If you encounter abnormal battery drain after moving to Apple’s latest iOS 14 software, there are some steps you should take before getting in contact with Apple customer service.
iPhone users are reporting a number of iOS 14-related issues. The list includes some of the usual suspects including bad battery life.
While some of these battery issues might be hardware-related (bloated battery, for instance), others are related to Apple’s newest iOS 14 software. In a lot of cases, an app is causing the issues.
If you’re seeing terrible battery drain after installing the newest version of iOS 14, your first thought might be to downgrade back to older iOS software. That’s definitely an option, but before you do that, you’ll want to try and fix your issues.
Fixing iOS 14 battery life problems can be a bit tricky, but we’ve got some solutions that have worked for us, and other iPhone users, in the past.
This guide will take you through fixes for bad iOS 14 battery life and there’s a chance they’ll help you get your issues sorted out in a matter of minutes.
- Tenth-generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processor
- Brilliant Retina display with True Tone technology
- Backlit Magic Keyboard
- Touch Bar and Touch ID
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Restart Your Phone
If you start noticing abnormal drain after installing iOS 14, we recommend restarting your phone before doing anything else.
Power your iPhone down, wait a minute, and then power it back on. A quick reboot can have a tremendous impact on your device’s performance.
Update Your iPhone
Apple will periodically release new iOS 14 software. Point updates (x.x.x) are typically focused on fixing bugs while milestone upgrades (x.x) usually deliver a mix of features and fixes.
Apple might not call out battery life fixes in an update’s change log, but new software always has the potential to help.
For more on the latest version of iOS 14, take a look at our guide.
Check Your Apps
Apps, particularly third-party apps, can act up on new software so there’s a good chance one of your apps is causing the issues on your phone.
Checking app performance is easy on iOS 14. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to the Settings app.
- Select Battery.
- Scroll down to the Battery Usage tool. This tool will show you the apps draining your battery and when they’re doing so.
If you use an application a lot, it will obviously drain more battery than apps you never use. So if you see something that doesn’t look right, you’ll want to investigate further.
If you notice an app you rarely use eating up an abnormal amount of battery, or if an app you use regularly is draining more battery than you think it should, try deleting the app from your device and see if that improves things.
If the app is essential, we recommend downloading the latest update from the developer. If that doesn’t help, and you really need the app to get through your day, you might need to downgrade back to a previous version of iOS.
Reset All Settings
If you determine that your apps aren’t the source of your problem, try resetting your iPhone’s settings.
Before you do this, note that it will cause your iPhone to forget known Wi-Fi networks (and Bluetooth connections) so make sure you have your passwords written down or stored somewhere before you tap reset. Here’s how to do this:
- Go to Settings.
- Go to General.
- Scroll and tap Reset.
- Tap Reset All Settings and enter your passcode if one is enabled.
Once the process is complete, you’ll need to reconnect your iPhone to your Wi-Fi network(s) and Bluetooth devices.
Use Screen Time
iOS 14’s Screen Time feature could help you conserve battery while eliminating bad habits.
Screen Time provides you with a set of controls that can help keep addictive behaviors 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 14’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 Off Raise to Wake
iOS’ Raise to Wake feature is handy, but turning it off could help you stave off battery drain.
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 vibrations off. Turning them off could help your iPhone conserve 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”.
Stop Background Refresh
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 has 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 it helps.
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.
If you can’t find a fix and/or don’t want to wait for Apple’s next iOS 14 update, you can try downgrading your device’s software.
For more on the downgrade process, take a look at our walkthrough.
Buy a Battery Case or Battery Bank
Buying a battery case or battery bank could help if you can’t seem to shake your battery life issues and you don’t want to replace your phone.
If you don’t want to put a bulky case on your iPhone, you might want to buy a battery bank.
Battery banks are small, portable power sources. For instance, the RAVPower battery pack can provide six full iPhone charges before you need to charge it.
Install iOS 14.4.2 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.4.2 right now.
iOS 14.4.2 has an important security patch on board and you can read more about the change over on Apple's website.
If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.4.2. You can read about that patch right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.4, you get the update's patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about iOS 14.4's security patches right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.3 you'll get its nine security updates with your upgrade. You can read more about them on its security site.
iOS 14.3 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you skipped iOS 14.2, your iOS 14.4.2 update includes 24 additional security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.4.2 includes iOS 14.0's security updates.
iOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari.
For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to iOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.
Last update on 2020-12-15. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API
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