Why is My iPhone Battery Draining so Fast: How to Fix it?

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iPhone Battery Draining so Fast How to Fix it
iPhone Battery Draining so Fast How to Fix it

The battery life of your iPhone is the number of hours it will run before you will have to recharge the device. Battery lifespan, on the other hand, is the length of time your battery will last before you will have to replace it. Many iPhone users are often in a quandary on why is my iPhone battery draining so fast: how to fix it?

The iPhone Battery

Much of what is inside your iPhone is its battery. It is what provides power to keep your device running. The rechargeable battery of your iPhone is a Lithium-ion cell. It is made from nickel, mercury, and cadmium. Apple boasts that the iPhone battery has more longevity compared to other smartphone batteries.

The battery lifespan of iPhones is measured in cycles (not years). A 100% charged iPhone battery counts as one charged cycle. If you charged your battery with a 40% remaining battery life, it means you have used up 60% of one charge cycle. If you charged your device up to 100%, you will need to consume 40% of the battery life to complete one cycle.

The lifespan of the battery of your iPhone depends on how long you use your device in one day and how frequently you charge it. That is exactly the reason battery lifespan is measured based on charge cycles. Your battery gradually diminishes each time a full cycle is completed.

The battery life is shown in the status bar. It shows the amount of charge left in your battery. It is however just an estimate. The Battery Percentage in the Settings menu will give you a more accurate gauge so it is a good idea to turn it on.

The accuracy of the Battery Percentage largely depends on the age of the battery. After years of use, a 100% charge on the Battery Percentage is not the same 100% charge when the battery was still new.

Reasons Batteries Drain Fast

There is so much you can do with your iPhone other than its main intended use – to make or receive calls and to send or receive text messages. That is unless of course, you have a running battery. Everything you do with your iPhone affects the battery life your iPhone

Apple has made sure to design a battery that is safe to use and strong but any iPhone service center will tell you that a short battery life is one of the most difficult issues to resolve. This is so because there are just so many reasons why your battery is draining so fast. Pinpointing the exact reason can be extremely difficult.

Apple has included settings feature on the device’s battery together with the iOS 9. This settings feature provides information on the amount of power for each full charge and the amount of power utilize by each app. The settings feature, however, does not provide any information on how to improve the battery life.

Luckily, many iPhone users through trial and error have pinpointed some of the reasons the battery is draining so fast as well as proven ways on how to fix them. Before getting started, you first need to do an iPhone battery drain test to see if indeed you have a fast draining battery.

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iPhone Battery Drain Test

A battery life test is built-in into your iPhone and it checks the standby and usage times of your phone. To check your standby and usage times go to: Settings >> General >> Usage. If you have the iOS 9 to iOS 11 go to: Settings > Battery. The list may take some time to load.

  • Standby Time. This is the total time your device has been unplugged.
  • Usage Time. This is the total time you have really used your device.

This is how to do the test:

  1. Write down the standby and usage times.
  2. Press “sleep/wake or “lock”
  3. Set the device to “sleep” for 5 minutes.
  4. Write down the changes in times.

Ideally, you should be getting these results: standby time increased by 5 minutes and usage time decreased to less than a minute. A usage time reading of more than one minute means your device is not properly sleeping and ergo, you have a battery drain issue.

Apple has always reiterated that it is only after 400 cycles that the battery of your iPhone will drop from 100% to 80%. That is more or less three years. At this point, your battery will start not to hold too much of its charge but it is still very useable.

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To answer the question why is my iPhone battery draining so fast, here it goes. These reasons and fixes are applicable to the batteries of the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and iPhone X.

iPhone battery draining so fast, here it goes

1. Email Push Notification is ON

When you set your push mail, your iPhone is always connected to the server of your email so it can immediately push your new emails to your device. When you receive a new email, you will immediately receive an alert. This continuous data flow causes your battery to quickly drain.

With the email push notification activated, your device is constantly checking if you have a new email so it can send you a notification. While the push notification data is quite small, if you receive loads of emails throughout the day, it will surely quickly drain your battery.

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Solution: Set your email settings to Fetch instead of Push. When your email setting is on Push, your phone will always be automatically checking on the email server. When on Fetch, you can set your phone to check your email server every 15 minutes or so.

Set your email settings to Fetch instead of Push
Set your email settings to Fetch instead of Push

You can also choose to turn off the Push or Fetch settings and do manual fetching or manual checking for your new emails. This means that your device will only connect to your email server when you open the Mail app.

  • Mail >> Accounts >> Push >> Off
  • Mail >> Accounts >> Fetch New Data  >> ( choose schedule – I set every 15 minutes)
  • Shifting from Push to Fetch on each of your email accounts will save a lot of your battery life.

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2. Allowing too Many Notifications

Applications commonly include an option for you to allow Push Notifications. While notifications keep you on top of your game and allow you not to miss out on anything, it can strain your battery and make it quickly drain.

Choosing to enable the notification feature will allow the app to always continue running in the background so it can immediately send you a notification when something new happens within the app.

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Solution: Limit Notifications only to apps that are extremely important to you. The most important Notifications, of course, are for phone calls and text messages.

  • Settings >> Notifications >> ON/OFF

In the Notifications section, you will find a list of all your apps and the ON/OFF indicator. Review each of your apps and decide which Notification you want to remain ON or turn OFF.

You can also choose the type of Notification to receive: banners, windows or badges. These are actually just for your own preference. Any type of Notification will cause your battery to drain fast.

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3. Many of your apps use Background App Refresh

The Background App Refresh is a hidden feature that allows your cellular data or Wi-Fi to automatically download the latest content of your apps in the background even without you opening the app. This feature eats up a lot of your battery life.

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Solution: Limit the number of apps allowed to use the Background App Refresh.

You can opt to disable the app you do not want to use this feature with or completely disable the feature.

  • Settings >> General >> Background App Refresh

At the top is a toggle switch to completely turn off the Background App Refresh. Scroll down and choose the apps you wish will automatically download new content.

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4. Some Apps Eat Up Too Much Battery

There are instances when an app eats up a lot of your battery life even if it is not active. There are also apps that continue to run in the background even when not in use. It is common or tempting to download as many apps as your device can accommodate not knowing that some of these are the very reason your battery is draining too fast.

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Solution: Find the apps that are consuming too much of your battery. Keep only the apps that are the most useful to you and deactivate apps that are battery killers.

The new iOS 11 comes with a feature that shows the battery usage of each of your apps. This feature shows you a list of the apps that have been using up too much of your battery in the last seven days.

The feature also gives you possible reasons why the app is using too much of the battery and how you can possibly deal with it. You can adjust the app to make it battery friendly or close the app. The app’s battery usage is shown in percentages.

Settings >> General >> Usage >> Battery Usage

If a particular app keeps on showing up in the list, it means the app is really draining too much of your battery. One such app is the Fitness Tracker introduced as the M7 motion coprocessor in the iPhone 5S. While this app is extremely useful in tracking your steps while exercising, it consumes a lot of power. It is recommended that you disable this app when you are not using it.

Settings >> Tapping Motion & Fitness >> OFF

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5. Too Many Apps are Open

Apps do not automatically close when you get back to the Home screen they just go into the Suspended mode so when you get back to the app you can continue where you left off.

When in Suspended mode, an app continues to run in the background and loaded in the memory of your device. The good thing about this is when you get back to the app you will not have to experience long loading times. The number of apps remaining in Suspended mode though can be a major reason your battery is draining so fast.

When in Suspended mode, your app will most likely crash and your battery gets drained without your knowledge.

Settings >> Privacy >> Analytics >> Analytics Data >> Latest Crash

There is nothing to worry though if an app appears in the Latest Crash list. However, if a lot of entries appear on the same app, it may have a problem.

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Solution: Close your apps.

Closing apps do not delete any content or information. It can only help you get more life from your battery. It is best to find the app that drains your battery the most and make it a habit to close it.

Home >> iPhone app switcher >> Swipe right or left to view all your apps >> Swipe the app >> OFF (at the top of the screen).

There are a lot of arguments related to closing apps. Apple says it should never be done as a habit. They say that you should only close apps or force close it for that matter when it appears to be problematic. When an app is in the Suspended mode it consumes very little of your battery and opening the app again may use more of your battery.

Many iPhone users though say that closing apps really does save battery life.

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6. Too Many Widgets

Widgets are like mini-apps that give you a quick look at some up-to-the-minute information even if you do not open the app. They continuously run in the background and can be accessed on the Home Screen, Lock Screen or Notification Center.

Widgets require a lot of computing power to enable them to provide updated information. They offer a lot of conveniences.  If you, however, have too many widgets, they can cause your battery to drain fast.

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Solution:  Turn off or disable the widgets you are not using on your Lock Screen or Home Screen.

Widgets Page >> Edit >> tap red circle on the widget > Delete > Done

The iOS 10 has transformed the screen of the iPhone into a center for widgets. Even with a locked screen, you can simply swipe left and view all the available widgets. These widgets are also available in the Home Screen.

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7. Location Services are ON

The location services make use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) to allow the iPhone to know your exact location at all times. The information gathered is then transmitted to certain websites and apps. Location services contribute a lot in making the iPhone efficient and handy.

A status bar on the home screen indicates that the Location services are active. When an app uses the location services, there appears a tiny compass arrow. A gray icon shows that an app has used the location service during the last 24 hours and a purple icon shows that the location service is currently being used.

iOS apps such as Facebook and Instagram use Location services to let people know where you are. When used with apps such as Twist or Gyympse, Location services shows people that you are on your way to a certain place.

GPS and Location services are also being used by a lot of apps in the background when they only need to be used for a few times. When location services are on, you will be able to view all these apps. Tap any of the app to customize their use by choosing either “always”, “Never” or “While Using the App.”

Despite the convenience offered by the use of GPS and location services, they are major causes why your battery is draining so fast.

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Solution: Turn off Location Services

Upon noticing that you are running low on battery, the Location Services are one of the features you need to immediately turn off because they used up a lot of power when sending and receiving background data.

Settings >> Privacy >> Location Services.

Scroll down to the list of apps using GPS and Location services and toggle OFF the apps you do not wish to use Location services with or completely disable the use of Location services. The lesser the apps or none of the apps accessing your location for that matter the more battery power you will be able to save.

Manage Location and Location based Services

In the Privacy Settings, you will also be able to manipulate the System and Sharing services of Location services to save more of your battery life. Disabling the “Share My Location” in the location sharing section will not only save you some battery power but will also help keep you safe.

You can also turn off the “System Services“ which is the section that sends information to Apple. You can actually turn off all sections of the Location services to save on battery life except the “Motion Calibration & Distance” (allows apps to use all the technologies in your phone), “Find My Phone” (allows you to locate a stolen or missing iPhone) and the map apps.

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8. Wi-Fi is Always ON

Your iPhone can access the Internet through a 3G or 4G network and the faster Wi-Fi network. While the 3G and 4G networks are accessible through your cellular data, Wi-Fi can only be accessed through a hotspot.

You will surely deplete all your battery when your Wi-Fi is always on with the hopes of finding a hotspot.

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Solution:  Turn OFF the Wi-Fi network of your iPhone when not in use.

Settings >> Wi-Fi >> OFF

Another way to save on battery life is to turn OFF your personal hotspot when you are not sharing your cellular data connection with someone else’s device or another device. When you forget to turn off your Hotspot feature, your battery will drain very quickly.

Setting >> Personal Hotspot >> OFF

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9. Auto-Lock Is not Turned ON

Allowing your iPhone to be “ON” for longer periods of time will definitely quickly drain its battery.

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Solution: Turn on the Auto-lock feature of your device.

By default, your iPhone will auto-lock after being idle for two minutes. Some users though find it such a hassle to keep on dealing with a lock screen after every two minutes and leave their device open the entire times.

You can change the amount of time it will take your iPhone to go into Sleep mode. It does not matter how many minutes you choose but remembers that the sooner your iPhone goes into Sleep mode the longer your battery life will be.

Settings >> General >> Auto-Lock or Settings >> Display and Brightness >> Auto-Lock

You can then select the option on how many minutes of inactivity before your device goes into sleep mode.  Remember not to select the Never option because your device will remain open despite inactivity and will drain your battery big time.

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10. Bluetooth is always ON

This is the age of wireless headsets, speakers, wristbands and about almost any other device can connect to your iPhone through the Bluetooth Technology. To control these third-party devices on your iPhone, you will need to pair them. Transmitting data from a device to your iPhone or vice versa consumes a lot of battery power.

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Solution: Disconnect Bluetooth accessories when you are not using the third party devices.

Settings > Bluetooth > OFF

All third-party devices can be disconnected from the Bluetooth connection of your iPhone except the Apple Watch. To function, the Apple Watch needs to be always connected to your iPhone through Bluetooth.

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11. Battery Percentage is ON

iPhone users often tend to be anxious about their battery life prompting them to constantly check and frequently access the Battery Percentage menu. Constant checking drains your battery.

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Solution: Stop freaking out about the battery life of your iPhone and turn the Battery Percentage off.

Settings >> General >> Usage >> Battery Usage >> OFF

There is so much you can do with your iPhone than constantly checking on how much charge it has left.

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12. Frequent sending of Diagnostic and Usage Information

Apple makes it a point to regularly check on the performance and quality of iOS devices by gathering diagnostic and usage information from iPhone users. Diagnostic information includes details on system performance like low storage space warning. Some other data pertaining to OS specifications and specific device performance are also gathered.

This information allows Apple to learn more about how their devices are used so they can develop new technology for better user experiences. The thing is, sending such information to Apple consumes such a significant amount of battery power.

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Solution: Turn off the diagnostic and usage information sharing option.

Settings > Privacy > Analytics > Share iPhone Analytics and Share iCloud Analytics > Don’t Send

The automatic sharing to Apple of diagnostic and usage data was an option during the initial set-up of your device. Turn it off and save a significant amount of your battery life.

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13. Auto-Brightness is OFF

Your iPhone is equipped with a light sensor that automatically adjusts screen brightness depending on the environment. Your device should be darker when it is in darker places and brighter when in bright places.  When the default setting of the screen is always bright regardless of the environment, your device will be using more battery power.

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Solution: Turn on the auto brightness setting so your device will use up less o your battery life when in a dark place.

Settings >> Display & Brightness >> ON

Always make sure to turn the brightness setting of your iPhone so the device is always at its right brightness level.

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14. Using Device in Poor LTE Network Coverage Areas

The battery of your iPhone gets depleted quickly when you are accessing the Internet on 4G (high-speed LTE). Your battery will be depleted even faster when the LTE network coverage is poor.

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Solution: Always check the strength of the signal of the network you are accessing. If LTE signal is weak, turn it off and shift to 4G or a Wi-Fi connection (if available).

Settings >> Cellular >> LTE >> OFF.

If connecting to a Wi-Fi network, switch off your cellular data.

If the signal strength is low or fluctuating try to reset your device’s network setting to find the network coverage with the strongest signal. Try shifting to 4G if the 3G or LTE network signal is weak. Trying to continuously connect to a poor network signal will drain your battery quickly.

If you are getting weak 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi signals in your home or office, it is highly recommended that you switch to other networks with good coverage in your area. It is not only extremely frustrating to keep on trying to connect to a network, the process can also tremendously deplete your battery life.

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15. Visual Effects that are not necessary

The newer iPhone versions come with flashy visual effects running in the background. There are a lot of wallpapers you can choose from to add a unique touch to your device. Sad to say though that these cool visual effects require a lot of battery power to run.

The visual effects included in your phone are controlled by the GPU or graphics processor unit. This hardware, albeit tiny, consumes so much battery power. The more intricate the visual effect the more battery power it consumes.

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Solution: Minimize the use of irrelevant visual effects.

Settings -> General -> Accessibility > Reduce Motion. The Accessibility page contains numerous options on how you can improve the appearance of your iPhone. It also has the option to disable irrelevant visual effects or visual effects you do not need.

When you choose the Reduce Motion option you will not be able to access animated wallpaper. You will not be able to have any motion effects on the screen of your phone. Disabling the Reduce Motion feature will not in any way affect other areas of your device so you will not even notice that it is no longer there. The nice part is, you are able to save a lot of battery power.

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16. The device is Open 24/7

Many iPhone users do it and it is a perfectly normal thing – leaving your device open all the times. Many users only remember to turn off their device when they need to deal with a performance issue or when boarding a plane.

Keeping your device perpetually open can affect the lifespan of your battery, not to mention that you will always be low on battery.

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Solution: Obviously, you need to turn off your phone every so often or switch to Airplane mode.

Turning your device off when not in use (is there such a time?) or making a conscious effort to turn off your phone every so often even just for a few minutes can save on battery life. Besides turning off your iPhone can reset your device freeing the memory of some space and other related resources.

When you turn off your iPhone, make sure to do it the proper way. Never shut down your device by pushing down the home button and power button at the same time or do a “hard reset.” A hard reset on your device is similar to pulling the plug of your desktop computer to shut down. This should only be done when your device seems to be malfunctioning.

Power Button >> Slide to Power Off >> Circular Power. Wait for the device to shut down.

If you are outdoors and do not have access to a power bank or a power outlet you can place your device on Airplane Mode to save the last few drops of your battery. When in an area with poor network coverage shifting to Airplane Mode can also save you some battery power.

Settings >> Airplane Mode

You can also go to the iPhone Control Center and press the small white plane inside an orange icon.

When in Airplane Mode the cellular data and voice of your device is turned off. So are the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi features. While this feature was meant to allow continuous use of your iPhone while in the plane, it can also save on battery power. It is also interesting to note that setting your device on Airplane Mode while charging will make the process faster.

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17. Exposing your Phone to Extreme Temperatures for Extended Periods of Time

Your iPhone will function best when used in areas with temperatures of between 350F and 950F. You will not really be exposed to temperatures beyond 350F and 950F so this is often not an issue. There may, however, be instances when you can accidentally leave your device in such an area with such a temperature.

When you accidentally or intentionally leave your iPhone in your car on an extremely hot day, chances are your device will overheat. Your iPhone has a unique feature that prevents you from using your device until it cools down.

Exposing your device to extremely hot temperatures will not exactly damage the battery (between 350F and 950F). It will, however, cause your battery to drain fast and will not turn on until it cools down. Prolonged exposure though of your iPhone at a temperature of over 950F can cause permanent damage to your battery.

It is important that you use and keep your iPhone within recommended temperatures. Exposing your device to low temperatures will not cause permanent damage to your battery but your battery will drain fast. If the temperature gets to be very low, your device will shut off and run again when it warms up.

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18. High Volumes

Many iPhone users are on Spotify listening to music at maximum volume. The higher the volume you set your iPhone the faster the battery drains.

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Solution: if you really want to listen to music at high volume, wear headphones. Headphones consume less battery power than setting your device to high volume. You can also switch off the equalizer as it is a heavy battery drainer, too.

Settings >> Music >> EQ

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19. Software Issues

If you have tried fixing all the possible battery drainers listed above but your battery still drains fast, software issue may be causing the battery to take dramatic dips.

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Solution: Set-up your phone again by restoring its factory settings.

Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings > Password > Confirm.

  • Set up your email accounts and iCloud account. Your contacts, notes, calendars, and bookmarks are in these accounts so you should be able to reinstate everything.
  • Configure Wi-Fi settings and all other settings. Transfer music and photos from your iCloud account back to your phone. It is relatively easy to do all these but it may take some time before you can bring back your device to how it looked before.

Other than the software, your iPhone may also have a hardware issue. Seldom does an iPhone have a hardware issue and it does not in any way affect the battery.

Spills drop, and splashes can harm some pertinent internal charging components and components that maintain the charge. The battery won’t get completely damaged, as in getting punctured because if it does, it will literally explode.

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Proper Care and Maintenance of iPhone Battery

The State of Health (SOH) or battery health is the present condition of your iPhone battery vis-à-vis ideal conditions. The SOH is shown in percentages. The percentages of the SOH will only be at 100% during the first few days you have to use your iPhone because as you already know batteries deteriorate over time.

Battery health is affected by a lot of factors such as weather and other things beyond your control. There is, however, one thing pertaining to battery health that you can control and that is the manner in which you charge it.

Initial Use

  • Charge your iPhone for at least 3 hours before its initial use.
  • Fully drain the battery.
  • Close your iPhone for at least 2 hours.
  • Don’t use it first and charge again to full.
  • Allow your iPhone to rest for a few hours on the full charge before using.

Every Day Charging

  • Make it a routine to always charge your iPhone every night.
  • Fully charge and then drain your iPhone every two months. Some iPhone users say this helps keep your battery indicator well calibrated.
  • Always charge your iPhone in a cool place. It is never a good idea to charge your device while inside its case because it will make it even hotter.
  • If you are not going to use your iPhone for a few days, e it has at least a 60% charge. Make sure to leave the device in a dry and cool place in.

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Properly charging your iPhone is just one of the many ways to take care of your device. Here are a few more:

  • Always use the latest iOS version. Each new iOS version usually includes some battery efficiency improvements.
  • If you need to store your iPhone for a long period of time, make sure it has at least a 50% to 60% charge. Storing your device with 100% battery power can affect its daily capacity. Storing an iPhone with an empty battery especially for a few months may damage the battery and it may no longer charge.

The Apple battery has been designed to be resilient. It is one that can withstand tough usage conditions. Extending battery life and lifespan are things any iPhone user needs to take seriously.

Having a battery that often runs low or one that needs frequent charging can be a pain in the neck. Sure, you can take along a power bank, but this device while helpful can sometimes cause some inconvenience.

Take note of why is my iPhone battery draining so fast: how and take immediate action. More importantly, keep your iPhone always charged – the right way. A battery with a good battery life and an extended lifespan will allow you to enjoy and get the most of your iPhone. Take good care of your iPhone’s battery at all times in the same way you would your device.

 

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