How to Improve Your iPhone 5 Battery Life

Low Battery Warning iPhoneSo you’ve finally got your hands on a brand new iPhone 5. And it’s almost great.

Unfortunately, you’re finding that due to the exceptional performance of the iPhone, the battery life suffers. Sound familiar?

Here I’ve rounded up the tips I’ve discovered or researched that can help you improve the battery life of your new iPhone.

Update: if your problems started only after updating to the latest version of iOS, then check out my post on solving battery problems after updating.

  1. Screen BrightnessSettings - Brightness and Wallpaper
    • The backlight on the screen makes it look incredible, even in full daylight. I’m sure you remember a time when that wasn’t possible with an old phone! But it’s battery intensive.
    • Turn your brightness down by going to Settings > Brightness and Wallpaper.
    • Tip: you may also want to disable Auto-Brightness so that your phone doesn’t change back without you noticing!
  2. Disable ConnectionsiPhone Network Connections
    • Any radio connections that aren’t being used are wasting battery life big time. Here are the main culprits
    • Bluetooth – if you’re not using any bluetooth accessories in your car, or never connect to other devices via bluetooth, turn it off. It’s under Settings > Bluetooth > Disable Bluetooth.
    • WiFi – be careful here, since you want to remember to enable wifi when you’re at home or plugged in to avoid massive data fees, but if you’re not connected to a WiFi network, then allowing your phone to search for nearby networks is wasting battery.
    • 4G LTE – Yes, I know. You bought the iPhone for its 4G LTE Capabilities and Apple claims that being connected to LTE shouldn’t hurt your battery life. But when you’re only receiving a 3G connection or no service at all, the radio in your phone is constantly scanning for a nearby LTE connection. This is an energy-intensive job. Wasting Battery. To Disable, go to Settings > Network > Enable LTE > OFF.
    • Personal Hotspot – This should go without saying, but if you’re broadcasting your personal hotspot, you’re using up extra radio resources and that means battery time.
    • Airplane Mode – Really Desperate to make it through the afternoon? Switch to Airplane Mode to disable all connections incoming and outgoing. It makes your phone into an iPod though, so don’t forget to check your messages now and then.
  3. Push NotificationsiPhone Notification Settings
    • Push notifications are a great way of staying up to date with your favorite apps but any Apps that you rarely use should be disabled.
    • Go to Settings > Notifications to see what Apps are currently listening for these notifications.
    • This also has the added benefit of keeping your notification center neat and tidy!
  4. Location ServicesiPhone Location Services
    • Many Apps ask to track your location so they can do stuff like find the nearest Starbucks or add Geo-Tagging to their social network.
    • The list of these apps can be found at Settings > Privacy > Location Services.
    • Disable as many as you want (they will just ask you for permission again if they need to) or disable all location services using the override switch.
    • Tip: only the Apps displaying the location icon in the list are actively using your location so it is only these apps that are really affecting your battery. But every bit helps and you can disable the rest too if you want.
  5. Quit Background ApplicationsQuitting iPhone Applications
    • When you hit the home button and exit an App, it automatically enters the background of your iOS device. This means that the Application is running only the bare necessities in the background, but it is still running.
    • The only way to actually quit these applications completely is to Double-Tap the Home Button, then press and hold one of the icons in the Application Tray that pops up (as if you were going to delete it). It will come up with a little red and white quit icon which you can tap to actually quit that App and regain bonus battery minutes.
  6. Fetch Mail Less OfteniPhone Fetch Mail
    • Your email is probably set to be constantly listening for new emails to retrieve in order to alert you as fas as possible that you’ve got mail. This is great, but may be hurting your battery a bit.
    • Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and disable push, then choose a less frequent interval for fetching your emails.
    • If you have push enabled for fetching, this will be particularly bad for your battery. Basically, when push is enabled, your phone is constantly checking back to the mail servers to see if there is any new email available. That’s network activity which eats up your battery.
    • This is a known cause of significant battery drain in iOS 6 versions 6.1.1, 6.1.2, and 6.1.3.
  7. Shorten the Screen Auto-Lock TimeiPhone Auto-Lock
    • The screen lock time won’t make a huge difference, but when the phone is unlocked there are more processes likely to be running.
    • Set the screen lock time in Settings > General > Auto-Lock.
  8. Disable Siri’s Raise to Speak FunctionDisable Siri Raise to Speak
    • This is another feature that is constantly in the background waiting for you to use it. Generally, if you raise your phone to your ear Siri will perk up and listen for instructions.
    • Disable this in Settings > General > Siri > Raise to Speak.
  9. Reset your Wireless Router
    • Some users have noticed their phone switching rapidly between WiFi and 3G/LTE. This seems to be caused by a bug in their router’s firmware. Try to reset your wireless router, and if you feel comfortable, reinstall the router’s firmware. 

More suggestions? Any ideas or feedback?

Leave a comment below!

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16 thoughts on “How to Improve Your iPhone 5 Battery Life

  1. iPhone 4-my carrier is AT&T. Tech. there told me even dble click, jiggle& closing background apps, turning off cellular & 3G overnite I can still see more MB usage. Reason is some apps can run unseen and sendnotification, told me to get killer app from apple store. Couldn’t find one anywhere. If anyone knows of one PLEASE post all over Internet. It will definitely help on battery life also.
    You might try this app for tracking BL also

  2. Pingback: iPhone 5 Battery Life | Les Jones

  3. Anybody know how to put business info into the contacts? Just switched from BBerry, and all the info in the contacts seems to be for peoples house information…must be another sub menu somewhere that I am missing.

  4. We should not have to do this just to fix battery..We should be able to leave all these options on and use our phone..

      • Some great ideas thanks agree that hope ioS 7 can address some of these without so many changes to turn on/off bluetooth, wifi, location etc. Im forever toggling these as I ride a bike with mapmyride and bluetooth headphones
        Quick question is there any affect on battery level/life for running a iphone/ipod on mains power when ever available?

  5. Totally frustrated about the battery draining. iPhone 5 is supposed to be the best? Why doesn’t my battery last for more than 4 or 5 hours??? Why did I pay so much for this phone and not be happy. Thinking about finally going to Galaxy. My children did and they love it!

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  7. Useful tips for saving battery, thanks. I follow these tips to conserve battery, and it performs good. Now my iPhone 5 is easy to be low power after using 1 year, it’s not convenient because of its irremovable battery. I recently bought one of portable charger from Kinkoo: http://www.ikinkoo.com/shop/portable-charger/kinkoo-infinite-one-8000mah.html
    I have found it to be great. With real 8,000mAh can charge iPhone 5 for 4 times, with juice still to spare. Highly recommended.

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