Apple’s iOS 9 update continues to cause battery life problems for many iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. With those problems in mind, we show you how to fix bad iOS 9 battery life on iOS 9.0, iOS 9.1, iOS 9.2, iOS 9.3, iOS 9.3.2, iOS 9.3.3, iOS 9.3.4, the iOS 9.3.5 update, and Pokemon Go.
While Apple’s iOS 9 updates have delivered a ton of new features and fixes to iPhone and iPad users, they’ve also brought some problems.
iOS 9 battery life problems continue to frustrate many iPhone and iPad users including those who recently downloaded the iOS 9.3.5 update. This isn’t surprising.
Abnormal battery drain is a common iOS problem and it always seems to show up, en masse, right after an iOS release.
iOS updates aren’t supposed to have a negative effect on overall battery life on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. And with Apple touting an iOS 9 battery life boost, we’re not surprised to see people expressing their frustration.
My iPhone has been draining battery so bad, 9.3.3 update doesn't seem to have helped at all. Shuts down at 80%,lives on the charger. 😭😭 #ios
— Uli P (@IamPleasure) July 19, 2016
While these iOS 9 battery issues are isolated, we expect them to grow as more people discover and download the iOS 9.3.5 update on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
How to Fix Bad iOS 9 Battery Life
We want to help you solve your bad iOS 9 battery life issues.
This guide delivers help to get better battery life on all versions of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch capable of running iOS 9, iOS 9.0.1, iOS 9.0.2, iOS 9.1, iOS 9.2, iOS 9.2.1, iOS 9.3, iOS 9.3.1, iOS 9.3.2, iOS 9.3.3, iOS 9.3.4, the iOS 9.3.5 update, and yes, the Pokemon Go app for iOS.
You should keep some of these tips and fixes stored in your memory bank. Battery life problems can strike your device at any time so you’ll always want to be prepared.
Look Into Your Apps
If you’re noticing strange battery drain on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, the first thing you’ll want to do is take a long hard look at your applications, especially if you’re playing Pokemon Go.
It’s easy to blame Apple for your problems but there’s a good chance that it’s a third-party application hogging your resources.
To start digging into your app performance, you’ll want to go into Settings > Battery and get familiar with the Battery Usage tool and the changes that Apple’s made in iOS 9.
The tool will show you which apps are eating up the most battery but it will now show you when they’re eating up the most battery.
It will also show you what apps have been using the most power over a 24 hour span and what’s been eating your phone or tablets battery life over a longer span of time.
If you tap on the little clock there, you’ll also be able to pull up a breakdown that shows you exactly when they’re eating up the most battery.
Some apps will drain battery the most when the screen is on and some might zap your power when the screen is off.
If you see something odd, you’ll want to first try updating the application (assuming it has good reviews). Developers have been rolling out iOS 9 support updates in recent days and there’s a good chance your apps have updates.
If that doesn’t help, try reinstalling it or uninstalling it completely to see if your overall iPhone or iPad battery life improves some.
Facebook’s app is under fire again for causing battery life troubles on the iPhone. A recent piece from The Guardian suggests that the app is still chewing up a substantial amount of battery life. The author claims that, on average, he has 15% more battery life each day without Facebook installed.
If you have the Facebook app on your phone, it might be worth an uninstall (permanent or temporary is up to you) to see if it has a positive effect on your iPhone’s charge.
If you’re playing Pokemon Go on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch for long periods of time, there’s a good chance it’s draining your battery.
Pokemon Go relies on GPS to track your movement. GPS kills battery life. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to combat Pokemon Go battery drain on iOS 9:
- Lower your screen brightness.
- Use an external battery pack.
- Kill Bluetooth and Wi-Fi while you’re roaming around playing the game.
- Disable volume.
For more on Pokemon Go problems and fixes, take a look at our rundown.
Start Using Low Power Mode
iOS 9 comes with a brand new feature that will help you conserve iPhone battery life when you need it most.
The new Low Power Mode in iOS 9 allows users to stretch out the last 10-20% of battery life significantly longer without flipping a bunch of switches manually.
Simply go to Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode > On and the iPhone will limit many items you used to need to control manually. This can add several hours of actual use to your iPhone.
Turn On Airplane Mode
If you’re noticing battery drain, it might be because you’re in an area with spotty cellular service. If you are, your device will work extra hard to try and find a signal and that could cause your battery life to start draining rapidly.
To combat this, flip your device into Low Power Mode or Airplane Mode. Airplane Mode can be found at the top of Settings and it will kill all of your connections. If you’ve flown any time in the past five years, you’ve probably used it.
With Airplane Mode turned on, your phone won’t be searching for a better signal or any nearby connections. Just make sure to flip it off when you’re back in an area with better service.
Disable iCloud Keychain
This is a potential fix that’s been passed down over the years and there’s a chance it might work for you after installing iOS 9.
Try disabling iCloud Keychain if you don’t use it. iPhone and iPad users have reported a bump to battery life after turning it off and there’s a chance you could see some improvements.
To disable iCloud Keychain on your device, you’ll need to go into Settings > iCloud > Keychain > Toggle iCloud Keychain off. You can always flip the feature back on if you determine that there’s no connection between it and the battery drain on your device.
Limit Background App Refresh
If you don’t need your apps to automatically refresh in the background, you might want to try disabling the Background App Refresh feature that comes standard with iOS.
Background app refresh is handy is you want your applications to show the latest data whenever you open them but in our experience its proven to be a resource hog. If you have it on, apps will work in the background and that can be a catalyst for bad battery life.
Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh > Turn it off for each app that is using too much power. It’s a tedious process but it could help.
You can also turn the feature off completely if you don’t want to go through your list of applications one by one.
Manage Your Display
Get a handle on your display.
Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod touch use an array of sensors and one of those sensors adjusts the screen automatically in certain lighting environments. Sometimes the sensor works to perfection. Sometimes it doesn’t.
If you’re noticing strange iOS 9 battery drain, try shutting auto brightness off. To make this happen, go into Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Brightness > Off. Once it’s shut off, you’ll have to adjust the screen brightness manually.
iOS 9’s Control Center offers quick access to an auto brightness toggle. To pull it up, swipe up from the bottom of your screen.
Restart Your iPhone or iPad
You should also try restarting your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
If you don’t know how to do this, hold down the power button for a few seconds and swipe to shut the device down. Hold down the power button again to boot the device back up.
If that doesn’t help, you can also try a hard reset. To do that, hold down the home button and the power button for about 10 seconds. The device will restart it self. As a reminder, this will not remove any of your data.
Reset All Settings
The above fixes include changes to your habits and some smaller tweaks. The fixes listed below are more drastic measures.
The first step to take is a reset on all of your device’s settings. To do this, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings and then enter your passcode when the prompt appears.
The reset process could take five minutes or so and once it’s done, it will restore your settings to their factory defaults. Make sure you have Wi-Fi passwords handy because your phone or tablet will forget them. And as a reminder, this will not delete any of your files.
Downgrade to an Older Version
For a limited time after an update’s release you can downgrade to the older version. Currently, you can downgrade from iOS 9.3.5 to iOS 9.3.4 though we expect the iOS 9.3.4 downgrade to close up within a few weeks.
If you need help, take a look at our guide to downgrading.
Restore the iOS 9 Update
If none of this works, you can try a restore on your iPhone or iPad. This should only be used as a last resort because it erases everything on your device and could take awhile to complete depending on how many files you have on your device.
You can try restoring from your backup after the iOS 9 update. If your iOS 9 battery life issues return after the restore, you will want to try this method again without restoring from the backup. Here’s how to do this on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch:
- 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.
This could take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to complete so make sure you set aside some time to do it in a quiet place without any distractions.
Take Your Device In
If nothing here works, it’s time to take your iPhone or iPad into an Apple Store to have a Genius run some diagnostics.
You could have a bloated battery, you could have something else. If your device is still under warranty, they might even offer you a replacement.
Talk to Apple Support Online
If none of these fixes work and you don’t want to move from your desk chair, you can ask Apple for help online.
@AppleSupport after I've installed IOS 9.3.3 the duration of the battery im my iPhone 5s is so short. Can you help me? Thanks
— Tales – foi golpe (@tloyelo) July 26, 2016
If you’re struggling with iOS 9 battery life, try reaching out to Apple’s Twitter support line for assistance. It’s possible that they will have a fix or two that fall outside of this list.
Install iOS 10.2 If You Want Better Security
If you value your security, you'll want to seriously consider downloading the iOS 10.2 update on your iPhone or iPad.
The iOS 10.2 update brings 12 known patches for potential exploits including one where an "attacker with an unlocked device may be able to disable Find My iPhone."
These patches enhance the security on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch making them ideal for those of you who store sensitive files/data on your device. Most people do.
If you skipped the iOS 10.1.1 update and/or the iOS 10.1 update, know that iOS 10.2 brings their security patches with it.
If you failed to install Apple's iOS 9.3.5 update, iOS 10.2 will also bring the three crucial security patches it delivered last year. These patch up serious security problems that could potentially expose your calls, contacts, texts, and emails.
If security is important to you, iOS 10.2 is probably worth a download right now.