10 Tips & Tricks for Better iPhone 5s Battery Life

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Your iPhone 5s battery life may take a hit after the iOS 7.0.4 update, installing or updating an app or for a variety of other reasons, and no matter the reason it’s clear that you are experiencing bad iPhone 5s battery life.

While there is some hope that the iOS 7.1 release will improve bad iPhone 5s battery life issues, there are several simple fixes to try before resigning yourself to bad battery life for the rest of your iPhone experience.

Read: 25 Hidden iOS 7 Features

10 tips for better iPhone 5s battery life.

10 tips for better iPhone 5s battery life.

There are many factors that can cause bad iPhone 5s battery life. In this guide we will cover the best ways yo get better iPhone battery life. We’ll breakout which of these will help you get better battery life by disabling some features and limiting use and which can help you fix bad iPhone battery life with more drastic measures.

How to Get Better iPhone 5s Battery Life

The following iPhone 5s tips will help users get better iPhone battery life on the iPhone 5s running iOS 7 and will apply to most other iPhone models running iOS 7 as well. These fixes will help the iPhone 5s battery last longer and are good for extending the battery life when you need a little bit more time each day. If you’re battery life is awful, skip to the next section.

Turn Off Location Services & Notifications

Locations services and notifications are useful, but you may need to limit them to get better iPhone 5s battery life. Turning off location services to a specific app that doesn’t really need it for your uses and limiting notifications that light up a screen are two good ways to squeeze a little more battery life out of the iPhone 5s.

Manage notifications for better iPhone 5s battery life.

Manage notifications for better iPhone 5s battery life.

To Turn off Location Services for specific apps go to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> Toggle it off for apps that you don’t want using your location info. You can turn it all the way off but you will not be able to use maps and photos taken will not know the location they were taken.

To limit notifications you can turn off lock screen notifications to prevent the screen from lighting up when you get new alerts. With this option toggled you will still see notifications while using the phone and the sounds and vibrations will still alert you when the iPhone is in your pocket, but the screen won’t light up. Small savings, but they can add up. Go to Settings -> Notification Center -> Tap on an App -> Scroll down and toggle Show on Lock Screen.

Turn off Push Email

If you set up the iPhone 5s to get push email through the default mail app it may be unintentionally eating up battery life, depending on how many emails you are getting a day.

Check email less often for better battery life.

Check email less often for better battery life.

You don’t need to stop using email, but if you don’t need the emails to show up instantly you can set the iPhone to look for new emails every 15 or 30 minutes for better battery life. If you set up the iPhone email app and now use the Gmail app or another app, you might even set it to Manual which will only look for new email when the app is open. Go to Settings -> Mail , Contacts, Calendars -> Fetch New Data – > Choose the setting for each account.

Turn Down Screen Brightness

A bright screen is one of the biggest battery life drains on the iPhone. Even though the screen looks beautiful at full brightness the iPhone won’t last nearly as long as at a lower brightness.

Use the top slider to turn don screen brightness.

Use the top slider to turn don screen brightness.

Users can set this to Auto for a good mix of usefulness and battery life, but if you need to make sure the iPhone battery life lasts longer swipe up from the bottom of your screen and dial down screen brightness with the top slider.

Turn off 4G LTE

The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 are both good at delivering decent battery life while using 4G LTE, but if you are in a fringe area where the iPhone keeps bouncing between 4G LTE and 3G or Edge it may be worth turning LTE off so the iPhone isn’t constantly hopping between connection types.

Toggle LTE off for better battery life in bad coverage areas.

Toggle LTE off for better battery life in bad coverage areas.

Go to Settings -> Cellular – > Enable LTE -> Off to turn it off. Just don’t forget to turn it on when you leave that area or you will miss out on the dramatically faster speeds.

Use Airplane Mode

If you only need to use your iPhone with limited connectivity and want to make it last longer you can turn Airplane mode on to cut off battery draining connections. This may be handy to finish a movie before your battery dies or to keep reading a book when the battery is getting low.

Turn on Airplane mode to push the battery further.

Turn on Airplane mode to push the battery further.

Swipe up on the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center and then tap on the airplane icon. This will stop all calls, texts and emails until you tap on the airplane icon again.

How to Fix Bad iPhone 5s Battery Life

If you need more than small improvements in battery life you need to take more drastic steps. This part of the better iPhone battery life guide is aimed at people who are seeing iPhone battery life drop 30% within minutes of taking the iPhone off the charger. The steps are listed in the order we recommend trying them to avoid the biggest amount of hassle. The later steps will take more time and require more work by the user, but if iPhone battery life is unusable there isn’t much else to do.

Restart Your iPhone

The simplest thing to do when you first run into bad iPhone 5s battery life is to restart the iPhone. While we can leave our iPhone running for weeks without issue, sometimes a simple restart will fix a nagging battery life issue.

It’s a simple fix, which is why we recommend trying it first. Hold the power button down and then swipe to turn the iPhone off. After about a minute you can turn the iPhone back on.

Turn off Background App Refresh

When it works, Background App Refresh is a great iOS 7 feature that ensures you have the latest information in apps when you open them, without waiting for an update. Sometimes a rogue app or collection of apps can impact battery life when Background App Refresh is on. If you experience bad battery life it is worth trying to turn this off to see if it fixes the problem. If it does you can then go through and try disabling access to specific apps until you find the offender and remove it until there is an update to the app.

background App Refresh is nice, but may be a battery hog.

background App Refresh is nice, but may be a battery hog.

Go to Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh -> Toggle all or individual apps to get started with this iPhone 5s battery life fix.

Reset All Settings

Sometimes all you need to do to get better iPhone 5s battery life is to reset the iPhone settings. This will not erase your data, photos, apps, contacts or anything else. All it does is default all the settings back to normal. It’s a fast fix for any odd settings you may have accidentally enabled or disabled or any bugs in connectivity or other areas.

Reset all settings to fix some issues that cause bad battery life.

Reset all settings to fix some issues that cause bad battery life.

Go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings -> Enter your PIN to complete the process. This will take a few minutes, during which you cannot use the phone.

Uninstall Recent Apps

IF the previous steps don’t fix things there is likely a bad app on the iPhone that is causing poor battery life. This is the toughest to  find because you have to uninstall one app and check battery life, then repeat. Sometimes it is a new app and other times it is an app update.

Uninstall problem apps for better battery life.

Uninstall problem apps for better battery life.

It’s worth going to the purchased tab and the update tab in the App Store on the iPhone to look for those you installed and updated recently and start there. You can also search for other app users with poor battery life to help narrow it down.

Restore the iPhone

If all else fails, the last step to take before visiting Apple to find out if your iPhone battery is bad is a full iPhone 5s restore. This erases everything and resets the iPhone to factory settings.

You will need to plug in and sync photos and data to the computer and perform a full iTunes or iCloud backup before doing this to make sure your data is safe.

A full restore is a last ditch effort for better iPhone 5s battery life.

A full restore is a last ditch effort for better iPhone 5s battery life.

Once the iPhone is backed up, go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings -> enter your PIN to start the process. When it is done the iPhone will be like new. You can restore the backup you made, or start fresh. If you can take the time to start fresh you can avoid the chance of bringing the battery life problem right back with a restore.

If all else fails, you may need to take the iPhone to an Apple store where an employee can test the battery to figure out if it went bad.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and 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]


  1. Anuraag

    02/08/2014 at 8:24 am

    Those tips can help to improve the battery life. But still I am fed up with iOS 7.0.4, My battery stays for 6hours for just calls, text msg and wifi browsing. And Josh can you tell me when is the iOS 7.1 coming out.

  2. Charlie Rendón

    04/07/2014 at 7:55 am

    Basically, DONT NUY A SAMRTPHONE! diabling all the phone features renders it useless, dont spend too much money on a smartphone if you are not going to really use it!

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