How to Get Better iOS 7 Battery Life

The iOS 7 update brings a lot of new features to the iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad and iPod touch, and unfortunately one of these is bad iOS 7 battery life.

While the iOS 7 battery life is pretty good in our early reviews, some users will experience bad battery life after the upgrade, and others may experience really fast battery draining on iOS 7.

The actual iOS 7 battery life will vary by device, but iPhone 5, iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 are the most likely to experience bad battery life on iOS 7, or at least the most likely for users to notice as their iPhone doesn’t likely leave their side.

Read: 25 Hidden iOS 7 Features

Use Control Center for fast access to Airplane Mode.
Use Control Center for fast access to Airplane Mode.

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7 iOS 7 Battery Life Tips

When it comes to iOS 7 battery life, users can expect to get between 8-12 hours of usage on the iPhone 5, iPhone 4s and iPhone 4. iPads, the iPad mini and iPod touch will get varying battery life, but if it seems too short on iOS 7 here are some tips to improve it.

Turn off Background App Refresh

The major new iOS 7 feature that leads to bad iOS 7 battery life is Background App Refresh. This new feature allows apps to refresh in the background so that they can show you new information when you open them, instead of refreshing.

Apps can refresh in the background with iOS 7, so you won't need to wait for updates after opening an app.
Apps can refresh in the background with iOS 7, so you won’t need to wait for updates after opening an app.

The feature is designed to deliver better battery life, but unfortunately there are some users who are seeing bad iOS 7 battery life with this new feature on. It could be that this is something that will improve over time as Apps take advantage of this feature, but for now you should turn off Background App Refresh as a first step for better iOS 7 battery life.

Go to Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh -> Toggle off all or individual apps. 

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Turn Down Screen Brightness

With Control Center in iOS 7 it is easier to turn screen brightness up, and forget to turn it back down to something reasonable when you don’t need the extra brightness.

In iOS 7 make sure Auto-Brightness is on to get better battery life.
In iOS 7 make sure Auto-Brightness is on to get better battery life.

If you leave the Auto Brightness on, it should bring your screen brightness back to normal pretty quickly, but when battery life absolutely matters you may want to turn this off and set brightness to the lowest level possible.

Turn off 4G LTE

iOS 7 doesn’t change any LTE settings or carrier towers, but if you are on the edge of LTE coverage you may need to turn this off to get better battery life in iOS 7.

If you are in poor coverage, turn off LTE to save battery life in iOS 7.
If you are in poor coverage, turn off LTE to save battery life in iOS 7.

Go to Settings -> Cellular -> Enable LTE -> Off to make the change. This will result in slower downloads, but can lead to better battery life in some areas.

Turn on Airplane Mode

If you need to keep the iPhone or iPad running for long times when connectivity is not an issue, turn on Airplane Mode.

This will cut off most data related activities which can be a hassle, but if you need the iPhone or iPad to last longer, it’s a good temporary solution.

Restart the iPhone or iPad

Sometimes the iPhone or iPad battery life on iOS 7 will get worse seemingly at random. If you haven’t installed any new apps or made usage changes, you should try to restart the device.

Just hold the power button until the slide to turn off option appears, wait for it to complete and start the iPhone back up. Just like rebooting a computer, sometimes this is all you need to get better battery life.

Reset All Settings

If your iOS 7 battery life started out good, but now drops dramatically, you may need to reset the iPhone settings. This is not a restore, so you won’t lose any apps or data, but it will give you a clean slate for WiFi, Bluetooth and any user settings.

Reset your settings for better iOS 7 battery life.
Reset your settings for better iOS 7 battery life.

Go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings. If prompted, enter your PIN or pass code.

Restore the iOS 7 Installation

The last ditch option for better iOS 7 battery life is a full restore. This is also the best fix for iOS 7 problems that can’t be fixed any other way. This will wipe the data off the iPhone or iPad and takes a while to complete and to restore from, so plan ahead and save it for last if you can.

Restore to get better iOS 7 battery life.
Restore to get better iOS 7 battery life.

  1. Plug in and backup to the computer or to iCloud
  2. Turn off Find My iPhone – Settings -> iCloud -> Find my iPhone -> Off
  3. in iTunes Click Restore
  4. Follow the prompts and the iPhone will reinstall iOS 7 from scratch.
  5. When it completes click Restore from Backup to put your information back on the iPhone.

Users may also want to skip restoring from Backup as there is a chance it could bring new problems, but this means a longer setup process.

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Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

46 COMMENTS

  1. I used to turn off the apps at the bottom of the screen now I get a different screen where is that screen??

  2. use 4 fingers and push upwards on the screen, you see the apps and snapshots. flck the snapshot upwards to close.

  3. Swipe the image of the open app upward and it will close the app. This takes the place of pressing and holding until the app icons are wiggling with an “X” in the upper left corner,.

    • Thank you so much for the video, Mully! I had just downloaded the new iOS 7 to my iPad this morning and I could not figure out how to close apps in the background. It was pretty simple, lol.

  4. my battery life is gone with IOS 7! I don’t like the whiteness of it all. And it appears I cannot change it back..UGH

    • I noticed Folder Colors change with your background. So a darker background will have darker folder colors..

  5. Just google roll back iOS 7 and you will find instructions on how to go back to IOS 6. Its not as easy as upgrading but can be done.

  6. Ever since this IOS 7 update, my brother is able to get every conversation I have with other people. It sends the whole thing to him and I don’t know how to stop it, please help

  7. Thanks for the tips and easy guide! Hopefully, my iPhone will not drain as drastically anymore. Ever since I updated to iOS7, my battery is like on an LTE mode. Apparently, the interface is not the only fluid on this update.

    Cheers, Jean

  8. Thanks for ur information, i checked in general>accessibility bt in iphone there is no reduced motion,, is this a bug for iphone4?????????

  9. Hello everyone .
    Me and my girlfriend both own iphone 4 and we been debating on getting ios7 . Is it worth it or should we stay with ios6 ?

    Thank you – Javier

    • I suggest you should stay with ios 6. So much regrets on updating to i0s7. The keyboard is not in bold text anymore no sound when unlocking

    • theres still sound when unlocking and keyboard is fine for me, no regrets updating to ios 7 and apple recently released ios 7.0.2 and it might be good to install it and will not make your battery drain that fast but ios 6 still has better battery life

    • update it to ios 7.0.2. Although it will make your battery lose its power fast but its better than ios 7.0

  10. Will Display AUTO turn off w/o hitting the top button?? That will save LOTS of battery life! It STAYS on forever I think??

  11. @grace
    Thank you we were leaning towards staying with ios6 but you made our decision much clear. Thank you for taking your time out to answer my post. – Javier

  12. @javier
    You have to remember that forums are for people who have problems in the majority of cases. So you will hear or read about people with problems. If you visit all forums you can count on your hands and feet how many are having problems. There are millions who upgraded. I cannot tell you with 100% that you will not have problems with your iPhone 4 . I have upgraded my ipad mini and my iPhone 5 with no problems whatsoever. Actually they are brighter, crisper and same speed or faster. No difference in battery usage at all.

  13. The white lettering on the apps is hard to see — so I took a photo of something all black and made that the background — much easier to read.

    • you really didn’t need ‘to take a picture of something black’, as there’s an all black background right there to choose from in “Wallpapers & Brightness” for your ‘home screen’ :-)

  14. The shortcut to adjusting the brightness on iPad by double tapping the button and sliding to the left is gone! Is there a new shortcut anywhere or do you have to go into settings?

  15. Regret downloading the upgrade! With some apps you are unable to “log out” and that in turn is draining the battery because I’m still “logged on”. Not happy at all. Seriously considering getting rid of ALL my apple products (or crapple, as a friend refers to them).

  16. I’m not happy with update either :( my battery life is totally rubbish lasts only a few hrs very unhappy, done everything and it’s still rubbish, my phone was perfect till I did the upgrade, hate it now. :(

  17. Thanks so much. I did all this but still not happy with apple. I need brightness as I can’t see properly and many of the features I have to turn down or off are the reasons I wanted an iphone to begin with. Never getting one again after this experience. Also the contrast in the colours on the phone are very difficult for me to see. wish I could go back to the previous operating system.

  18. 7.0.2 is an upgrade?? More like a downgrade with the layout looking like a child’s fingerpaintings and the whole system being completely autistic. Shit sucks bad!!!! Takes literally dial up speed just to type this rant with this lagging ass ‘shitwear’ Thoroughly thoroughly disappointed with Apple’s jankety shit.

  19. I just can’t see the point in having a “smart” phone when you cant use all the features becasue the battery inside is rubbish. I cant watch youtube, take too many calls, or play games on my iPhone5 because the battery dies at 40%! It really isnt fit for anything. I dont want to have to switch off this and turn off that, i brought it for the features of which I can only use one at time! I’m going to buy a Nokia 106 for calls, just so my daughter can contact me as this iPhone is so unreliable. The Nokia has 35 days – yes days talk time. I will not purchase another Apple iPhone again.

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