How to boost your iPhone's battery life

Get more from your iPhone battery with these simple and effective tips

iPhone 13
(Image credit: Apple)

While the iPhone 13, as well as the bigger iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max have proven that they can last a full day on a single charge with medium use, there are times when squeezing extra life out their battery is useful.

Equally, older iPhones like the iPhone 12 and iPhone SE can now definitely struggle to make it through a full day's use on a single charge.

The good news is that before you head out and buy a MagSafe charger or MagSafe battery pack, there are lots of things you can do to boost battery life, though.

Here are 7 battery boosting tricks that can help you keep your iPhone functional for longer.

1. Turn off 5G

Do you need it right now? If not, turning it off can give your battery life a boost. Go into Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Voice and Data and choose 4G (or LTE, if that's the option shown). This disables battery-hungry 5G until you turn it back on again.

2. Dim the display

Pull down Control Centre from the top right of your screen and use the brightness slider to reduce your screen brightness. This makes a big difference to the power consumed by your iPhone when you're using it. It's also a good idea to go into Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size to turn off automatic brightness adjustment.

3. Highlight the hogs

Go into Settings > Battery and scroll down to see which apps have been using the most battery power in the last 24 hours or 10 days. If there are any surprises in there it could be because background app refresh is on. Speaking of which...

4. Disable background refresh

Have you had a look in Settings > General > Background App Refresh lately? The apps listed here all use mobile data to keep themselves up to date even when you're not using them; useful when you've got battery life to spare, but not so great when you're trying to get every last second out of your iPhone. My iPhone has background apps including Disney+, which I only watch on my Apple TV, my supermarket loyalty card app and apps I forgot to uninstall months ago. A spring-clean in here makes a big difference.

5. Reduce notifications

Every time your screen lights up with a new notification, your battery sheds a tear. Do you really need to know that eBay is now offering 15% off socks with the code SOCKSAPPEAL, or that it's going to rain at 3.34pm if you're already wearing a raincoat? Fewer notifications means more battery life, so be ruthless in Settings > Notifications.

6. Use low power mode

If you know you're going to be far from chargers for the day and you absolutely need your phone to be ready for anything, Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode strips your iPhone down to the bare essentials to preserve your battery. It turns off background tasks such as getting new mail, updating apps and so on.

7. Limit Location Services

GPS is a huge battery hog, so it's wise to turn off location services for any apps that don't actually need them. Go into Settings > Privacy > Location Services and look for any apps with Always next to them: that means they can access GPS even when you're not using them and you can disable this on a per-app basis. You can also turn off location services altogether, although that will prevent some apps, such as weather apps, from working.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).