I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a cellphone battery that lasts as long as the manufacturer says it will. Apple says its iPhone Xr is good for up to 15 hours of internet use, its iPhone 7 can handle up to 14 hours of talk time, and the 6 will play video for up to 11 hours.
It’s not that Apple is lying. Your iPhone will last as long as the manufacturer says — if you keep it at its factory settings.
But we don’t. Our phones are microcomputers that are using apps constantly in the background, which zap battery life. I’m going to tell you three things you can do right now that will make your iPhone last longer between charges.
Bonus: Find out how to charge your iPhone faster
Stop automatic email fetch
When you set up your email account on your iPhone, you probably didn’t worry about your battery life. Who would? But your iPhone may have your email set up to Push. What that means is that your email, contacts and account information are always at your fingertips.
Now that seems like a great feature, but it comes with a heavy cost to your battery. Your phone is constantly asking the email server for new information, and every one of those requests is costing you battery power.
If you don’t need always-instant access to your mail and contacts, try this:
- Go to Settings
- Choose Passwords and Accounts
- Choose Fetch New Data
- If Push is on, turn it off
- Down at the bottom, you can choose Every 15 minutes under Fetch
- Make sure your other accounts are also set to Fetch
This will cut down that constant barrage of requests and save you a ton of battery life. Note that even if you never set up Mail on your phone, this setting may be enabled!
Bonus: 3 ways to cut down on spam email
Turn off location settings
One thing that’s great about the iPhone is the way it provides local and relevant information, and that’s a useful feature. But you’d be surprised how many apps are tracking your location. It’s a big privacy problem, and it’s also draining your battery.
To check what’s using your location:
- Go to Settings
- Go to Location Services
There, you’ll see all the apps using your location information. Now, this isn’t something you want to turn off entirely. Things like a mapping app knowing where you are is helpful. Share My Location makes it easy to give your location to family and friends, for example. But you may want to set some of those other apps to “While Using” or turn off location entirely.
Now, be careful playing with this since it could break some important functionality, but if you’re confident in your iPhone skills, tap on System Services and see all the things running behind the scenes. You obviously want to keep things like Emergency Calls and SOS and Find My iPhone running, but you’d be surprised what Apple is watching behind the scenes.
Bonus: How to stop your iPhone from tracking you
Tap Significant Locations and you can see all the places Apple thinks are important to you. Did you know they were tracking you that closely? You can turn that off unless you care about getting location-relevant ads. There are several other settings for local advertising that you can turn off unless you are particularly inclined to worry about the usefulness of your ads.
Disable analytics and advertising data
For one more way to protect your privacy and battery, try this:
- Go to Settings
- Tap Privacy
- Scroll down to the bottom
You’ll see two words with no fancy icons: Analytics and Advertising. Analytics is simply the phone reporting back to Apple how you’re using it. Advertising is, obviously, tracking where you are and what you do to serve you better ads.
Bonus: Popular smartphone apps are selling your location data without your knowledge
Even if you’re fine with that in principle, turn it off if you’d rather not use your battery power to do it. Give these quick changes a try and you’ll see an improvement in your battery life. Even better, you won’t have to buy a new battery or even a whole new phone to get the performance you paid for.