10 Ways to Save Battery Life on Your New iPhone 4S

By , Oct 17, 2011

Now that folks have had a couple of days to play with Apple’s latest smartphone, the reviews are rolling in. Siri is awesome (when the server’s not down), iOS 5 feels super quick, and the 8MP camera takes gorgeous photos.

But Apple’s new handset doesn’t come without its flaws, and one of them that has been repeatedly pointed out is its battery life. Even with its major hardware upgrades, the iPhone 4S was still supposed to have outstanding battery life. But does it?

Given how much folks tend to play with new gadgets initially, it’s no surprise that some are seeing the device’s battery drain quicker than usual. But if you believe that your battery isn’t lasting as long as it should, you might try out some of these tips.

Note: Keep in mind that these tips are a bit extreme, and you shouldn’t have to turn off every setting in your iPhone to get reasonable battery life.

1. Turn off Location Services

It seems like almost every app nowadays uses your location in some fashion, and all of that GPS work can drain your battery. Just open up the Settings app, and select Location Services. Keep in mind that if you turn off all location services, you’ll lose the ability to use Find My iPhone. So you may want to shut apps off individually and leave that one running.

2. Turn off Wi-Fi

This is kind of a no brainer. Enabled Wi-Fi means another radio is running, and using battery. It’s even worse if your Wi-Fi is on when you’re not connected to a specific network and your phone is constantly searching. Turn it off by opening the Settings app, and selecting Wi-Fi.

3. Make sure Bluetooth is off

This is another no-brainer. Even though the iPhone 4S uses low-powered Bluetooth 4.0, leaving it on still means another radio is running. Turn it off by launching the Settings app, selecting General, and then Bluetooth.

4. Shut off Push data

Having your new emails automatically pushed to you is pretty convenient, but once again it will cost you battery life. Turn it off by opening Settings, selecting Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and then Fetch New Data.

5. Turn off Vibration

If you receive a lot of phone calls, messages or alerts, your phone’s vibrator is working overtime. If you don’t absolutely need it, you can save precious battery life by turning it off. Open up the Settings app, and select Sounds.

6. Make sure Auto-Brightness is on

This feature adjusts your display’s brightness according to the lighting of your current environment. This keeps the display from being constantly at its brightest. To check it out, open the Settings app, and select Brightness.

7. Make sure Auto-Lock is on 1 Minute

By default, Auto-Lock is set to one minute. That’s because the longer the iPhone’s display is left on, the more battery it uses. If it’s set to longer than one minute, you’ll notice a major difference in battery life by lowering it. Adjust this in the Settings app by selecting General, and then Auto-Lock.

8. Turn off Cellular Data

If you get poor cell reception at your home or place of business, you might try turning off Cellular Data if you don’t need it. Searching for service weighs heavily on your battery. Turn it off in Settings by selecting General, and then Network.

9. Turn the Equalizer off

The iPhone’s Music app has an EQ feature that alters its sound output according to your music preference. Because these adjustments happen on the fly, your battery suffers. Switch this off by going to Settings, tapping on Music and then EQ.

10. If all else fails, try a Restore

Restoring your iPhone as a new device (not from a backup) can work wonders, and in this case it can erase any problematic data or settings that may be causing your battery to drain. Do this by hooking up your iPhone to your computer, and clicking Restore. Make sure you set it up as a new device.

Another thing to keep in mind is how much power Siri uses. Not only is information being processed on the iPhone, but there is also data transferring back and forth with Apple’s servers. Using this feature frequently can certainly affect battery life.

Do you have any pointers for saving battery life? Let us know below!

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  • Yasser

    Helpful thanks.

  • Michael hernandy

    Stopping multitasking works to save battery life for me too…

  • Benjamin

    Batery power is amazing in my opinion although I did just come off of an iPod touch 3G lol.

  • http://djterm.de Term/978

    Deactivate the Spot Light Search is also saving battery power.

  • Topsy

    Just turn your iphone off simple haha

    • Frank

      yeah, basically the advice is: dont use your phone at all!

    • goofygreek

      +1, thats the best way to save the battery, just turn your phone off and dont use it. makes perfect sense.

  • Angelo

    Isn’t Newsstand a process? If yes then should NoNewsIsGoodNews also help save battery life.

  • futureproject

    So what you’re trying to say is turn off all features that make your phone a smart phone… Might as well have a Nokia 6210… ?

    • Jav

      Hahaha totally agree!

    • Angelo

      Nope thats not what I’m trying to say and also not even close.
      I think Newsstand is kinda useless. People with the same tweak installed will agree to that.
      And if it by the way saves battery life its even better.

      • http://silvercyborg.com futureproject

        Good thing I replied to the OP and not you then :)

  • Mark

    So setting you auto brightness on will save battery? I thought It would be more convenient to set it manually. I have it like 1/4 open. Works under every circumstance (sun light not really :P)

    • Sam

      Setting it manually and at the lower end is definitely the way to go. Not sure how much of an effect it has though.

  • Alex

    Just turn the freaking thing off then, why not?

  • TheAngryPenguin

    11. Turn off Wi-Fi Sync.
    I noticed a significant amount of added battery depletion once I upgraded my iPhone 5 to iOS 5 and enabled Wi-Fi Syncing. Once I disabled it, battery usage returned to normal.

    • Core2

      WiFi sync states it only works when the phone is plugged into a power source.

      • TheAngryPenguin

        It worked for me when my phone was unplugged.

  • 2035 A.D

    Great tips! Keep up the good work

  • Steve

    or….do not buy it.

  • Shaz

    But wouldn’t turning on auto brightness drain battery.. the device is constantly checking the light exposure..? it uses less battery if you just put it to a medium setting doesnt it..

  • bc

    Here’s a groundbreaking method of improving your gas mileage. Don’t drive your car.

    • Heffrey

      Here’s a groundbreaking method of being an idiot. Don’t drive your car.

  • bc

    And a magical way to make the light bulbs in your house last forever. Don’t turn on the lights.

  • kokhean

    200 hours standby time.

  • http://chedelics.com/ fr3akz

    nice articel :D

  • Manuel

    I’ve notice the new iPhone 4S is suppose to have had better battery life from what the KeyNote press conference had said. However, when I pulled up the comparison of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, I’ve notice that the battery is better for the 4S when you’re using the iPod app or when you’re on the phone using 3G, but the standby is how someone on here mention, 200 hours, as opposed to it being 300 hours plus on the iPhone 4.

    I’m assuming and wondering if Apple might address that in an update or will the battery stay the way it is until the iPhone 5? I kept my iPhone 4 over 3GS because of that battery life and how amazing it was compared to the others, but if it’s not the case here, I’d probably wait until my upgrade falls around the iPhone 5’s release any ways.

  • Ehsan

    ios 5 is draining my battery really fast, its just 2 weeks old phone and worked fine on 4.3.5
    its a 3gs. anyone else having this issue too?

  • justin

    This article is nothing but spam. Anyone could come up with the list, actually adding value to the world involves doing the necessary work and research… Turn bluetooth 4 off? Really? I read it would take 1/100th the power. It is NOT worth messing with a buried setting 6 times per day if it will give me 30 seconds more talk time. Of course no one is doing the experiment to tell us objectively whether or not it is worth the effort. :(

  • http://dawiiz.tumblr.com/ Davis

    How long does your battery last? (what is normal)
    I allways have everything on, and my iPhone does not run out in a day.

  • R

    iCloud is set by default to backup to the cloud over cellular data. Settings>iCloud>Documents & Data and tick Use Cellular to off. That might help battery drain somewhat.

    3G is probably the biggest power hog of all the radios. My favorite battery saving technique was to just turn it off, but they removed the option from the 4S (jailbreak devs please bring that back!).

    Not only does running on EDGE (2G) use less power (the slower you go, the less fuel you use), but coverage is much better because it’s been around for so much longer. On my old 3GS, I found when calls would fail immediately after dialing, I would just switch to EDGE and calls would go right through.

  • ray

    Cant wait to jailbreak so i can get my SBsettings to have total control

  • kevin

    Nice image…Photoshop FAIL

  • iFernanda

    Turn off your iPhone 4S.

  • naflish

    how about saving water? don’t go to the loo..use the bushes instead..

  • madoniproduct

    everything TURN OFF …. i brought iPhone for what????

  • brinky

    You might as well turn on airplane mode. Since you are suggesting that we turn off all the things that make a iPhone a smart phone, just go ahead and turn your iPhone into a iPod touch.

    • naflish

      agree! and this same suggestions are everywhere too..nothing new

  • Smtp25

    My battery life was real bad, restored as new with no backups and it’s back to good again. That’s with no 3rd party apps except tiny wings, will see how it goes when I loafs more apps back on

  • Hal

    You have missed one: Turn the phone off!

    What the hell, what is then left to use on the damn phone if you turn all of the above off?

    I’m a bit disappointed with the new iphone.

  • R

    The comprehension of the people who visit this website is lower than a 3rd grader’s. This isn’t a step-by-step guide. This is a list of options you have to reduce battery consumption. The author asked for other suggestions for saving battery life. If you have nothing to contribute, then this article is not for you. Go somewhere else.

    • Jet

      i do agree.

  • Thiago

    I was waiting to the post say: TURN ON THE AIRPLANE MODE.

    If you want to turn off all those functions, why do you have an iPhone?

  • John

    Having the Wi-Fi feature on actually saves battery life if you’re someone who uses data frequently. 3G drains power rapidly over a relatively short period of time and wifi doesn’t nearly drain as much. With having wifi search on, your phone can automatically search for wifi signals rather than relying on your 3G network to do the bulk of the work.

    And I’d definitely agree with many people here when it comes to at least half of these suggestions. I bought a 4S for all these features, especially when Siri almost exclusively relies on location services to help you.

  • Chris

    Wifi on saves battery power; its more cost efficient (in terms of energy) to use wifi than 3G. Having bluetooth off will also save data because your device constantly searches for bluetooth enabled products to link up with when it’s turned on. Same thing for turning off the “ask to join networks” feature of the wifi. It constantly scans for a wifi network if that’s enabled, which will drain your battery. The reason no one does the legwork for these to document is that it’s been documented hundreds of times before with other products; the facts don’t change just because the phone does.

  • http://www.maas360.com J. Harrington

    Hey, thanks for the pointers!

    I didn’t see anything in your recommendations about this step: http://bit.ly/sFsKZD

    It’s worth a try; worked for me!

  • Askar

    I am really not getting all those hate comments.
    Imagine you young schoolboys, that each unanswered call and unread email (e.g. within 10 mins) costs you $20. And the number of those is arbitrary. And nobody gives a f*ck of that you got discharged phone. That’s how real life works, dear kindergartners.

    Then perhaps you understand why it’s necessary to have good battery life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Feroz-Khan/100002948373625 Feroz Khan

    I genuinely appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all more than for this. Please keep updating with great posts like this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710092224 Vernon Bunch

    Exactly what I was looking for…Thank You so much, everything you suggested worked perfectly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=816980370 Sarah ‘Puke Frywalker’ Fry

    Its great to know how to prolong the battery life, but seriously what’s the point in having all these great gadgets if you can’t have them switched on…. I am finding it a bit irritating having to go through the menus to switch things on and off as and when I want to use them :(

  • jawadahsen

    you forgot one, “turn off the phone”
    Its a Smartphone people!

    • Abdul Rahman

      Lol. That’s absolutely true. Turn off the phone. ;-)

  • Mike Logan

    My phone can last 2 days with moderate usage courtesy of 5.1.1

  • http://twitter.com/the_ahj Alberto Hernandez

    I get great usage on 5.1.1 as well. My stats are as follows:
    Usage: 6 Hours, 9 Minutes; Standby 1 Day, 17 Hours.

    If you’re jailbroken I recommend heading on over to Cydia and downloading an app called KBatteryDoctorPro. The app has different power profiles you can use to help further extend battery life.

    • http://twitter.com/PakoBahena Pako

      I use to have that one, awesome features but I hate how it’s so slow.. There’s a very similar one and better called 360 battery saver. Also you guys could download iControl, automatically turns off wifi,Bluetooth, or data once in lockscreen. You guys should give it a try :P

    • Me IDk

      I have cydia but I can’t find it .. What’s the source name .? So I can download it into my iPhone

  • http://twitter.com/CVthegreat Braun Buffel

    I think, it is silly, what is the point to have smartphone when you have to turn-off all those functions? Smartphone should make my daily life easier not worrying battery life.

  • Vicki Atkinson

    If I reset my phone will it wipe out all my photos and contacts?