Prior to smartphones, your phone could last for days on a single charge. Today, we feel lucky if we don’t have to charge our phone before the end of the day. There are several ways to improve battery life on your phone. This week, we’ll cover ways to improve your iPhone’s battery life. Next week, we’ll shift our attention to Android devices.

1. Spend Less Time Watching Videos or Playing Games

You might be thinking, “Thanks, Captain Obvious.” These activities drain your battery at such an incredible rate, we figured it was worth mentioning anyway. Watching an hour-long episode could take 5% or more of your power. Games require even more power, especially those that compete online or are graphic-intensive.

2. Use Low Power Mode

Low Power Mode is absolutely the quickest and easiest way to save battery life. It’s been around since iOS 9. It automatically reduces the display brightness, optimizes performance, and reduces system animations. Some apps won’t download data in the background. You can still use your phone as you normally would. It just disables some of the fancier effects and features that you don’t really need.

Your phone will ask if you’d like to turn Low Power Mode on once it hits 20%. However, you can activate it manually. You can accomplish this in two different ways. First, open the Control Center and tap the battery icon. You can also navigate to Settings->Battery and turn it on there as well. Once activated, Low Power Mode will remain on until you turn it off or charge your phone to at least 80% power.

3. Turn Down the Brightness

Simply put, brighter screens drain more power than dim screens. You can lower screen brightness and reduce the load on your battery. Just access the Control Center, tap and hold the slider with the sun icon, and drag the slider down.

Typically, iPhones have Automatic Brightness enabled by default. This adjusts screen brightness automatically based on the ambient light in the area. Consequently, your phone won’t keep this setting permanently. If you’d like to disable Automatic Brightness, go to Settings->Brightness to turn it off. You can also adjust the brightness level there directly.

4. Activate Dark Mode

iOS 13 brought us Dark Mode. Surprisingly, Dark Mode can extend your battery life by up to 30%. Why? It takes more power to display lighter pixels than it does darker pixels. Power savings will vary between models. Some phones have LCD screens as opposed to OLED screens.

To activate Dark Mode, once again pull up the Control Center. Once there, long-press the brightness slider, and tap the Dark Mode icon to turn it on.

5. Turn It All Off (Except Your Phone)

If you really need to save power, you can turn off everything but the phone itself. Start with background activity. Apps are constantly doing things in the background. To disable this and save power, go to Settings->General->Background App Refresh. You can set this to Wi-Fi only or turn it off completely.

Still Having Battery Issues?

Is your battery still running out too soon? You can learn a lot about what’s using power on your phone by going to Settings->Battery. You’ll find a list of apps telling you sorted by those using the most power. Tapping “SHOW ACTIVITY” will even let you see the amount of time spent on screen and in the background. You may find specific apps eating away at your battery life in the background.

In addition to all of this info, keep in mind that older iPhones have lower-capacity batteries. On top of that, batteries have a limited lifespan. They get weaker over time. These tips can certainly help, but don’t expect miracles. The best option for older devices is either battery replacement or an upgrade.

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