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How to Fix Bad iPhone 12 Battery Life

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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 support.

We haven’t seen widespread complaints about battery life, but some iPhone 12 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.

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, 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 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
  • LTE

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.

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 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.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 14.8 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 14.8 for Better Security

Install iOS 14.8 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.8 right away.

iOS 14.8 doesn't have a lot on board, but it does bring two new security patches with it. You can learn more about them right here

If you want to better protect your iPhone and its data, you'll want to install the iOS 14.8 update in the near future. 

If you missed iOS 14.7.1, you'll get its patch with your upgrade. If you want to learn more about iOS 14.7.1's security update, check out its support page.

If you missed iOS 14.7, you'll get its 31 security patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about those on Apple's website

If you skipped iOS 14.6, you'll get the update's 38 security patches with your iOS 14.8 update. If you're curious about the particulars, you can read about them right here.

If you skipped iOS 14.5.1, you get the update's two security patches on board. You can read about them over on Apple's website. Both are related to WebKit. 

If you missed iOS 14.5 you'll get its patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those changes over on Apple's website.

iOS 14.5 also brought Apple's new App Tracking Transparency which lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers.

If you skipped iOS 14.4.2, you get its security patch with iOS 14.8. You can learn more about that patch over on Apple's website as well. 

If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.8. 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 14.8 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 14.8 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

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Anne Mulvey

    03/25/2021 at 12:14 am

    You forgot to say – turn off Wifi Calling! It’s a big battery drain I hss as be discovered.

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