tricks, starting with cleaning out your device.
1. Get rid of certain apps
Some apps just suck a phone battery dry by running in the background all the time or by utilizing Bluetooth or location services as they run. Others are battery-drainers because they’re used so often.
Regardless of reason, these 10 apps tend to be the ones most responsible for draining smartphone batteries:
- Amazon Shopping
- Google News
Save your phone battery by deleting or limiting your use of these “vampire apps.” Tap or click to learn about vampire electronics. But if you love your apps too much, try checking your settings to see which ones use up the biggest chunks of your battery life.
Remember, instructions depend on the Android phone and OS, so not all instructions will be the same. To see which apps are draining your battery:
- Go to Settings, then tap Device or Power.
- Tap on Battery If you see More, tap that, then tap Battery Usage.
- You’ll see a list of all of your apps. Tap on each to see how much battery they’re using, and delete the worst offenders from your Android.
You can also stop apps from running in the background. To do that:
- Follow the steps above to get to Battery.
- Tap on apps in the list and turn on the Background restriction switch. Make sure you do this on the biggest battery-guzzling apps.
- Keep Battery optimization on for all apps as you go down the list.
Also consider turning off notifications to prevent battery drain from the screen always turning on. To turn off app notifications:
- Go to Settings, and tap Apps & notifications.
- Tap on Notifications, then App notifications in the new window.
- Once again, you’ll have a list of all your apps. Tap on each, and turn off the switch to disable notifications.
- Make sure you turn off the most frequent notifiers to really save your battery: news, messengers, and social media.
2. Turn off certain features until you need them
It’s convenient to have your Android’s Bluetooth always on, or always searching for Wi-Fi signals to connect to. But when you’re out in public or driving long distances, you don’t need them. If your phone is constantly refreshing its search for a signal, it will drain the battery quickly.
To turn off Bluetooth:
- Swipe down from the top of your screen to find the Status Bar.
- Find the Bluetooth button in the Status Bar — it kind of looks like a “B” made of sticks.
- Tap the Bluetooth button so it is no longer colored in. Tap it again later to turn Bluetooth back on.
To stop Wi-Fi scanning:
- Go to Settings, and tap Security & location.
- Under the Privacy heading, tap Location.
- Turn the Wi-Fi scanning switch to off. While you’re in there, you might as well turn Bluetooth scanning off to save battery when you have Bluetooth turned on.
You can check your Wi-Fi settings to connect to new networks as needed. Remember, never connect to a public networks unless you’re using a VPN. Try ExpressVPN for 30 days free! Get 3 months free when you sign up for one year at ExpressVPN.com/Kim.
Location services is another battery-draining feature. Unless you need an app to know where you are, having your phone constantly searching eventually kills your battery.
To turn off location services for all but necessary apps (like Google Maps):
- Go to Settings, and tap on Apps & notifications.
- Under Advanced, find App permissions. Tap on that, and tap on Location.
- In the list of apps that appears, toggle which ones you want to have location services. Make sure these are set to On and the ones that need it are Off.
3. Keep things dark
The brighter your phone screen, the more battery it takes to run. Keep your phone screen dim to save power, or use auto-brightness.
To adjust your Android’s brightness:
- Swipe down to reach the Status Bar.
- The brightness slider will be there, looking like a sun on a line. Tap and hold the sun, and drag it to the left to be darker, or to the right to be brighter.
- Set your brightness to a dim level where you can read your phone, but the battery won’t be pushed too hard.
To turn on auto-brightness:
- In Settings, tap on Display.
- Set the Adaptive brightness switch to On. Your screen will now adjust its brightness depending on the light you’re in.
You can also adjust your phone to use the Dark theme to reduce its battery usage. Tap or click here to learn how to turn on Dark theme, and why it helps save battery.
4. Make sure your phone is healthy
There are also apps you can get that are full of adware and malware — Tap or click here to see if you have any of these apps. You can use your phone sparingly, but still have your battery suddenly drain, thanks to malware or software bugs.
Downloading untested or unsafe apps can cause this, so be careful what you put on your device. Tap or click here to learn the warning signs that your Android has a virus. If your phone does have malware on it, tap or click here to turn on Safe mode and delete the app from your phone.
5. Use Battery saver
Battery saver makes your Android run at a minimal level. It stops background downloads, limits processing and even reduces screen brightness to save battery.
You can activate the mode when your phone battery is low, or you can use it when you aren’t actively using your Android. Your phone will still function, but on minimal power, so it’ll be juiced when you need it later.
To turn on Battery saver:
- Go to Settings, and tap on Battery.
- Tap the three dot menu button, and click on Battery saver, then turn in On.
- To activate Battery saver at a certain power percentage, tap on Turn on automatically, and input the percentage you want to set.
The tips above will also help your Android battery last much longer. These tips saved our phones when we’re out and about though, even without portable battery packs. And they can save yours, too.
By clicking our links, you’re supporting our research, as we may earn a very small commission. Recommendations are not part of any business incentives.