iOS 9 users continue to complain about bad battery life. 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, and iOS 9.3.5.
While many people have upgraded to Apple’s iOS 10 update, others have stayed behind on the company’s iOS 9 operating system. Some by choice, others by force. The iPhone 4s and the original iPad mini didn’t get iOS 10 upgrades.
iOS 9 battery life problems continue to frustrate many iPhone and iPad users including those on the last final version of iOS 9, Apple’s iOS 9.3.5 update. This isn’t surprising. Abnormal battery drain is a common iOS problem.
iOS updates aren’t supposed to have a negative effect on overall battery life on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch but we always see complaints.
In the case of iOS 9, these complaints are coming more than a year after its release for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
How to Fix Bad iOS 9 Battery Life
We want to help you solve your bad iOS 9 battery life issues.
my iphone 4s' battery dies as fast as my concentration in school
— Iion @ drawards (@saiihara) February 16, 2017
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, and the iOS 9.3.5 update.
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.
You’ll also want to have your various Wi-Fi passwords handy. Once this process completes, your phone or tablet will have forgotten those passwords.
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.
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.
Download iOS 10
If nothing is working, you might try upgrading to the iOS 10 update if your device is eligible. iOS 10 users are also complaining about battery drain issues but there’s a chance it could improve your device’s performance.
Install iOS 11.3 for Better Security
iOS 11.3 also includes a new privacy feature. When an Apple feature wants to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.
If you're running iOS 11.2.5 or older, you're exposed to an issue that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iOS-powered device and block access to the Messages app. It can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.
The iOS 11.2.6 update's main purpose was to patch up this issue. If you skipped iOS 11.2.6, you'll get these enhancements with iOS 11.3.
If you're running iOS 11.2.2 or below and receive a certain GitHub link through your Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable.
If you're on iOS 11.2.1, your iOS 11.3 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. If you're running an older version of iOS, your iOS 11.3 update will come with a lot more.
Apple's iOS 11.2 update fixed several problems, but it also brought problems of its own including a potentially nasty zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability.
The vulnerability, discovered by Tian Zhang, allowed for unauthorized control of HomeKit accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.
Apple quickly rolled out a server-side fix, but the company restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1. If you skipped iOS 11.2.1 and use HomeKit, you should download iOS 11.3.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.3 update. Apple's iOS 11.2 update delivered 11 patches including one for Mail and one for Wi-Fi.
The iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 updates also patched up a widespread security issue called "Meltdown." Apple says its analysis suggests it "has the most potential to be exploited."
Meltdown affects all iOS 11 powered devices so we highly recommend downloading iOS 11.3 if you skipped iOS 11.2.
If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1, you'll get additional patches with your iOS 11.3 update.
The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.
If you're just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you're on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.3 update will come with additional security features.
In iOS 11 you can't establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You'll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.
If you skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.3 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called "Broadpwn."
If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you'll get 23 additional patches with iOS 11.3. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your iOS 11.3 update.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.3 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.