iOS 5: Tips To Improve iPhone’s Battery Life

iPhone Battery image

Many users who recently upgraded their devices to iOS 5 are experiencing major battery-life issues. It seems that iPhone and iPad users are more affected than iPod touch users.

Regardless of which iOS device you own, here are some tips that could help in improving your iOS device’s battery life.

With all of the amazing features iOS 5 has to offer, it’s no surprise that your battery is taking some hit. This is especially true because of iCloud‘s syncing feature. However, if you’re not using everything all the time, disabling what you don’t need will help spare you plugging in iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch constantly.

  1. Disable Bluetooth (Settings > General > Bluetooth > “Off”)
  2. Turn off specific or all app Notifications in the Notification Center (Settings > Notifications > “Off” for any unneeded apps)
  3. Disable Ping (Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions > Ping > “Off”)
  4. Disable Time Zone Adjustment (Settings > Location Services > System Services > Set Time Zone to “Off”)
  5. Disable iCloud (Settings > General > iCloud > “Off” for any unneeded features)
  6. Disable Location Services (Settings > Location Services> “Off” for any unneeded features)
  7. Disable Diagnostic and Usage Reports (Settings > General > About > Diagnostic & Usage > “Don’t Send”)
  8. Reset Network Settings (Settings > Reset > Reset Network Settings) Note: This will reset all network settings, including passwords, VPN, and APN settings.
  9. Users are reporting that removing your email accounts and re-adding them also seems to have helped some users:
    • Delete email accounts (Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Account Name > Delete Account)
    • Reset Network Settings (Settings > Reset > Reset Network Settings)
    • Reboot Device
    • Re-add email accounts (Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account)

Many users are reporting about half their previous run time, even when on standby, and many iPhone users are saying their phones are getting quite warm. Some iPhone users are blaming iCloud and have disabled it completely. Still others are blaming the Location-based Time Zone Adjustment.

How’s your battery life doing after upgrading to iOS 5? Have you done anything else to improve it?

[via OSXDaily]

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  • Vinny

    This will be useful. I’ve been having a less-than-ideal battery life. It dropped 20% during my sleep.

    • Kwopau

      I’ve only lost 3% during my sleep. Unplugged my iphone 4 at 12:00 AM and woke up at 6:30 AM by my alarm and my phone was at 97%. So I say it is normal.

      • Kwopau

        Edit* Forgot to mention i do have push notification so when I woke up I had like 4 e-mails. so I say it’s about right where my % is.

        • Chris

          Like 4 emails? Is that 3 emails? or 5 emails? Both are like 4 I suppose, but given the small number involved you could have said “I had 3 emails” and we would have known exactly what you meant. Saying it was “like 4” is harder to interpret.

  • Jay

    I have a iPhone 4 and saw a huge drain after the first day, mine normally only needed charging every couple of days. After charging in the day the battery expired at some point the next night. I thought it was becasue I had enabled push on an Exchange and fetch hourly on my POP3 account, I set these both to manual and things seem much better. Not an option for everyone though

  • I ordered two 16gb iphone 4s’ and one of them is having the battery drain issue. While on stand by, it got nearly hot and the battery was draining to 50% in less than two hours. I’ve tried everything except for resetting the network and rebooting. I’ll report back once I’ve given that a try.

    The other iphone works normally though. Possibly caused by restoring from a backup? I set one up as a new iphone, while restoring one from my iphone 4 backup (updated to ios5, backup to icloud then restored to iphone 4s).

    • Nathan

      Which phone is working normally? I too received two 16gb iPhone 4s’ and restored one from backup, while setting the other up as new. The one that was restored from backup is draining fast, while the other one is working out rather nicely.

  • Lee

    My battery has been fine and I use my iPhone 4 quite alot. However will still use some of your tips 🙂

  • Battery life on my 3GS is much better on iOS5 than it was on 4. Dunno why…

    • Mahesh

      Same here!

      • shuhratm

        same here. seems to work better than on iOS 4.33.

        • slq

          Same here: 3GS + iOS5 = significantly improved battery performance. Now that an upgrade is available, I’m a bit reluctant to upgrade as it might screw up the good battery performance I’m enjoying. Are you guys upgrading?

          • jc

            I just upgraded (jailbroke) to iOS5.0.3, or whatever the latest Itunes upgrade is….and wow, I can now go a full day without recharge (just charge at night). I can get rid of the bulky battery Icase I used to recharge my Iphone 3gs every afternoon. Thank you apple and dev team!

  • Pack mac

    Don’t forget the first time you use iCloud your device needs to perform a pretty large backup. Once this backup is complete only small amounts of data need to be synced. I saw a pretty big usage in the first 12 hours or so but it seems to have stabilised!

  • Tom

    I think mines alright my iPhone about a 5% decrease over night and my iPad non really only around 1 or 2 %

  • Chris

    My iPod touch 4G’s battery life has improved dramatically on iOS 5, it’s lasts forever, used to drop really quickly

  • Jasper Houghlahan

    Instead of turning all these features off to increase battery life, why do you just buy a Nokia 6303 !

    • ET

      Some line up infront of apple store for hours to get the device for bag of mOney. Comes home and disables everything.
      Buy the dock and put the phone in and face it toward you so they can activate the front camera and mic while you sleep. Drain your dreams to create little big planet.

  • fingers21

    My iPhone 4 battery has been better since upgrading to ios5! I haven’t turn off any of the features, that would make ios5 pointless!

  • Beautiful new design iPhone hacks!

  • Bravo_007

    My iPhone 4 was running really badly with 4.3.3 in terms of battery life but as soon as I updated to iOS 5 it got heaps better n now it actually last almost 2 days!!! Awesome 😀

  • Micro

    Im using 16 iphone 4s and battery life is much more less than 4 with 4.3.5 im fonna try this and let u know

  • Forry

    These are very useful hints. Thanks!

  • My iPhone 3GS has even better battery life tahn in 4.3.3 whereas I have been using it since morning and still have 30% left 11 hours. I always turn off the GSM data when not needed and use WiFi all times at home. Keep the notification at minimum (only the chosen neccesity), fetch emails hourly, turn on location service, bluetooth, or WiFi only when needed.

  • Elempoimen

    Turn off iMessage. Both my wife and I had huge battery problems until we turned off iMessage. Problem solved.

  • I think the update could be called IOS 4S also — basically, not very elegant in many ways.

    In a review of iOS5, I wrote — Why does my battery life drop much faster now than before? I turned off ‘push’ and change to fetch every ’15 min’s so it doesn’t drain noticeably while I’m using phone (iPhone 4).

    I had done all the things (except deleting & re-adding my email accounts) suggested above, just de-activated iMessage as sugg’d by a commenter.

    Last note — my first ‘smart phone’ was a black & white display ‘blackberry’, and the batter life life (while heavily using & making calls) was 2 weeks. Then I got a color display, battery life was 3-4 days. Then I got a Palm Trio, battery life was max 2 days. Now I have an iPhone 4, battery life is > 1 day of regular use.



  • Andy

    Yea same issues here, iPhone is getting very hot and I frequently catch the gps activity icon on when it shouldn’t be. Disabled lots of things and usually it’s the time zone adjust that’s the problem.

    Just followed the steps here (minus resetting network settings due to laziness) hopefully il see some improvement…

  • fas

    It should be the best battery life for an iPhone.

  • Melvarius

    i’m sure it’s just teething problems. apple wouldn’t sell us an overpriced pile of shite now. would they?

  • akri

    Ok…I’m completey thrown off changed ur site..I liked the old one better..oh well..thanks for the great tips!

  • TheiHackz

    My battery life actualy increased by updating to iOS 5… But still really helpfull tips : )

  • Sags

    My iPhone 4 battery life actually improved slightly! Been heavily using the Notifications and iMessage on top of the usual games.

  • I have to admit, battery life became a lot better after updating my phone to iOS 5. Maybe it’s because I’m not jailbroken now, but even on 3G with Push enabled my phone delivered a decent battery life.

  • Key

    the first big sync to icloud will smoke your battery, but then it goes back to normal

  • seanlcky13

    My battery life seems highly extended since upgrading to IOS5

  • Thank you. Useful suggestions. Trying them now and see if it works.

  • Eric the Red

    My 3GS has sucked since IOS5 ugrade, leave with a fully-charged machine at 8:00 in the morning, get a “10% remaining” warning at 17:00 with only moderate email usage. Applied any and all tips above, will see how it goes.

    • acsu29

      My iPhone 4, as well as my wife’s, runs quite well. No battery problems. However, we have some friends who each have a 3Gs. Her 3Gs was fine, but his had two quirks: fast battery drain (down to 30% by the six o’clock pm, after getting up around 5 am) and the inability to load apps. They would appear on his Springboard and in his Purchased, but they wouldn’t download. I restored his 3Gs to factory and then restored again from back-up. Every problem solved: apps download, and today with his normal work schedule, his phone was hanging out around 70% by six.

      Has anyone else tried factory restore and restore from back up? It worked for my friend!

  • Vlad

    Tried everything, but iOS 5 still eating my iPod’s Touch 4g battery. Back to ios 4.3.3. :/

  • Eric the Red

    Did everything, including resetting network settings and adding and removing mail accounts (and feeling a little bit silly while doing it) but now, 4 hour later, the compound effect of all these changes seems to have helped.


  • Dan the man

    FIXED MY BATTERY DRAIN ISSUE! – I tried all the tweaks as well, to no avail. What finally brought my new iPhone 4s back to the battery longevity of my iPhone 4 (pre-iOS5) was turning off the Notification Widgets (weather and stocks) that are the default in the new notification bar (the one that now acts like an android). Simply go to settings, then “notifications” is the 3rd option. Next, find the two default widgets (Stock Widget and Weather Widget), and turn them off. If you have any other widgets running, turn them off as well.

  • Sgt_Schultz

    Bad battery problems since update. Why update to iOS5 if many of the new features have to be turned off to get reasonable battery life ? Beats me Apple. I’m sick and tired of getting defective software on PC and Apple software/devices.

  • michael

    My iPhone 4 battery life actually got better when i updated to iOS5. Every1 else that has a iPhone 4 or 4S, iPad 2, or iPod 4th generation that says their bettery life got worse doesnt know how to use their devices.

  • I

    First cloud update will kill it. Apple even put instructions in the cloud sync to “be plugged in”.

  • morningnapalm

    My iPhone 4 has run terrible since upgrading. I just turned off most of these features to see if it help. I also get a delay when opening some apps that wasn’t there before. We’ll see what happens after turning off some more features.

  • Sven

    I tried most of the suggestions (Notifications, e-mail recreate, etc). But the most dramatic improvement came from “resetting networks”.
    Inconvenient, but that’s a topic for another thread. Good luck.

  • Tom

    If you disable all those features on the IPhone then why have an IPhone at all?

  • Turning off iCloud seems to have helped the battery drain issue–but why have to turn off features just so a battery will last? Come on, Apple! Fix the problem.

  • Kelly

    I had 100% before I went to bed, and woke up to 8% 10 hours later. It’s on the charger now, and I have turned off iCloud and disabled location services so we’ll see what happens tonight.

    • skp

      hell, i’d just like to get 10 hours of sleep 🙂

    • ET

      I think at night apple is watching and hearing you by activating the camera and mic. Draining you dreams and giving it to little big planet game.

  • Alex

    I disabled iMessage too.

  • Gary

    Battery life has improved dramatically on iphone 4 since upgrading to iOS 5…love it.

  • Craig

    Just bought a brand new white ipod touch 4g.. had iOS5 on it.. updated to 5.0.1.
    connected it to my wifi, that’s it… everything else is stock and untouched.
    100% battery when I went to bed. Dead at 11am the next morning when I went to turn it back on.

    The battery was pretty much full when I turned it on out of the box.. so I’m thinking it’s wifi related, as that’s the only thing I seemed to change on it..

  • Ben

    One thing I did on my 4S was to manually shut down apps that are running in the background. If you’re at the home screen double tap the home button and you will see a list of recently used apps. Touch and hold one of the apps and they will wiggle. You will see a minus sign on them, just touch the minus sign and it will shut down that app. This helped the battery life somewhat. Never did this on my iPhone 4 though and never had a problem…. dunno. Hope this helps

  • Jaimin

    Hope this works.
    I bought my iPhone 4S (5.0.1 installed) couple of days and didnt set it up as a new phone but did a iTunes restore from my previous iPhone 4. I wasnt happy with the battery life, I use to get more than 1 day and something on Standby and around 5 to 6 hrs of actual phone usage till 1%. On iPhone 4, it give me more than 8 hrs our usage.
    I’ve just set up my 4S as a new phone, lets see.
    Will keep you updated.

  • Bryan

    On my ipod touch 4th gen i restored it from a backup and was getting horrible battery life. I would take it off the charger and loose 6% then leave it in standby over night and loose almost half the battery. I fixed the problem by restoring the ipod and not restoring the backup of the device.

  • Cody Smith

    Turn your brightness down on your iphone as well.