Apple’s iOS 11 update is already causing battery life issues for iPhone and iPad users and today we want to show you how to fix bad iOS 11 battery life from the comfort of your computer chair or couch.
The iOS 11 update went through an extensive beta process but problems have slipped into the final release. One of these early problems is severe battery drain, a common iOS problem and an issue that always pops up immediately after a major iOS upgrade release.
If you run into major battery life problems on iOS 11 you might start thinking about a downgrade back to iOS 10.3.3. While this is certainly an option, especially if your device was running well on iOS 10, you’ll want to try and iron out these issues before you give up on iOS 11.
Our guide to fixing bad iOS 11 battery life on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will provide you with some proven fixes and 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.
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.
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 > Display & Brightness > 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 more than 15 new static wallpapers for you to choose from.
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 the 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.
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.
Downgrade to iOS 10
If you were having a great experience on iOS 10 you could try downgrading to iOS 10.3.3 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 Apple’s iOS 10 operating system.
The iOS 10 downgrade loophole will close at some point so this won’t always be an option for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users.
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 for Better Security
If the security of your device is important to you you'll probably want to install iOS 11 today or sometime in the near future.
Apple's iOS 11 update comes with several patches for potential exploits. These patches address serious vulnerabilities in iOS. In all, the iOS 11 update delivers eight patches to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
That's not all. iOS 11 also comes with new security features aimed at keeping your data safe. Elcomsoft recently discovered a change to the way iOS deals with trusted devices.
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 previous versions of iOS, your iOS 11 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 in iOS 11. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your version of iOS 11.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 soon. This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.