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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

6 Phone Battery Hacks That'll Save You a Panic Attack When You're Seeing Red

You’re on the go—maybe at a conference or in transit or en route to a long meeting—when you realize that your phone is at 10% battery life. As you start to panic about the fact that you forgot your charger at home, it goes down to 9%. Then 8%.

You’re now having a full-on freak-out because you won’t be near your charger anytime soon, and you need access to your phone.

But, before you throw up your hands and give up on life, make sure you’re making the most of the little battery power you have left. Yes, that’s right, there is still hope for you. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of quick tips and tricks to save the day when you’re facing this crisis. (And good news, these should work for both iPhones and Androids.)

  1. Make sure you’ve turned your phone’s brightness all the way down. Yes, it will be hard (and in some cases impossible) to see the screen, but that light saps up battery life. So, save it for when you really need it.

  2. Next, turn off your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality. Constantly pinging to scan for networks is a big drain that you can easily avoid. Also, if you use a Personal Hotspot, shut that down too.

  3. Your location is also likely being pinged by a number of apps throughout the day. This is great when you’re looking for nearby restaurants (bars). It’s not so great right now. So, on your iPhone, go to Settings, then Privacy, and then Location Services to turn everything off. And if you are an Android user, go to Settings and turn Location Requests off.

  4. Similarly, Background App Refresh allows applications you aren’t using to continue to function. (I know, I know, your phone is oh-so very sketchy). By now you know the drill: Turn them all off. To do that on your iPhone, you need to go to General, then Background App Refresh. And to do that on your Android, go to Settings, then Gear, then Data Usage, and finally, Restrict Background Data.

  5. During the summer and winter, extreme temperatures can drain your battery life. The hotter (or colder) your phone gets, the faster your battery will head down the drain. If this is the case, keep your phone out of the sunlight, out of the general air, and away from warm surfaces.

  6. Finally, my favorite trick—switch your phone to Airplane mode. (Yes, even if you’re not on a plane.) This essentially shuts down the internet, so it’s good for your battery and your productivity. Bonus tip: When you only have a limited time to plug in your phone, you should also switch it to this mode for a faster charge.

With a couple of small tweaks, you can stretch out your battery life almost as much as that t-shirt you’re still wearing from high school. And if this happens to you often, consider splurging for an external battery that fits in your bag. Not only will you never run out of juice, but you’ll make so many new friends when can offer up a way to charge to someone else going through this struggle.

Photo of phone courtesy of Shutterstock.