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Smartphones & gadgets

Battery draining quickly? Find out which apps are to blame

If your phone battery seems to drain quickly, don’t immediately assume you need to exchange it. Sometimes the true culprits are right under your nose.

It’s also possible you haven’t correctly configured your phone’s settings. Did you breeze through the setup steps when you opened it up? It’s not too late to fix Tap or click here for 3 crucial security settings for your Android.

But what else can cause battery drain? Apps. Some are worse than others, and if you’re always using these battery killers, your phone won’t last nearly as long as you want. We’ll explain why apps drain so much power and walk you through the steps to change your battery usage settings. Plus, learn a few smartphone habits to stretch out its lifespan.

Apps are double-edged swords

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You love your apps because they make life simpler. Want to talk to family in a different state? Open up Facebook Messenger. Love to add filters to your pics? Try Snapchat or Snapseed.

But while you’re enjoying all these features, your battery is paying the price. Why is that?

Well, some are free to use with ads, and every advertisement that loads require power. If the ad is poorly designed, it can wind up using a lot more energy than you’d expect.

Other apps constantly refresh themselves in the background. This means even if it’s locked, your Android is working overtime to keep your feed up to date.

And, of course, video streaming apps gobble up your phone’s energy because your screen is on for a prolonged period of time (that eats the battery, too!) and it takes power to download and play shows.

Here are some of the worst offenders:

  • Snapchat
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Netflix
  • WhatsApp
  • TikTok
  • Google Maps

Battery drain isn’t the only thing to worry about. Some apps are downright dangerous for the health of your phone. Tap or click here to see a list of apps you should delete right now.

Check your settings

If your battery doesn’t last a full day, reduce the drain by making the following adjustments. These steps work for Android 9 and up.

  • Change the screen display so it turns off sooner. Just open Settings and tap Display > Advanced > Screen timeout. Pick a short time, like 30 seconds.
  • Reduce screen brightness. Simply swipe down from the top of the screen and move the slider at the top to the left.
  • Automatically adjust screen brightness. Open Settings and tap Display > Adaptive brightness and turn it on.
  • Turn off keyboard sounds and vibrations. All you have to do is open Settings and tap Sound > Advanced. From here, turn sound and/or vibration off.
  • Turn off high-draining features like hotspots when you don’t need them or set your Wi-Fi to not automatically turn on near saved networks.
  • Restrict the use of apps that use more power.

But how do you know which of your apps use the most power? It’s simple to figure out if you know the right steps.

Check your phone for the worst offenders

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You may assume only social media or streaming apps eat up your power, but games and prolonged use of built-in features can drain your battery, too.

If you’re not sure which of your apps is responsible for the drain, you can try gauging which ones eat the most energy by using one at a time for a few minutes and see how your battery changes — or you can do it the smart way. Here’s how:

  • Open your phone’s Settings and tap Battery > More (three-dot menu) > Battery usage.
  • Under the section “Battery usage since full charge,” you’ll see a list of apps with percentages next to them. That’s how much power they drain.

RELATED: Tap or click here to learn about the Android bug responsible for draining your phone and tablet batteries

Once you know which apps are using up most of your power, you can start cutting back on using them, unless you know you can charge your phone soon.

You can also restrict apps from using so much juice while running in the background. To do this, open Settings and tap Battery. If you see an app with a card advising you to restrict it, tap the card, then Restrict.

One more restriction option is to go to Settings > Battery > More (three-dot menu) > Battery usage. Under “Battery usage since full charge,” you’ll notice some apps allow you to turn on Background restriction. Turn them all on.

For your battery’s best chance, switch on Battery optimization. Just go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Special app access > Battery optimization. If an app is listed as “Not optimized,” tap the app, then > Optimize > Done.

And that’s it! You now have all the information to find which apps are draining the most battery and why, and you also know how to adjust settings to keep them from running in the background all day long.

Keep those apps in check and enjoy a nice, long battery life for your device.

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