Friday, July 19, 2024

How to fix an iPhone with a battery that dies quickly

The iPhone is the standard bearer for most smart phones. With a sleek design, typically great hardware, and a library of apps both large and carefully curated, Apple seems to have thought through every detail of the phone’s design. That being said, even tech perfection will over time experience problems, especially those that run on batteries.

Possible cause of iPhone Battery Drain #1: Diagnostics

While there are several possibilities of battery drain being a hardware problem, there is a much larger chance that battery drain is being caused by the settings on your iPhone. Somewhat ironically, this can be caused by the diagnostic feature on your phone, which can actively run scans and send reports back if any errors occur to the Apple Team. There are cases in which sending communications back and forth can take up a significant amounts of energy, and this can be rectified simply by going to Settings, then Privacy, and click on Diagnostics and Usage. After selecting this screen, ensure that the option to send data is turned off. If this was the problem, you should immediately notice that your battery is lasting longer, and there is a chance that if your iPhone happened to be warm to the touch, it may now be significantly cooler.

Possible cause of iPhone Battery Drain #2: Mail Settings

By default, any email account you have tethered to your Apple account is nearly constantly being checked by your phone for any new messages. As one might expect, if the check time is rather small (as it can be if something happens to glitch) this can suck the life right out of your battery. To fix this, we need to alter the check from what’s considered a “push” (constant refresh) to a fetch (checking every few minutes). Altering this is as easy as going to Settings, then Mail and Contacts, and Fetch New Data. There should be an option to push, which is by default turned on. Turn this off, and scroll to the bottom of the screen. There you will find timing options for “fetch”. For best results, select 15 minutes and ensure the setting was saved after returning to the Home Screen.

Possible cause of iPhone Battery Drain #3: Location Settings

battery-location For those of us with an inclination to prefer privacy, there wasn’t much of a need for more of an incentive to shut off tracking. That being said, those unaware of it, or using it for various reasons may find that it can burn through battery life in a matter of hours. To fix this is a bit of a chore, but is summarized in the steps below.
Step One: Go to Settings, click on Privacy, then Location Services, tapping Share My Location.

Step Two: Tap System Services. Now, turn off everything, unless you want to keep one in particular (Find My iPhone is particularly useful).

Step Three: Now select Frequent Locations and make sure it’s turned off as well.

Step Four: Go back to the main menu, and start using your phone normally. There may be some apps that request your location for various reasons. In most cases, this will change no persistent settings and will not cause a massive drain on the battery. Do keep in mind though, apps that are GPS and Graphics heavy (Pokemon Go, in other words) will drain your battery regardless of settings due to the power needed for both the visual components and the constant GPS refresh.

Possible cause of iPhone Battery Drain #4: The Rogue App

Did you recently notice a bit of battery drain after installing a new app, and the iPhone turns hot or loses energy rapidly, even when the app itself isn’t turned on? If this is the case, then you might be experiencing a rouge app. While the Apple App Store curates what they present for sale quite well, there are always the occasional bugs and glitches which can cause a myriad of problems. Among these are constant server communication cycles, persistent background action, and using way too much power from the CPU. To fix this issue, it’s as simple as deleting the app that was downloaded just before your battery started draining.

Possible cause of iPhone Battery Drain #5: Background Apps Are Draining You

There are plenty of apps out there, which for better or worse, can update themselves and download all new content without you even being aware that the apps are using your power and data. To fix this, we can alter what’s called a Background App Refresh. To do this, simply go to Settings, then General, and tap the button by that name. Then, go through the apps listed, and turn off that setting for any app you don’t find a use in refreshing without your explicit knowledge.

Possible cause of iPhone Battery Drain #6: Your iPhone Needs to be Restored.

When all else fails, sometimes the only way to solve a battery issue is a full restore. You want to go to Settings, and find Reset, then click on that. It will take a few minutes to get everything off your device. After this, some users have reported that the battery is essentially good as new in terms of life length.

Possible cause of iPhone Battery Drain #7: Your iPhone Has Been On/ Charging for Too Long

If you are like many other smart phone users, you don’t have your phone off very often, if at all. While this can be tempting to do, making sure to turn off your phone for a few minutes every few days can actually lengthen battery life over all. While it’s the modern IT standby equivalent of “turn it off and turn it back on again”, it still magically works. Another common error many phone users commit is to leave their phones plugged in to the outlet long after the phone is at full charge. Though it would make sense that the battery would not be used through this method and thus increase battery life, it in fact causes a faster cycling of power, and subsequent shorter life.

Possible cause of iPhone Battery Drain #8: Your iPhone Needs to Warm Up

cold While only possible in colder climates and freakishly cold winters, there is a chance that your iPhone could be experiencing battery drain due to the temperature being too low. While this is by no means a permanent problem or solution, the simple act of turning your phone off and keeping it between your hands or (if you happen to have a safe way to do so while driving) near a heating vent for a few moments should do the trick. The common rationale behind this is that due to the nature of lithium ion batteries, at certain temperatures (typically at or just below freezing), the capacity of charge for these sort of batteries begins to decrease, while a simultaneous increase in internal resistance can occur. This can make for a deadly combo for your phone, dropping the battery life by 50% in under half an hour. If you happen to live (or are going to visit) a place that is likely to drop below freezing, keeping your phone in a pocket close to your body is a smart idea.

Possible cause of iPhone Battery Drain #9: Your iPhone Has a Faulty Battery

battery-drainage Sometimes, hardware defects just happen. In most cases, the user can pretty easily swap out a phone battery and go through their day. However with iPhone users, this is simply not the case. While there is a method to removing the battery, it requires multiple special tools, and often risks voiding your warranty. In this case, (and it does hurt me to say this) it is better left to the professionals. Returning your phone to the authorized retailer for repairs can be a pain, but if the battery is truly defective, it’s by far the safest and most sure way to improve length of life for your iPhone. Such warranty protected faults usually are covered by the provider for very little cost. This is also a fantastic method to fix your phone if you’ve noticed a lack of battery life after a particularly hot day, or after accidentally having your iPhone take a dip.

Cody Carmichael
Cody Carmichael
University graduate in Psychology, and health worker. On my off time I'm usually tinkering with tech or traveling to the ends of the globe.


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