A flat phone battery is beyond frustrating, especially when we’re out of the house and in need of our smartphones. Sometimes it feels like you’re charging your phone for hours only to have it die in half the time. But why, exactly, is your phone battery draining so fast? What you might not know is that several things can eat away at your battery without you even realizing it, and taking control of them can keep your battery fuller for longer. So, here are the seven most common causes of a quick-draining phone battery.
1. High Display Brightness
We’ll start with one of the more obvious causes for a fast-draining phone battery: screen brightness.
It may seem convenient to have your brightness on max, especially when you’re outside, but this has a huge effect on your battery. Moreover, having your phone on maximum brightness while using light mode drains your battery further. So, where possible, keep your screen brightness to a minimum to save that extra bit of battery life.
You can also adjust your phone’s brightness settings so that it adjusts to external light differences. This will allow it to darken in low-light environments and brighten in environments exposed to a lot of light. To do this, you’ll need to first head into your phone’s settings and then to the Display or Display & Brightness section (depending on whether you’re using an Android or iOS phone).
Here, you’ll be able to set your phone’s brightness to adjustable, saving you a good deal of battery life in the long run.
But a dimmer screen isn’t always convenient, especially if you have impaired eyesight. So, what else can you do instead of lowering your screen’s brightness?
One alternative is to switch your frequently used apps’ display to dark mode, as well as your phone’s general display. This doesn’t darken your phone screen drastically but switches your phone’s standard white menu and app backgrounds to black. You’d be surprised how much battery this can save without compromising on brightness.
You can switch your phone’s general display mode following the same steps as shown in the screenshots above.
2. Background Apps
Background apps essentially function even when you’re not directly using them. Examples include VPN, anti-virus, health, and calendar apps. These apps monitor or control certain aspects of your phone without you intervening, which, while convenient, drains your battery significantly.
What’s more, you probably don’t need a good number of these apps to be working in the background. So, how can you disable background apps?
As shown above, head into your Settings and click on Device Care (Android) or Battery (iPhone). Then, you should see the battery optimization option, which, if activated, will close down any unnecessary background apps. This could end up saving you a good chunk of battery life, so it’s worth considering.
3. Picture-in-Picture Mode
If you use YouTube Premium, Twitch, or a similar app on your phone, you may have used picture-in-picture mode before. This involves watching any video or stream in a small viewing box on your screen while using other apps. While this is convenient, using multiple apps simultaneously like this can drain your phone battery.
To disable picture-in-picture mode on chosen apps, go to your phone’s settings and head to the Apps section on an Android or Picture in Picture on an iPhone within the General section.
Then, click on your chosen app from the list provided. You can now view the permissions and general settings of the app in question. Here, you’ll be able to select the Picture in Picture option (if it applies to the app) and activate or deactivate it using the toggle.
4. Staying Connected 24/7
It might seem like a no-brainer to keep your Wi-Fi or data activated at all hours so that you can keep connected day and night. But this can significantly drain your phone battery, as you constantly get notifications, background updates, and more when you don’t necessarily need them.
During your sleeping hours is a great time to switch off your Wi-Fi. Of course, you could simply switch your phone to Airplane Mode. But, if you’re worried about missing an urgent call, you can instead turn off your Wi-Fi and data in your phone’s dropdown list so that you can still accept phone calls. Keep in mind that switching your phone to Do Not Disturb mode does not turn off your Wi-Fi or data.
5. An Old Phone Battery
Sometimes, it’s not an app or a setting that affects your phone’s battery life but the battery itself. As with everything, phones get old, and as the years go by, your battery won’t be as good as it once was. After about two or three years (depending on the model of the phone), your battery will no longer be able to achieve its original maximum capacity, which can lead to your battery draining fast.
Sometimes your phone will notify you when it detects a decrease in battery quality, but sometimes it won’t. The most common sign of a degrading battery without any notification is shorter battery life in general. So, what can be done about this?
The first and most obvious option is battery replacement. This is usually far cheaper than a total smartphone replacement and could fix your fast draining battery problem quickly and easily. Battery prices will vary depending on the specific phone you have.
The other option, of course, is to replace your phone entirely. You may be at the point where it’s not just the battery that’s lost its edge, and so opting for a replacement might just be the more convenient and financially wise option. Phone repairs can be very costly nowadays, so if you’re dealing with multiple faulty parts and your phone is getting on in years, it might be time for an upgrade.
6. Location-Tracking Apps
There are a huge number of apps that can track your location. Google Maps, Bumble, Deliveroo, retail apps, the lot. And, while you may think these apps solely track your location when you’re directly using them, this isn’t always the case. This constant location monitoring requires energy and can take a toll on your phone’s battery life.
So, how can this be avoided?
The easiest way to deactivate location tracking is to turn off your phone’s location altogether. You can do this in your phone’s dropdown menu. You can also hold down the location icon in your phone’s dropdown list to access your full location settings, as shown below.
However, if you want certain apps (maybe a safety or navigation app) to keep tracking your location, you can disable location tracking individually via the “Permissions” section of each app’s settings. Doing so might take you a while, but it’ll give you total control over which apps do and don’t have access to your real-time location.
7. A Surplus of Notifications
When you install a new app on your phone, the chances are that its notification settings will be automatically activated. But you don’t necessarily need to receive notifications from every app you have, and doing so can have a detrimental effect on the length of your phone’s battery life. So, you can deactivate notifications for certain apps to help mitigate battery loss.
To do this, go to your phone’s settings, and open the Notifications section. Here, you’ll be able to view the notification settings for all the apps installed on your phone.
You can now alter the notification settings of any app, either by quickly turning them on and off entirely via the toggle or tapping on the app itself to alter more specific settings. For example, you may want to receive notifications for Instagram messages, but not for Likes or Follows.
Additional Tips and Tricks
On top of the suggestions listed above, there are a couple of extra ways you can give your phone’s battery a helping hand.
Firstly, try to use the original charger your phone came with when charging it, as this will have a greater chance of allowing the battery to reach optimum capacity. This could also help with charging speed.
It’s also a good idea to check which apps are eating up the most of your battery life, which can be done in your phone’s settings in the Battery section. You’d be surprised at which apps are taking a huge toll on your phone’s battery life, and limiting their permissions or usage could prove to be hugely beneficial.
Say Goodbye to a Flat Battery With These Power-Saving Methods
It’s always a pain to have your phone die unexpectedly, but with the suggestions above, you’ll be able to optimize your phone’s battery and stop it from draining so quickly. Who knows, you might not even need to carry that portable charger around anymore! That’s certainly a win for us.