iOS 14 Battery Drain Issues: 11 Tips to Improve iPhone Battery Life

ios 14 battery lifeios 14 battery life

iOS 14 has introduced many new features and changes for iPhone users. However, whenever a major update to an operating system drops, there are bound to be issues and bugs. One of the common issues which many will likely encounter is related to battery life. If you are facing battery drain issues with your iPhone after updating it to iOS 14, check out some possible fixes below.

iOS 14 comes with major changes such as App Library, Widgets on the home screen, redesigned caller UI, new Translate app, and many other hidden tweaks. However, poor battery life on iOS 14 can spoil the experience of using the OS for many iPhone users.

In this guide, we will provide tips on how to fix battery issues that users are facing on their iPhone running iOS 14. These tips have helped our readers in the past to fix battery issues on the iPhone.

How to Check iPhone Battery Life

Before we proceed further and give you tips on how to fix iOS 14 battery life problems, we think it is important to know how much battery life your iPhone is expected to deliver, so you can gauge for yourself if you should be concerned about battery life. For example, below is the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max battery life from the tech specs page on Apple’s website.

It is important to understand that your battery life will vary as per your usage, so if you listen to your music locally from the Music app and not stream off LTE/3G/Wi-Fi, your iPhone’s battery life would be much better.

You can check the battery life or usage and standby time since the last full charge via the Settings app under Activity and the Battery Usage By App section (Settings > Battery).

Usage is the amount of time the iPhone has been awake and in use since the last full charge. The phone is awake when you’re on a call, using email, listening to music, browsing the web, or sending and receiving text messages, or even during certain background tasks such as auto-checking email.

Battery Percentage

On iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or earlier iPhone models, iOS displays the battery level in the top right corner of the status bar by default. You can keep track of the charge remaining in your iPhone more easily by enabling the battery percentage indicator, which displays the battery left in percentage. To display the battery percentage indicator, navigate to Settings > General > Usage and scroll down and tap on the Battery Percentage toggle to enable it.

In the case of iPhone XiPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and iPhone 11 series, there is no setting to enable battery percentage in the status bar.  You need to swipe down from the top-right part of the screen – the right ear next to the notch. This will bring the Control Center. But the way Control Center animates, you see the top items first and fairly quickly. At the top, you’ll find status bar icons that couldn’t fit next to the notch. The first of which is the battery percentage.

Now that you know how much battery life you should expect and you can track it with the battery percentage indicator, let us see how you can extend your iPhone’s battery life.

Tips on How to Improve iPhone Battery Life from Apple

Starting with iOS 12, Apple introduced a feature that provided insights and recommendations to improve device battery life. You can access them by navigating to Settings > Battery.

insights and suggestions to improve battery lifeinsights and suggestions to improve battery life

You can tap on each suggestion to jump directly to the setting that you need to change. If you don’t see any suggestions, then check our tips to help you manage and fix battery life problems if your iPhone battery is draining fast after installing iOS 14.

Tips to Improve iPhone Battery Life on iOS 14

1. Install the Latest iOS 14 Software Update

The battery issues on your iPhone might be due to a buggy build released by Apple. The assuring news is, the company is quick to release bug fixes via a firmware update. Go to the Settings menu and open General > Software Update and download the latest iOS 14 update.

2. Identify iPhone Apps Draining Battery Life

iOS makes it much easier to identify apps that are draining iPhone battery life. You can check our step-by-step guide on how to identify apps draining iPhone battery life. For example, in iOS 14, the likely cause of battery drain on iPhones running iOS 14 could be the background activity by the Music app.

detailed battery usage graph in ios 14detailed battery usage graph in ios 14

What Next

If you’ve identified an app that is draining battery life on your device, here are some of the things you can do to improve iOS 14 battery life, especially if it is a third-party app:

  • If you can live without the app then the best thing to do is delete the app.
  • While iOS takes care of suspending apps in the background, it’s likely that some apps wake up in the background to fetch content off the network. You may want to force close apps like VoIP, navigation, and streaming audio apps if you’re not using them as they’re known to drain battery life. It is important to note here that you should only close apps that you don’t want to use. It is not a good practice to force close all apps, as that could have an adverse impact on battery life.
  • If you want to use the app, then you should seriously consider disabling Location Services (Settings > Privacy > Location Services) and Background app refresh (Settings > General > Background App Refresh) features for the app as they can end up consuming battery life. We will cover it in more detail next.

3. Disable Location Services

When we install apps, they prompt us to give them access to various things such as location, etc., and we tend to blindly say yes. However, apps using location services can have a major impact on battery life. So you may want to review which apps should have access to your device’s precise location all the time.

The best way to approach this is to first tweak location services for all the apps. Open the Settings app on the iPhone and navigate to Privacy > Location Services. You can either completely disable location services or even better, you can set While using the App so that an app will only use your device location when you open the app. This can be useful for apps like the App Store, which don’t need to be using location services all the time.

disable location for apps on iphonedisable location for apps on iphone

You should also disable the Precise Location option that some apps may ask for. If you’ve accidentally disabled location services for an app that needs to use it, don’t worry, it will prompt you to give access to Location Services when you launch it.

4. Disable Background App Refresh

iOS includes smarter multi tasking that lets apps fetch content in the background. Although Apple has a lot of optimizations in place to ensure that battery consumption is minimal, it’s possible that a poorly developed app could be using this feature incorrectly which could end up draining your iPhone’s battery life.

To disable Background App Refresh go to SettingsGeneral > Background App Refresh and turn it off for apps like Facebook or other apps that don’t absolutely need to be updated all the time. Background App Refresh is a great feature for apps like OneDrive or Google Photos where you need to upload media in the background, but you don’t need it for every app.

I would strongly recommend turning it off for the Facebook app as it is known to drain battery life.

You have the option to enable Background App Refresh only when you’re on a Wi-Fi network. You could see if selecting just Wi-Fi reduces the battery drain on your iPhone or you may want to turn off completely. It will also help in saving mobile data on your iPhone.

background app refresh on wifibackground app refresh on wifi

5. Use Dark Mode

Last year, Apple integrated a system-wide dark mode with the iOS 13 update. It stretches from the dynamic wallpaper to the widgets screen to the Settings screen and apps that have added support for Dark mode. It should help in improving battery life on iPhones with an OLED display like the iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone X.

Simply go to the Control Center, press on the Brightness slider, and then tap on the Appearance button to switch between the Light and the Dark mode.

You can set the dark mode on a schedule as well. Go to Settings -> Display and Brightness and turn on the Automatic option. Then tap on Settings to switch to a custom schedule. By default, the dark mode will turn on automatically after sunset. You can check our article to learn how to enable Dark mode on your iPhone or iPad.

6. Use Low Power Mode

If your device is running low on battery, and you still have some time to get to a power source, then you could enable the all-new Low Power mode by going to Settings > Battery and tapping on the toggle. Low Power Mode temporarily reduces power consumption by turning off or reducing mail fetch, background app refresh, automatic downloads, and some visual effects. Apple states that the Low Power Mode mode can improve battery life by an additional 3 hours.

low power mode on ios 14low power mode on ios 14

You will also get a prompt to enable Low Power Mode when you hit 20% battery remaining, and will automatically disable it when battery remaining crosses 80%.

7. Place iPhone Facedown

iOS includes a facedown detection feature, which makes use of the ambient light sensor to ensure the display doesn’t light up when you receive a Notification when you place the iPhone facedown. The feature along with other refinements helps in increasing battery life by an additional hour as it turns off the display when not in use. So when you place your iPhone on the table, you should place it facedown to conserve battery life. Please note the Facedown Detection feature is available only on iPhone 5s or later devices.

8. Turn Off Raise to Wake

The Raise to Wake feature automatically turns on the screen of your iPhone every time you pick it up and it’s facing towards you. This is very useful if you want to wake your iPhone just to check the received notification or the time. Rather than using the Home button, you can simply pick up your device to turn on the display.

It is useful, but it also can drain battery life if you have the iPhone in your hand while walking, jogging, dancing, or otherwise moving around while the feature is activating itself frequently. Turn it off to save some battery life by navigating to Settings > Display & Brightness > Raise to Wake > Toggle Off.

Once Raise to Wake is disabled, the iPhone will no longer turn the screen on itself just by an upward motion alone.

9. General Tips

Please note that the tips under section are to highlight areas where you could disable things that are not applicable to you so you can extend battery life. We are not recommending or advising you to disable features just for battery life, as then there would be no point in using smartphones like the iPhone.

i. Widgets

Widgets get a major makeover with the iOS 14 update. You can finally add resizable widgets on the home screen as well. However, you shouldn’t go overboard with them on the iPhone. You should review the widget list and remove the widgets that you don’t want to ensure they don’t consume battery life unnecessarily as some of them could be using Location services.

ii. Turn off Dynamic Wallpapers

Dynamic wallpapers bring subtle animations to the home and the lock screen. Unfortunately, the animations take up CPU cycles and consume more battery. So if you have set a dynamic wallpaper, and you’re having battery issues, go to Settings > Wallpaper > Choose Wallpaper where you can go to either Stills or your set an image from your photo library as your wallpaper.

iPhone 6s or later also allows you to set Live Photos as wallpapers, but it should have an impact on battery life as they come to life only when you use 3D Touch to firmly press on the wallpaper.

iii. Disable Motion effects, parallax

iOS comes with a number of animations and physics-based effects to the interface to help users understand the layered elements in the UI. Some of these effects even access gyroscopic data, which contributes further to the battery drain. You can disable these motion effects by going to Settings > Accessibility > Motion > Reduce Motion and turn on the switch. However, please note that enabling Reduce Motion will disable the effects in the Messages app.

iv. Other tips

  • If you hardly use Bluetooth then turn it off (Settings -> General -> Bluetooth)
  • Set Auto-Lock interval so that your iPhone will turn off more quickly after a period of inactivity. To set the Auto-Lock interval, navigate to Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Lock and set the auto-lock interval to either 30 seconds, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 minutes.
  • You’re probably aware that using Wi-Fi drains iPhone’s battery, but perhaps you didn’t know that one of the most intensive processes that iPhone’s Wi-Fi chip has to do is search for the available network. So if this happens at regular intervals, it’s going to have a noticeable impact on your battery. To disable this feature, launch the Settings app, tap on Wi-Fi, and tap on the On/Off toggle for Ask to Join Networks to disable it.
  • Dimming the screen helps to increase battery life. You can either lower the default screen brightness based on your preference or turn on Auto-Brightness to allow the screen to adjust its brightness based on current lighting conditions. Launch the Settings app, scroll down and tap on Brightness & Wallpaper, and set Auto-Brightness to On.

10. Troubleshooting Tips

i. Hard Reset Your iPhone

Like all tech problems, there is no harm in force restarting or hard resetting your iPhone to see if it helps with iOS 14 battery life.

  • On an iPhone 11 series, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.
  • On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo.
  • On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch; press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

ii. Resetting Network Settings

Reset network settings by tapping Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will reset all network settings, including passwords, VPN, and APN settings.

iii. Optimised Battery Charging 

All iPhone models come with a lithium-ion battery. Due to its nature, the lifespan of lithium-ion chemicals is limited over time. Meaning, your iPhone battery comes with fixed charge cycles.

The iPhone battery capacity degrades over time. You should keep track of your device battery capacity percentage periodically. If it goes down to 60%-50% percentage, then it’s time to replace the battery on your iPhone to improve the general navigation of iOS. Open Settings > Battery > Battery Health > Enable Optimised Battery Charging.

11. Restore iPhone as New

Try to restore your iPhone (Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content And Settings) and set it up as a new iPhone (not from the backup).

Before you erase all the contents and settings, take a backup of your iPhone using iTunes or iCloud, or selectively take a backup of your photos and videos using Dropbox or Google Photos.

We’ve seen quite a few comments from readers who have found that the battery life is better after setting up the device as a new iPhone.

How is your iPhone’s battery life following the iOS 14 update? Let us know your experience in the comments below.

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