How to Fix Bad iOS 8.1.3 Battery Life

Yesterday, Apple released an iOS 8.1.3 update aimed at fixing lingering iOS 8 problems on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. And while feedback about the iOS 8.1.3 update has been mostly positive, some users are still experiencing issues with iOS 8 battery life. With bad iOS 8.1.3 battery life in mind, we want to offer some fixes that could help to boost battery life on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

At the tail end of last year, a rumor suggested that we would see an iOS 8.1.3 release for iPhone and iPad take place sometime in the beginning of 2015. After weeks of rumor and speculation, Apple finally delivered the iOS 8.1.3 update for iPhone and iPad bringing a number of welcomed bug fixes for iOS 8 and iOS problems.

Apple’s latest iOS 8 update is a rather large bug fix update, checking in at well over 100MB for iPhone and iPad users. It brings fixes for multitasking problems on the iPad and it also brings a fix that allows iPhone and iPad users to install iOS updates without a ton of available storage. It’s a big update and one that should be followed in just a few weeks by Apple’s iOS 8.2 update.

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While the iOS 8.1.3 update is aimed at fixing iOS 8 problems, it appears that some iOS problems continue to linger for some iPhone and iPad users. iOS 8.1.3 users are complaining about a number of issues including installation problems, issues with Wi-Fi, and a calendar bug that’s been present for a number of weeks now. We’re also seeing some users complain about bad iOS 8.1.3 battery life.

Battery life issues always seem to plague iPhone and iPad users after a new iOS update though most times, it’s not the actual update that’s causing the problems. Apps and other services are often the culprit. For the moment, these iOS 8.1.3 battery life problems appear to be fairly isolated though we do expect them to grow as more users apply the iOS 8.1.3 update to their phones or tablets.

How to Fix Bad iOS 8.1.3 Battery Life on iPhone or iPad

With that in mind, we want to try and fix that bad iOS 8.1.3 battery life for you. This guide delivers help to get better battery life on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This guide will help with iOS 8 battery life, but it assumes that you already upgraded to iOS 8.1.3 for the fixes it brings to the iPhone and iPad.

Find Apps Eating Up Your Battery

The first recommendation that we always make is to check out your third-party applications. If you want to fix your iOS 8.1.3 battery life, you’re going to want to keep an eye on applications for potential problems. 

Third-party applications have a tendency to put a huge dent into battery life on the iPhone or iPad, regardless of what version of iOS you’re on. If you use an application a lot, it’s going to drain your battery. But there are also times where bugs or issues might cause an app to go rogue and start abnormally draining iPhone or iPad battery.

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If you start noticing battery drain after installing iOS 8.1.3, you’ll want to take a look at the battery life usage tool that Apple included with its iOS 8 update. To start using this tool, head to Settings -> General -> Usage -> Battery Usage to see which apps use the most battery life. It’s sorted by hours and a week. Once you find an app that uses too much battery life, you can limit your use of it when away from power, stop its background activity or remove it completely from your iPhone or iPad.

One thing that we’ve also noticed is that poor cellular coverage is often to blame for bad iOS 8 battery life. When your phone needs to search hard for a signal, it runs the battery down faster, so keep that in mind when you’re in spotty areas. You may need to turn on Airplane mode when there isn’t a strong 4G or LTE signal in the area.

Disable iCloud Keychain

Some iPhone users claim that disabling iCloud Keychain has helped squash abnormal battery drain. Many iPhone and iPad users don’t use or don’t need iCloud Keychain so it’s worth disabling to see if it provides positive results. 

To disable iCloud Keychain, first head to Settings -> iCloud -> Keychain -> Toggle iCloud Keychain off. You can always turn it back on if turning it off doesn’t bring the intended results. 

Limit Background App Refresh

We also recommend limiting background app refresh if you don’t need it. This feature updates applications in the background so that data is available right when you open an application. Many of you don’t or won’t need this feature so it’s worth investigating to see if it restores some of your precious iOS 8.1.3 battery life. 

If you don’t want to turn it off completely, you should instead find apps that use it too much and turn it off for them one by one to see if that solves any iOS 8.1.3 battery life problems. That way, you can keep the apps that aren’t using up a ton of charge. It’s a tedious process though it’s had a positive effect on our iPhones and iPads in the past.

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To get this started, go to Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh -> Turn it off for each app that is using too much power. It’s going to take some time but it’s worth trying if you’re not getting what you want out of iOS 8.1.3.

Stop Using Auto Brightness

The iPhone and iPad include sensors that change the screen brightness based on the light in your current environment. Often times, the sensors will boost your screen brightness to unnecessary levels. This can potentially harm your battery life. If you are willing to change the brightness levels manually, we recommend toggling this feature off to see if it helps.

To shut Auto Brightness off, go to Settings -> Display & Brightness -> Auto-Brightness -> Off. Once it’s off, you’ll be able to manually adjust the brightness of your screen to help keep battery drain to a minimum. Remember, you can always turn brightness up or down on your own when you need it using the Control Center. Control Center is the feature that pops up when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

Restart or Reset Your iPhone or iPad

If you start noticing weird battery drain and or your device starts heating up, you should try performing a reset to see if that returns things to normal. Most of you know how to restart an iPhone or iPad but we’ll remind you. Hold down the power button, swipe to turn it off, and then hold the power button down to turn it back on. 

You can also try resetting the iPhone or iPad by holding the home button and the power button for about 10 seconds. This will not remove any of your data and could dislodge iOS 8.1.3 battery life problems if you see them. 

Reset All Settings

The next set of fixes are steps to take if you’re encountering major battery life issues after getting iOS 8.1.3 on board your iPhone or iPad. If you see the usage and standby numbers listed as the same when you look at iOS 8.1.3 battery usage in Settings, these are the steps that you’re probably going to want to take in an effort to control your charge. 


The first step to take is to reset your settings. Go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings and then enter your passcode when prompted. This will take five minutes or so to complete and will put all of your settings back to default. This will not remove any data or photos from your iPhone and iPad. This has worked for us in the past and it’s the first step to take if you’re seeing major battery drain. 

Restore the iOS 8.1.3 Update

If that doesn’t work, you should try to install the iOS 8.1.3 update again using restore. You’ll need to do this on your computer with iTunes installed. Warning, this will wipe your phone completely. You can try restoring from your backup after the update, but if the problem returns, you will want to do this again without restoring from backup. Here’s how to do this.

  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 8.1.3 from scratch.
  5. When it completes click Restore from Backup to put your information back on the iPhone or Choose to set up as a new iPhone.

This is not a short process. Expect to spend 20 to 45 minutes for this process, and maybe longer if you restore from backup. It’s going to vary from device to device, person to person.

Move Back to iOS 8.1.2

For a limited time, you can move back to iOS 8.1.2. This is only useful if you were getting good battery life with iOS 8.1.2. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide that will outline just how you can make this happen. 

Apple will, at some point, close this up so if you want to make this move, you’re going to have to make it soon.

Genius Bar/Replacement

If we somehow fail you, you should make an appointment with Apple and get an Apple Genius to look at your phone or tablet. Back up your iPhone or iPad before you go and simply ask them if your battery life is bad. They can test this in store and if you’re under warranty, they will replace the device. There is a one year warranty by default and two years with AppleCare+.


In the past, Apple Geniuses have discovered bloated batteries and all sorts of other issues so if none of these software tweaks work, it could be a hardware issue at work.