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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Productivity

Make it Last: How to Keep Your Phone Battery From Dying

people on phones
Stephen Petrey/Unsplash

Just like humans, smartphones are capable of impressive accomplishments—but if they’re constantly running ahead at full speed, they’ll burn out pretty quickly. And there’s nothing worse than looking down at your phone and realizing the battery is running out of juice—or worse yet, that it’s already completely dead.

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Before you get to the point where you find yourself desperately searching for an outlet or someone around you who has a charger, check out these tips for making sure your phone battery never dies.

The Basics

Turn Down the Brightness

One of the easiest ways to prolong your battery life is to turn down the screen brightness. I know this is an obvious tip, but it’s been shown that lowering the brightness really does make a difference. So if you aren’t doing it yet—make the change now! It’s also a good idea to make sure the “Auto-brightness” is turned on so the screen will automatically dim if you’re in a dark setting.

Mind Your Apps

Many popular apps are notorious battery-guzzlers, especially ones that are heavy on graphics or audio. Video games—especially free versions with ads—are the biggest culprits, so save Angry Birds for a time when you’re near an outlet.

And remember to close your apps, rather than just minimizing them. Apps that are stealthily running in the background can be battery drainers. To do this, double tap the home button to see what apps are running, and then hold down on one of the icons until they start wiggling. Tap the “-" sign in the top left corner of each app icon to close it.

Download a Battery Saving App

If you’ve quit the games cold turkey but are still seeing your battery drain, there could be less obvious apps at fault. Try using an app like BetterBatteryStats or Battery HD+, which will track your phone’s performance over the course of a couple of days and analyze which apps are your battery’s biggest foes.

Turn Off the Wi-Fi Connection

When your Wi-Fi connection is turned on, your phone is hard at work looking for a hotspot. While connecting to the nearest Wi-Fi signal can be great for saving money on your data plan, it can also be a huge battery drainer. Turn the Wi-Fi off and connect to it only when you must.

Turn on Airplane Mode

Switching to airplane mode isn’t just for those times when you’re flying the friendly skies—it’s a great way to conserve your battery in a pinch. The downside is that you won’t be able to make or receive calls or text messages or connect to the web, but it can be great to conserve your battery power for when you truly need it.

Airplane mode is also great when you’re in a situation without service (such as underground on the subway), so your phone isn’t draining itself trying to find a signal.

Advanced Fixes

Lose the Location Services

Location services use GPS technology to pinpoint your precise location. Letting your smartphone find out where you are is super useful if you’re navigating in an unfamiliar area (or checking in on Foursquare), but it can also be a sneaky battery-drainer. Make sure your location service setting is disabled and turn it on only when you really need it.

Not sure how to do this? Check out a quick tutorial for your iPhone or Android.

Fetch Your Own Email

When your phone is constantly checking for new email, it runs out of steam pretty quickly. Save your phone some work by giving it a break and fetching your own email or having it automatically fetch the data less frequently.

Not sure how to do this? Check out a quick tutorial for your iPhone. If you are using an Android phone, it’s device specific, but a quick web search ought to help you out.

Reduce Push Notifications for Apps

Getting an instant notification when you have a new Facebook message or Twitter mention can be a great way to stay connected on the go. But if you receive a lot of them, your battery life will pay the price. Turn off the notifications—or limit them to the really important apps (i.e., not Words with Friends).

Not sure how to do this? Check out a quick tutorial for your iPhone or Android.

Put Your Accessories to Work

If you’re constantly on the go, consider investing in a case that does double duty as a phone charger. These are a wide selection of cases that hold a full charge’s worth of power and can double the life of your battery, and you can turn them on for a burst of power whenever you need it.

Looking to multi-task in style? Splurge on Evergood’s clutch purse charger—just slip your phone in the purse and your phone will start recharging automatically.