8:16 am

Troubleshoot iPhone Battery Problems

If your iPhone battery doesn't last as long as you'd like, it is probably because of an app that is using too much power. You can check to see which apps are using the most power in the Settings app in iOS 10. You can compare the amount of power they are using to the amount of time you are using the apps to make a better determination of which apps could be causing trouble.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. I often hear that people aren't satisfied with the battery life on their iPhone. Either they can't get through the whole day without having to plug in or maybe the battery is not lasting as long as it used to. Most of the time this doesn't have to do with the iPhone hardware or the battery itself. It's simply has to do with the apps that you are using.

Some apps use more battery power than others and sometimes the way you use apps use a lot of battery power. It's very easy to figure out what is going on.

In iOS 10 all you need to do is go into Settings. Under Settings there is a category for battery. If you wait a few seconds you will see a battery usage list appear at the bottom of the screen. Go and take a look at that. It's going to be sorted by which apps are using the most battery.

So you can see here Safari is using the most. Audible next, etc. Now you can switch between 24 hours and last 7 days to get different views. But the important thing to do is to tap on that clock there to the right. That little clock just to the right of Last 7 days. It will add the amount of screen time for the app and the amount of background time.

So it's important to judge the app based on those numbers because if you see an app that has very little screen time and background time but it's using a lot of power you know that it's kind of power per minute is high. But if you see an app that's using a lot of power but it turns out that you are using it for hours and hours every day then don't be so harsh on the app. You're the one that using it a lot.

Now the background time is the time that it's not actually on the screen. So for the things like Audible and Cyclemeter, the app I use to track my bike rides, you can see a lot of background time which makes sense because I'm not looking at the screen or even that the screen on while I'm using those apps. I'm just listening or riding. But Safari, of course, I'm always looking at the screen while I'm using Safari.

I find the apps that are the biggest culprits for battery time are things where you scroll through lots of images like, for instance, Facebook, SnapChat, and Instagram. It's very easy with a flick of your finger to scroll through dozens or hundreds or images in only a few minutes. It's equivalent to loading hundreds of pages on the web but you're just flicking through all these images. It's loading everyone. It's loading video sometimes and it's doing it as fast as it can and it really drains the battery.

So once you figure out which app is causing you an issue you may want to change your behavior or how much you use that app if it's not that important. If you can search out another app that does the same thing and maybe uses the battery a little bit better.

Comments: 9 Responses to “Troubleshoot iPhone Battery Problems”

    10/23/16 @ 5:37 pm

    Great video. I also recommend to plug the iphone quite often to charge and keep the battery level between 25 -80 %


    Jeffrey Ostermiller
    10/27/16 @ 10:13 am

    During the course of days or weeks a lot of opened apps will remain open in the background. Would it be a good idea simply to do an occasional iPhone reset to dump the background apps to reduce battery usage of these forgotten apps and hence unnecessary battery usage?

    10/27/16 @ 10:22 am

    Jeffrey: No. Thinking of apps as “opened in the background” isn’t an accurate metaphor. Think of them as “paused in the background.” This is usually the case. Sometimes apps will do a little work in the background — but in those cases that is what you want. For instance, my cycling tracking app doesn’t need to be the app on the screen to track my bike rides. I WANT it to keep working in the background. But a game I am playing or a social media app isn’t using any system resources unless it is on my screen.

    10/27/16 @ 3:22 pm

    Thanks as always great video – one thing you didn’t cover is what (if any) setting can be changed to solve an obvious battery sucking app? eg Mail is using 46% of my battery in last 24 hours with “1 min. on screen – 5.6 hrs background” [last 3 days 19% – 20 min on screen – 5.8 hrs in background] can I do anything to sort this? – Thanks

    10/27/16 @ 3:39 pm

    Tim: It really depends on your situation, the app, etc. If Mail had a ton to update, then maybe it was busy syncing with the server. Also depends on how much battery you used and what else you did. If you didn’t use your iPhone much at all that day, then 46% for the Mail app isn’t bad. But if you played a game for 6 hours and Mail still beat the game, then maybe I’d look into it.
    The most common thing I see is when an app that scrolls and shows images loaded from the Internet is used. Like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc. You can flip your finger for 5 minutes and scroll through a ton of images and text, loading each one. It is like visiting 100 webpages in 5 minutes. It will eat battery and bandwidth and it is obvious if you think about it.
    Sometimes it is as easy as that. Other times it is hard — like with Mail it could have been a situation where Mail couldn’t contact your Mail server, so it kept trying for a few hours. On a normal day, maybe it will use a lot less.

    10/27/16 @ 5:40 pm

    Thanks Gary great advice as always Cheers Mate.

    Carol A Fletcher
    10/28/16 @ 7:56 am

    Using the Home & Lock Screen 39%. That is next to 40% Messages. What can I do to cut that usage? Thanks.

    10/28/16 @ 8:08 am

    Carol: First, consider that maybe it isn’t that much. It is all relative. If you are only using Message through the day, and running your battery from 100% down to 75% (very little) then 39% and 40% of “very little” isn’t anything to worry about. On the other hand, if you are running out of battery at 3 p.m. after starting at 100% in the morning, then both apps are using a lot. But that is unlikely. I can’t see running your battery out when 79% of your use is Home Screen and Messages — two low-power apps.
    However, for those with problems with Home Screen, you may want to look at what widgets you have and get rid of those you don’t actually use.

    11/1/16 @ 7:44 am

    Gary, a few points:
    Home/Lock screen battery usage is a combination of 2 settings, both found (in iOS 10) Settings-Display&Brightness. The settings are Brightness and Autolock. Try to keep Brightness slider to left of center, and AutoLock to 2 minutes or less. When we stop using the device the screen stays at the Brightness level for the Autolock amount of time, which can affect battery life dearly, depending on the setting values chosen. I tell folks to experiment, knowing the impact of both

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