Some iOS 13 users are reporting abnormal battery drain after moving from up from iOS 12. Battery life issues can be tricky to fix, but there are some steps you should take before getting in contact with customer service.
The latest iOS 13 went through testing, but issues have unsurprisingly slipped through the cracks into the final release.
One of the issues plaguing users is faster-than-normal battery drain. Battery life issues are extremely common after new iOS releases so the complaints don’t come as much of a surprise.
Some of the issues might be related to hardware, but many others are probably related to software. In a lot of cases, it’s probably a rogue app or bad habits causing the issues.
If you’re dealing with terrible battery drain, your first thought might be to downgrade back to an older version of iOS 13. That’s certainly an option. That said, before you downgrade, you should try and alleviate the issues on your own.
This guide will take you through fixes for bad iOS 13 battery life. These fixes have worked for us in the past and there’s a good chance they’ll get your issues sorted in a matter of minutes.
Restart Your Phone
The first thing you’ll want to do is restart your iPhone. Power it down, wait for a minute, and then power it back on. Often times, this will do the trick.
Update Your Phone
If your device is struggling, and there’s a new version of iOS 13 available, try updating to the latest version.
Apple probably won’t call out any battery life fixes in an update’s change log, but there’s always a chance new software does wonders for your device.
Before you install a new version of iOS 13, make sure you read reviews and dig into feedback about the update’s performance on your device.
Check Out Your Apps
If a restart doesn’t work and there isn’t an update available, check your applications.
Apps, particularly third-party applications, will sometimes act up after a new iOS operating system is released and there’s a very good chance it’s one of your apps causing the battery drain issues.
Checking app performance is easy and you might be able to single out a rogue app in a matter of minutes. Here’s how to do that:
- Go to the Settings app.
- Select Battery.
- Head into the Battery Usage tool.
This tool will show you the apps eating up your iPhone’s battery life and when they’re doing so. If you’re using an app a lot, it will obviously drain your device’s battery. However, if you notice that an app you rarely use is eating up battery life, you’ll want to take a closer look.
If you see an app you rarely use chewing up battery life, try updating the application to the latest version. App developers are busy rolling out iOS 13 support updates and an update could restore order.
If it’s still acting up, try deleting the app and see if that returns things to normal.
Reset All Settings
If your apps aren’t the root of the issue, try resetting all of your settings. This will restore your settings to their factory defaults (so make sure you have your Wi-Fi passwords handy), but it could iron out your battery life issues. It has worked for us in the past.
Here’s how to reset your iPhone’s settings:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Reset.
- Tap Reset All Settings.
- Enter your passcode if you have one enabled.
Use Screen Time
iOS 13’s Screen Time feature could help you conserve battery while also eliminating bad habits.
Screen Time provides you with a set of controls that can help keep your addictive behavior in check. If you aren’t on your phone using your apps, you won’t be chewing through your battery life.
The feature lets you set limits on how long you can use a particular app on a given day. If you approach the threshold, it’ll give you a warning.
You can also set these alerts for kids and link them to a ScreenTime Allowance. This allows you to set limits on games, but keep important apps available.
Use Low Power Mode
iOS 13’s Low Power Mode helps you conserve battery life by shutting off services (Hey Siri, automatic downloads, and mail fetch) that could drain your battery.
You can turn Low Power Mode on and off any time you want and your device will also prompt you to turn it on whenever it reaches 20% battery.
If you haven’t done so already, add Low Power Mode to your Control Center. Control Center is the menu that pops up when you swipe up from the bottom or, if you’re using a newer iPhone model, from the top right of the screen. Here’s how to do that:
- Head to Settings.
- Tap Control Center.
- Tap Customize Controls.
- Tap the green plus sign next to Low Power Mode.
The next time you open up Control Center on your phone you’ll see a battery icon. Tap it to enable or disable Low Power Mode.
You can also turn Low Power Mode on via your Settings. Here’s how to do this:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap Battery.
- Tap Low Power Mode.
- Toggle it On.
Turn On Optimized Battery Charging
iOS 13 brings a new feature called “Optimized Battery Charging” which will help reduce battery aging.
The feature learns from your daily charging routine and waits to finish charging your device to 100% until you need to use your phone.
In doing so, it will prevent your battery from sitting at maximum capacity and could extend the overall life of your iPhone’s battery.
In order to turn it on, head into General > Battery > Battery Health and toggle Optimized Battery Charging on.
If you don’t use widgets, try disabling them and see if battery life improves. Here’s how to disable widgets on iOS 13:
- Swipe to the right while you’re on your device’s home screen.
- Scroll all the way to bottom of your widgets and select Edit.
On this screen you should now see a list of your apps and services. These are your widgets and you might notice that some of them are active. To deactivate a widget:
- Tap the red circle with the white line.
- Tap Remove.
At first we recommend disabling the widgets you never use. (In some cases, that might be all of them.) If you still notice weird battery drain, return to this screen and go through them one-by-one or disable them all.
You can always turn your widgets back on if you discover they aren’t part of the issue.
Turn Off Raise to Wake
iOS’ Raise to Wake feature is handy, but turning it off could help you conserve battery.
If you don’t need your iPhone’s screen to automatically turn on whenever you pickup it up, go into the Settings app > Display & Brightness and turn the Raise to Wake function off.
If your phone vibrates every time you get a message or phone call, and you don’t need it to, try turning the vibrations off. Turning them off will help your device use less power.
To turn off your iPhone’s vibrations:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap Sounds.
- Toggle Vibrate on Ring and Vibrate on Silent off.
You also need to go into each individual Sound and Vibration and make sure Vibration (which is located at the top of the screen) is set to “None”.
Use Wi-Fi Instead of Cellular
Using your iPhone while it’s connected to a cellular network can eat up battery. If you have a Wi-Fi network in your vicinity, connect to it. It could help you save battery.
Stop Background Refresh
Apple’s Background App Refresh refreshes apps in the background in order to show you the latest data when you open them. It’s a useful feature, but it can also eat away at battery life. If you don’t need it, try turning it off.
To disable the feature, you’ll need to:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Background App Refresh.
- Turn it off for any applications you don’t use.
You can also turn it completely off if you don’t want to go through your apps one at a time.
Turn Off Fitness Tracking
Your iPhone features a motion co-processor that tracks your steps and other movements. If you use your phone for fitness-related activities, you’ll probably want to keep this feature on. If you don’t, try turning it off and see if that helps your battery life recover.
To do this, head into your Settings app and tap on Privacy. From there, select Motion & Fitness and toggle the Fitness Tracking function off.
You might also want to toggle off apps listed below Fitness Tracking in the menu. If you don’t notice any gains, you can always turn everything back on.
Turn Off Assistive Touch
If you’re currently using Assistive Touch on your iPhone, it might be one of the culprits. Turning it off might help your device conserve power.
If you don’t want or need Assistive Touch active on your phone, try turning it off. Here’s how to do this:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Accessibility.
- Tap AssistiveTouch.
- Toggle it to Off.
If you can’t fix the issue yourself, can’t wait for the next 13 iOS update, and can’t or don’t want to get in touch with Apple customer service, you can try downgrading back to a previous version of iOS 13.
Right now, you can downgrade back to iOS 13.3.1, but we expect Apple to close off the downgrade path in the near future. Once that happens, you won’t be able to move back.
If you were having a good experience on iOS 13.3.1, downgrading could help. If you don’t know how to downgrade an iPhone, take a look at our walkthrough.
Restore as New
You also might try restoring your device from a backup from your computer or via iCloud.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can try restoring the device as new. You can do this via Finder, iTunes, or iCloud.
Buy a Battery Case or Battery Bank
If you’re willing to spend some cash, think about investing in a battery case or battery bank.
If you don’t want to use a bulky battery case with your iPhone, think about investing in a battery bank for emergencies.
Battery banks are small, portable power sources that can charge your iPhone multiple times. For instance, the RAVPower battery pack can provide six full iPhone charges before you need to charge it.
Install iOS 13.4.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing the iOS 13.4.1 update right away.
It's unclear if iOS 13.4.1 brings new security patches with it. Apple hasn't posted anything yet and we'll let you know when it does.
That said, if you skipped Apple's recent iOS 13.4 release, you'll get iOS 13.4's 28 security patches with your upgrade. You can read about all of them on Apple's website right here.
iOS 13.4 also brought several improvements to Apple's Intelligent Tracking Prevention. Apple's John Wilander outlined them in a blog post and it's worth checking out.
Reports have outlined a vulnerability in Wi-Fi chips made by Broadcom and Cypress Semiconductor that left billions of devices susceptible to attack.
Dubbed Kr00k, the vulnerability allows nearby attackers to decrypt sensitive information that's relayed over-the-air.
Fortunately, it looks like the issue was patched up with the release of iOS 13.2, an update that arrived all the way back in October.
So if you're running a really old version of iOS 13, you'll really want to move your device up to the newest version of iOS 13.
If you skipped iOS 13.3.1, you get its patches with iOS 13.4.1.
The iOS 13.3.1 update included 21 new security patches that will help protect your device from harm. The company's outlined those patches in detail if you want to dig in.
If you skipped iOS 13.3, you get its patches with iOS 13.4.1. iOS 13.3 brought 12 new security patches to the iPhone and you can read about each one over on Apple's security page.
The iOS 13.3 update also added support for NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in the Safari browser.
If you missed iOS 13.2, it had 16 new security patches on board. You can read about all of them on Apple's website right here.
iOS 13.1.1 brought a security patch for a third-party keyboard issue to your iPhone. If you're interested in the particulars, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
If you passed on installing iOS 13.1, you get an additional patch with your iOS 13.4.1 update. You can learn more right here.
If you're moving up from iOS 12, you'll get iOS 13.0's nine security patches with your upgrade to iOS 13.4.1. Read about those here.
If you skipped iOS 12.4.1 or any older versions of iOS 12, you'll get their security patches with your iOS 13.4.1 update.
iOS 12.4.1 only had one patch on board, but Apple's iOS 12.4 update brought 19 security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the specifics, you can read about them on right here.
In addition to those patches, iOS 13 itself comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improved anti-tracking features in Safari and the ability to get rid of location metadata in your photos.
You also now have the ability to block apps from using Bluetooth and the ability to allow apps to access your location just once.
iOS 13 will also send you reminders about applications that track your data.
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