iPhone 5 battery charging

It’s a situation we seem to find ourselves in with each iOS update, yet we always seem to be surprised when it happens. Alas, it seems that iOS 7 has left many of us with the same battery problems that plagued almost every other big point-0 release of the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad.

Anyone with a long memory will remember that we had your back when iOS 5 was causing chaos with iPhone 4S batteries a couple of years ago, and with iPhones the world over seemingly unable to hold a charge as long as they used to, we thought it might be time to offer one or two tips on trying to eek as many hours out of a charge as possible.

So, without further ado, let’s get started turning things off…

As with all the other times we’ve found ourselves in the situation of trying to eek every last drop of battery life out of an iOS device, we’re left with two options. The first is to sit back and wait, charger in hand, while someone in Cupertino gets around to fixing whatever the issue is and releases an update. The second option, and our preferred one, is to go on a hunt for whatever might be draining the juice so quickly and promptly turn it off with extreme prejudice. With there actually being no guarantee that the issue is iOS itself, we’ll go with the second option for now.

We’ve put together a few tips to help you improved battery life on iOS 7.

The parallax effect

Reduce Motion

It may be one of the more striking parts of the iOS Lock and Home screen experiences, but the faux-3D experience that iOS 7 provides can, and no doubt does come at the expense of battery life. Making everything look like it’s moving around in 3D space isn’t something that comes cheap when it comes to clock cycles, and that means battery life is going to be affected. If you’re really serious about getting close to iOS 6 levels of battery longevity then you’ll want to get this turned off pronto.

You’ll find the switch for the parallax effect is hidden in Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion.

Background App Refreshes

Background App Refresh

This is a real shame as far as we’re concerned, but we can’t help but think that the new background refreshing that iOS 7 enables is actually the biggest reason that some of us aren’t getting far past lunch time without having to dash to a charging outlet for fear of running out of juice.

One of our favorite promises from iOS 7 is the fact that we won’t need to keep opening our apps in order to let them refresh. OmniFocus 2 for example manages to keep up with its syncing duties in the background, even when it’s not running. That’s an awesome thing, especially in a to-do manager that syncs with multiple devices. The problem is, this surely has to come with its own battery draining complications. If battery is super important to you, then turning off the various background refreshing options has to be a good idea. Even if it makes iOS 7 less awesome in the process.

You can turn Background App Refresh off altogether of for specific applications in Settings > General > Background App Refresh.

Automatic App Updates

Automatic downloads

Just like the background refreshes, stopping iOS 7 from updating apps on the fly surely has to mean that a charge will last longer. It’s so obvious we were going to leave it out of this list, but one person’s obvious is another’s mystery, so it’s here.

You can turn this off in Settings > iTunes & App Store > Automatic Downloads.

Location, Location, Location

Location Services

Ahh, location tracking. If you’re the kind of person that likes to sleep in a tinfoil hat or likes to encrypt everything from emails to your grocery list, then the chances are you’ve already turned the location tracking parts of iOS 7 off. If not, then doing so should stop both the operating system and apps from accessing the Wi-Fi and GPS chips to get your location, thus saving power. It’ll also mean that the NSA won’t know when you’re bunking off work early, which is nice.

Joking and paranoia aside, we told you that certain location settings were causing battery life issues when iOS 5 launched two years ago, so sifting through the settings could well yield positive results here too.

You can turn off all or some Location Services in Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

At the very least, go to Location Services in Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations > Off.

Turn off those magic wallpapers

Choose wallpaper

We’ve all done it, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, we’d be surprised if anyone hadn’t given those new dynamic wallpapers a try at least once. Maybe even twice. But leaving one as a permanent fixture is almost asking for your iPhone to die long before the day is out. Turn it off. It’s what the grownups do.

To do so, go to Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness > Choose Wallpaper > Stills.

Everything else

There are plenty of other little things that you can do to try and prolong your battery life. Disabling auto-brightness, turning the brightness down, force quitting games as soon as you’re finished playing them and similar generalities will help chip away at the iOS 7 battery life issue that some of us currently find ourselves in the midst of. At the moment we’re not sure that any one fix is available, so trying a few of these suggestions in unison is our best advice at this time. However, we do have a hunch.

Some of the iDB team have been using the iOS 7 betas since the first version was released after WWDC, and we’ve never witnessed battery life like we are experiencing right now. Even that first beta was considerably kinder to the old battery than this current release, so we have a sneaky suspicion that the issue isn’t with iOS at all. We think it might be with one of the apps that has had an iOS 7 shakeup over the last few days.

The talk on the internet is that the Facebook update is particularly hard on battery life, and until we know what Mark Zuckerberg’s cronies have got the app doing in the background we’ll just have to see how things pan out. We’d certainly be interested to hear if people are suffering battery problems without having Facebook installed and vice-versa, so let us know below. Of course, with Apple no longer signing iOS 6.1.4, there’s no going back no matter how bad battery life gets.

Obviously iOS 7 is considerably different to previous versions, and some of its new features are bound to eat into our battery life. As great as some of the multitasking features are though, we’d still like to be able to have a battery last long enough as to make the thing useful. With that in mind, we’ll be trying our hardest to find a solution.

If you find it first, be sure to let us know!

  • Luke Mulholland

    Have done all these things and my battery still sucks – iPhone 5.

    • illK†Δ

      I go down 1% every 4 minutes

      • Goldswimmer

        thats better than my itouch, 1% every 5 seconds

      • omrishtam

        lul wat?

      • Palmer Paul

        That means your battery lasts a little more than 8 minutes…lmao, sounds like my old netbook

      • 5ingularity

        My old netbook’s battery lasts 8 seconds, and its not a joke.(its managed to break 2 harddrives due to its random shutoffs)

      • Singed

        My ol’ 3G lasts 20 minutes if 3G is on, no joke.

      • JimGramze

        A battery can only be charged so many times. It could just be the battery itself in this case with the 3G. Ask about having it replaced if you want to keep it. The 4S would be a nice upgrade from there, Siri and Retina.

      • Singed

        Yep, I realize this is the battery’s fault. I won’t keep the phone as it is too slow. Still, 4s does seem to have a somewhat steep price, so I’ll probably be picking up a Galaxy S III.

      • Anonomous.TECH.man

        There is a major flaw with the s3 it’s screen was not coded right and blacks are always deep and thier is no middle
        It’s hard to explain. Just get a s4

      • Singed

        …and pay 200 extra bucks for that?
        Thanks, but no thanks.

      • andy


      • diggitydang

        Try restoring maybe?? I’ve had fantastic battery life since upgrading and doing these tips. Good luck!

      • Moi

        I don’t know how you guys use ur devices ! , I have an iPad 3 been on iOS 5.1.1 and iOS 6 and now ios 7 , and the battery is up to 14 hours ( 4 hours more than it suppose to be ) ….. And I rarely take it off my hands !

      • Supaabzz

        Really? Mine lasts over 9 hours WIFI use.

    • Girish

      me also have iphone 5,,,bt my battery is awesome,,,
      mayB u must restore it again!!

      • Luke Mulholland

        I have restored it over and over still the same performance. Im heavy user so…

      • Burge

        Did you restore from a backup ? don’t , you just put what could be draining your battery back on the device

      • Luke Mulholland

        I never restore from backup for that reason.

      • Burge

        You’ll be surprised how many people don’t know that..

      • Martynet

        and how do you get all the apps settings and games progress back?

      • Makaveli6103

        You cannot which is one pitfall that Apple has not figured out yet. We need an external app that will save our progress in games. There is a great jailbreak app that is amazing that allows iOS users to backup and restore their games after a clean install

      • Brian Kieffer

        I know this won’t be of use now, but whenever I need to restore and re-jailbreak I use Appbackup to backup my saved game data, move it to my computer, and then once I am re-jailbroken I move the data back and restore it. Fresh restore with all my app data. Again, iOS 7 doesn’t have a jailbreak, so this isn’t relevant now, but when it does get jailbroken, that’s what I will do.

      • p1noyako

        Put your idevice into recovery mode before restoring it. This might help you.

    • Girish

      put device in DFU,,
      then restore,,,
      after restore try NOT to restore backup and use it like that n see wat result battery gives u

    • Sokrates

      No issues for me since beta 4 on an iPhone 5.

    • same here .

  • Splurge

    That’s nice now time for the real solution: STOP with this damn incy wincy BS and get with the times by releasing a larger iPhone with a bigger battery. Apple’s battery is weak as FK. Any moderate to heavy usage user agrees.

    • Carlos Gomes

      Thanks for representing this great nation named the United States of Heavy Usage, Mr President.
      We wonder how lost would this society become if deprived of your sense of leadership and wisdom.

      On behalf of all your peasants, I thank you.

  • D.

    So having reduce motion ON, which disables the background effect actually uses MORE battery?

    • Palmer Paul

      No, keeping Reduce Motion on, disables the parallax effect, and consequently IMPROVES battery life.

      • D.

        Ok that’s what I thought. I got confused with him saying to turn it OFF and the image on the post showing the Reduce Motion OFF too

      • andy

        what. how though doesn’t it drain the battery and uses the effects ???

      • Palmer Paul

        Reduce Motion on disables the parallax effect (think about the name of the setting “Reduce Motion”), and when the parallax effect is disabled you’ll get better battery life.

  • Palmer Paul

    This is actually really funny, because I’ve felt like the battery life on my iPhone 4 is much better than on iOS 6.1.3 (or any other 6.x version for that matter), since around beta 5 or beta 6 (and the public release is no exception). Beta 1 was hardly usable in terms of battery life. I would go to sleep and in about 6 hours the phone would drain from 100% to 13% (and note I was ALSEEP during all of this, so only background functions were running). I almost definitively traced that massive battery drain to Automatic App Updates, but in the public release, it works fine with minimal to no impact on my battery. On the public release, I easily get a day out of my battery, possibly even a day and a half on a good day (and I use actively use my iPhone daily). These are of course just my observations, and I am sure other people could have had different experiences.

    • DevXav

      I confirm that.
      I’ve got an iPhone 4 as well and since i updated to iOS 7 i have noticed a battery life improvement!!
      I was kind of surprised in a good way, since i wasn’t expecting that, lol..

    • onebyone_ο£Ώ

      I confirm that too.
      iPhone 4 with iOS7 still better battery life than iOS6.X.X

    • Yeah ever since I upgraded to the new iOS on Wednesday my battery life seems to have increased dramatically on my 4S. I’ve not had these issues in regards to battery life sucking. Just turn off things that you’re not using and its should help out. I’m using my phone like I normally have before upgrading and the battery seems much better since upgrading.

    • rokphish

      my 4s battery also improved on 7

    • Harald Tan

      My iPhone 4 is on iOS 7 GM and it is a lot better than iOS 6, even better than iOS 5. Apple simply made a very good job in enhancing battery life.

    • Falk M.

      I can confirm this as well.

      iPhone 4 loves iOS 7 battery-wise.
      In flight-mode (it’s just an iPod for me atm having an iPhone 5 anyways):

      Usage: 23 min
      Standby: 2 days, 16h

      Battery at 91%

      Eat that, iPhone 5, you draining bitch LOL
      (granted, almost everything turned on there haha)

  • chumawumba

    Hey Oliver what trick did you use to make your folders nameless? Was it the Starbucks one?

    • Peter Cao


      • chumawumba

        So I am assuming that you would have to make 4 folders with the starbucks app inside, and two other apps, so when you remove starbucks the folder still remains.

      • Correct, just slide your Starbucks app on top of another to create a nameless older. Then you can safely remove the Starbucks app from the folder to create another nameless folder.

      • chumawumba

        Just as I thought

    • These screenshots are from me. Yes I used the Starbucks trick πŸ™‚

      • chumawumba

        Thanks for the info!

  • fffff

    u never experienced before with samsung ( or for u all calling it samsuck) note II with 7-8 hours screen on surfing time and 1 hour of voice calling
    this how you all fanboy say android being so sux but u sucks urself πŸ˜›

    • RarestName

      Then why are my relatives with the Note II complaining about poor battery life?

      And also, Android doesn’t suck, TouchWiz does.

    • Brian Kieffer

      >1 hour of voice calling

      Sounds like an awesome battery you have there.

  • iOS7: causing seizures daily.

    iOS7 is uglier than the current state of Africa.

    • Chris Holden

      is ur comment supposed to be funny?

    • seyss

      Not that ugly

    • eXo

      iOS 7 is horrendously ugly but not that bad lol.

    • Moi

      What kind of things are you ?

    • Overtime

      Downgraded after 30 mins of usage. It’s so shiit. Need to wait for jailbreak so I can install f.lux on that crap. Imagine using it at night. Jesus….

    • That’s just downright disgraceful and disrespectful.

  • klouud

    I’m a huge Apple fan – and to be honest, crappy battery life just comes with the territory. My MBA 2011 gets 5hrs max. I know the 2013 ones with the new chipsets get ~9hrs, which is awesome! But iPhones just havent caught up yet. I assume that the iPhone 6 will utilize a new battery technology. This is really where Apple needs to focus its attention for the next iteration of iOS hardware.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Apple should just stop with these nonsense and put a larger battery. But ofcorse Apple is so obsessed about how thin their device is, so very unlikely lol.

  • Roy Chdid

    100% –> 96% —> 90% —>80% —> 65% —> 50% —> 35% —> 10% — Dead Battery.
    Turbo Consumption

  • Johannes Mertens

    Just give your iphone a Fresh restore without Using a Backup. Will make it feel Fresh and new again.

    • Moi

      That’s what I do every time I update to a newer ios ….

      • Johannes Mertens

        Me Too

    • This is what I did after upgrading. I did a complete reset/restore as if it was a new iPhone and my battery life has been better than it was on iOS 6.1.3

    • Om

      But how do I get all of my apps back? My folder layout? I can’t live without them!

    • Martynet

      what about your apps settings and games progress/savegames??

  • batongxue

    Actually I got better battery life on my iPad 3.
    THOUGH, lacking that frosted glass effect is a PITA

  • Bj Bennett

    My battery has been great sence I updated . I think it is a major difference iOS 6

  • Cameron Chao

    Blank, withdrew comment.

  • onebyone_ο£Ώ

    on my iPad 2 with iOS7 still 2 days with “hard use” safari, twitter, MC4.
    I saw much diference than iOS6, BUT theres many bugs like when you close an app witg four fingers gesture.

    • Moi

      I guess it wasn’t in your hands for 2 days long πŸ™‚ …. the best I could get to on my iPad 3 is 14 hours

      • onebyone_ο£Ώ

        I know, not entirely 48 hours, but. Yep. maybe 14 or 15 hours would be the real usage. πŸ˜‰

  • Patrick

    the battery on the 5s is really good compared to my old 4s, but that might be because its a new phone or the 64 bit version of IOS 7

    • leart

      Maybe its a new phone with a new battery?

  • Geert Cuppens

    The only battery-monger apps I found are Facebook and Whatsapp. Kill them when you’re done with them and your battery life will greatly improve – without disabling these new iOS7-features.

    iOS7’s new way to close an app is a great improvement…

  • Matt Dowdy

    So disable everything that makes ios 7 new and exciting and that’s the answer!

    • Gus Me

      Excellent, that’s exactly what I was thinking!

    • s0me

      Let me rephrase: So disable everything that makes ios 7 new, exciting and a smartphone and you will be fine. Just use it like a normal phone.

  • Miha Pahor

    tomorrow i’ll delete facebook for a whole day and than i’ll report to you how the battery is going πŸ˜‰

    • Singed

      Delete facebook permanently – you will improve your social life AND battery life.

      • Miha Pahor

        haha good point there! i’ll seriously think about that…;)

      • Apex

        Amen. Facebook and Twitter has destroyed my generation. I stopped using Facebook 3 years ago. Many people don’t even know how to hold a face to face conversation anymore.

      • Lance Baker

        Have you stopped texting as well?

  • Carlos Reyes

    Funny how we get excited over all these new features coming to ios devices just to have to turn them off because they suck the life out of your battery.

  • Micaiah Martin

    I have all these features turned on except location services. And my iPhone 4S is running like a champ. No battery issues here I can nearly get through two days on medium usage.

  • Elma

    I actually feel my battery last a lil bit longer than before.. Iphone. 5

  • Adam Khan Pettitt

    I don’t have Facebook installed and my iPhone is doing great with iOS 7. Right now I’m on an iPhone 5s and I just upgraded from the 5 so there shouldn’t be that much of a difference.

  • Litchy

    Got an iPhone 5 with dynamic wallpapers set on all the time. My iPhone is used all day and lasts longer than on iOS 6 without dynamic Background… Can use a the whole day easily

  • Anthony Antunez

    I have been doing this since the betas and they have done nothing. I believe the battery problems are coming from memory leaks in the OS which can only be fixed with an actual update.

  • marcus1324

    iPhone 5s, 1% every 10 minutes with 100 apps, 500 songs, and over 100 photos.

  • Ariel

    I have everything turned on on the 4s and my battery life is amazing, lasting almost 2 days……. Way better then 6.

  • Roger Riekki

    should I update my jailbroken iPad to IOS 7?

    • leart za jmi


  • Pablo

    I was trying to write on this post using feedly, with only phone app open and various things said here already done, first my battery dropped from 80% to 70% only reading this post, then my i4s was too slow when trying to write this post, lag between pressing the keyboard and the letters actually appearing on screen. Finally feedly crashed so now I’m writing from my pc. I think iOS7 uses too much RAM and CPU in every process, but maybe just for being iOS7? the betas generally had less features than this last version so I think the presumptions mentioned above are not totally true. I think it’s just (or in part at least) the common behavior from Apple, every mayor update leaves in really bad shape the oldest device compatible (my 3G is too slow after upgrading to iOS4). The battery was improved on 5c and 5s, maybe so they survive iOS7? and thus, every other device is just too little battery for iOS7? There surely are some things to fix in upcoming versions, but I think at least 4 and 4s won’t handle well iOS7, forcing to upgrade to new models (as Apple do with macs, idevices, etc,, I think, business strategy). Maybe even 5 is meant to die, for users to upgrade to 5c. It would explain why 4s turned into the free model and not 5, 4 is out of the game, free 4s will die from iOS7, 5 is discontinued and the remaining will also die (less, but still enough to bother users) from iOS7 too, thus remaining only 5s and 5c, regaining consumers.

  • Lance Baker

    My iPhone 5s gets great battery life but I’ve noticed it’s much better after a reboot. Earlier I charged my phone to 100% and within 15 minutes it had gone down to 98%. So I rebooted and plugged back in for another full charge. I stayed on 100% for about 40 minutes and after an hour and a half of usage I still have 90% with 4 hours and 40 minutes of standby. Seems great to me. The reboot is key.

    • Star2013

      Going to try this

  • JimGramze

    All the suggestions sound solid. Giving it a try right now. Won’t really know until the end of tomorrow.

  • Imahottguy

    A few thoughts: if you are upgrading your device, then it is likely at least one year old. Meaning, battery life would not be the same as it was when you first purchased your phone. It seems that, especially after release, we use the phone more and more to try out new features and what not. After a while, the gimmicks wear off and we turn them down a bit or completely off. I haven’t upgraded (rely too much on jailbreak tweaks) but from what I have heard from family and friends (who are not power users) that battery life is about the same as before the upgrade. Of course with new features and improvements, resources will drain more juice. Even so, it seems to me that a lot of the complaints are like a placebo effect. This is not to say that there are isolated issues. I do not doubt that there are users out there experiencing issues, though it cannot really be as widespread as blogs and their readers would have us believe.

  • Raj

    after installing iOS 7 in my iPhone 4s although Battery remain 40% its automatically becomes switched off. Please give any suggestion.

    • s0me

      It’s simple buy a new battery / phone

    • Calife

      You can try a clean install or Restore to Factory Setting. And then re-install your Apps and finally restore your music files.

  • Omar Yasser

    My iPhone’s volume became really low once I updated to iOS 7, not playing music, but the alarms & ringtones are really low! Even though I chose the Classic ones (old ones) they are much lower than they are!
    Anyone here have the same problem?

  • Gaurav

    We still have third option… “Sell Out” your iPhone.

  • Not “no”, but “hell no” to Facebook and all iterations of it.

    And hence, even with ALL your “turn this off” features list still mostly turned ON – I am experience only slightly less battery longevity (about an hour less than before at the same time of day).

    I’m not saying Facebook anything is the culprit – everyone’s set-up is different. But the extra drain on my battery since iOS 7 isn’t as heart-stopping as you make it sound. Well, not for me, anyway!

  • Merman123

    Battery life seems the same , if not slightly better, across all my devices. Also, I hate to break it to everyone but all the things suggested on this article have only a very small (and I mean small) impact on the battery. If anything location services is the only one you should disable.

  • Darcy Jones

    I don’t have the Facebook at all and my battery still sucks just as much as the next guy

  • Jyun Cheng

    My iPhone4 at firstly was slow after install iOS7

    And when i lower down my phone’s brightness,the whole phone seems to be more smooth now…
    Just to share… πŸ™‚

  • MB

    Thanks to the original author for posting a great article. Between the original and responses, I can hold off on reading the release notes now. My personal experience BEFORE making these adjustments – slightly greater battery drain on my iPhone 4S, TREMENDOUS battery drain on iPad 2. Just made the changes suggested so the jury is still out but I’m hopeful that the issues will be partially or completely resolved. If not, there’s always iOS8 πŸ™‚

  • leart za jmi

    The last iPhone that had a decent battery life was iPhone 4 (single core) i dont think is software problem

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    My iPhone 5 battery last about 5 hours or less when using any type of “cellular connection.” No matter what App I’m using. When on Wifi it last all day.

    My iPhone was 100% at 6:30am. Down to 50% at 8:00am. Using iHEART Radio on “cellular connection.

    I done all the restores that you can do. Currently my iPhone 5 is restored to iOS 7 has new. And also have done all the tips and tweaks. Still the same battery result.

    I believe strongly the fault is not in the iDevice but the connection itself. LTE, 4G is fast but even when I have full bars Apps “will not load” data on a consistent level. I believe this to be true because we all know that carriers constantly throttled they network. My iPhone 5 works better after lunch time.

    The battery tips and tweaks do help a little but also kills the point having those features installed in the first place. Dumbing down the usefulness of your iDevice.

    I’m gonna restore my phones settings and run the iPhone has it was meant to be. Just to see if all the tweaks helped or not.

  • Julie Worthy

    thanks so much. very helpful….above and beyond the other sites. great job

  • Joseph Rauchbauer

    Battery sucks

    I don’t like the new Apple software IOS7.0 That I downloaded on my iPad 2 32 GB
    The battery would last me two days now it’s dead after only six hours and that’s right after downloaded and update the new IOS7.0 software. I don’t like the new design and the apps are hard to see also Safari I think the old one is for me better. So I’m not going to update my iPhones 4S and can I go back to my OLD IOS THAT I HAD BEFORE THIS IOS7.0 was update.

    This is going to be the last of Apple pad and phones

  • Shawnie Lamborn

    I don’t have fb installed and i have battery issues.

  • Jon

    My iPad with retina display kills its battery inside of 1.5 hours since upgrade, no Facebook usage at all

  • Joshw

    Mine drains exceptionally fast when not on Wifi. It drains quickly on wifi but when I hit 3G and 4G it’s ridiculous.

  • Cameron Giezendanner

    This has happened to me twice. Most recently I just updated my ios & both times restoring my iphone as new and removing all Facebook apps has solved my battery problems. I have always followed the tips above, nothing really works except removing Facebook completely. Even if I always manually closed Facebook, it seems like it was running in background. I could watch battery % decline 1% every cpl minutes or so. Now I just use the mobile website version of Facebook (Bookmark and add Icon to homepage) and my battery lasts forever. It’s not the iOS it’s Facebook apps chewing through your battery even if you are not using them.

    • Star2013

      I agree…after turning off and deleting most my apps, I found the battery was still draining fast…I deleted most my apps that I thought would drain the battery such as navigation maps etc. but after I deleted Facebook, My battery problem was less than it was.

      Wifi Turned on

      Facebook installed: 57% Battery. After two hours 46% battery
      Facebook deleted: 40% Battery . After two hours 37% battery

      I dont get it though…what is FB doing in the background that eats the battery?

  • Elizabeth Metcalfe

    Just bought an iPhone 5s because I thought my iPhone 4s battery had died – then find I’ve still got the same problems! Everything switched off but not really making that much difference.

  • jkannry

    Id recommend going into usage and turning off diagnostics and usage data sent to apple. Go to settings/about/diagnostic usage and privacy/system services/Diagnostics and usage.

    • Star2013

      actually you left out “General” so its actually settings/general/about/diagnostic usage etc etc. πŸ™‚