Tips & How-to

10 Tips to Improve Your iPhone Battery Life

July 13, 2009 — by Simon Ng18


Tips & How-to

10 Tips to Improve Your iPhone Battery Life

July 13, 2009 — by Simon Ng18

iPhone Battery IssueI’m not sure if all of you experience the same issue.

Some of the readers have sent me email telling me that the battery life degrades after upgrading to iPhone 3.0 and asked how they can improve the battery life.

Though we can’t replace iPhone’s battery, we can always optimize the iPhone configuration or settings to maximize the battery. Base on my personal experience and advice from Apple, here are the 10 tips that can help you make the most out of your iPhone battery:

1. Disable Wifi when it’s not used
Wifi is one of the features that consumes the most of the battery. With Wifi enabled, even when there is not Wifi network around you, iPhone will still consume battery. So, I used to turn it on only when I need to connect to a Wifi network. So, when you’re not using Wifi, switch it off to save battery.

To turn off Wifi, simply go to Settings -> Wi-Fi and set the Wi-Fi option to OFF.

2. Turn off bluetooth
turn-off-bluetoothSame as Wifi, if you’re not using bluetooth with your Bluetooth handset or Internet tethering, switch it off to save power. To turn off bluetooth, you can go to Settings -> General -> Bluetooth and set the Bluetooth option to OFF.

3. Disable 3G
Turn off 3G serviceLike Wifi, using 3G cellular network also consumes lots of power. When you’re not surfing the web or in an area that 3G is not supported, switch it off. You can still make and receive calls even 3G service is disabled.

To turn off 3G, simply go to Settings -> General -> Network and set Enable 3G to OFF.

Wait, you’re asking me to turn off 3G for my iPhone 3G/3GS. Is this ridiculous? I totally agree with you and I also think it’s ridiculous. But it’s true that 3G eats up battery life and by turning it off when you do not need, it can greatly improve your battery. To easily toggle 3G, you may consider the use of SBSettings.

4. Enable auto lock or Lock your iPhone
When you’re not using the iPhone, make sure it’s locked and put into sleep mode by pressing the Sleep/Wake button. This can preserve battery. If you do not want to lock it manually, you can go to Settings -> General -> Auto-Lock and set the interval (usually it’s set to 1 minute) to auto-lock the iPhone.


5. Adjust brightness
A bright screen also consumes more juice than the dimmer. So, you can set a lower brightness level to extend battery life. You can go to Settings -> Brightness and drag the slider to the left to lower the brightness level. Furthermore, you can turn on Auto-brightness and allows iPhone to adjust the brightness of the screen based on current lighting conditions.

Set Brightness Level

6. Disable Push Notification
Turn off Push NoificationPush notification is a new feature introduced in iPhone 3.0. Applications (particular for instant messaging app) make use of this notification service to inform you about new update, even the app has been closed. The extensive use of push notification by applications will definitely impact the battery life, as the app keeps polling for any update. So, if you do not need push notification, simply turn it off and you’ll see a great improvement in battery life.

To disable push notification, go to Settings -> Notification and set “Notifications” to “Off”.

7. Disable Location service
The regular use of location service (such as Google Maps) will also impact the battery life. If you do not need to use location service, go to Settings -> General and set “Location Services” to OFF.

8. Turn Off Push Email and Retrieve it Manually
You may love the push email feature offered by Yahoo, MobileMe or MS Exchange but at the time, this feature decreases your battery life. Also, how often do you instruct iPhone to auto-fetch your email? Every 15 min? Here is the rule: the shorter the time interval, the shorter is your battery life.

So, two things you can do here to improve the battery. If you’re not busy businessman, probably you can consider to turn off the push feature and you can even fetch email manually (i.e. emails are fetched only when you launch Mail application). This can greatly improve the battery life.

To turn off Push email, go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Fetch New Data and set “Push” to OFF. Also, you can tap “Manually” to disable the auto-fetch.

Turn off Push Email

9. Turn off Equalizer
Do you use Equalizer when playing back song? According to Apple, this feature can also decrease your battery life. To make the most out of your iPhone battery, you may consider to turn it off.

Simply go to Settings -> iPod -> EQ and tap OFF to disable equalizer.

Turn off Equalizer

10. Drain the battery completely once a month
Similar to other electronic devices, the iPhone utilizes a lithium-based battery. For proper use of lithium-based battery, try to completely run down the battery before a re-charge.

Normally, we charge the iPhone battery before the 20% warning. And I know it’s impossible to do complete discharge every day. So, I suggest you can drain the battery completely at least once a month.

One more tip…
This tip is less significant compared to the above tips. But to put your battery to the limit, you can consider to completely quit the iPhone application when they’re not used. This can minimize the processes running background and may save battery. You can refer to my post about “How to Force Quit an iPhone application” for the how-to.

Personally, I’m satisfied with the battery life of my iPhone 3GS, though it’s not exceptional. The iPhone 3GS does give a longer battery life than iPhone 3G and 2G. And, with a little tweak on the iPhone settings as mentioned above, I can normally use my iPhone for around 1.5 days before a re-charge.

So, if you’re experiencing any battery issues on iPhone (esp, you have upgraded to iPhone 3.0 OS), try out the above tips and let me know if they help. Also, if you have any suggestion to further improve the battery life, feel free to leave comment and let us know.

Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of

  • magatron

    Hi Simon,

    I have followed all these instructions but still battery is draining too fast on OS 3.0. One strange thing is, i dont have Notification option (mentioned in Step 6) in settings. Any sujjestions.
    Another weired thing i’ve noticed is that in SB Settings processes tab, i can see 2 processes namely phone and mail. phone process is OK but there shouldnt be mail process because i havent configured any email on my iphone. Each time i kill it, it appears again after some time. And due to this mail process, battery is going down fast.

    Please advise.

  • vince m

    thanks homes I guess ill try these suggestions, but i ike a bright screen and my push emails lol

  • Pingback: 10 Tips to Improve Your iPhone Battery Life » The Apple Bites()

  • kuldip

    hi simon,
    i have installed os 3.0 nd there is no sim card in that right now,
    but aft this my iphone takes longer time to charged than it was taking in os 2.0
    is it happening with every one or its my phone prob??

    • @kuldip, no problem for me. Are you charging through USB on computer or power socket?

  • Reading this post and taking in consideration all suggestions within the 10 tips, I have a question: Why don’t you just better shut down the iphone then?

  • Andrew

    Push notifications don’t use extra battery. If anything, they SAVE battery. Push doesn’t poll the server for updates. The server tells the phone when there is the update. It PUSHES the data to the phone.

    • Petr

      Not really, phone have to be connected to accept push notifications.

  • boo

    hi. my iphone 3g was drained recently so i charged it immediately when i got home. after charging it a few hours, it’s still half of it and after a few minutes, a notification appeared and says 20% of the battery remaining. i charged it using its wall charger. and tried also in laptop. but it’s still the same. help!

  • Joey mozzer

    I have to charge my phone every night, and one hour in the afternoon. If I browse about one hour straight, 30 mins if music and 20 mins of calls in the afternoon my phone is at 40-60 percent, I’m nit happy, could it be a defect?

    • @Joey, are you using 3G to browse the web? or wifi?

  • i got the same problem too, after upgrading to OS 3.2, i would always need to charge my iphone everyday, and its a hassle. to think that you charged it almost all day its just gonna last like for a half a day only. are the iphone batteries not really replaceable?

  • Michelle

    Thank you for this. That has been a problem for me lately. I am definitely going to change some of my settings. The auto lock causes my phone to act strange when I am on calls and my screen stays black and won’t let me see or do anything until I hit the lock key again which then hangs up the call. Drives mr crazy!

  • Turning of WiFi really helps

  • Jocko

    Thanks for the battery tips. You’ve done a great kindness for all.

  • Thanks a lot for the tips. I found turning of the Wifi really helps!

  • Pingback: Five iPhone Battery Myths Discussed | Your favourite Iphone Site()

  • splash Intense 5400mAh External Battery Pack for iPhone 3G 3GS, iPod Tou