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9 Tips to Boost Your Android Phone’s Battery Life

Today’s Android phones pack big, bright screens and high-end features that suck plenty of power. Here’s how to squeeze the most juice out of your battery.

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9 Tips to Boost Your Android Phone's Battery Life Image

(Illustration: Google, René Ramos)

There are a number of factors that contribute to poor battery life on your Android phone. Thinner bodies, brighter screens, faster processors, more background software, and speedier internet connections all take their toll on phone batteries, but manufacturers are also incorporating more powerful batteries to compensate.

The Google Pixel 6 Pro has a 5,003mAh battery that can last for over 22 hours. Samsung’s line of Galaxy phones can last anywhere between 11 and 13 hours, depending on the model. Still, there are ways to get more out of any phone.

Menu settings will differ based on which phone you’re using; in this story, we used a Samsung Galaxy S 20 FE running Android 11. But all Android devices should have similar features. With this caveat in mind, here are some ways to improve the battery life on your Android phone.

1. Turn On Power Saving Mode

Think you’re going to be stuck in a situation where you need your phone battery to last longer than it normally does? Switch your phone into power saver mode, which automatically cuts back on functions that may eat battery life. On our test device, we opened Settings > Battery and device care, then tapped the Battery entry.

Below the battery usage chart, we enabled Power saving mode to immediately limit networking, syncing, and location services, and turn down the screen’s refresh rate. However, by tapping Power saving mode, we could further customize the feature by turning off the Always on Display, limiting CPU speed to 70%, or decreasing brightness by 10% in order to save even more battery life.

For maximum power-saving, the Limit apps and Home screen option enables only selected apps and limits all background activity when power saving mode is turned on. For older versions of Android, you may be offered multiple power saving mode presets, each with a different balance between performance and battery life.

2. Airplane Mode Is Your Friend

Sending and receiving wireless signals can strain your phone’s battery, so consider turning on Airplane mode whenever you don’t need to use your network data. Your easiest option: open the pull-down shade and tap the Airplane mode button to instantly disconnect your phone from Wi-Fi, disable Bluetooth, and turn off mobile data. Tap it again to restore access.

3. Your Screen Is Too Bright

Smartphone screens are big and bright, but they’re also battery hogs. You probably don’t need your device turned up to the brightest setting. Go into your Display settings and turn down the brightness on the screen. You can also open the pull-down screen and control the brightness from there. While you’re at it, consider disabling auto brightness. This feature adjusts based on your perceived needs but can also raise the brightness of your display higher than it needs to be. Turn off the switch next to Adaptive brightness and your eyes (and battery) will thank you.

4. Let Your Screen Turn Off

Speaking of your phone screen, it’s OK to let it turn off when not in use. That means changing how long the screen stays on under Display settings. Find the Screen timeout option and set it so that your screen turns off sooner when not in use.

Also, that always-on display that tells the time and date even when the phone screen is off? Shut it down. Head to your phone’s lock screen settings and select Always on Display. You can set a schedule for it to turn off when you don’t need it, set it to only display when you tap the screen, or shut it off completely.

5. Turn Off Active Listening

If you activate your voice assistant with a wake word, your device is constantly listening to you and using up battery life while it waits. You may find this convenient, but it costs more power than it’s worth. Whether it’s Google Assistant or Samsung’s Bixby, you can turn this feature off and save a little extra juice.

Many Android phones have Assistant embedded into the OS, so just hold down on the home screen button to call up the feature and tap the inbox icon. Otherwise, open the app. Tap your profile image and open Hey Google & Voice Match, then disable Hey Google if it’s turned on.

If you’re constantly bumping into issues with Bixby, you can simply turn the whole thing off. Here are detailed instructions on how to disable Bixby on your phone.

6. Try Dark Mode With the Right Screen

Dark mode is nice on the eyes, but it doesn’t really do anything for your battery unless your device has an OLED or AMOLED display. Most older phones use LCD screens, but flagship phones from Samsung, OnePlus, and Google have transitioned to using this newer display technology.

If you have a phone with an OLED or AMOLED display, it means the phone actually turns off the pixels that are displaying black, so you’re saving some battery when all those bright white panels have now gone dark. According to iFixit (Opens in a new window) , you could be saving as much as an hour of battery life by switching on dark mode.

Some phones have dark mode in Android 9 (Pie), but it wasn’t until the release of Android 10 that all phones received the option. Open the pull-down shade and tap Dark Mode to turn it on and off. Otherwise, open your phone’s Display settings to make the choice. You can also tap Dark mode settings to schedule when dark mode should go on.

7. Take Control of Your Apps

Apps continue to run in the background even when you aren’t using them. This will, of course, eat up data and battery life over time. You can put unused apps to sleep under Battery or App Power Management settings. Choose Background usage limits and enable Put unused apps to sleep to prevent apps from wasting your battery life.

You can go a step further and manually tell your phone to put certain apps to sleep. Select Sleeping apps or Deep sleeping apps, then tap the plus (+) icon and add your app to the list. Keep in mind that sleeping apps will only receive updates occasionally and deep sleeping apps will not work unless they are in use, so updates may be delayed.

It’s a good idea to periodically check on the apps that are draining your battery the quickest to see if there are any outliers you can delete or disable. You can view this information under battery usage in Settings, then decide which apps should be allowed to run in the background and which should be turned off when not in use.

8. Dumb Down Your Phone

Modern smartphones are like small supercomputers that fit in your hand, but you don’t really need the processor running at full speed all the time if you’re just searching the web. Stop the phone from overworking itself by opening the Battery settings and finding Enhanced processing, an option that will ensure faster data processing at the cost of longer battery life. Make sure this is disabled.

Another item to take control of is the refresh rate of your screen. Turning this up higher can help make animations on the screen look smoother, but it’s not necessary and it uses more battery than normal. Open Display settings and find Motion smoothness, then make sure you’re set to the standard 60Hz screen refresh rate instead of the enhanced 120Hz or higher.

9. Automate the Process

If all this is too much to remember, automate the process. Open the Battery settings on your phone and find the automation options. In Android 11, tap the three-dot menu, then select Automation and enable Adaptive power saving. This will turn power saving mode on and off automatically when you’re not using the phone.

You can also use Google Assistant and turn phone settings into programmable routines. Open Google Assistant, tap your profile icon and select Routines to create new commands. For example, you could set it up so that the phone will prompt you to turn on power saving mode when you tell Google you’re leaving the house or turn on Airplane Mode when you’re home.

Select a routine (or tap + to create a new one) then tap Add action. While there are many preset actions, for our purposes, select Try adding your own at the bottom of the list. Basically, if it’s a command you can give Google Assistant, type it in and you can turn it into a routine.

You can also create automated workflows with If This Then That (Opens in a new window) (IFTTT) to turn off services like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth based on your location, for example, or disable specific services when your battery falls to a certain percentage. Greenify (Opens in a new window) , meanwhile, identifies which apps are more likely to drain battery life and then sets them to inactive to ensure your phone battery runs smoothly.

Bonus: Buy a Portable Battery or Case

If you want more battery life but don’t want to do anything differently, that’s fine. You can seek outside help with a power bank that will work with any phone and a number of other devices. You can also find a battery case (Opens in a new window) that fits your specific phone. Just remember to keep them charged before you head out the door.

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Don’t Run Out of Juice: How to Save Battery Life on Your iPhone

Does your iPhone battery need a boost? These Apple iPhone battery tips and tricks will help get you through the day without a charge.

Don't Run Out of Juice: How to Save Battery Life on Your iPhone Image

(Credit: AlekseyH / Shutterstock)

It’s tough to exist without a smartphone these days. So much of our lives are contained inside these tiny devices that we don’t want them running out of juice at an inopportune time. But thanks to Apple’s dedication to its proprietary Lightning cable (for now), there isn’t always a compatible charger at the ready.

In our tests, the iPhone 14 Pro Max offered 19 hours of battery life, but what if you have an older model that’s struggling to last all day? Normal wear and tear (and our own bad habits) will degrade your battery over time. Apple has also been known to throttle battery performance.

Apple’s $29 battery-replacement program is long gone, but the Self Service Repair Store (Opens in a new window) sells replacement batteries you can install yourself at around $70. If you would prefer to eke out a few more months without paying for a new battery (or iPhone), though, here are some things to try.

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1. How to Show Battery Percentage on iPhone

Before you can monitor your battery life, you need to know exactly what you’re looking at. The iPhone battery icon in the top-right corner of the screen represents how much juice is left on the device, but it’s not a very precise measurement of battery life.

You can see the exact battery percentage left by opening the Control Center, but if you want that information at a glance in the phone’s top-right corner, you need to turn on the feature. Head to Settings > Battery and enable Battery Percentage. The battery icon will then show a number, making it easier to monitor battery life.

(Note that the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini, and the iPhone 13 will need iOS 16.1 for the option to show the battery percentage.)

2. Activate Low Power Mode

One of your strongest weapons against battery drain is Low Power Mode (Opens in a new window) . With it enabled, your phone only performs the most essential of tasks, so background activities like downloads and mail fetching are disabled. Low Power Mode will automatically kick in when the battery falls below 20%, but you can also activate it manually to keep your phone going for longer.

Head over to Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode and toggle it on. You can also add Low Power Mode to the Control Center under Settings > Control Center. When activated, the battery icon in the top-right corner will turn yellow. Note that this mode will only work if your phone’s battery is below 80%.

3. Adjust Screen Brightness

The greatest hurdle in your fight for more batter life is your phone’s own screen. Smartphone displays are bigger and brighter than ever, but they are also murder on your battery life. You can’t really get around this fact, but you can turn down the brightness.

Manually adjust brightness levels in Settings > Display & Brightness by using the the slider bar. A slider is also accessible via the Control Center; press lightly on the brightness icon and move the slider down.

Turn off auto-brightness to ensure your changes stick. Navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Auto-Brightness and toggle it off. Your phone will no longer try to adjust its brightness based on your current lighting situation, which will avoid situations where the screen becomes brighter than it really need to be.

4. Manage Your Lock Screen

Since the screen is your battery’s enemy, you should also think about managing when the phone’s display turns off automatically. You can take care of this under Display & Brightness > Auto-Lock. If you tend to put your phone down without locking it, set this to something lower to give the battery a break.

Introduced with iOS 16 is the ability to edit your iPhone’s lock screen. As nice of a feature as it might seem, widgets are huge power hogs, since they have to constantly update to provide useful information. We recommend staying away from complicated wallpaper and widgets here, so you’re not overworking the battery.

New to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, is the Always-On display, which will show the time, widgets, and wallpaper while the phone is locked. While Apple has taken steps (Opens in a new window) to make sure it doesn’t eat up too much power, you can also turn that off from Settings > Display & Brightness and disable Always On.

5. Turn Off Location Services

Location services are helpful for apps like Google Maps or Yelp, but those GPS pings happening in the background can wear down a battery quick. You can turn off location services completely via Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services and your phone will stop feeding location data to these services.

This, however, will make a number of useful apps stop working. Your weather app won’t know where you are for the latest forecast, and you won’t be able to ask Google for directions based on your current location. If you don’t want to go to the extreme, Apple instead allows you to rein in individual apps.

From the Location Services settings screen, you can customize how most apps use location data: Never, Ask Next Time Or When I Share, While Using the App, or Always. We recommend setting Google Maps to While Using the App, for example, so the app will only ping your location when you actually need it.

If you need more battery life, we also recommend shutting down the Find My app if you’re sharing your location with friends and family. You can do this if you select your name under Settings, then choose Find My > Find My iPhone, then disable the switch next to Find My iPhone.

6. Turn Off Background App Refresh and Updates

When you close an iOS app, it will keep running for a bit until entering a suspended state. However, those apps can still check for updates and new content from time to time—a process that can drain battery life. You can disable Background App Refresh completely or just for certain apps.

Navigate to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Here, you can disable on an app-by-app basis if you only want to cut off refresh-heavy apps, like email or social media platforms. Otherwise, select Background App Refresh at the top of the screen and set it to Off (or Wi-Fi if you want to restrict but not outright disable).

Disabling background app refresh should not have any effect on how the app works, but it might take a moment longer to surface new information when you return to them.

Similarly, when your apps automatically update from time to time, that process can use up precious battery life. It’s generally a good idea to leave this feature on, since updates can help apps run faster and smoother, decreasing the processing power needed to make them function.

But you can open Settings > App Store and disable App Updates if you need to make every second count. While this feature is turned off, you will need to manually update your apps in the App Store.

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7. Cut Down on Notifications

If your screen lights up with a preview of every notification you receive, it’s consuming power with each text, breaking news alert, or Twitter follow. Cutting down on these interruptions can save your battery and sanity. Open Settings > Notifications and choose which specific apps should be allowed to send notifications to your phone.

To disable these pings for a certain window of time, use the Focus feature under Settings > Focus to set up restrictions for when notifications are allowed to come through. Select Focus Status and enable Do Not Disturb.

Another option is to set specifications from a single notification. If you see an alert you no longer wish to see, swipe left on it and tap Options to tell the notification to be delivered quietly next time. This means it will go to your Notification Center without displaying on your lock screen, playing sound, or showing a banner or badge icon. You can also turn off notifications for this app completely.

8. Turn Off Wireless Services

From Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data, your phone has many wireless features running in the background. If you’re in a real power jam, you can turn some of these off in order to eke out just a little more juice before the battery runs out. The quickest solution is to open Control Center and press down on the menu options in the top left to change these features.

Tap the airplane icon to put your device in Airplane Mode, which turns off all your phone’s cellular features. Calls and texts won’t come through, but you can still connect to Wi-Fi if necessary for iMessages and other tasks. You can also enable this in Settings; just toggle it on. You’ll know it’s activated by the airplane icon on the top right.

Wi-Fi doesn’t do wonders for your battery if you’re not currently using it. Your phone continuously searches for nearby Wi-Fi networks, which is why the list of available networks constantly changes when you’re out and about. Tap the Wi-Fi button to turn it off or do so from Settings > Wi-Fi.

Similarly, Bluetooth and AirDrop are constantly looking to connect, but there’s no reason for them to be active at all times. Turn off these features in the Control Center or open Settings > Bluetooth and Settings > General > AirDrop > Receiving Off, respectively, to turn them off. Just remember to turn these services back on when you actually need them.

9. Kill Active Listening

Your iPhone or iPad supports hands-free Siri, meaning you can say "Hey, Siri" and ask a question without having to touch your iPhone. But that means the device is always listening, awaiting your command (and using up precious resources in the meantime). If you don’t use Siri that much, turning off active listening could help with battery drain.

Navigate to Settings > Siri & Search, where you can disable the Listen for "Hey Siri" entry. You can leave Press Side Button for Siri enabled, if you want the ability to call Apple’s assistant with the push of a button. Otherwise, you can disable this option too if you want to avoid accidentally summoning Siri.

10. Buy a Battery Case

If you still can’t manage to make it through the day without recharging, consider a battery case. These can protect your phone while also providing extra power. There are many options (Opens in a new window) available for modern iPhone models and older devices.

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