If your iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max’s battery life starts draining faster than it should, there are some steps you should take before getting in touch with Apple customer support.
Battery life issues are common, particularly after Apple releases new iOS 16 software. We also know that 5G drain batteries faster than LTE so these complaints aren’t surprising.
If you start noticing severe battery drain there are some steps you can take to try and resolve the issue. In this guide we’ll take you through some fixes that might help you fix iPhone 12 battery life problems.
These are fixes that have worked for us over the years and they might help you solve your battery issues in minutes and help you avoid a chat with Apple customer service or a visit to the Apple Store.
Restart Your Phone
If your battery starts draining faster than you think it should, we always recommend restarting your phone before doing anything else.
Power your iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max down, wait a minute, and power it back on. If it’s still draining quickly, move on to these other steps.
Update Your iPhone
Apple periodically releases iOS 16 software updates for the iPhone. Point updates (x.x.x) are typically focused on fixing bugs while milestone upgrades (x.x) usually deliver a mix of features and fixes.
The company might not call out battery life fixes in an iOS 16 update’s change log, but new firmware always has the potential to help alleviate battery issues.
Turn Off 5G
The iPhone 12 series supports 5G connectivity. While fast, it could drain your battery much faster than LTE does. If you don’t need to use 5G or you don’t need to use it all the time, head into your iPhone 12’s settings.
iOS has a few 5G settings that you’ll want to commit to your memory bank. To find these you’ll want to head into Settings, then Cellular, then Cellular Data Options, then Voice & Data.
If you’re in the right place you’ll notice three options:
- 5G On
- 5G Auto
5G On means your iPhone will use 5G whenever it’s available, even if it could kill your device’s battery life.
The 5G Auto option only uses 5G only when it won’t significantly drain your phone’s battery. 5G Auto is the default and the option most people should select.
Check Your Apps
Apps can sometimes have a negative impact on your phone’s battery life and you’ll want to look into them if you’re noticing abnormal drain.
Checking app performance is extremely easy on the iPhone 12 series. Here’s how to do it:
- Head into your Settings app.
- Select Battery.
- Check your battery usage.
This battery usage tool shows you the apps draining your iPhone 12’s battery and when they’re doing so.
If you use an app a lot, it will obviously drain more battery than apps you never use. So if you see an app you rarely use sucking up a ton of power, you’ll want to investigate further.
If you see an app sucking up a ton of battery life, try deleting the app from your device and see if things approve.
If the app is essential to your day-to-day use, 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’re positive it’s not an issue with one or more of your apps, try resetting your iPhone 12’s settings.
Before you do this, note that it will cause your device to forget known Wi-Fi networks so make sure you have your passwords written down or stored somewhere before you do this. Here’s how to do this on iOS 14:
- Go to Settings.
- Go to General.
- Scroll and tap Reset.
- Tap Reset All Settings and enter your passcode if one is enabled.
If you’re running iOS 15 or iOS 16, here’s how to reset all of your iPhone’s settings:
- Go to Settings.
- Go to General.
- Scroll and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Tap Reset.
- Tap Reset All Settings.
Once the process is complete, you’ll need to reconnect your iPhone to your Wi-Fi network(s) and Bluetooth devices.
Use Low Power Mode
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 the operating system will also prompt you to turn it on whenever your iPhone 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 on your device.
You can also turn Low Power Mode on via your Settings. Here’s how to do that:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap Battery.
- Tap Low Power Mode.
- Toggle it On.
Stop Using 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. Here’s how to do that:
- 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.
Downgrade Your iPhone 12’s Software
If you can’t find a fix for your issue, and/or don’t want to wait for Apple’s next iOS 16 update, you can try downgrading your iPhone 12’s software.
For more on the downgrade process, take a look at our walkthrough.
Install iOS 16.3 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.3 update right away.
iOS 16.3 brings 12 new security patches (including one for the Weather app) with it and you can learn more about all of those right here.
In addition, the software comes with support for physical security keys for Apple ID. These will beef up your account security by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process. Learn more about the change right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.2, you'll get its changes with iOS 16.3. iOS 16.2 brought a ton of important security patches with it and you can dig into the details on Apple's security site.
The update also brought end-to-end encryption to iCloud, iMessage, iPhone backups, Notes, Photos, and more. If you want to learn more about it, head over to Apple's guide.
If you decided to hold off on installing iOS 16.1.2, you'll get its solitary security patch with your upgrade. Learn more about it right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.1.1, you'll get its security patches when you upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.
If you missed the iOS 16.1 update, it brought 19 security patches to the iPhone and you can learn about the particulars of those over on Apple's website.
If you failed to download iOS 16.0.3, it had one security patch on board, a fix for a potential exploit within the Mail app. For more about the fix, check out Apple's security site.
If you're still running iOS 15 your iPhone, you'll get a bunch of other patches when you upgrade.
iOS 16.0 brought a ton of 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 security website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 16 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including Safety Check which, according to Apple, will help "people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others."
The feature also resets system privacy permissions for apps and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device on hand.
Apple's also made some improvements to Passkeys in Safari. iOS 16 brings a brand new sign-in method that's end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks.