How to Fix Bad iOS 11 Battery Life
Apple’s latest upgrade is causing battery drain issues for iPhone and iPad users and today we want to show you how to quickly fix bad iOS 11 battery life.
The iOS 11.3.1 update is a small maintenance upgrade with a short list of fixes, but the company’s latest software upgrade is causing problems of its own. iPhone and iPad users are reporting a variety of issues including severe battery drain.
If you run into major battery life problems while running iOS 11.3.1 (or another version of iOS 11) you might be thinking about downgrading to an older version of iOS 11.
While downgrading is certainly an option, you’ll want to try and iron out your battery life issues before you give up on Apple’s latest update.
Our guide to fixing bad iOS 11 battery life on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will provide you with some proven fixes and also some strategies to use if your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch battery life starts acting up.
Some of the steps here only require a few seconds of your time. Others could take you a lot longer. Here are a few things to try before taking your phone or tablet down to your local (if you have one) Apple Store.
Restart Your Device
Sometimes a simple restart can help your device overcome abnormal battery drain. If you start noticing weird iOS 11 battery drain, try restarting your phone or tablet. Hold the power button, swipe, and hold the power button to turn it back on.
Download the Latest iOS 11 Update
If you’re having issues on iOS 11.0, iOS 11.0.1, iOS 11.0.2, iOS 11.0.3, iOS 11.1, iOS 11.1.1, iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, iOS 11.2.2, iOS 11.2.5, iOS 11.2.6, or iOS 11.3, try upgrading to Apple’s iOS 11.3.1 update. It could help.
Use Wi-Fi When You Can
Using cellular data (LTE, 4G) can suck up your phone’s power. When you can, use Wi-Fi. It uses less power than a cellular network.
Check Your Apps
Apple’s iOS updates aren’t supposed to have a negative impact on your battery life and there’s a good chance it’s something other than the operating system causing the problem.
Apps like Facebook have been known to suck up battery life and there’s a very good chance you’ve got a rotten apple on board your iPhone or iPad. Applications and services will often act up after a major iOS release.
Before you do anything else, check your apps. Go into your Settings > Battery and check out the Battery Usage tool. It will show you the apps doing the most damage to your device’s battery.
If you notice an app draining a ton of battery, try deleting the app to see if things improve. You can always re-install it if you determine it’s not the source of the drain.
If you’d prefer to keep the app, try installing the latest bug fix to see if that helps. Developers will roll out iOS 11 support updates and these should help performance.
The YouTube app was reportedly causing severe battery drain for some iOS 11 users. If you’re noticing extremely battery drain when using the app, you will need to curb your use or update the app with the latest bug fixes.Version 12.45 fixes an issue with battery usage.
If your battery life is draining rapidly while using YouTube and you’re positive it has nothing to do with how much you’re using it, update the app.
Your device might vibrate whenever you receive a phone call or a message. These alerts are useful but they make the hardware inside your phone work and this work requires power.
If you’re fine without vibrations, you can always use a ring tone to alert you to new messages and calls, try shutting them off. It could help.
To do this go to Settings > Sounds and toggle Vibrate on Ring and Vibrate on Silent off. You’ll also want to go into each individual Sound and Vibration and make sure Vibration (located at the top of the screen) is set to none.
Manage Your Display
Your display can be a battery life killer if you don’t manage it properly.
The sensors inside your iPhone or iPad will adjust the screen automatically in certain lighting environments. Sometimes these sensors work as advertised. Sometimes they don’t. If your screen is bright for no reason, you might be costing yourself some battery life.
If you’re up to it, try manually adjusting your display to suit your lighting conditions. To do this, you’ll need to turn Auto Brightness off.
Go into Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Auto-Brightness > Off. Once you’ve shut it off, you’ll need to manually adjust your screen brightness. Fortunately, this is simple on iOS 11.
Simply pull up Control Center (swipe up from the bottom of your phone) and adjust the screen as needed. You can also adjust it in the Settings app.
Disable Raise to Wake
iOS 11’s Raise to Wake feature is handy but turning it off could save you a few battery percentage points.
If you don’t need your screen to automatically turn on whenever you pickup your device, go into the Settings app > Display & Brightness and toggle the Raise to Wake function off.
You can always turn it back on if you don’t see any improvements to your device’s overall battery life.
Kill Background Refresh
iOS’ Background App Refresh feature lets your apps refresh in the background in order to show you the latest data when you open them. It’s a nice perk but it’s also a resource hog.
Most people probably don’t need this feature enabled. To disable it, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh > and turn it off for apps you don’t use.
You can also turn Background App Refresh off completely if you don’t want to go through your list of applications one by one. If you have a ton of apps, the process can be extremely tedious.
You can always turn the feature back on if you don’t notice any gains.
Avoid Dynamic Backgrounds
Animated wallpapers look great but they can be a drain on your device’s battery. If you want to save your battery you’ll want to use static backgrounds. Fortunately, iOS 11 delivers new static wallpapers.
Turn Off Fitness Tracking
Your iPhone comes with a motion co-processor that can track your steps and other activities. If you’re trying to stay in shape we’ll understand if you want to keep this feature on. If you don’t use your phone to track your fitness try turning the non-stop tracking off.
To do this head into your Settings app and tap on Privacy. From there, select Motion & Fitness and toggle the Fitness Tracking function off. You might also want to toggle off any apps listed below Fitness Tracking in that menu.
Use Low Power Mode & Put It In Control Center
iOS 11’s Low Power Mode can help you save battery life and it’s a feature you’ll want to get familiar with if you haven’t done so already.
Low Power Mode’s been around for a couple of years now but we still hear from people who don’t use it or don’t know what we’re talking about.
In a nut shell, Low Power Mode shuts off functions that could be draining your battery. For instance, Hey Siri, automatic downloads, and mail fetch. You can turn Low Power Mode on and off any time.
To do that, head into Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode > and toggle it On whenever you need to save a few percentage points. We also recommend putting it in Control Center for easy access.
Apple’s iOS 11 allows you to customize Control Center (the menu that pops up when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen). We recommend storing a shortcut to Low Power Mode in Control Center for easy access.
To do that, head to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and tap the green plus sign next to Low Power Mode.
Use Airplane Mode
If you start noticing rapid battery drain, turn on Airplane Mode.
Airplane Mode, which can be accessed via the Settings app or Control Center, kills all of your connections including Bluetooth, cellular data, and Wi-Fi.
If you’re in an area with spotty service, your phone is going to be working hard to get a signal. When your phone is working hard, your battery is probably draining. Airplane Mode will prevent this.
Widgets are everywhere in iOS 11 and they could ruin your battery life if you’re not careful.
If you don’t use widgets or simply want to get a handle on them, swipe over to the right while you’re on your device’s home screen.
On this screen, scroll all the way to bottom of your widgets and select Edit. It’s the circular icon. You should now see a list of services and apps. These are your widgets. To deactivate a widget, tap the red circle with the white line and tap Remove.
Disable as many as you want.
Stop Killing Your Apps
While you might be tempted to shut down your apps to conserve battery life, Apple says closing apps in your multitasking screen won’t help.
It’ll be a hard habit to break for some of you but if you can manage you could see a positive effect.
Turn Off Assistive Touch
iOS 11’s Assistive Touch might be draining your device’s battery. If you don’t need Assistive Touch on your device, try turning it off.
To turn off Assistive Touch, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch, and toggle it off.
Reset All Settings
Once you’ve exhausted those options, it’s time to go nuclear. First, we recommend resetting your Settings.
To do this, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings and then enter your passcode if you have one enabled on your device.
The process could take a few minutes and it will restore your device’s settings to their factory defaults so make sure you have all of your Wi-Fi passwords handy because your device will forget them.
If you were having a great experience on a previous version of iOS 11 you could try downgrading your device to see if that improves your device’s battery life.
We’ve put together a downgrade guide that will take you through the steps necessary to drop back down to an older version of iOS 11.
Apple tends to close up these loopholes pretty quickly so downgrading won’t always be an option.
Restore as New
If you’ve owned your iPhone or iPad for awhile, you might try restoring the device from a backup. Or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can try restoring the device as new.
You can do this via iTunes or iCloud and depending on your skill level and situation, it could take you more than 30 minutes to complete.
Buy a Battery Case or Battery Bank
If you’re willing to spend money to improve your battery you might think about buying a battery case or a battery bank.
There are a ton of battery case options out there and our list of the best iPhone cases will get you on the right track.
If you’d prefer not to cover up your phone with a bulky case, and battery cases are bulky, you might opt for a battery bank.
Battery banks are small and lightweight gadgets that give you multiple charges. One such device, the RAVPower battery pack can give you six full iPhone charges.
Install iOS 11.3.1 for Better Security
Apple's iOS 11.3.1 update comes with four known security patches for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models capable of running iOS 11.
If you skipped iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.3.1 update comes with 27 additional patches for potential exploits. Those of you lingering on iOS 11.2.6 would be wise to make the move sooner rather than later.
If you missed iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.3.1 update also includes a new privacy feature. When an Apple feature wants to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.
If you're running iOS 11.2.5 or older, you're exposed to an issue that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iOS-powered device and block access to the Messages app. It can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.
The iOS 11.2.6 update's main purpose was to patch up this issue. If you skipped iOS 11.2.6, you'll get these enhancements with iOS 11.3.1.
If you're running iOS 11.2.2 or below and receive a certain GitHub link through your Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable.
If you're on iOS 11.2.1, your iOS 11.3.1 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. If you're running an older version of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with a lot more.
Apple's iOS 11.2 update fixed several problems, but it also brought problems of its own including a potentially nasty zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability.
The vulnerability, discovered by Tian Zhang, allowed for unauthorized control of HomeKit accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.
Apple quickly rolled out a server-side fix, but the company restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1. If you skipped iOS 11.2.1 and use HomeKit, you should download iOS 11.3.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update. Apple's iOS 11.2 update delivered 11 patches including one for Mail and one for Wi-Fi.
The iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 updates also patched up a widespread security issue called "Meltdown." Apple says its analysis suggests it "has the most potential to be exploited."
Meltdown affects all iOS 11 powered devices so we highly recommend downloading iOS 11.3.1 if you skipped iOS 11.2.
If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1, you'll get additional patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update.
The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.
If you're just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you're on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with even more security features.
In iOS 11 you can't establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You'll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.
If you skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called "Broadpwn."
If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you'll get 23 additional patches with iOS 11.3. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.3.1 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.