Why Your Android Battery is Draining and How to Fix It
It’s mid-afternoon, and your battery is already at critically low levels. What happened!? If you feel like your Android phone is losing power faster than ever, there could be a few culprits. Read on to find out how you can boost battery life and keep your phone running longer than ever on a single charge.
Step one to save the life of your battery is to figure out if any apps are using unnecessarily large amounts of power. You can find this out by going to Settings > Battery > Battery Usage. Here, you’ll see how your battery is doing.
There’s a few things you might discover on this page. The first is that an app or apps are “stuck,” and draining a lot more power than they should be. This happens with frequently with applications such as Google Services and Google Play. These apps work to stay updated and synced between devices and services. Sometimes, instead of syncing once every few minutes for example, they get stuck in a sync cycle, causing your phone to work overtime.
If your phone battery suddenly drops to critical ranges for no clear reason, and you haven’t been using your Android more than usual, this syncing problem may be the culprit. Google applications are the most common source of the problem, but other apps can cause this too. Turning your phone off and back on should reset the app and get it “unstuck.”
The other thing you might find on the battery usage page is that an unexpected app is running in the background and drawing a lot of power. Under “Battery Usage,” you can see the apps that are using the most battery life. Generally, these are the apps you use the most. However, look for apps near the top of the list that you don’t use frequently or haven’t used in a while. They may be running even when you don’t realize it. Like Google services, they may have gotten stuck and need rebooting. Or they may just require a lot of power to run–in which case, it’s time to make a decision about how much you really want that app on your phone.
Another common problem is with app updates. It’s possible that an app that worked just fine before starts draining your battery after an update. Unfortunately, there’s little to do about this until the developer fixes the bug.
In addition to checking the battery usage page in settings when wanting to save battery power, you should also consider how much power is being used by your display settings. If you have your Android on the brightest setting at all times, you’re going to lose power quickly.
Step one is to lower your Brightness Settings. Leaving your phone on a dimmer setting will certainly help save the battery. You can also take it a step further by adjusting the adaptive display settings. Android phones have an auto-brightness feature that adapts to the ambient light in a room or place. It takes energy for your phone to be constantly on the lookout for changes in light, and it can waste battery power making automatic adjustments to the brightness settings (that may or may not be obvious to you, the user).
To fix this, go to Settings > Display > Adaptive Brightness. Adaptive (or “auto”) brightness is a nice perk, but you don’t really need it. Save battery by turning it off and adjusting your brightness settings manually. This way, you’re able to keep the brightness low most of the time, and adjust when necessary (like when you’re in a really bright setting and need a lot of back-light to be able to see your phone).
Use Dark Mode
Speaking of adjusting brightness, many apps offer a Dark Mode, and switching to it can be easier on your eyes and save your battery. There’s also research that shows dark modes are less disruptive to circadian rhythms, if you’re the type to look at your phone right before bed. “Dark Mode” means that instead of dark text on a light screen, you get light text on a dark screen. For this setting, you’ll need to go into your individual apps and adjust the settings to enable Dark Mode. Popular apps like Amazon Kindle Reader, Facebook and Facebook Messenger, and Gmail all offer dark mode settings. Dark mode works best as a battery saver for Android phones with OLED display.
There’s also an option to turn on Night Light, which switches your phone to a light spectrum that’s been shown to reduce circadian rhythm disruptions from blue lighting. The Night Light feature offered by Android is a dark yellow-light filter that makes it easier to look and read in dim lighting or dark rooms. As an added benefit, the dimmer lighting used for NIght Light mode saves you a little battery life too. You can turn on Night Light from the Settings > Display > Night Light. From here, you can either switch on Night Mode manually or schedule an automatic switch at whatever time you’d like. Enable Night Mode near bedtime and it may improve your sleep, too!
When it comes to your phone’s display, the last battery-saving technique to try is to adjust your Android’s sleep settings. Lowering the timer on when your phone goes to sleep will keep your phone alive on a single charge much longer. The sleep setting is how long your phone stays “awake” after it has been inactive. This time can last up to a few minutes or as short as 15 seconds. To change how long your phone stays awake, go to Settings > Display > Advanced > Sleep. Remember, for battery life, the shorter the timer the better.
GPS and Location Settings
In addition to checking your battery usage and adjusting your display setting, the third thing to try to save the life of your battery is to manage your GPS and location settings. You may have noticed before how quickly your battery drains when you’re using Google Maps or Waze. That’s because your phone is constantly checking and updating your location and syncing it with the app to give you updated information. This takes a lot of power.
Some apps even use location services when they’re only running in the background. Disabling location services for these apps will help your battery life and boost your privacy. You won’t be able to turn off location services for your applications with just one swipe. Instead, you’ll need to check apps individually by going to Settings > Apps & Notifications > App Permissions > Locations. Here you can see and adjust which apps have location service permissions.
It’s a little inconvenient, but if you’re really all about that #batterylife, you can also disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning. To do so, go to Settings > Security & Location > Advanced > Scanning, and tap to disable “Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Scanning.” Your phone is constantly on the lookout for Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices to connect to. Turning this ability off means that you’ll have to connect manually when you want to join a network or bluetooth device. But because your phone won’t have to work overtime to search for new connections every few seconds, you’ll save a lot on battery power.
Enabling “Power Save” Mode
Even with all these tricks, a battery charge doesn’t hold forever. When you’re getting into the red, there’s one last thing to try, and that is enabling “Power Save” mode. Going into power save mode causes your phone to automatically adjust and turn off or minimize certain auxiliary functions. You can also change your settings so that your phone enters power save mode earlier.
To turn on this function, go to Settings > Device > Battery or Settings > Power > Battery. In this menu, you can set the Power Save function to automatically turn on when your phone reaches a certain threshold. You can also choose what that threshold is.
These days, a phone is way more than a phone– it’s our lifeline to the rest of the world. Androids can do a lot, but they need a working battery to do anything at all. Help your phone make it through the day by making these small adjustments, and you’ll be thrilled with the changes you see in battery life.