The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are excellent smartphones but they’re not perfect. Some iPhone 6s users are complaining about abnormal battery drain and today we want to show you how to fix bad iPhone 6s battery life should you encounter it.
Last year, Apple took the stage in San Francisco to announce a slew of new products. Among them, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, two new flagships that take over for 2014’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus come with some powerful features. Their spec sheets include 3D Touch displays, new cameras, a new A9 processor, faster Touch ID, and a stronger design.
The two phones have been given excellent reviews though some have been underwhelmed by their battery life.
Critiques about iPhone battery life are typically all across the board because mileage typically varies. It’s difficult to predict exactly what kind of battery life you’ll get with your iPhone but if you do start experiencing bad iPhone 6s battery life, we want to help.
In the months since the iPhone 6s release, we’ve seen some iPhone 6s users complain about abnormal battery drain. Not surprising because, again, we’ve seen complaints about abnormal battery life after every iPhone release.
@AppleSupport suffering from bad battery life on my brand new iPhone 6s running latest iOS version. Help me please.
— Del Rey Lover (@delreyloveXO) April 12, 2016
@AppleSupport Since updating to iOS 9.3 my iPhone 6s has suffered from very bad battery drain. This has carried over into 9.3.1. Please fix!
— Dave (@7drah) April 6, 2016
Fortunately for those of you dealing with bad iPhone 6s battery life, there are some ways to get it fixed without performing a factory reset or driving to an Apple Store.
How to Fix Bad iPhone 6s Battery Life
We want to help you fix your battery life issues and ensure that you’ll be ready if they suddenly return in the future.
These fixes will work if you’re on an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus and they’ll work on any version of iOS 9. This includes the company’s most current iOS 9 update for iPhone 6s, iOS 9.3.1.
Apple’s got more iOS updates on the way and iOS updates can be the root cause of some battery life issues. That’s why we recommend absorbing these fixes so that you’re prepared for all of Apple’s future iPhone 6s iOS updates.
(Note: iOS 9 comes with a Settings Search at the top of the Settings screen. If you can’t find something, you can search for it there.)
Wait Two Days
If you just installed a new update, give it a couple of days before drastically altering your settings or habits. Battery life sometimes takes a day or two to settle in immediately after a new update is installed. Keep that in mind for future iPhone 6s updates.
Use Low Power Mode
If you haven’t started using it already, you’ll want to start using the Low Power Mode that Apple debuted in its iOS 9 update.
Low Power Mode will allow you to stretch out your last 10-20% of iPhone 6s battery life without killing your core services. Best of all, it accomplishes this with one press of a button. Toggle it on, and you’ll save yourself in critical situations.
If you’re at the 10-20% mark, you should get a prompt that asks you if you want to turn it on. You can also turn it on in your iPhone 6s’ settings if you need it before that. Go to Settings > Battery > Toggle Low Power Mode on.
Use Airplane Mode in Bad Service Areas
If you’re in a bad service area, your iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s Plus is going to work extra hard to find a signal. This can kill your battery.
To offset this, you can do a few things. You can flip off cellular data or you can kill all of your connections using Airplane Mode.
To toggle Cellular Data off, you’ll want to go to Settings > Cellular > and toggle it off at the top there. If that doesn’t work, try using Airplane Mode. You can toggle it off at the top of the Settings screen.
Monitor Your Apps
It’s easy to blame Apple and iOS for your battery life troubles but sometimes it’s a rogue app (or apps) causing the drain.
If you’re noticing abnormal drain, you’re going to want to look into your app usage. If you use an app a lot, it’ll obviously drain a lot of battery. If you’re confident it’s not the constant use that’s killing the iPhone’s battery, you’ll want to dig in.
We recommend getting familiar with the iPhone 6s’ battery usage tool. It’s located in Settings > Battery. It’ll show up under the Battery Usage header.
This tool shows you which apps are eating the most battery. You can check the last 24 hours and you can check to see what they’re doing over an extended period of time. You can also, thanks to iOS 9, now check to see when they are eating battery.
If something doesn’t seem right, you’ll want to take a few more steps. First, you can try downloading the latest bug fix update if you haven’t already. If that doesn’t work, try reinstalling the app or apps causing problems.
If that doesn’t help, you’ll want to get in contact with the developer. Or, worst case scenario, uninstall it and find an alternative.
A recent piece from The Guardian asserts that the Facebook app is the cause of many iPhone battery life issues. Uninstalling it apparently delivered huge gains to performance so deleting is worth a try if you’re not attached to it.
Limit Background App Refresh
If you have background refresh turned on, apps will download information in the background so that new info is shown when you fire them back up. It’s useful but downloads can eat up battery in the background. This is why we recommend limiting it to the apps you use the most or killing it completely.
To get a grip on this feature, head into Settings > General > Background App Refresh > Turn it off for the apps you don’t use or the apps causing problems. It’s also possible to turn it off completely but you may not want to do that.
Shut Off Location Services
Location Services (GPS) can absolutely wreck havoc on battery life. If you’ve ever used Google Maps or Waze for an extended period of time then you already should know that.
To get a handle on what should use Location Services and when, head into Settings > Privacy. You can turn Location Services off completely with a toggle off but we recommend going through your apps to determine what should be using what when.
You might not want some apps using Location Services in the background and you can limit that with a simple tap.
Turn Off Push
Like Location Services and Background Refresh, the iPhone 6s’ push feature for notifications, email, calendar, and more can suck up battery life. You’ll want to manage it.
To look at your Push Notification settings, go into Settings > Notifications. There, you can shut off notifications for all of your apps or apps that you don’t use on your iPhone.
You might also want to think about settings Mail, Contacts and Calendar to Fetch instead of Push. To do that, go into Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and turn off Push.
Manage the Retina Display
Your iPhone’s screen can eat up battery if it’s not managed correctly. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus come with sensors that power the auto-brightness feature.
The auto brightness feature can be useful but it sometimes fails to work properly. If you think you can easily manage the brightness of your iPhone 6s Retina Display yourself, try adjusting it manually. It could help save you some battery.
iOS makes this extremely easy. All you have to do is pull up from the bottom of the screen to enter Control Center. From there, just use the screen toggle to adjust your screen brightness. Turn it down when you don’t need the screen to be bright.
Restart the iPhone 6s
If you haven’t turned your iPhone 6s off for awhile, try restarting it. This simple fix has worked for us in the past.
Reset All Settings
If you’ve tired all of these little fixes and nothing’s worked, it’s time to take some drastic measures to fix your bad iPhone 6s battery life.
The first step to take is to Reset All Settings on the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus. To get this done, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings and then enter your passcode when the prompt tell you to.
This could take a few minutes and it will force your device to forget your connections (and passwords) but it might fix your battery issues. It will not delete any files.
If that doesn’t work, you could try downgrading to the previous versions of iOS if the downgrade is available and it was working fine on your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus.
There is no downgrade available for the iPhone 6s at this time but one will open up once the next iOS 9 update rolls out. Read about the process here.
Restore from Backup
If none of these aforementioned fixes work, you can try restoring from a backup or wiping your iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s Plus completely starting from scratch.
- Plug in and backup to the computer or to iCloud.
- Turn off Find My iPhone – Settings -> iCloud -> Find my iPhone -> Off.
- In iTunes Click Restore.
- Follow the prompts and the iPhone will reinstall iOS 9 from scratch.
- When it completes click Restore from Backup to put your information back on the iPhone or Choose to set up as a new iPhone.
You should only do this if nothing else works.
Take Your iPhone 6s In
If you don’t want to restore or perform a factory reset, you can also make an appointment to go see an Apple Genius at the Apple Store. (Or another store but we recommend Apple itself.)
Geniuses will be able to run some diagnostics on your phone and they could help you figure out the problem. One time we took in an iPhone 5s and discovered a bloated battery was responsible for the battery drain.
If you’re under warranty, and you will be for a year from your purchase date, you might be able to get another iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus for free.
Install iOS 9.3.5 If You Want to Improve Your Security
Apple recommends iOS 9.3.5 for all iPhone and iPad users. Here's why.
The iOS 9.3.5 update delivers three security patches that take care of serious security problems that expose calls, contacts, texts, and emails. If you value your privacy, and you should, it would be a good idea to move to the iOS 9.3.5 update right now.
If you failed to make the move to Apple's iOS 9.3.3 or iOS 9.3.4 update, you'll also get their security patches with iOS 9.3.5.
iOS 9.3.4 patches up an exploit discovered by iOS jailbreak developers. The iOS 9.3.3 update brings several patches for potential security risks and these are going to be important if you store sensitive data on your device.
Apple's website lists 26 patches for potential security issues. This is a huge number, particularly for an update of this size.
If you skipped the iOS 9.3.2 update, iOS 9.3.1 update or iOS 9.3 update, you'll get a lot more than the patches listed above.
If you value your security and privacy, you'll want to think about installing the iOS 9.3.5 update on your device(s) today.