The battery life on iOS 11 is dreadful, especially on the older models of iPhone and iPad but we hope Apple will fix this in the next few iOS 11 updates – iOS 11.1 didn’t see any visible improvements.
Apple has integrated a very useful feature in iOS 11 called ‘Low Power Mode‘ – use it (!), it’s there for a reason. I managed to increase my battery life on my iPhone 7 from 4.5 hours to 6.5 using this feature and I’m a heavy internet user. I wanted to give you these iOS 11 battery saving tips without the ‘fluff’, just plain and simple so there you go:
Go and check battery usage
In order to find what drains your battery go to Settings -> Battery. There you should be able to see what apps have been draining your iPhone’s battery over the last 24 hours, as well as another period of time. See screenshot below (you can also see that I’m using the ‘Low Power Mode’):
As you can see I’m a heavy user of Facebook, App Store, and Safari which take 70% of my battery. Now that I know about the Facebook app I can just uninstall it and use Safari to go on Facebook but I find the mobile version of Facebook a bit laggy and weird so I will sacrifice my battery life to have a better experience but if you have an app that you don’t use and it takes battery life for some reason you will see it there. That was tip nr 1 and probably one of the most important ones.
Disable the dreadful Background App Refresh
The ‘Background App Refresh’ allows your apps to continue to update the information supplied in the background while you are using a different app or you are not even using your iPhone. It can be useful for some people, but it drains your battery very quickly. The Facebook app, for example, pulls all the notifications from the main website and sends them to your iPhone, the Messenger app too.
Go to Settings –> General –> Background App Refresh. There you can disable ‘Background App Refresh’ for certain applications that show heavy background activity, or you can disable all background activity. See screenshot below:
Disable Cellular Data (Mobile Data) While on Wi-Fi and vice versa
We all like to be connected to the internet at all times so you’re like me you probably have a data plan with your mobile provider. Most people don’t know that you don’t need both; Wifi and Mobile Data to be connected to the internet so if you’re connected to Wifi, disable your Mobile Data connection and the other way around.
There are two ways to do that:
- Control Centre by sliding up and tap on the Wifi or Data symbol to disable or enable them.
- By going to Settings -> Wifi or Mobile Data and slide the lock to enable or disable it as needed.
Disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Airdrop
You’re not always connected to the Wifi, Bluetooth, or Airdrop but when they are powered on, they’re looking to connect. That means they take the juice out of your battery, and we want to increase battery life not decrease it.
When you don’t need these connections turned on, you can go to Settings and tap on either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to find the off switch for those features. For AirDrop, just swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone’s screen to view the Control Center, long-press or 3D Touch on the connectivity pane, tap on AirDrop, then set to “Receiving Off.”
Turn Wi-Fi Assist On
Wi-Fi Assist is on by default. If you don’t want your iOS device to stay connected to the Internet when you have a poor Wi-Fi connection, you can disable Wi-Fi Assist. Go to Settings > Cellular. Then scroll down and tap the slider for Wi-Fi. See screenshot below:
With Wi-Fi Assist, you can stay connected to the Internet even if you have a poor Wi-Fi connection. For example, if you’re using Safari with a poor Wi-Fi connection and a web page doesn’t load, Wi-Fi Assist will activate and automatically switch to cellular so that the web page continues to load. You can use Wi-Fi Assist with most apps like Safari, Apple Music, Mail, Maps, and more.
Turn “Hey Siri” function Off
I like Siri and it’s very easy to skip a song in the car or as for directions when in traffic or just call and text someone. Siri is not perfect but for the simplest task is doing a great job. Unfortunately, Siri is also draining your battery with the “Hey Siri” function – since it is always listening for you to request a favor. To turn off “Hey Siri” function head to Settings –> Siri & Search, then toggle Listen for “Hey Siri” off.
Disable Auto-Playing Videos for Specific Apps
You know that moment when you go on Facebook to check your notifications and a cat video starts playing and you find yourself wasting half an hour going through other videos. That’s not bad just for productivity but also drains your battery life. Luckily there’s a way to disable the auto-play in specific apps:
- For Facebook, you need to open the app, then go to the Menu tab. Tap on Settings –> Account Settings –> Videos and Photos, tap on Autoplay, and select Never Autoplay Videos.
- On Twitter, tap on your profile icon, then Settings and privacy –> Data usage –> Video autoplay. Select Never to maximize battery life while using Twitter.
Reduce Motion & Place Your iPhone Face Down
iOS 11 packs in unique motion feature to make the experience feel fluid, such as app-launching animations and parallax effects on the home screen. The truth is this motion has an effect on your battery life. To deactivate it, head to Settings –> General –> Accessibility –> Reduce Motion, then enable it.
(!) Placing your iPhone face down saves battery life!
When the iPhone display is against a surface, notifications will not activate the display since you won’t be able to see them – the iPhone is smarter then you think. That means your display doesn’t need to be on as much, boosting battery life. If you still want to be alert, you could turn on LED alerts, but that can also drain your battery.
Disable Location Services
Location Services are great for helping you find where you are and what’s around you, but not so great for your battery life. Some applications will by default use your location even when you aren’t using the app.
Some apps might not work unless you turn on Location Services. The first time an app needs to access your Location Services information, you’ll get a notification asking for permission. Choose one of these options:
- Tap Allow to let the app use Location Services information as needed.
- Tap Don’t Allow to prevent access.
iOS devices might use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to determine your location. GPS and cellular location are available on iPhone and iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular) models.
Go to Settings –> Privacy –> Location Services. From here you can completely disable Location Services, but that won’t be useful to many users since you will not be able to use Maps or other apps that require your location. Go through your apps individually and make the choice that works best for you.
Don’t Send Data to Apple
Apple wants you to send them diagnostic and other data from your iPhone so they can improve it and fix errors, especially in betas, which drains your battery.
To disable this, go to Settings –> Privacy –> Analytics, and disable Share iPhone Analytics (if you have an Apple Watch, this will show up as Share iPhone & Watch Analytics).
Turn Off Some App Store Settings
Go to Settings –> iTunes & App Stores, then toggle off Apps from the list. I also suggest toggling off Updates, especially if you have a lot of apps on your iPhone, and toggling off Use Cellular Data if you decide to keep Music and Books & Audiobooks on since Wi-Fi will use less power.
If you install an app on your iPad it can automatically download to your iPhone, too. This, of course, can happen when you’re low on battery power, so it’s better to just set this to manual so you can download them when you have enough battery to do so.
Disable iOS Fitness Tracking
If you like the fitness and motion activity tracking feature on the iPhone, you should have this setting left on. Turning this off will empty the Health app dashboard of tracked fitness data as well. Your iPhone can help track your fitness throughout the day, but this also drains your battery.
To disable the fitness tracking, go to Settings –> Privacy –> Motion & Fitness, and deactivate Fitness Tracking.
(!) If you have a Fitbit or another tracker, you don’t need this enabled.
Enable ‘Limit Ad Tracking’
If you’ve recently noticed that some advertisements you receive within apps seem oddly similar to something you’ve just been reading about or a game you’ve just started playing, it’s not because Siri is listening in on your conversations or because your iPhone has gained self-awareness. It’s because you have ad tracking on your iPhone.
This is one feature you actually want to be turned on. When activated, your iPhone will limit how much it is tracked and analyzed for location-based advertising.
Go to Settings –> Privacy –> Advertising, then enable Limit Ad Tracking.
Set Your Device to Fetch Data Less Frequently
The more your iPhone has to “fetch” email data, the more battery it uses. If you want to boost battery life you need to tweak this a bit – go to Settings –> Accounts & Passwords –> Fetch New Data.
You will be able to choose here how often you’d like your phone to fetch data. The less frequently it has to fetch, the better your battery life will be.
Disable Siri Suggestions
Siri Suggestions are helpful when you go to search for an app and Siri already has it presented for you (it’s one of the things Siri does pretty well). But it’s not good for maximizing battery life. To turn this feature off, head to Settings –> Siri & Search, then scroll down to the Siri Suggestions section. Here, you can choose to disable all Suggestions in Search, all Suggestions in Look Up, or do these on an app-by-app basis.
Disable Certain iCloud Preferences
If you only have one iOS device, you may not feel the need to use iCloud for certain applications.
Tap your name at the top of the Settings page, then tap iCloud. Deselect any applications and settings that do not apply to you. This will save you battery since your phone will not be trying to upload your data to the cloud throughout the day.