Simple changes to save your phone’s battery life

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

If you ask your cell phone provider how to save on battery life, employees probably first tell you to beware of what programs you have open in your task manager and to close out of them often.

As it turns out, having several programs open is not what’s draining your battery.

In fact, Apple iPhone support pages even say “Apps that are in a suspended state aren’t actively in use, open or taking up system resources.”

In an article by A vice president of engineering for Android, Dave Burke, said the same thing.

That’s right – the thought that having several programs open will drain your battery is a myth.

Here’s tips on how you can maximize your phone’s battery life:

1. Dim the screen or turn on auto-brightness. The biggest single draw on a phone is the screen.

2. Turning the screen-lock timer to 30 seconds can also minimize the draw on the battery.

3. Turn off push notifications.

4. Manage background refresh settings. While Apple is freezing most apps, you can whitelist some to stay current. Go to Settings, then General, then Background App Refresh, and turn on those that you specifically need to have updating in the background.

5. Wi-Fi draws less power than a cell signal, so if receiving calls isn’t an issue and you just require text and email, turn the phone to airplane mode and instead use Wi-Fi.

6. Turn off or limit location services in apps. Because location and GPS services draw so much power, go to Settings, Privacy, Location services and choose never or “only when using the app” for most apps.

7. Update software as new updates come out. So much of battery optimization happens in the operating system, so every new upgrade has some changes that should positively affect battery life. With the newest version of Android Marshmallow, phones last 30 percent longer.

8. Low-power mode on iPhones and Battery Saver on Android can eke out extra life by turning off maintenance services that the phone normally performs.

9. It’s not just about running out of battery — also think about how fast your device charges. Google‘s Nexus 5X and 6P support fast type-C charging, so 10 minutes of charging provides nearly four hours of battery life.

10. If you are charging an iPad make sure you are using the 12-watt charger that came with it instead of the 5-watt chargers for iPhones. The iPod can pull power faster from the 12-watt charger and the 5-watt version slows it dramatically.