How to Fix Bad Galaxy S9 Battery Life
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are great phones with plenty to love. They’re also two years old and some users are dealing with bad battery life and other problems. Whether that’s from the Galaxy Android 10 update or just in general. With that in mind here are several tips to fix bad Galaxy S9 battery life problems.
Similar to previous models, the Galaxy S9 has a large 3,000 mAh battery and the bigger Galaxy S9+ comes in at 3,500 mAh. Plus, they both have fast and wireless charging.
And while those are decent capacities battery life could always be a little better. So, we’re going to go over several settings to change, options and different tips to help you get better Galaxy S9 battery life.
Samsung phones have a ton of different options, controls, and settings that you can change for an improved experience. Be careful though as some of them will have a negative effect on battery life. You can use the battery saver mode if you’re in a pinch, but our tips will benefit your day-to-day usage. Even here in 2020 as your battery starts to show signs of aging.
Find Apps Eating Up Your Battery
One of your first steps is to find what’s causing the battery to run out so fast. Our first recommendation is to check for misbehaving apps. If an app starts to malfunction or isn’t compatible with Samsung’s version of Android, you’ll experience all sorts of trouble. Continuous battery drain is a big issue we see often.
Read: How to Completely Disable Bixby on the Galaxy S9
If you use an app a lot it’s going to drain your battery. At the same time, some situations occur where an app uses an abnormal amount, more than it should, and that’s what we’re trying to avoid. We’ve seen this with the Oculus app Samsung pre-installs on the phones, Google Maps, and even Facebook. We saw a lot of complaints about Galaxy S9 Android 10 (One UI 2.0) battery drain on the beta, but things are better on the final release
To start, go to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery > Battery Usage to see what’s going on.
Our screenshot above is a typical day on the Galaxy S9+. I’m a heavy user, but I still get around 20 hours of battery life with at least 4-5 hours of “screen on” time. You’ll also notice there’s a decent amount of battery left. Expect similar results on your phone.
Android System or “screen” will use the most battery life. That’s normal. If you see something else at the top of this list, that’s a problem. We recommend closing the app, reinstall it, or completely remove it from your phone if you can. Well, except for something like Maps or Fortnite.
Reboot Your Galaxy S9 to Fix Battery Life
There are multiple different reasons your Galaxy S9 battery is running out too fast. One of the easiest ways to stop those problems is to reboot your phone. This sounds like a silly recommendation, but you’d be amazed at how many minor problems get fixed by a simple reboot.
Press and hold the power button on the right side of the Galaxy S9, then select Restart. Once it reboots, your problem will likely go away. This can fix whatever is causing issues before it’s too late and you’re already out of juice.
Disable the Always-On Display
One of my favorite Galaxy S9 features is the always-on display. The small clock, date, notifications and battery meter that’s on the screen 24/7, even when it’s not actually on and in use. This is the always-on display, and it’s completely customizable.
Samsung claims the AOD feature will drain less than 4-5% throughout an entire 8 hour work day. So while it’s a small difference, if you’re looking for every advantage possible turn this feature off. Head to Settings > Lockscreen & security > scroll down and disable the Always-On display. Or, check out this how-to guide.
Use a Black Wallpaper
This isn’t for everyone, but using a Black wallpaper will improve battery life too. That’s because Samsung’s AMOLED display tech works differently than most phones. It’s more efficient when displaying black, instead of color. Pixels don’t need to turn on individually — or as high — to show a black image.
Read: How to Change the Galaxy S9 Lock Screen & Wallpaper
After you’ve downloaded a nice wallpaper long-press a blank area of the screen and go into Wallpapers to apply it.
Screen Brightness & Sleep Time
The screen drains the most battery, but changing a few settings can minimize that loss. Like the screen brightness and sleep timer. These small changes combined with everything else in this post WILL help.
Head to Settings > Display > Brightness and lower the brightness to something around 50% or less. Leaving the S9 on auto-brightness we saw far worse battery life. The screen is plenty bright already, so turn it down unless you are outdoors.
While you’re in display settings turn down the “screen timeout” option. This is how long the screen stays on without being touched or interacted with. Samsung uses 1-minute, but we suggest trying 30 seconds.
Now, every time you use your phone it doesn’t sit on a desk or table awake for one minute at a time. Most users check their phone over 140 times a day. That’s an additional 30-seconds or more the screen is on for no reason, 140 times. Having it turn off after just 30 seconds cuts this battery drain down by 50%.
Turn off Galaxy S9 Features You Don’t Need (like the Edge)
Samsung phones have tons of software features. Some of them are extremely helpful, while others will use up battery for no reason.
Any previous Galaxy owner knows all about the many gestures or motion controls. If you don’t use them, turn them off to help save juice. Like swiping a hand over the screen to take a screenshot. They even have a feature where putting a phone to your ear while reading a text message instantly calls that person. These are helpful features, but if you don’t use them turn them off. That way all those sensors aren’t using the battery for no reason.
Go to Settings > Advanced Features > and look through the list of fancy features. Then, turn off things like Smart Capture, Palm Swipe, Direct Call, Easy Mute, and disable “Smart Stay” in the display settings. These all need power and sensors inside the phone for things we rarely use.
WiFi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth & GPS
Considering we use our phones for 8-10 hours a day, adding up all these small changes will make a big difference. Which is why if you aren’t using WiFi or Bluetooth, turn them off. Connecting to WiFi when possible saves battery life. That said, if you’re not using WiFi but the Galaxy S9 is constantly trying to find and connect to a network, it’ll hurt battery life.
Read: How to Turn Off the Edge Screen on Galaxy S9
Another huge drain on the battery is GPS, actually. Things like Google Maps or Facebook messenger accessing the GPS chip inside your phone.
Head to Settings > Connections > Location > and select Locating Method, then choose “Battery Saver” mode. This means some apps like GPS won’t be as accurate with location information, but you’ll get better battery life.
Battery Saver & Performance Modes
Next, try Samsung’s built-in battery controls, savers, or performance modes. Under Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery you’ll find new power saving modes. These limit certain features or turn down the brightness, but extend battery life. The max mode can make your phone last 2-3 days on a single charge, if not longer.
Then, you can try different “performance modes” too. These modes change almost everything, disables features, or even slows down the processor to extend battery life throughout the day. Click here for more information.
Use a Fast Charger with the Galaxy S9
This next tip won’t fix any real problems you may experience, but it will keep your phone lasting longer. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 supports Adaptive Fast Charging. This allows it to go from 0-50% in just 20-25 minutes. You only get those speeds if you use the correct charger or the one that came in the box, or buy a good fast charger.
If you don’t have extra “fast chargers” your phone will take 2-3 hours to recharge, and you’ll always have a low battery. So, buy one of our five recommended fast chargers for the Galaxy S9. That way you have as much battery as possible, as often as possible.
Another option is to simply buy and use a portable battery or power bank. These are super useful, affordable, and will charge your phone as fast as the wall plug. Here are a few of our favorite portable chargers. Leave one in your car, backpack or purse and have it ready for when you need it.
- Anker PowerCore 10000 – $25.99 at Amazon
- Nimble Eco Friendly 8-day Charger – $99.95 at Amazon
- Anker 24W Dual USB Charger – $9.49 at Amazon
- RavPower USB PD Car Charger – $11.99 at Amazon
Before we close with a few last-minute tips, we want to talk about what’s next. That, of course, is the continuation of the Galaxy S9 Android 10 update. Also known as One UI 2.0 by Samsung. Google released Android 10 back in August of 2019, and we saw Samsung update older devices like the Galaxy S9 and Note 9 in January and February. Every model in the US now has it, with Sprint finishing things up in early March.
When your model gets Android 10 (if it didn’t already) expect better performance, longer battery life, smarter software, night/dark modes, and a slew of new and helpful features on your phone. You should see a slight increase in battery life, too.
After all that, this phone might get Android 11 sometime in 2021, but it’s a little too early to start thinking and talking about Android 11.
More Battery Tips & Tricks
In closing, battery life always comes down to how you use your phone because everyone is different. Not everyone is on their device non-stop like me, but either way, these tips will help.
And finally, here are some last-minute tips. Don’t use the always-listening wake command for Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant. Don’t use Samsung’s “video enhancer” feature, turn on Airplane mode as often as possible, and reboot your phone at least once a week. Seriously, reboot your phone often.
Read: 10 Galaxy S9 Settings to Change Right Now
When you don’t need your phone for calls, texts or the internet turn on Airplane mode. This turns off all data, radios, services and more and most phones can last 4-5 days in this mode. If you’re traveling, give it a try.
These tricks and options are only the tips of the iceberg though. Try a new launcher, download third-party text apps, or even better, disable Facebook. If you’re still not satisfied with battery life or need more juice, take advantage of fast charging on the Galaxy S9 and buy a fast portable battery charger.
Additionally, we have a helpful guide for fixing some common Galaxy S9 problems that you might want to read over. Then, check back often as we’ll continuously update this post with helpful information so you can get the most out of your phone.
02/27/2019 at 3:55 pm
The android pie update is causing my battery to drain at an alarming rate. Its mainly been the Samsung keyboard app that cannot be disabled and is using 8x more battery than any other app. Opposite of what this article says. I want to undo the update and have my phone the way it was when I bought it.
The Samsung keyboard sucks compared to a few years ago. I used to be able to edit the list of learned words. Now it has sourced every typo and uses that to autocorrect correctly written words. It was great 5 years ago. Now it is terrible!
03/05/2019 at 9:38 pm
So your advice to “improve” the battery life the update screwed up is stop using all the features that made the phone unique? WOW ground breaking…