How to Get Better iOS 8 Battery Life

The iOS 8 update delivers new features to the iPhone and iPad, and for many users one of these new features is bad iOS 8 battery life. We’ll show you how to get better iOS 8 battery life on the iPhone or iPad.

iOS 8 battery life is pretty good in our early reviews, but some users are mad that their iPhone doesn’t last as long on iOS 8. This is one of several iOS 8 problems that users ran into after the iOS 8 update arrived this week. The complaints vary from bad iOS 8 battery life to horrible fast draining on the iPhone.

iOS 8 battery life problems can impact any device running the free update, but iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 4s owners will notice any changes to battery life more than others while trying the new iOS 8 features and using the iPhone all day.

Here's how to get better iOS 8 battery life.
Here’s how to get better iOS 8 battery life.

Here are settings you can change and things you can do to get better iOS 8 battery life on your iPhone and iPad.

9 iOS 8 Battery Life Tips

You’ll notice if your iPhone battery life drops after installing the iOS 8 update, but in any case you can expect 8-12 hours of usage on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s. This all varies based on your device and how you use it, but if the usage shown is less than 8 hours and your battery is dead, there is clearly something going on.

Find Apps Using Your Battery Life

The iOS 8 update adds a new feature that shows you what apps are using most of your battery life. Very often bad iPhone battery life is linked to a broken or misbehaving app. This new iOS 8 feature lets you see what apps use most of your battery life and even find usage and background activity. A chat app like Google Hangouts can use a lot of battery life, even if you aren’t in it all day.

Find apps using your iPhone battery life in iOS 8.
Find apps using your iPhone battery life in iOS 8.

To see what apps are using your iOS 8 battery life, go to Settings -> General -> Usage -> Battery Usage. On this screen you can see what apps use your battery the most in the last 24 hours and in the last 7 days.

You may need to uninstall an app to get better iOS 8 battery life, but the solution may be to avoid using battery hogging apps during the day — like games and watching media.

Turn Off Background App Refresh

One of the first things you can try to get better iOS 8 battery life is turning off Background App Refresh. This feature lets apps connect and update in the background, so they can show updates as soon as you open them, but this also uses more battery life. Apple shares on the iOS 8 Background App refresh screen, “Turning off apps may help preserve battery life.”

Turn off iOS 8 Background App Refresh for better battery life.
Turn off iOS 8 Background App Refresh for better battery life.

Go to Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh -> Turn it all off or off for individual apps.

You can turn Background App Refresh off for all apps or only for certain apps. If you see an app listed with background activity at the top, you may want to simply turn off that app.

Turn Off Push Email

If you use push email to get messages from work as soon as they arrive, you are slowly draining your battery life with every pushed message. If you don’t need email delivered instantly you can turn off push email and get better battery life.

Stop using Push email for better iOS 8 battery life.
Stop using Push email for better iOS 8 battery life.

Go to Settings -> Mail , Contacts, Calendars -> Fetch New Data – > Choose the setting for each email account. 

The best option we’ve found is to push the time between checking for new messages to Fetch every 15-30 minutes instead of constantly looking.

Turn Screen Brightness Down

The iOS 8 update didn’t crank up your screen brightness, but this is one of the easiest ways to get better iOS 8 battery life.

Swipe up from the bottom of your home screen to open Control Center. Slide the brightness indicator to the left to turn the brightness down.

Use screen brightness the right way for good iOS 8 battery life.
Use screen brightness the right way for good iOS 8 battery life.

You can go to Settings -> Display & Brightness -> Auto-Brightness -> Off. Normally you can leave this on, but if you need to make sure the battery lasts all day while on a trip turning it off and leaving brightness at a minimum will help you get better battery life.

Turn Off 4G LTE

Using the faster 4G LTE network can use more data, and if you are on the edge of coverage this may be the quickest fix for bad iOS 8 battery life. Try turning this off to see if it improves. If it does you may need to leave this off when you are in this area.

Turn off LTE when you are in poor coverage.
Turn off LTE when you are in poor coverage.

Go to Settings -> Cellular -> Enable LTE -> Off. This is not a setting I would leave off all the time, because it makes anything related to the Internet take longer, but in some cases it is a quick fix.

Airplane Mode

This is a dramatic step to get better iOS 8 battery life, but if you only need to play games or read a book, and you don’t want the iPhone to die, you can turn on Airplane mode.

Airplane mode limits use, but deliver better battery life.
Airplane mode limits use, but deliver better battery life.

Pull the Control Center up from the bottom of your home screen and tap on the small plane icon.

This turns off WiFi and Cellular radios completely, so you can’t do as much with the iPhone or iPad, but the battery lasts longer for offline activities like taking photos and playing games.

Restart the iPhone

If you have not restarted the iPhone since you installed the iOS 8 update or for a few days even, go ahead and turn the iPhone off then back on.

Sometimes a simple restart is enough to stop whatever was causing bad iOS 8 battery life and reset things so the battery will last all day.

Hold the power button down until the screen changes, then slide to the right to power off. After a minute or two hold the power button to turn it back on.

Reset All Settings

When you check the iOS 8 battery usage in our first tip you may see usage and standby listed as the same. If this is the case you need to take more drastic measures because something is wrong with your iPhone. The first thing to try is Reset All Settings. This does not delete your data or wipe the phone, only the settings. If something is messed up this may fix horrible iOS 8 battery life in about 5 minutes.

Reset all settings to fix odd iOS 8 bugs that can cause bad battery life.
Reset all settings to fix odd iOS 8 bugs that can cause bad battery life.

Go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings. If prompted, enter your PIN or pass code. Wait for the device to restart and then use your device like normal. You may need to reconnect to WiFi, Bluetooth and change some other settings, but your apps, photos and accounts are still all there.

Restore the iOS 8 Update

If none of these iOS 8 battery life tips fix problems after your iOS 8 update you may need to backup the iPhone and restore from scratch. Perhaps something went wrong during your iOS 8 update, or there is just a bug from the upgrade, but this process will wipe it clean and install iOS 8 from scratch. This can solve a lot of problems.

You’ll need to back up the iPhone or iPad because this will delete all of your photos, apps and data from the device. You can restore from a backup, but there is a chance that will bring some problems back so the best bet is to set this up like a new iPhone.

  1. Plug in and backup to the computer or to iCloud
  2. Turn off Find My iPhone – Settings -> iCloud -> Find my iPhone -> Off
  3. in iTunes Click Restore
  4. Follow the prompts and the iPhone will reinstall iOS 8 from scratch.
  5. When it completes click Restore from Backup to put your information back on the iPhone or Choose to set up as a new iPhone.

This process takes 15 to 30 minutes depending on download times and if you need to backup or restore.

iPhone Battery Replacement

If you experience bad iPhone 5 battery life after the iOS 8 update you should contact Apple to see if your iPhone is part of the replacement program. If your iPhone 5 battery life is bad it may qualify for a free battery replacement. Check your serial number on Apple to see if you qualify.

See if you qualify for a free iPhone 5 battery replacement.
See if you qualify for a free iPhone 5 battery replacement.

Another option is to use your warranty or AppleCare for a replacement battery if Apple’s test confirm there is something wrong with the battery. If you are under warranty or AppleCare+ there is no fee for a battery replacement, as long as Apple diagnostics show that the battery is bad. The best way to do this is going to an Apple Store, or start a service request online.

If you are out of warranty you can get a battery replacement from Apple for $79 plus a $6.95 shipping fee.

If you use any of these services you need to backup your iPhone before you go to an Apple Store and may need to wipe the phone as well.

19 Comments

  1. The Kitchen Snob

    09/24/2014 at 12:12 pm

    Thank you! This info really helped a lot. I had no idea about the background refresh.

    Reply

  2. John

    09/26/2014 at 10:05 am

    I have iPhone 4s. I’m update my iPhone to iOS 8 only 6 hours then go to dead . I’m not installed any apps and mobile has very hot. I’m not use mail,browser even iCloud. Finally I’m find out mapping services has running in background so lost my internet balance battery also drained. I don’t know how to control mapping services . Anyone know that pls mail me [email protected]…..

    Reply

    • PJ

      06/17/2015 at 6:53 am

      The 4S cannot handle ios 8. It overclocks the processor draining the battery and causing it to heat up. I have the same problem. Recommend jailbreaking the phone and installing the older ios7. If you are readng this before upgrading a 4S, do not upgrade. Keep ios7

      Reply

      • Abdul

        06/17/2015 at 9:57 am

        I just wonder how to downgrade iphone 4s from ios 8 to ios 7 by using jailbreak ?

        Reply

      • Sharon Ruado

        08/06/2015 at 11:32 pm

        I have 4s and just upgraded my ios to 8.my celfon went dead.it couldn’t charge anymore.can anyone help me.
        Now I couldn’t turn on my celfon because the battery is drained and its not charging.
        Please help me.

        Reply

  3. Sue

    10/01/2014 at 2:50 am

    This is great…did my own battery life checkup…question…is 40% usage for messaging normal? I and a few texts during the day (probably no more than 15). This percentage feels a little excessive…can the messenger app be uninstalled and reinstalled?

    Reply

    • Prorkba

      11/15/2014 at 2:19 pm

      Not sure the “40% usage for messaging” means 40% of your battery’s charge. The sense I get is that it means 40% of the time you’ve used the device, messaging has been utilized. That’s the way it appears on the iPad. After several hours use, I may have 70% battery life remaining, but of the 30% I’ve used, 60% of that might be from watching YouTube.

      Reply

  4. Reyadh

    10/01/2014 at 11:54 pm

    Thanks for the useful information. My iPhone 5S drains battery so fast it’s making me miserable. It’s now showing 58% battery life after 2 hours usage including 12 hours standby. Please tell me if resetting all settings will help.

    Reply

  5. Martin

    10/03/2014 at 4:33 pm

    My iPhone 5 has a terrible battery lifetime since I updated to iOS 8 and 8.02.
    I bought a new battery but that didn’t help at all.
    Unfortunately none of the tips above helps, at least not that much that I can see any difference. The “standby”-time is perfect, as long as I don’t use my phone, the battery life is not affected. But if I use Safari or read my email, I loose approximately 1% every second minute. If I’m kind I would say it’s horrible.

    //Martin

    Reply

  6. Rony

    10/05/2014 at 3:27 am

    I have upgraded my iphone 5s to ios 8.0.2 but now i having battery drain problem, the total usage time from 100% to phone switches off is 3 Hours, and also when fully charged 100% the standby time even in airplane mode last only 12 Hours instead of 250 Hours as what Apple specified to us !! Everybody says, what a crap piece of Toy !!

    Reply

  7. Rony

    10/05/2014 at 3:39 am

    We just wonder now, should everyone returns all their iphone 5s which are still under warranty to Apple for replacement due to the ubnormal battery drain or should we wait for Apple to release a software update to solve this problem.
    Apple should tell us what to do, as I am sure there must be millions of iphone 5s owners suffering from the same battery drain pronlem !

    Reply

  8. Fred Werner

    10/06/2014 at 11:58 am

    Thanks for affirming why I have not (and WILL NOT ever) update my iPhone 5 to iOS 8. The iOS 8.0.2 update sounds like it’s made the battery problems even worse. I’ve stopped updating any of my apps since the iOS 8 release, to avoid conflicts (app updates that require iOS 8).

    I don’t care AT ALL about the health app, and NONE of the other minor upgrades or trivial new features of iOS 8 seem all that important or appealing. I DO care about performance and battery life. I’ll wait a few years and see if iOS 9 is worth it.

    Given Apple’s long-running strategy of forced-obsolesce, they’ll probably release the iPhone 7 by then, and iOS 9 won’t be fully supported on the iPhone 5. So I’m assuming I’ll never upgrade my iOS again until my iPhone 5 absolutely stops working, hopefully at least 8-10 years from now (4-5 times longer than Apple tries to let anyone own and operate a single phone).

    My wife is still running iOS 6 on her iPhone 5. She never updates apps, and they all work fine, she hasn’t lost ANY functionality. And though I think she is missing out on several worthwhile features that iOS 7 has, she does get significantly better battery life and WiFi connection with iOS 6 than I do running iOS 7.1.2 (we bought our identical phones together).

    Reply

  9. Andy

    10/07/2014 at 10:53 am

    I have the iPhone 5 (not the S or C) and am a fairly heavy user. About 3 months ago, before the new phone and iOS were available, I had already tried several of these tricks and they did not work as well as I had hoped. I was having major battery drain problems as well as random crashing APP issues. I took my phone in to Apple Care and, $80 USD later, had a new battery and no more drain or app crashing issues. Simply getting a new battery solved most of my problems. I think I will be holding off on upgrading either the phone or the iOS for awhile still… My iPhone 5 running on 7.1.2 is working quite well at the moment. ;)

    Reply

  10. Cg

    10/09/2014 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you!

    Reply

  11. broblk

    10/17/2014 at 4:50 pm

    this is hilarious..so why buy one now ????

    Reply

  12. Andy Hulme (@Ta2maniac)

    10/18/2014 at 3:18 am

    I was experiencing heavy battery drain after upgrading to iOS8 – around 5 hours on standby! Safari was showing as my biggest drain which was strange as I had not been using it much at all. Long story short, I have turned off iCloud Drive (just the drive – nothing else) & I seem to be back to normal battery life.

    Reply

  13. Ian R

    10/22/2014 at 12:35 pm

    Reading all these replies and problems about iPhone 5S worries me, as I do have the same phone and problem with the battery draining too fast. As I was reading this full article and the comments here I can see my battery drained fron 79% – 70% (at the moment) which i think is only around 10minutes. I hope there will be a fix soon, including the intermittent WiFi problem. Crossing my fingers for the next update.

    Reply

  14. Moira

    10/07/2015 at 12:06 pm

    Went to charge phone which was fine woke up the next morning and nothing won’t charge at all really careful with phone never been misused has anyone had the same problem can you let me know thank you moira

    Reply

  15. Jim

    10/13/2015 at 6:33 am

    Phone insists i have unread emails in my inbox and Junk box and trash box how do I put them back to zero

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *