Battery life is the bane of everyone smartphone owner’s existence. Despite the amazing advances in technology in the last 20 years, battery life just hasn’t been able to keep up.
Even the beefiest Android phones can only make it two days on a charge, but most barely make it one day.
If you’re struggling to keep your phone alive through the day and don’t know where to start, look no further. These are all the basic battery life tips that you need.
Lower Your Brightness
This one is probably obvious, but I still run into quite a few people who don’t realize just how bright their screens are most of the time.
Auto-brightness is generally the culprit here. You may think your brightness is set low, but if the auto-brightness box is checked, it can adjust whenever it wants. That means it’s probably running just a bit brighter than it needs to be.
Depending on your version of Android, you may be able to find the brightness slider and auto-brightness option in the notification shade by swiping down from the top of your screen. If not, go to Settings > Display, and you’ll likely find it there.
If you don’t see an auto-brightness option, it may be called adaptive brightness. Simply turn off this option, and slide the brightness slider to the far left as low as it will go. If you find yourself in broad daylight, you’ll probably want to turn it up temporarily, but most of the time, it should be manageable this way.
Turn Off Location Services
Even when you’re not using your phone, it might be using a ton of battery to track your whereabouts.
Again, this one may be in your notification shade, or in the Settings menu. If it’s in the notification shade, it will just be called Location. Turn that off.
Otherwise, go to Settings > Location and either set it to Battery Saving or Off.
Obviously, this will hamper some functionality for apps that require your location, but most of the time it should be fine. You can always toggle it back on if you need to use Google Maps to navigate somewhere.
Turn Off Keyboard Vibrations/Sounds
Tucked away in your settings, there may be an option to disable vibrations and sounds for things like tapping the Back or Home button. This depends on your version of Android and your device’s manufacturer.
However, the one thing you can definitely control is the vibrations and sounds that happen when you’re typing on the keyboard. These vibrations and sounds don’t use much battery, but if you’re typing a lot, it can add up.
You’ll need to go to your keyboard’s settings for this. This, again, will vary depending on your device. Look for a Gear icon or a Wrench icon hiding somewhere on your keyboard, or go to Settings > Languages & input > Virtual keyboard.
The default keyboard for a lot of Android devices is the official Google option: Gboard. To access its settings, open the keyboard by tapping on a place where you can enter text, then tap on the Google logo, then tap the three-dot icon.
From here, tap on Preferences and scroll down to the Key press section, where you can disable Sound on keypress and Vibrate on keypress.
Turn Off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC are all great tools, but they can be really battery hogs sometimes. So if you’re not using them at the moment, it’s good practice to turn them off.
Having your Wi-Fi on at home so that you’re not using your mobile data is smart, but if you’re outside walking around with no Wi-Fi connection in sight, turn it off so that it stops trying to look for one.
Bluetooth, likewise, is great if you have a Bluetooth headset or something. But otherwise, it’s just looking for a signal it will never find.
NFC is probably the least battery-draining of these options, but if you’re not currently using Android Pay, you may as well turn it off. Even if you are using Android Pay, you can always re-enable NFC before every payment.
All three of these can most likely be accessed in your notification shade. Aside from that, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can both be found in your Android device’s Settings under the Wireless & networks section. NFC can be found in the same section under the More button.
Turn Off 4G LTE
Alright, I’m gonna level with you: this one can be a little annoying. One of the best things about smartphones today is the blazing fast internet access that’s all thanks to 4G LTE.
But, it uses a lot more battery than 2G or 3G. So it can be useful to keep 4G LTE off when you’re not actively using your phone — let it sync on 2G or 3G — and then toggle it back on when you want to look something up on Wikipedia or watch a YouTube video.
To turn off 4G LTE, go to Settings > Wireless & networks > More > Cellular Networks and change the Preferered network type from 4G LTE to either 3G or 2G. There may also be an option to toggle this in your notification shade.
Turn Off “Ok Google”
Most Android phones nowadays ship with Google Assistant, a really handy virtual assistant that is surprisingly good at voice recognition. There’s a convenient, yet battery-draining feature that allows you to say, “Ok Google” at any time to activate the Assistant.
If you don’t find yourself using this very often, it’s easy to turn off and can save you some battery life. Plus it’s easy to just navigate to the Google Search app and tap the microphone anyway. It’s often located as a widget on your homescreen, or by holding down the home button, or by swiping to the far left of the homescreen.
To turn it off, you’ll need to first open the Google App. On some devices, this can be done by swiping all the way to the left. Otherwise, you’ll want to go into your app drawer (the list of all your apps), and open Google. Then tap on the three-line icon in the upper left, then tap Settings.
From here, go to Google Assistant > Settings > Devices > Phone and turn off “Ok Google” detection.
Use a Black Background and Dark Apps
This one depends on what type of screen your device has.
If you have an LCD display, dark apps and a dark background won’t do anything. LCDs light up the whole display, no matter what — even when the majority of the pixels are black.
However, OLED displays only light up the pixels that are using light. So black pixels stay off, saving battery life.
To find out if your device has an LCD or OLED display, you’ll need to Google the name of your device. If you’re not exactly sure, head to Settings > About phone > Model.
Some manufacturers will use a bunch of jargon around their screen specs, but just look for some variation of LCD or OLED. AMOLED and P-OLED or just variations of the same technology.
As an example, the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy Note 8, and LG V30 have OLED displays, while the HTC U11 and OnePlus 5 have LCD displays.
Some phones even have a Dark mode buried in the settings somewhere, generally under Display or Theme. Many apps, like Twitter, have a night mode that darkens the interface as well. And while this dark modes may be easier on the eyes, they’re only really saving battery life on phones with OLED screens.
Use Airplane Mode (Sometimes)
I know airplane mode essentially defeats the purpose of having a smartphone, but if you’re in an area with a spotty connection anyway, it can be better to turn it off.
For instance, let’s say you’re out hiking and aren’t really using your phone. Because you’re far away from any cell towers, your phone is working extra hard to try and maintain or find a connection — even if it’s just sitting in your pocket.
So keep it in airplane mode when you’re not using it, then turn airplane mode off when you need to check it.
If you regularly have good service, this isn’t as helpful, but it can be a life-saver in some situations.
Track Which Apps Use the Most Battery
If your phone is draining quicker than normal and you can’t figure out why, try this.
Head into Settings > Battery to see what exactly is draining your battery. You can even set usage alerts here to notify you of rogue battery-sucking apps.
Use the Light Version of Apps
Some of the most popular apps are some of the worst offenders when it comes to battery drain.
Facebook and Facebook Messenger, in particular, can cost you a lot of battery life. Luckily, there’s an alternative.
Many apps now have a “lite” version that’s essentially a stripped down, back to the basics version of the main app. Messenger Lite is now available in the U.S., and plenty of other Lite apps are out there just waiting to save you some battery life.
Stop Closing All Your Apps
It pains me every time I see an Android user back out of an app, then tap the Recents key just to swipe away all of their apps.
Their intention is usually good! Those apps look like they’re running, and so by swiping them away, you should be saving battery life… right?
Unfortunately, no. Those apps aren’t really running per se, they’re just suspended in RAM, waiting to be opened. This doesn’t have any negative impact on battery life, and, in fact, consistently closing apps can actually harm battery life.
That’s because it takes some battery life to open an app, and when you’re constantly closing suspended apps, that means you have to re-open them every time instead of just resuming them.
So, please, for the well-being of your phone, stop swiping away all your suspended apps.
Don’t Use a Task Killer
I see the appeal of task killers, I really do. It’s the same reason people want to swipe away all their apps: it feels like it should save battery life.
But task killers are actually terrible for battery life. Uninstall them from your phone right now. Don’t be tempted by their promises of improved battery life.
It’s all a lie.
Don’t Leave Your Screen On
Your screen is most likely the biggest battery drain on your device. And while turning down the brightness can help, nothing beats turning it off completely.
That’s why if you’re not using your phone, you should immediately turn off the screen. Just get into the habit of tapping the power button quickly before setting it down.
If you can’t do that, then set it to turn off by itself pretty. Go to Settings > Display > Sleep and set it to 30 seconds or 1 minute, ideally.
Don’t Use Widgets or Live Backgrounds
Some Android devices support Live Backgrounds. These are exactly what they sound like: animated backgrounds, essentially.
While they may look cool, they use a good chunk of battery life. Stick to a static background.
Likewise, widgets can be really useful, but if they need to regularly update (like a weather widget), then they’re draining your device as well.
Try an App
If all else fails, you may want to look into an app for solving your battery life woes.
Naptime is an Android app that’s made for beginner’s that can actually improve your battery life (unlike those lying task killers). Check it out if you need more help.
How’s Your Battery Life?
Hopefully with these tips, you can squeeze a few more hours out of your device. Also, don’t forget to keep your battery healthy.
How is your battery life doing? Has it gotten worse as your device has aged? What other tips do you have for conserving it? Let us know in the comments below.