Phone Battery Draining? 4 Causes & How To Fix It

There’s a lot of talk within the tech industry about the plateau of smartphones.

There was once a time that each upgrade and iteration far surpassed the last. But now — as the smartphone market reaches maturity — there aren’t all that many ways for smartphones to improve (unless you consider folding your phone in half an improvement).

That said, there is one feature many smartphone users would like to see change: battery life. It’s especially common for those with older phones to complain about their phone battery draining.

Batteries degrade fairly quickly, becoming obsolete after two years of use. And battery maintenance is more trouble than it should be.

If you’re frustrated by a phone battery that won’t keep its charge, then this article will provide you with the tips you need to keep it running all day long.

Modify your push email

When your email settings are set to “push,” it means that they periodically check your mailbox for new messages. Every time this happens (which is pretty much constantly), your battery drains. 

Though push mail is convenient, it’s not worth killing your battery for. Here’s how to change it:

  • On iPhone: Open the Settings app, tap Passwords & Accounts, and tap Fetch New Data. You can change your Fetch settings to automatically check for new messages every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, hourly, or manually when you open the Mail app). The more time between fetches, the better off your battery will be.
  • On Android: Open the Gmail app, tap Menu (three horizontal lines), tap General Settings, and navigate to Sync frequency. The longer you set your sync frequency, the better it will be for your battery, with Never being the most battery-friendly option.

Change your app usage.

A much simpler cause for phone battery problems is app usage. You could either be on your phone for too long or spending too much time on high-energy apps. Games, video players, cameras, and social media all use a much higher battery level than other apps. 

On iPhone, you can cut down your usage of these apps with Screen Time. Just go to the Screen Time settings in the Settings app. There you’ll be able to see how much time you spend on each app — you can even set time limits for background apps that kill your battery too quickly. 

Android users, you can use Google’s Digital Wellbeing app released in Android Pie to help you see how your phone’s battery power is being used. Whether you use iOS or Android, it’s a good idea to see what apps may run in the background without you knowing it.

Use Wi-Fi networks whenever possible.

Aside from your phone’s screen and apps, the biggest consumer of your battery is connectivity. Searching for connectivity, as well as just being connected to a network, can cause your phone battery to drain faster. 

Instead, you can reduce your battery use by using WiFi wherever possible (cellular data drains your battery quickly). You can also try turning off WiFi whenever there isn’t a WiFi connection around (that way, your phone doesn’t search for something it won’t be able to find).

Use offline maps, not location services.

One of the main reasons we use location services is to find our way around an unfamiliar part of town or to find where our errand is located.

Fortunately, Google Maps can help you avoid battery drain by downloading maps of your area to your phone. When you need to go somewhere, you’ll be able to search for local places and find the best routes to them. According to a thread in Apple’s support forum, it appears that Apple Maps can use offline maps as well.

Turn on airplane mode.

The biggest culprits of phone battery drain are all of the various wiFi-connected services running in the background as you use your phone. Using Wi-Fi or your cellular data connection, your phone constantly searches for and confirms that there’s a strong signal present so features like your phone’s location services work and any apps running in the background are easily accessible for you.

When you turn on airplane mode on your phone, the internet-connected services, apps, and features running in the background aren’t able to work. Airplane mode frees up your battery usage for the most important tasks at that moment (like extending your battery life).

Adjust your screen brightness

Another way you can extend the life of your phone’s battery is by adjusting the screen brightness. Go into your phone’s settings app and search for “brightness.” By default, your phone will have auto-brightness enabled, which means your phone will detect the level of light in your room and adjust the screen brightness so it doesn’t strain your eyes.

But, the convenience of being able to see without eye strain worries comes with a trade-off. A brightly-lit screen means that your phone battery is draining little by little in the background.

Turn on dark mode

When you turn on dark mode for your phone, your phone turns the background for apps, notifications, and more to a gray or black color. This lets you save battery life and is a great battery optimization trick to use when you’re in a pinch.

To turn dark mode on, visit your phone’s settings app, then search for dark mode or night mode. Once enabled, your phone will transition to a dark-colored theme for apps, notifications, and settings.

Replace your battery

Last but not least, your battery life woes might be as simple as a battery replacement. If phone battery drain is becoming a regular occurrence, you want to check the age of your phone. If your phone is more than two years old, this is most likely the cause of your constant battery drain.

While replacing your battery might sound like a hassle, it’s usually not. With $50 and a trip to your local phone repair shop, you can usually have the problem resolved in an hour. Purchasing a new battery for your phone can also boost your phone’s performance, extending your phone’s battery life and allowing you to get another year or two out of it.

Is your phone battery draining still? Call ScreenWorks!

If you weren’t able to stop your phone battery from draining quickly with any of these four steps, or if you’re due for a battery replacement, you can reach out to our team here at ScreenWorks. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about your devices. Together, we’ll get your phone battery back to 100%!

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