Tips for reducing battery drain on iOS 10

By , Sep 24, 2016


Apple’s newest firmware update for iPhone and iPad brings a slew of new features to them, but according to several users, iOS 10 also happens to be quite thirsty for battery power.

If you feel you’re not getting the battery life you should expect after upgrading your device(s), you may want to follow these tips to help increase the amount of time you can spend using them on a single charge.

Limit location services


Some of the most battery intensive processes on your iOS devices are those that ping your location. By limiting these features, some of which are extraneous for many users, you can reduce the amount of times your device has to track you via GPS and save a lot of battery life.

You can tinker with your location settings in Settings → Privacy → Location Services.

Control your display brightness


Right next to location services, your display is one of the biggest drains on your battery. The higher you keep your display brightness, the more battery you’re going to drain.

iOS can control this automatically, but in sunny environments this tends to lead to more battery drain because iOS is always trying to compensate for visibility by increasing the brightness. By manually controlling your display brightness, you can help reduce battery drain.

To play around with your display options, go to Settings → Display & Brightness.

Let your device lock itself quickly


With Touch ID being as fast as it is, it’s really not much of a hassle anymore to unlock our devices when they lock automatically.

You should take advantage of the shorter auto lock feature so your display doesn’t stay on for any longer than it needs to. Being on too long, or leaving it on by accident, is going to impact your battery significantly.

You can configure the auto lock feature from Settings → Display & Brightness → Auto-Lock.

Disable Raise to Wake


Apple’s latest handsets can respond to being picked up from a table surface or being pulled out of your pocket by turning the display on automatically.

The feature, known as Raise to Wake, utilizes the accelerometer sensor, as well as your display, which both impact battery usage. This feature isn’t perfect and it tends to wake the display even at times when we don’t want it to, so sometimes it’s just a battery waster.

You can change your Raise to Wake settings under Settings → Display & Brightness → Raise to Wake.

Limit background app refreshing


Having things running in the background all the time will use up more power. Unless you have the new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus with that super power efficient A10 Fusion chip, you may be using a lot more power than necessary by using background app refresh.

Disabling background app refresh entirely, or at least for the apps that don’t really need to refresh their data in the background, should significantly improve your device’s battery life.

Control your background app refresh settings from Settings → General → Background App Refresh.

Limit your app notifications


The more apps you have phoning home for notifications, the more battery life your iPhone or iPad is going to burn through to deliver them to you.

Try limiting notifications to apps that are essential throughout your day so your device isn’t always checking for new data and waking up your display to notify you of things.

You can control your notification settings in Settings → Notifications.

Enable Wi-Fi calling


The lower your cellular signal gets, the harder your iPhone has to work to keep in touch with the cellular tower.

Enabling Wi-Fi Calling on your iPhone allows your device to connect to nearby Wi-Fi networks for phone calls instead of trying to power through a low signal strength with your carrier. Keep in mind however that not all carriers support Wi-Fi calling, so ensure your carrier supports the feature first.

You can enable Wi-Fi Calling from Settings → Phone → Wi-Fi Calling.

Disable automatic downloads


Enabled by default are automatic downloads, which automatically install apps on your device that you’ve installed on your other devices, as well as updates for any apps you have installed.

By keeping this feature on, you not only force iOS to check for updates in the background, which uses battery juice, but you also allow services like Facebook to force unwanted features down your throat. You may want to turn this off entirely, or at least disable some of the features to help conserve battery.

You can change your automatic download settings in Settings → iTunes & App Stores.

Manage your wireless radios


The more wireless activity your iPhone or iPad experiences, the more battery it’s going to use. If you foresee this being a problem, try to limit wireless radio usage by disabling cellular data or Wi-Fi when you don’t need them.

You can also toggle Airplane Mode from Control Center, a method of battery savings that a popular jailbreak tweak called Airplane Enhancer showed was very effective, when you don’t need access to the internet at all. You can always reconnect when you need to use your device.

Use Low Power Mode


Whenever you want to save some extra battery juice on your iPhone, you can always turn on the trusty Low Power Mode feature, which limits features like Mail fetch, Hey Siri, app backgrounding, downloads, and visual effects to reduce power consumption.

You can enable this feature manually even when your battery is at 100% to conserve power from the start of your day, all the way to the end of it.

You can turn on Low Power Mode from Settings → Battery → Low Power Mode.

Use your Apple Watch whenever possible

Apple Watch Series 2 Edition Ceramic image 001

The Apple Watch is intended to be an accessory you can use alongside your iPhone, and it can handle a lot of tasks, like notifications, while reducing the load on your iPhone and taking some of the battery abuse instead.

Using your Apple Watch reduces display usage on your iPhone, which overall can yield improvements to your iPhone’s battery life and still get your tasks done.

The logic behind this tip is the tried and true “divide and conquer” method, which just so happens to work with saving your battery too.

Use wired headphones


Apple eliminated the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus, but they still include a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter in the box. If you’re going to be listening to music a lot, you may want to use wired headphones instead of wireless ones.

According to Apple’s tech specs, wireless audio playback uses more power than the typical audio playback we see on earlier iPhones. It can make a difference of anywhere from 10-20 hours. Bluetooth is very efficient, but it’s still not as efficient as a hardwired connection.

Keep your software up to date


Apple regularly releases software updates for its iOS operating system that improve its efficiency and squash potentially battery-hungry bugs. Make sure you’re always running the latest version of iOS to ensure you have the best software available.

You can update your version of iOS from Settings → General → Software Updates.

Is iOS 10 draining the battery of your devices faster than expected? If so, what are you doing to save your battery? Share in the comments!

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  • Agneev Mukherjee

    The title should be

    “Tips for reducing battery drain on your iPhone”

    instead of

    “Tips for reducing battery drain on iOS 10”.

    • yeah but SEO

      • Agneev Mukherjee


      • Kieran.Lillis

        Search Engine Optimisation

      • Agneev Mukherjee

        Yeah, I know that, hell I have my own website.

      • Sharkey311

        Then why did you ask what SEO was

      • Agneev Mukherjee


      • YaBoyLilMayo

        Stop trying to deflect ur L just take it u don’t for a website

      • Agneev Mukherjee

        What the hell you typing, man?

  • port87

    “tips how to ruin ur iphone experience because apple didnt want to give u a bigger battery because its 2016 and consumers rather buy charge cases, power banks, and more lightning cables than to have there phones last a day or two without plugging”

  • David Pomerleau

    On “use your Apple Watch”…I have my phone on do not disturb only when locked so I only get buzzes on my wrist and my phone stays silent. Helps a little bit on the battery.

    • Not sure what’s the benefit of that. With DnD off, if you receive a text message, it will not ring or even wake the screen on iPhone. However, by default, it will ring and vibrate on your Watch.

      I feel like you using DnD on your iPhone is redundant and unnecessary. Unless I’m misunderstanding your setup.

      • David Pomerleau

        If the phone is locked and I receive a text, the phone wakes and buzzes and so does my watch. If I turn on DnD on phone, then only the Watch buzzes providing I don’t have DnD on Watch enabled.

      • That’s what I don’t get. By default, if you have an Apple Watch, your iPhone should not buzz.

      • Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.

      • I don’t think mine ever does when I’m wearing my Apple Watch.

      • David Pomerleau

        Only if it’s unlocked will it not buzz. If it’s locked the Watch doesn’t change the phone’s normal behavior.

      • It never behaved like that on my Apple Watch. And it doesn’t behave like that on any other Apple Watch either. There is something abnormal with your set up.

  • Joaquim N.

    I never really had problems with the battery draining faster than usual on my devices and at every new IOS update I’m used to DFU restore my devices using iTunes and set it all as new, never restoring any backups, as I mentioned here many times before. But after IOS 10, I did exactly what’s on this article in order because that’s what I always do anyway (with the exception of using Low Power Mode all the time) and I’m surprised how fast my battery is draining since I upgraded.
    I even performed another DFU restore yesterday when IOS 10.0.2 became available and yet today my 6 months old iPhone 6s is suffering with a huge battery drain!

    A month ago I was in Vancouver and I had my iPhone tested at the Apple Store (because of an issue I thought I had) and the report said there’s nothing wrong with my device so I don’t think it’s a battery issue since it only started after upgrading to IOS 10.

    Could you guys suggest me a test or some different settings I could try?

    • I think iOS 10 is causing serious battery issues for some devices. My iPad loses 50% over night for instance. There are many reports of similar behavior so it’s definitely not an isolated case. Neither it is one of these recurring non-issue that people think they have with every new software update. Apple is most likely aware of it and will fix that in the next big update

      • Abhijeet Gupta

        Until then I’ve to carry a power bank regularly. What a bummer

      • Joel Page

        Be careful what Apps are running in the background too!

        I know recently, the SnapChat app was causing ridiculous battery drain!

      • Joaquim N.

        Yeah they mentioned it on the article and I usually don’t keep anything running on background over night and I also deactivated the background app refresh feature as always.

      • Joaquim N.

        My 6s has a 40-45% battery lost over night, around 7 hours of standby.
        My wife’s SE is 100% fine with no issues at all.

    • Abhijeet Gupta

      Same. The battery life has taken a hit after the update. Don’t know what’s wrong with my 6s

  • The King

    This is a norm for Apple devices and their users every year. New iOS comes out, battery drain complains come out on forums. It’s made this way to tempt you into getting the new phone in my opinion.

  • Joel Page

    Thanks for mentioning our jailbreak tweak Airplane Enhancer+

    As soon as iOS 10 is jailbroken, we’ll check and ensure it’s working fine!

    Check r/AirplaneEnhancer or r/Jailbreak on Reddit if you want more information

  • Rondog

    Yeah, this is some sound advise, I always do these adjustments and I always seem to get good battery milage if you will. Another thing I never do is an OTA update, for some reason my devices never respond well to these so I always update through itunes, whether it has anything to do with it or not I don’t know for sure.

  • Nathan

    Raise to wake shouldn’t use much battery since the coprocessor is integrated in the A9 and A10 chip, so it’s always on regardless..

    Plus you should mention that it’s normal to have battery draining issues when you update your device because it’s still indexing the operating system.

  • Alexander S

    So far my Apple Watch is the one that’s been draining like crazy after the update.

  • Faisal

    iOS 10 did make my 6s plus battery life poor. I used to get 8 hours of usage in a single charge but it has come down to 5-6 hours now.

  • Rodney Coleman

    My iPhone 6s doesn’t drain battery on iOS 10… still the same.

  • Zack Morris

    Tip 99: turn off phone.

  • turning off motion calibration and distance wont affect third party navigation apps?

  • Mauricio Saucedo

    Turning off “hey siri” has also helped me.

  • Evandro Nascimento

    Turn off the iPhone

  • Amy

    tip for reducing your iphone battery drain… stop using it and plug it in, in the another room.