In this guide we’ll help you fix bad Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL battery life problems. While these phones have a lot to offer, even over a year after being released, they’re not perfect. If your Pixel 2 isn’t lasting as long as expected, here are 10+ tips to give you a little more juice.
We’re seeing improvements thanks to the Android Pie update, but that isn’t enough for some owners. Keep in mind that everyone uses their phone differently, so your results or experience may vary.
Some Pixel owners are noticing rapid battery loss in addition to really slow charging speeds. The Pixel 2 XL has a big 3,520 mAh battery that’s enough for most, although a problem can make it die too quick. Which is why you’ll want to know about these settings to change, steps to take, and options to consider to make your phone last as long as possible.
How to Fix Bad Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL Battery Life
Running stock Android 9 Pie these phones are almost Pixel perfect. However, some quick changes can make a noticeable difference. A very noticeable difference. We’ll even help you turn off a few features you probably don’t use.
Reboot Your Pixel 2
Our first recommendation is probably the easiest and best tip to fix Pixel 2 battery life problems. There are many things that can cause your battery to drain faster than expected. Sometimes the easiest way to fix things or stop a problem is by rebooting the phone.
Whether you want to give your phone a fresh start for the day or notice the battery draining too fast, give it a quick reboot. Long-press the power button and select reboot, or manually reboot your Pixel 2. Try that first, then continue on for more information.
Find Apps Eating Up Your Battery
The next step to solving any battery situation is finding out if an app is causing problems. You’ll want to find these before it’s too late and before your battery is dead. We’re looking for misbehaving apps.
It doesn’t matter if these apps come pre-installed or it’s something you downloaded from the Google Play Store. Sometimes apps just don’t work right. With Android Pie your Pixel 2 will send you a notification if an app is using an abnormal amount of battery, so watch out for those alerts.
If you use an app a lot, it’s going to drain your battery. At the same time, some situations occur where an app uses more than it should, and that’s what we want to avoid. Head to Settings > Battery > and tap the battery icon. This shows you a full breakdown of apps and their battery consumption.
You should see Android System, Screen (Display), or Pixel Launcher near the top of the Battery Usage menu. If something else is at the top, an app, that’s might be your problem. Click the app and select “Force Stop” or uninstall the app to prevent further problems. If this is something you use often that’s ok, if not, you know what’s draining your battery.
Disable the Always-On Display
You can also try turning off the Always-On Display to save some battery. When you turn off the screen you’ll see a clock, the date, notifications and battery/charge meters on the screen at all times. This is the always-on display, giving you helpful information at a glance. It’s also using your juice.
Open the settings menu and go to Display > Advanced > and scroll down to Ambient Display. Click here, then swipe to turn off the Always-On Display. Now the screen turns off completely and may give you a little more time between charges.
Screen Brightness & Sleep Time
Another big one is screen brightness and the sleep timer. Most users check their phone over 140 times a day, usually just to see the time or check a notification. The Always-On display tries to stop that, so you might not want to turn it off. Instead, adjust the screen brightness and something called the Sleep Timer.
Make sure you hit the power/sleep button when you’re done using the phone, so the screen isn’t just turned on for no reason when you’re not using it. Most people just set the phone down when they’re done, and the screen stays on for a few minutes wasting battery. Do that 100+ times a day and that’s 100 wasted minutes of battery.
Alternatively, you can adjust how long it stays on when it’s not in use. This is the Sleep Timer and something that makes a big difference in battery life.
Head to Settings > Display > Sleep > and set this to one minute, or less. That way when the phone isn’t in use, it dims and will go to sleep after just 30 seconds. So next time you set your phone down when you’re done using it, the screen isn’t just on for no reason.
Use a Black Wallpaper
This isn’t for everyone, but using a Black wallpaper will improve battery life too. This is because of LG’s new OLED display technology in the Google Pixel 2 XL. OLED screens are very efficient and display black colors easily. Pixels don’t need to turn on individually — or as high — to display a black image. As a result, a black image saves battery life. The smaller Pixel 2 has a OLED screen too, so they both benefit.
After you’ve downloaded a nice wallpaper long-press a blank area of the screen and go into Wallpapers to apply it. You’ll also notice the notification bar and other aspects of the operating system change to a dark or light theme based on your wallpaper. Try it, and see things change.
WiFi, 4G LTE, Bluetooth & GPS
Again, every little bit helps when we use our phones for 8-10 hours a day, or more. So, turn off WiFi or Bluetooth when they aren’t in use. Of course, using WiFi improves battery life, but when you aren’t connected the Pixel constantly searches for a network, which hurts battery life.
For me, the biggest change I notice is when I disable what uses GPS. Whether that’s Google Maps or Facebook Messenger trying to find your location. Disabling what uses GPS can add a few hours to your battery life.
Head into settings and tap the magnifying glass. Type “Location” then enter location settings and change the mode to battery saver mode. GPS isn’t as accurate, but you’ll notice an increase in battery life. The Pixel still uses WiFi and your cell service for location information.
Turn Off Pixel 2 Features You Don’t Need
A lot of what makes the Pixel 2 great has to do with features always running and ready to help you. The Google Assistant, voice-detection for “Ok, Google” commands, or the new Now Playing music recognition on the lockscreen. These are great, but they consume battery.
If you don’t listen to a lot of music, or don’t need to talk to your phone daily for help from Google Assistant, tone down these features.
Battery Saver Mode
Another option is the battery saver mode. And while Google doesn’t offer a lot of customization, it still works great. Head to Settings > Battery > and turn on Battery Saver mode when you’re low on power. This limits most of the advanced features to extend the life of your device.
You can customize when it turns on, and Google has other options like turning off the Ambient Display or using adaptive brightness to consume less power.
We also recommend download Snapdragon BatteryGuru. This app learns your habits as you use the device, and starts turning things like WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and other modes on or off before you need it. Essentially handling things like WiFi and screen brightness for you to make the Pixel 2 last longer.
Other Battery Tips & Tricks
At the end of the day, battery life always comes down to how you use your device. Everyone uses their phone differently. Some are hard on phones, others use them lightly. Another app worth checking out is BetteryBatteryStats. This program shows you what apps use what, how often, and will highlight potential problems for you. It’s a pretty powerful app that will give you more insight into your usage habits.
Our last quick tip is to use Airplane mode. When you don’t need the “smart” aspects of your phone, or even need to make phone calls, turn on Airplane mode. This setting turns off all data, radios, services and more and most phones can last 4-5 days with it enabled. I use it whenever I travel or go on vacation and just need my phone for photos. Then, try restarting your Pixel 2 every week to give the system a fresh start. I’ve noticed this helps with performance and battery life with almost any smartphone.
Pixel 2 Android 9 Pie Problems
Back in 2018 Google released the Android 9 Pie software update. And while that’s great, some users are starting to notice Pixel 2 Android Pie problems. The bigger issues are camera failures, a slow fingerprint sensor, adaptive battery keeps turning off on its own, and we’re seeing complaints about battery life.
Running new software you can expect problems, especially if you went from the beta to the official update. Make sure you’re on the latest February Android 9 Pie update or try out this list of Pixel Android 9 Pie Problems & Fixes.
Android 9 Pie and What’s Next in 2019
In closing, we wanted to quickly mention the October Pixel update fixed slow charging, battery drain, and a slew of issues. We’re assuming everyone is already on the February or March Pixel update. If not, go to Settings > System > and check for updates. You should always be on the latest software release.
Then, we do expect some sort of Android 9.0.1 or 9.1 updates within the next few months. That said, Google could skip that entirely and go right to Android Q, or Android 10. We’re expecting the first Android Q beta in March, so be on the lookout for that.
Keep in mind that while the Android Q beta will likely arrive in March, the official update won’t hit the streets until August 2019. While you’re here, check out this list of the best Pixel 2 XL cases or buy a new Pixel 3 XL. Then stay tuned for more battery-saving tips in the near future.