iOS 13 Battery Life Bad? Tips to Fix Battery Drain in iOS 13

Sep 23, 2019 - 15 Comments

Fix bad iOS 13 battery life

How’s your battery life since updating to iOS 13? If you recently updated to iOS 13 and now feel like iPhone battery is worse or draining faster than usual, then you’re probably not alone. Every year, when a new iOS release comes out, with it comes a host of complaints about draining battery and reduced battery life, and with iOS 13 there is no exception with some users who feel their devices battery is much worse than before.

If you think battery life has decreased since updating to iOS 13, read on to learn why this might be, and what you can do about it to improve battery life in iOS 13.

10 Tips to Fix iOS 13 Battery Life Draining Issues

Here are ten tips and tricks to help resolve bad battery life with iOS 13 and ipadOS 13.

1: Just updated to iOS 13 and battery life is worse? Patience!

If you just now updated to iOS 13 (or sometime quite recently) and have discovered battery life is notably worse on an iPhone with iOS 13, there may be a good reason for that and it’s directly related to updating iOS system software, so don’t freak out because this will likely resolve on it’s own.

When you update to iOS 13, iOS will go through a variety of background tasks and maintenance activity, including things like indexing the device with Spotlight, Photos, finalizing restores with iCloud, other iCloud activity, amongst other system-level tasks. Not everyone notices any change in battery as a result of this background activity, but some users may feel like their battery is draining quicker than before.

Not to worry, the solution to this is as simple as can be: plug in the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and wait.

A great time to do this is just plug in your device that just installed iOS 13 and leave it plugged in to charge over night, and make sure it’s connected to wi-fi. Depending on how much stuff is on the iPhone or iPad, usually it only takes a few hours, but sometimes it may take a day or two for things to settle down, particularly if the device is restoring a ton of stuff from iCloud or syncing data from elsewhere.

2: Install New Software Updates to iOS and Apps

iOS 13 came out and was quickly followed by iOS 13.1 which may have been overlooked by some users due to their release proximity to one another, so be sure you check for and install new iOS system software updates when they arrive.

You can check for new iOS updates by going to Settings app > General > Software Update

Likewise, you might want to update apps as well, since some may have bugs that were patched. With iOS 13 and later, you can update apps by going to App Store > Click your profile icon in the corner > Updates

Software updates often contain bug fixes and improvements, and if something like a bug or known issue is impacting battery life it’s likely to be resolved in a future software update.

3: See What’s Consuming iOS 13 Battery Life

You can easily see what apps and activity is using your battery by going to the iOS Settings app:

  • Open the Settings app and then choose “Battery”
  • Look through the list to see what apps and services are using battery

You’ll often find that apps that use video or location drain a lot of battery, so things like social networks, video streaming, and games are often high consumers of battery power.

If you see an app that is draining battery but you don’t even use the app, simply deleting the app from iOS 13 is likely reasonable – why keep something you don’t use anyway?

4: Check if Battery is Healthy & Operating Properly

You can check iPhone battery health through Battery settings as well.

  • Open the Settings app and then choose “Battery”
  • Go to “Battery Health”

If the battery is not operating at peak performance it may need to be replaced to restore full functionality and expected battery life to the iPhone.

5: Disable Background App Refresh in iOS

Background App Refresh allows apps in the background to stay updated and refresh themselves, but doing so can have a negative impact on battery life because it means that inactive apps can still use resources on the iPhone or iPad.

  • Open the “Settings” app, then go to “General”
  • Choose “Background App Refresh” and turn this switch to the OFF position

Disabling Background App Refresh on iPhone or iPad is often used as an easy way to improve battery life on devices, and iOS 13 is no different.

6: Lower the Brightness of the Display

Having the display brightness up very high at or near 100% can look very nice but it also reduces battery life due to increased power consumption. If you’re indoors in particular, lowering screen brightness can make a notable difference in reducing batter drain.

  • Open the “Settings” app then go to “Display & Brightness”
  • Adjust the brightness slider to a lower level while still allowing you to see the screen well

How bright or dim you keep your iPhone is going to be different for everyone, so just mess around with it and find what works for you.

You can also access display brightness at anytime through Control Center in iOS 13.

7: Disable Raise to Wake & Tap to Wake

Raise to Wake uses the accelerometer on iPhone to determine if the iPhone is being lifted up and then wakes the screen accordingly, and it works quite well. But having this feature on can also cause the screen to be on more than it may otherwise be for some users, particularly if you walk or jog with your iPhone in your hand.

  • Open “Settings” and go to “Display & Brightness”
  • Locate “Raise to Wake” and turn it off

If you have disabled raise to wake and later wish to turn it back on again, it’s just a matter of toggling that same setting back on.

8: Use Low Power Mode on iPhone

Low Power Mode is an excellent feature that reduces activity and power on the iPhone to prolong the battery life, and it can offer a huge boost to battery life on iPhone in iOS 13 and other versions too.

  • Open the Settings app, then go to “Battery”
  • Toggle “Low Power Mode” to be ON

When Low Power Mode is on, you’ll notice the battery icon in your iPhone menu bar is yellow in color to indicate so.

9: Disable Unneeded Location Services for Apps

Location Services are undeniably useful but they can use a lot of battery life. Outside of apps like Maps for getting directions, there are tons of other apps that may want your location but don’t actually need it to function, so turning those off can be helpful and may improve battery life in iOS 13 for you:

  • Open the Settings app, then go to “Privacy”
  • Choose “Location Services”
  • Scroll down to the app list an disable location access for apps that do not explicitly require location data for core functionality by tapping on them and choosing “Never” or “While Using the App”

You can also explore the “System Services” section and decide if you want some of those features to access your location or not.

10: Force Reboot the iPhone

Sometimes just forcing the iPhone or iPad to reboot can resolve battery issues, particularly if there’s some errant background app behavior or something else unusual going on. How you force reboot a device depends on the iPhone:

• Force rebooting iPhone XS, iPhone XR,iPhone XS Max, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus: Click the Volume Up button then let go, click the Volume Down button then let it go, now press and hold down the Power button and continue to hold the Power button until the  Apple logo appears on the screen. This is how to force restart iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max (and iPhone 11 too).

• Force rebooting iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus: Hold down the Power Button and Volume Down button until you see the  Apple logo on screen. This action will restart the iPhone 7.

• Force rebooting iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE: Hold down the Power Button and Home button together until you see the  apple logo on the display. That is how to force reboot any iPhone or iPad with a clickable Home button.

How is your battery life with iOS 13? Did the above tips help to resolve any battery life issues with iOS 13? Let us know what worked for you and what your experience has been in the comments below.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

15 Comments

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  1. Tom Carlo says:

    My 6s has the same issue and it’s not a bad battery or user behavior. Currently on 13.1.2. Disabled all background refresh and raise to wake (annoying) long before the latest battery killing upgrade and is still disabled. Going to downgrade.

  2. Lonny Daniels says:

    apple xr battery life is the worst i have ever seen since the 13.x.x updates . i would not have done the updates if i would known . battery lasted 2 days before and now lasts 6 hrs .

  3. Susan Meeker-Lowry says:

    I’ve had a few battery issues with my ipad air 2, but since upgrading to ios 13.1.2 the issue has gotten quite bad. I’ve done all the things listed on how to save battery life and it makes no difference. There are a couple of really strange things though. First I notice the battery drains worse in mid to late afternoon, even when the thing is off. It can go from 85% in the morning to under 40% while it’s just sitting there. This does not happen at night. It only loses about 5% overnight. While I’m using it at night before bed, with the battery at about 60%, fine. When it drops to about 50%, it crashes. Pressing the home button long enough brings up the large battery needs recharging icon showing less than 20%. So I plug it in. Battery life shows at over 50%. The instant I plug it in. So something is off. It’s like at night the thing things 50% is 20%. And in the afternoon it’s like there’s some battery sucking energy thing happening that doesn’t happen any other time of day. Is there any help for this.

  4. Faith says:

    Since updating to 13.1.2 my iPhone 6s loses battery power just sitting there doing nothing. I’ve done everything suggested to save power and nothing is helping. The lowest it ever got to was 75% at the end of the day. Now it’s down to 15% by 6PM after using it for about 10-15 minutes throughout the day. If anyone can tell me how to go back to iOS 12, I’d be very grateful.

  5. Dave says:

    I have been using my iphone xs only 1,5 months, And today i had downloaded the new Ios 13.1.1 and the happened my battery capacity is getting -1% from 100% being 99%. I don’t know why that happened. Anw i using my iphone With very carefully. But that’s happened 😣

    • Chrissy says:

      I had something similar happen. I’m on a 6s and was at 95% as of last weekend. I “upgraded” to ios 13.1.1 and am now at 85% battery health. It even went from 87% to 85% from yesterday to this morning and I am not a heavy user.

      During a chat with Apple Support this morning, I was initially told it was just a coincidence, but dropping from 87% to 85% in less than a day after no change in user habits is ridiculous (and no excessive use), especially since I was at 95% a week ago. I was asked to monitor the situation and report back to them in a few days.

  6. Armina says:

    I updated my iPhone SE to 13.1.1
    and after that battery drains a lot and just during 1.5 hours from a full charge, battery drops to 10%!!!
    I had never had battery problem till last update.

  7. Jo M says:

    Upgraded by 6s to ios13.1.1 over the weekend. Immediately noticed a drastic drain in battery life. Normally I listen to iTunes on my 25 min drive to work, and by the time I get to work, battery is around 90%. Today it was literally at 1% when I got to work. Crazy. Wish I could roll it back.

  8. I wish I never updated.
    My battery goes down 1% every minute.
    I have 6s and 6+ iPhones.

  9. Ali says:

    That’s it, I am getting a Nokia 9210 Communicator.

  10. MattB says:

    whoever updated and having issues with iOS 13 and 13.1 just do a downgrade and everything will be fine. Ive done the same way too. I did an update and battery started to drain quickly on my iPhone 8 plus (i had this issue with my 6s when they published iOS 10 i guess. i ended up with a battery replacement within a recall process) and just quickly downgraded.

  11. Bill says:

    Hard reset worked. Photos appeared to hung up in the background after update and waiting almost 12 hours.

  12. Kara says:

    I wish I never updated. I send a text and my battery goes down 5-10% it’s insane.

  13. Stephen Rigden says:

    “Disable Raise to Wake & Tap to Wake”
    Rather than completely disabling this useful feature I find that simply putting the phone upside down into my pocket prevents the ‘raise’ function from being invoked.
    ‘Upside down means with the home button at the lowest point.

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