The five things that kill your iPhone's battery the fastest

There are no end of tips and tricks out there to help you get more out of your iPhone's battery, but based on exhaustive testing I've narrowed down the five things that drain your battery the fastest.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

If I had a dollar for every time someone complained about their iPhone's battery, well, I'd have a lot of dollars. Breakages aside, battery performance issues make up the bulk of the complaints I get about the iPhone.

I've been doing a lot of battery testing on the iPhone lately, and I've narrowed down the five main culprits responsible for draining battery life on the iPhone.

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#1: Cold weather

Without a doubt the biggest battery drain. Both charging the battery in the cold, and using the iPhone in the cold. While hot weather can have a detrimental effect on performance and battery life as well, nothing zaps battery life like the cold can.

Room temperature -- around 20°C/70°F -- is the best temperature for charging equipment. However, since we don't all live in climate-controlled rooms, we can extend this range out to 5 to 45°C (41 to 113°F). Anything to either side of this and things can get bad for the battery. This is especially true for charging the battery at temperatures below 0°C/32°F, which can permanently damage the battery.


  • Store and charge your iPhone at as close to room temperature as you can
  • Keep your iPhone in a pocket in cold weather
  • Kit you iPhone out with a case if you're out and about in the cold a lot
  • Don't leave it to cold soak in a cold car in winter

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#2: Screen brightness

I find modern displays to be crazy bright, and that backlight is a huge drain on the battery -- especially if you use your iPhone a lot of you get a lot of notifications that activate the display.


I recommend dimming the display and turning on Auto-Brightness to get the best battery life.

  • To dim, swipe up from the bottom of any screen to open Control Center and drag the Brightness slider to the down to adjust
  • Auto-Brightness adjusts your screen to ambient lighting conditions automatically. To activate this feature, go to Settings > General > Accessibility and then go to Display Accommodations and set Auto-Brightness to On

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#3: Poor cellphone coverage

You could add poor Wi-Fi to this too, but poor coverage has a far greater impact of battery life because the iPhone is constantly hunting for a better signal.


  • If you know you're going to be in a poor signal area, you can either keep your iPhone on charge, or flick it into Airplane mode (swipe up from the Home screen open Control Center and tap the Airplane mode icon to activate)
  • Keep in mind that while in Airplane mode you cannot make or receive calls

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#4: Rogue app

Sometimes a poorly coded app can tear through your battery. I've even seen very popular apps such as Facebook or the YouTube app have bugs that cause them to rip through a fully-charged battery in a few hours, even when they are not in use!


  • If you find your battery life getting suddenly worse, head over to Settings > Battery and take a look at what's been eating your battery the most lately
  • If you click on the like clock icon next to Last 24 Hours and Last 7 Days you can get a breakdown of how the apps have been running -- anything with a large amount of background activity is a suspect
  • Try either deleting the app, or alternatively head over to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and switch off that app's ability to refresh in the background

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#5: Lots of notifications coming in on your Lock screen

This is not that common, but I have come across a few people where the culprit for battery drain was just endless notifications coming in while their iPhone was locked was causing the display to switch on constantly.


  • If you find that you have a barrage of notifications from an app waking up your iPhone a lot, you can turn off notifications for that specific app in Settings > Notifications
  • Find the app and tap on it and disable the Show on Lock Screen

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