Anyone who’s used an iPhone for even a few days has discovered that while these phones are more powerful, and more fun, than perhaps any other cell or smart phone, that fun comes with a price: battery use. Any halfway intensive iPhone user will recharge their phone almost every couple of days.
There are ways to conserve iPhone battery life, but many of them involve turning off services and features, which makes it a choice between all the cool things that the iPhone can do and having enough juice to do them.
Here are 17 tips to help you extend your iPhone's power, including new tips for iOS 7, which has features that can drain battery faster than earlier versions.
You don't need to follow all of them (what fun would that be?)—just use the ones that make sense for how you use your iPhone—but following some will help you conserve juice.
1. Turn on Auto-Brightness
The iPhone has an ambient light sensor that adjusts the brightness of the screen based on the light around it (darker in dark places, brighter when there's more ambient light) to both save battery and make it easier to see. Turn Auto-Brightness on and you’ll save energy because your screen will need to use less power in dark places.
Find it in the Settings app -> Brightness & Wallpaper -> Auto-Brightness On
2. Reduce Screen Brightness
You can control the default brightness of your iPhone screen with this slider. Needless to say, the brighter the default setting for the screen, the more power it requires. Keep the screen dimmer to conserve more of your battery.
Find it in Settings -> Brightness & Wallpaper
One of the coolest features of iOS 7 is called Background Motion. It's subtle, but if you move your iPhone and watch the app icons and background image, you'll see them move slightly independently of each other, as if they're on different planes. This is called a parallax effect. It's really cool, but it also drains battery. You may want to leave it on to enjoy the effect, but if not, turn it off this way:
Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Reduce Motion -> move slider to green/on
4. Disable Dynamic Backgrounds (iOS 7)
5. Turn Bluetooth Off
Bluetooth wireless networking is especially useful for cell phone users with wireless headsets or earpieces. But transmitting data wirelessly takes battery and leaving Bluetooth on to accept incoming data at all times requires even more juice. Turn off Bluetooth except when you’re using it to squeeze more power from your battery.
Find it in Settings -> Bluetooth -> Move Slider to Off
6. Turn Off 3G/4G
The iPhone 3G and later models can take advantage the speedy 3G and 4G LTE cellular phone networks. Not surprisingly, using 3G, and especially 4G LTE, requires more energy to get the quicker data speeds and higher-quality calls. It’s tough to go slower, but if you need more power, turn off 3G/4G or LTE and just use the older, slower networks. Your battery will last longer (though you’ll need it when you’re downloading websites more slowly!).
Find it in Settings -> General -> Cellular -> Slide Enable 3G to Off on some models or Enable LTE to Off on the iPhone 5 or newer
7. Keep Wi-Fi Off
The other kind of high-speed network that the iPhone can connect to is Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is even faster than 3G or 4G, though it’s only available where there’s a hotspot (not virtually everywhere like 3G or 4G). Keeping Wi-Fi turned on at all times in hopes that an open hotspot will appear is a sure way to drain your battery life. So, unless you’re using it right this second, keep Wi-Fi turned off.
Find it in Settings -> WiFi -> Slide to Off
8. Turn Off Location Services
One of the coolest features of the iPhone is its built-in GPS. This allows your phone to know where you are and give you exact driving directions, give that information to apps that help you find restaurants, and more. But, like any service that sends data over a network, it needs battery power to work. If you’re not using Location Services, and don’t plan to right away, turn them off and save some power.
Find it in Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> Slide to Off
9. Turn Off Other Location Settings (iOS 5 and up)
Use this tip if your iPhone or other devices upgraded to iOS 5 are burning through battery life too quickly. It's probably a software bug, so Apple may fix it and this tip may go away, but in the meantime, here it is.
A number of additional location services introduced in iOS 5 seem to be draining too quickly. Turn them off and you should regain some battery life.
Find it in Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> System Services -> Turn off Diagnostics & Usage, Location-Based iAds, and Setting Time Zone
10. Prevent Background App Refresh (iOS 7)
There are a number of new features in iOS 7 designed to make your iPhone smarter and ready for you whenever you need it. One of these features is Background App Refresh. This feature looks at the apps you use most often, the time of day that you use them, and then automatically updates them for you so that the next time you open the app, the latest information is waiting for you. For instance, if you always check social media at 7:30 am, iOS 7 learns that and automatically updates your social apps before 7:30 am. Needless to say, this useful feature drains battery. To turn it off:
Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh -> Either disable the feature entirely or for specific apps