Tips to Improve your iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c’s Battery Life [Video]

iphone low battery

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c come with a slightly bigger battery than the iPhone 5, which Apple managed to cram into the jam-packed internals of the device by shrinking the size of the logic board, as seen in teardowns.

But it may be possible that despite the increase, you’re seeing lesser than expected battery life, and here are some tips to reduce battery drain and improve battery life.

The iPhone 5 had a battery rating of 3.8V, 5.45 Whr (1440 mAh), and Apple improved upon this in the iPhone 5s by including a battery rated at 3.8 V, 5.96 Whr (~1570 mAh), and in the iPhone 5c by including a battery of 3.8 V, 5.73 Whr (~1507 mAh).

So we take a look at how to manage your shiny new iPhone 5s′ or your colorful iPhone 5c’s battery life and also provide some tips on how you can extend it.

Understanding Your Battery Usage:

The larger mAh size translates into an improvement of 25 percent in normal usage, as reflected in this usage chart:

  • Talk time:
    • Up to 10 hours on 3G
  • Internet use:
    • Up to 8 hours on 3G
    • Up to 10 hours on LTE
    • Up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Standby time:
    • Up to 250 hours

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 battery life would last much longer.

You can check out the usage and standby time since the last full charge via the Settings app (Settings > General > Usage and scroll down to Time since last full charge section). You can also navigate to Settings > Cellular Usage to find out how much time you were on calls, and how much cellular data have you used, broken by app-usage.

battery usage iphone 5s

Usage is the amount of time 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:

By default, iOS displays the battery level in the top right corner of the status bar. 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.

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Some tips to extend battery life:

  • Set Auto-Lock interval so that your iPhone will turn off more quickly after a period of inactivity. To set the auto-Lock interval, launch the Settings app, tap on General and then Auto-Lock and set the atuo-lock interval to either 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 available network. So if this happens in 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. Please note that by disabling this feature, your iPhone will join known Wi-Fi networks automatically, but you will have to manually select a network if no known networks are available.
  • Dimming the screen helps to extend 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. Note: Apple enables it by default.
  • Turn off LTE if it is not available in your area (Settings > Cellular > disable LTE/4G)
  • Turn off Location services for the following System System services: Diagnostics & Usage, Setting Time Zone, Location Based iAds (Settings >  Privacy > Location Services > System Services).

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  • Apple added a lot of new features to the Notification Center, including Today Summary, Next Destination, Tomorrow Summary in addition to the Stocks widget. You can squeeze the extra bit of battery by turning off all these features by going to Settings > Notification Center > scrolling down to the Today View and turning off whatever you don’t need.

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  • Heat can degrade performance of your iPhone’s battery. So it is important to keep the iPhone out of the sun or a hot car (including the glove box).
  • If you’re on the plane or in an area where there is no cellular coverage then use Airplane mode to increase battery life (Settings > Airplane Mode).

Optimize Settings based on your usage:

The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c offers tons of features, but some of the features comes at the cost of battery life, so it is prudent to turn off things that you’re not using.

  • Turn off dynamic wallpapers if you have them enabled by going to Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness and then tap on Choose Wallpaper. Be sure to select one of the wallpapers from the “Stills” category or from your own Photo Roll, and not from the Dynamic category.
  • Review the list of apps that are using Background App Refresh by going to Settings > General > Background App Refresh, and disable it for apps you think don’t need to wake up in the background to fetch new data.

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  • iOS 7 has a number of animations and motion related effects like parallax that aren’t very important, especially if you’re facing battery life issues. You can disable these motion effects by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and turn on the switch.

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  • iOS 7 automatically updates apps in the background, but if you’re not too keen on updating all your apps, you can turn this off by going to Settings > iTunes and App Store > scroll down to the Automatic Downloads section and turn off the “Updates” switch.

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  • If you hardly use Bluetooth then turn it off from the Control Center or by going to Settings > Bluetooth
  • Review the list of apps that are using Location services, and disable it for apps you think can be used without tracking your location (Settings > Privacy > Location Services).
  • If you check multiple email accounts on your iPhone, enable Push for only the most important email account/accounts. For other accounts, fetch emails manually if possible for better battery life.
  • Spotlight searches a lot of types of content like Applications, Contacts, Music, Podcasts, Mails, Events etc. but you can selectively tell iOS to only search across content you want by going to Settings > General > Spotlight Search.

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  • These days most apps use Push Notification service to alert you of new data, which can impact battery life. We tend to blindly say “Yes”, when an app asks us if it can send Push notifications. So it is a good idea to review the apps that have push notifications enabled. Go to Settings -> Notification Center and disable notifications for select apps. Please note that it doesn’t prevent new data from being received when the app is opened.

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  • Turn off Siri’s Raise to Speak feature if you don’t use it frequently (Settings -> General -> Siri -> Raise to Speak).
  • Turn off Siri if you don’t use it (Settings -> General -> Siri).
  • Turn off Personal Hotspot if you’re not using it (Settings -> Personal Hotspot).
  • Turn off equalizer setting for song playback (Settings -> Music -> EQ).

Troubleshooting

If you observe a sudden degradation in battery life, it could be due to an app that is hogging your iPhone’s battery life. If you haven’t restarted your iPhone for a while then the easiest solution is to reset your iPhone.

  • Force an app to close: If you’ve identified the app that may be hogging your iPhone’s battery life then force it to close. Double tap the home button to go into the multitasking app switcher, and swipe up the concerned app to kill it. You can kill up to three apps at a time by using this method.

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  • Restart/Reset Your iPhone: Hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time for at least ten seconds, until the Apple logo appears.
  • Resetting Network Settings: Reset network settings by going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will reset all network settings, including passwords, VPN, and APN settings.
  • Restore iPhone as New: If you’ve setup your iPhone by restoring from backup then the battery life problems could be due to some issue with the backup. Try to restore your device (Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content And Settings) and set it up as a new iPhone (this is not ideal). But before you erase all the contents and settings, please take a backup of your iPhone.
  • Make a Genius Bar reservation: If there is a significant degradation in battery life and the solutions mentioned above doesn’t help then take it to the Apple Store, it could well be a problem with your iPhone, which may need to be replaced.

Charge Your iPhone:

This goes without saying but it is important to charge your iPhone, so take the Lightning to USB cable and the power adapter wherever you go.

Battery Maintenance:

You should also use the iPhone regularly for proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery. In fact, Apple advices users to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down).

Check out the video where we walk you through the various settings:

As you can see there are quite a few ways to improve or extend your iPhone’s battery life, but it comes at the cost of sacrificing some features and user experience. So look at the usage statistics and disable only those things that will help you get through an entire day without charging your iPhone.

Hope you found these tips useful. If you’ve one then please feel free to share it in the comments below.

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  • Duston Foster

    Would be nice if there was an advanced menu where you could throttle down the CPU and graphics processor . That is probably the one and only thing I like about Android OS! Good write up !

  • theotheruseoneishere

    what??? iphone still runs out of battery so quickly?!?! makes me think not to upgrade… hmmm… just put a larger batttttery….

  • barondebxl

    Great job iphonehacks, I like that you guys made a video for this. I realized that I never use Siri so I just turned that sh*t off. Also I always close apps when I put my phone to sleep, that helps a lot. It’s 10:25 am, I have 33% battery life left and I charged the phone yesterday morning so it’s pretty good.

    The first couple of days battery life isn’t great cause it needs a few cycles to calibrate but now I easily make it to a full day.

    • Gautam

      Thanks, glad you liked it.

  • Chris

    Just goes to show how Apple constantly lie about their battery life. Why should we have to restrict everything for a longer life. I don’t have this problem with my Motorola XT890 which in all fairness is a faster phone with amoled screen and 2ghz processor.

    • Gautam

      This post to help readers manage and extend their iPhone’s battery life. We’re not saying that the battery life is lower than what Apple has claimed. Apple is usually on the mark when it comes to battery life estimates.

      Even with your Motorola, you will be able to extend battery life by disabling features you don’t use.

  • Byron Swift

    what’s the point if you have to turn off features?? All companies need to step up their game!! It’s no reason they can’t improve battery life. I’m thinking about switching to android just for the bigger screen and bigger battery…Some androids have a 3200mah batter, wtf apple?

    • mabbent

      Larger batteries (and/or screens) weight more, and you all complain about how heavy the iPhone is compared to XYZ’s model ABC.

      When iDevices didn’t have bling customizable home screen, some complained. Now others think adding bling things is proof of Apples decline.

      It’s always going to be a trade-off and I’m glad that Apple provides a means to disable features I find useless.

  • Necter

    On iPhone 4S, forget saving battery life. It drains like a newly built roof gutter. I have no regard for iOS 7 in general because I feel like many of the features could easily have been impeded in iOS 6, and called iOS 6.1.5 or .6…. You get the pic.

    This iOS 7 hype is quite embarrassing, in many ways, ‘cos it seems all gimmicky showing off things like parallax effect or primary & secondary color variations that have no real functional purpose.

    Quite honestly, I have kept my ios 6.1.2 on my iPhone 4 (jb w/ Zyphr, Auxo, Tetherme, safariswipez, ncsetting, displayout, etc etc etc) that is 10 years more advanced that this iOS 7. I only regret upgrading my iPhone 4S.

  • steve

    thanks a lot for the info, very helpful!!!!

  • Ollie

    Excellent article – clear, concise and so informative – should come as a leaflet with every new iphone :) Thank you guys :)

  • leart

    Well written

  • Paul

    Thank you. Good job on proving details to save battery life.

  • karthick

    Many Many Many thanks for this post.Really informative .

  • G Jayasankar Pillai

    Excellent set of tips.. Keep up the good work.

  • Angelo

    how can I set up my screen to stay awake while I am reading a page? like the “stay awake” function in samsung S4? does Iphone have it?

  • Who’s next

    Great info! Thanks.

  • Sabrina C Kelley

    I purchased an iPhone 5C last year and had a Blackberry before. I couldn’t believe how fast the batter went. I just went through your list and modified what I could. I really hope this helps. Thanks so much for writing up this article!

  • Tricia Martineau

    Awesome! But you were too fast go a little slower before you switch to next step. For us less savvy peeps. Also what is up with the cord breaking all the time. I’m so sngry they had to change the adapter in the first place. Or whatever that thingy is . The cord does this turtle rocking thing. Nice move apple , am I right. Now other companies are making money because we always need a new charger