Imagine you’re in a new city and are in desperate need of directions, when suddenly your battery dies and your screen goes black. Few modern day problems are worse than seeing your iPhone battery left with just a thin red sliver. When your battery dies, you feel disconnected and uninformed. Being cut off from the Internet and your contacts is at best unpleasant and at worst panic-inducing.
We’ve done the research and looked at every possible way to make your iOS 9 battery life last longer. While some of these techniques may seem straight forward, there are many others you may never have thought of. By the end of this guide, you’ll be armed with the information you need to squeeze out every possible second of battery life from your iPhone.
Keep Your Software Up-To-Date
Always make sure that your iPhone is updated with the latest software. Apple’s updates often include energy-saving technology. Your iPhone will alert you when there’s an update to install and it’s a good idea to install each update as soon as it’s available.
Access Data the Smart Way
Most people use their iPhone to access online data without knowing how to choose the best connection based on their location or needs at the moment. Here are five energy-saving options when deciding whether you should use WiFi or cellular data:
- Opt for a nearby WiFi connection over the cellular network. Using WiFi takes up much less energy than using the cellular network.
- Don’t keep the WiFi turned on around-the-clock. If you’re not near a WiFi connection, the phone will continuously look for one, which drains the battery.
- If you don’t need to access data on your phone, turn off WiFi altogether. When you’re just waiting for a phone call or keeping your phone on for emergencies, turning off WiFi will conserve power because it won’t continually be searching for or reconnecting to a WiFi network.
- Turn off your cellular data. You’ll still be reachable by text and phone, but your iPhone won’t be able to use the network to go online. You can either use WiFi, if a connection’s available, or keep both WiFi and cellular data turned off in order to really maximize whatever battery power you have left.
- When you’re in an area with poor cell coverage, your phone will continually look for a cell signal, which will use up a lot of your battery. Turn on Airplane Mode from the Control Center so that it will stop searching for a signal. Note that you won’t be able to make calls or receive them with Airplane Mode is on.
Adjust Your Screen’s Brightness and Behaviors
- Adjusting your screen brightness can extend iOS 9 battery life. The brighter the screen, the more energy it will zap from your phone, limiting how long it will stay on before needing another charge. Either dim it manually via the Control Center or set the Auto-Brightness feature to “on,” which will auto-dim your screen when you’re in bright light.
- The more your home and lock screen are activated because of incoming notifications, the more your battery will be drained. Change the notifications settings so that your screen doesn’t light up every single time you get an inconsequential notification, like a Tweet or an Instagram comment. You can still have the app show the number of notifications you’ve missed without each one turning on your home screen.
- The longer your iPhone screen is on, the more power it’s sucking up. When you’re not using your phone, there’s no reason for the screen to stay lit. From the “Auto-Lock” option in “Settings,” set the phone to lock after just 30 seconds. You can get your home screen to turn off even faster if you get into the habit of pressing the sleep button every time you’re finished with your phone. The small button on the top of your phone will turn off the screen.
Keeping an Eye on Battery Usage
Check out the battery usage to see which apps are using up the most energy (from the “Settings” menu, go to “Battery” and scroll down). Close the apps you’re not using to converse power. Some of your apps may be closed but still operating in the background, which can drain the phone’s battery. Turn this feature off by going to “Settings,” “General” and “Background App Refresh.” The following three apps have a big impact on battery usage:
- The camera is one of the best features of the iPhone, but using it over and over will drain your battery. If you’re trying to conserve power, don’t take any shots for the time being, and definitely don’t use the flash if you do decide to snap a picture or two.
- If you frequently run into low battery issues, consider removing Facebook for the time being. After the iOS 9 update, many users have had trouble with Facebook using up a ton of iOS 9 battery life even when the Background Activity option is set to “off.” If you still want to access Facebook, you can do so through the browser on your phone.
- Limit background activity in the Mail app by changing the fetch feature to “Manual.” That way, your phone won’t regularly refresh Mail to load new messages. Also, the more Mail accounts you’ve added, the quicker your battery will drain. Get rid of any Mail accounts you don’t absolutely need or setup forwarding so that all of your accounts filter into the one you have setup on your phone.
Settings to Improve iOS 9 Battery Life
AirDrop: This is a useful tool, but it can also suck your battery dry because it regularly searches for nearby devices to share content with. Only use AirDrop when you really need it. All other times, turn it off from the Control Center.
Alerts: A lot of iPhone users love having their phone set to vibrate to alert them to notifications, but this can eat away at your battery. Turn off vibrate and opt for a soft ping notification that won’t be too interruptive.
Bluetooth: If you’re not using Bluetooth on your phone, turn if off. You can do this in “Settings,” but it’s easier to simply swipe up from the bottom of your phone and turn it off in the Control Center. There’s no reason to keep Bluetooth on if you’re not trying to connect to a speaker or other Bluetooth-enabled accessory.
Location Services: Your phone’s Location Services are useful if you need to get somewhere unfamiliar or find businesses in your area, but they can use up a lot of power in the interim. Turn Location Services off completely, toggle apps to only use Location Services while active, or turn Location Services off for select apps.
Spotlight: The Spotlight feature indexes everything on your phone so that you can easily find it when you want to, but in order to do that, it’s constantly working in the background. To turn off Spotlight for certain apps, go to the “General” menu in “Settings” and click on “Spotlight Search.” From there, you can toggle which categories to keep on and which to turn off.
Limiting the Wallpaper’s Graphics
The dynamic wallpaper capability was a cool addition to iOS 7, letting the wallpaper move as you move the phone. However, those graphics will run your battery down quickly. For most iOS 9 users, the novelty of the dynamic wallpaper has run out enough that switching to a static one won’t be such a big deal.
Using Audio While Still Conserving Power
Most people don’t realize that an iPhone’s volume settings play a big role in iOS 9 battery life. If you’re playing music or some type of audio from your phone, keeping the volume turned down can preserve your battery. Alternatively, you can use headphones, which require less power than the phone’s speakers.
What to Do When Your Phone is Extra Low on Power
The iOS 9 upgrade came with Low Power Mode, one of the easiest ways to extend the life of the battery, especially when it starts getting low and you can’t charge it. As your battery level dips, you’ll get an alert that will give you the option of turning on Low Power Mode. Brightness, performance and animations are all lowered for the sake of preserving the battery.
Parallax effects are what make an iPhone cool, but if you’re trying to keep your phone from shutting off, they’re not helping out much. Until you can recharge, turn off the effects by going to “Accessibility” in the “General” settings area and turning on “Reduce Motion.”
If you’re running out of battery power and you’re also bored, it’s tempting to use what power you have left for games and fun apps. The more work you phone has to do, the quicker it will die, though. Avoid games and high-impact apps if you want your phone to stay on for as long as possible.
Why You Should Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Your iPhone can perform in a host of temperatures, but it’s always a good idea to avoid extremes whenever possible. According to Apple, any temperature higher than 95 degrees celsius can cause permanent damage to your battery’s capacity. Extreme cold weather isn’t as detrimental to battery life, but it will affect it temporarily.
Avoid charging in a case that causes the phone to generate extra heat. Simply feel how hot the phone gets when it’s charging in the case – if it’s hotter than normal, either charge it when it’s out of the case or get a new case that’s safe to charge it in.
The Best Way to Store Your iPhone
If you’re going to be storing your iPhone for a long period of time, keep it half-charged before powering it down. Don’t fully charge it beforehand or let it drain completely. Make sure to store it in a cool environment that’s free of moisture.
Improving iOS 9 battery life ranges from the obvious (updating your software, using fewer apps) to the surprising (lowering the volume, investing in a new case). Without making your phone ineffective, you can retain its productivity features while keeping the battery more charged than not. Regularly maintain your phone, pay attention to how you’re accessing data, change the settings to go easy on your battery and decide which features you can live without for the sake of keeping your phone on longer.