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6 ways to keep your iPhone battery at peak performance

Though smart phone batteries are improving with each new model, it’s still inevitable they’ll eventually start to fade and hold less charge. For older model iPhones, there was an issue that made batteries lose charge faster, which pressured people to upgrade. Apple says they no longer do that, but the point stands — iPhone batteries do eventually die.

There are things you can do to keep your iPhone battery at peak performance during its lifespan, and we want to tell you what those are. After all, new batteries are expensive and new iPhones are very expensive.

Below we have listed 6 ways you can keep your iPhone battery functioning at the highest possible level, which will help keep your phone in the best possible condition.

1. Don’t procrastinate!

App and iOS updates often come with bits of code that help your phone save energy. Some apps can take less power to run after an update, and others can run with less energy when refreshing in the background. Updates can also fix bugs that cause sudden power surges or battery misreads, and implement software that helps your phone be more energy-efficient all around.

Don’t put it off. When updates are available, go to Settings and scroll down to General. Tap Software Update, and install any updates you find there.

For app updates, in Settings go to iTunes & App Store, and turn the toggle for App Updates on. This will allow your iPhone to automatically apply any app updates when your phone is charging (or charged over 85%) and connected to Wi-Fi, so you’ll never miss an update again.

2. Stop wasting data

Accessing data is incredibly useful when you can’t be on Wi-Fi, but data use actually drains your phone battery more than using Wi-Fi does. Even if you have an unlimited data plan, use Wi-Fi whenever you can, if only to preserve your phone battery.

Nervous about the security of a public Wi-Fi network? You should be. Check out our tips on how to access public Wi-Fi in a safe and secure way by tapping or clicking here.

In low signal areas, it’s better to just turn off access to the internet altogether. If you don’t, your iPhone will keep looking for Wi-Fi networks to connect to so it can perform background updates and refreshes, which drains your battery. Put your iPhone in Airplane mode by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and tapping the plane icon.

Note: Airplane mode will not allow internet access and will keep calls and emails from coming through.

3. Why is everything so bright?

The brighter your screen, the more energy you need from your phone’s battery. Try keeping your iPhone brightness dim, or use Auto-Brightness to keep your phone’s energy usage low.

You can adjust your phone’s brightness by going to Settings > Display & Brightness and adjusting the Brightness scale. You can also choose the Dark appearance.

Another way to adjust screen brightness is to simply swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open the Control Center. Just drag the bar with the sun icon up or down.

To turn on Auto-Brightness, go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size, and scroll down to Auto-Brightness. Toggle this feature on.

If you think the brightness of your screen isn’t a big deal, remember your phone wakes up every time you get a notification. Waking and brightening your screen for every little notification throughout the day uses quite a bit of your iPhone’s battery.

Consider disabling notifications on apps that notify you frequently, particularly if they’re not important. Notifications for apps can be modified by going into Settings, and tapping on the name of the app. Here, you can choose to turn notifications off individually.

Another option is to simply enter Do Not Disturb mode, which silences all calls and notifications, even if your device is unlocked. Do Not Disturb can be activated by swiping up on your phone screen and tapping the box with the moon icon in it.

Keep in mind if you’re frequently checking your home screen, you’re waking it and the brightness adjusts. This will drain your battery just like notifications will. Instead of pulling your home screen up just to check the time, consider investing in a watch. Tap or click here to see if it’s time to upgrade to the latest Apple Watch.

4. Avoid extremes

Extreme heat and extreme cold are very bad for iPhones. The phone comes with an internal thermometer so the device can power down if it gets too hot or too cold, but that function doesn’t always save the battery.

In many cases, the phone will have drained a lot of its own power trying to stay functional beforehand, or the battery gets permanently damaged by the extreme temperature. In some instances of extreme heat, iPhone batteries have been known to explode, so you want to keep your iPhone safe from extreme temperatures at all times.

Some iPhone cases can cause overheating as well. If your phone feels hot when it’s plugged in to a charger, the phone case might be trapping heat (and this is even worse if you put your phone under your pillow while you sleep). So charge your phone sans case and in open air to prevent overheating.

5. How often do you need to refresh?

Some apps refresh themselves in the background throughout the day. This is great for staying on top of your social media and email, but it uses up a significant portion of your battery.

You can turn off background activity by going into your Settings, then tapping General and Background App Refresh. Under Background App Refresh, which appears again on the next page, you get three options: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi & Cellular Data and Off.

Wi-Fi allows apps to constantly refresh in the background only when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi & Cellular Data allows refreshing only if you have sufficient service to use data or when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. If you choose Off, your battery will benefit and will not allow any apps to refresh themselves in the background.

6. Charge like a pro

Starting with iOS 13, iPhones can now use Optimized Battery Charging. With Optimized Battery Charging turned on, your phone will notice your charge habits and adjust to your schedule. For example, if you routinely charge your phone overnight and wake around, say, 8 a.m. every morning, the iPhone will slowly charge the battery up to 80%. It will then finish charging to 100% by 8 a.m.

Charging this way reduces wear on the phone battery and reduces the amount of time your phone is fully charged. Optimized Battery Charging slows the eventual decline of your battery as it ages, so you should definitely upgrade to iOS 13, where the feature is enabled by default.

If you want to turn Optimized Battery Charging off, go to Settings, Battery, and Battery Health. Set the Optimized Battery Charging toggle to off.

Since these tips are so easy to follow, there’s no reason your battery can’t last years. Take care of your iPhone, and you’ll be rewarded with fewer repairs and less expense. You won’t regret it, and your iPhone won’t either.

Do you use an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch? Tap or click here to get the most out of your favorite Apple tech with Kim’s weekly Apple Updates newsletter. It’s packed with news, tips and tricks, and the coolest new apps.

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