If your iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, 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.
With the iPhone 12 series now in the hands of users around the world, we’re starting to get feedback about their performance.
A lot of the feedback has been great. However, we’re also hearing about a variety of issues owners of the new models are dealing with.
We haven’t seen widespread complaints about battery life (not yet at least), but some users are saying their battery is draining faster than it should be.
Battery life issues are common (particularly after Apple releases new iOS software) and we know that 5G drain batteries faster than LTE so these complaints aren’t surprising.
- Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology
- Backlit Magic Keyboard and Touch ID
- Tenth-generation Intel Core i3 processor
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- Fast SSD storage
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 bad iPhone 12 battery life.
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.
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/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 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 update’s change log, but new firmware always has the potential to help alleviate battery issues.
For more on the latest version of iOS 14, take a look at our guide.
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 14 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.
- Scroll down to the Battery Usage tool.
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 14.
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.
- 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 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 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 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.
If you can’t find a fix for your issue, and/or don’t want to wait for Apple’s next iOS 14 update, you can try downgrading your iPhone 12’s software (if the option is available).
For more on the downgrade process, take a look at our walkthrough.
Install iOS 14.2 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.2.1 or iOS 14.2 right away.
iOS 14.2 includes 24 security patches that will help protect you and your device from harm. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you own an iPhone 12 and you skipped the iOS 14.2 update, you'll get these patches with your iOS 14.2.1 upgrade.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.2.1/iOS 14.2 will also include 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.
If you skipped iOS 13.7 or any older versions of iOS 13, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 14.2.1/iOS 14.2 update.
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.
Last update on 2020-11-26. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API
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