iOS 16 Battery Life Draining Fast on iPhone? Here’s Why & How to Fix It

Sep 16, 2022 - 9 Comments

iOS 16 battery life

Some iPhone users who have recently installed the iOS 16 update may feel like their battery life is draining much faster than it was before. And truth be told, it very well may be!

If you’re experiencing rapid battery drain on an iPhone after installing iOS 16, there’s likely a reason for that, and fortunately it’s typically one of the easiest things to resolve.

1: Spotlight & Photos Indexing Draining Battery Life

If you recently updated to iOS 16 and you notice battery life is much worse than normal, it’s actually normal and expected behavior, as indexing activity goes on in the background.

Any time you update iOS system software, background tasks are triggered that run through to completion. This includes everything from Spotlight reindexing the stuff on your phone, including notes, photos, and app data, to the Photos app which reindexes and scans photos for objects, faces, places, and metadata.

Those background tasks and indexing behaviors take up power, and thus reduce your battery temporarily while they complete.

The more stuff you have on your iPhone, the longer the indexing processes take, so if you just updated iOS to 16 and you experience battery drain, the best thing you can do is simply wait it out. It may take an hour or even a few days, depending on what’s on your iPhone, but it will sort itself and you’ll be back to normal battery in no time.

Often plugging in an iPhone and letting it charge overnight while connected to wi-fi is enough to let this complete and work itself out.

2: Install App Updates

It’s always possible that third party apps are leading to increased battery usage, and keeping them up to date is a simple way to make sure that any issues like that are resolved.

Open the App Store and then tap your Apple ID profile in the top-right corner, then scroll down to find the Updates section and install updates for all apps, or apps you use frequently.

3: Find Exactly What Apps Are Using Battery Life

The Settings app on iPhone will tell you exactly which apps are using battery life on your iPhone.

Go to Settings -> Battery and you’ll see a list of apps where your battery is being used. This can offer some insight into app behavior, which apps may need updating, and what to do.

4: Turn Off Background App Refresh

Background App Refresh allows apps to update in the background when not in use, which is a feature that basically allows apps to use battery in the background too. Turning off the Background App Refresh feature on iPhone therefore works to stop this behavior.

Go to the Settings app > General -> Background App Refresh and toggle this to the OFF position.

Most users will not notice that apps have to take an extra second or so to update when this feature is off, but you may notice the improvement to battery life.

5: Use Low Power Mode to Prolong Battery Life

Low Power Mode is a useful feature that suspends background activity and other processes on the iPhone to extend the battery life. While this can help to extend battery life, you’ll find that it also pauses some tasks that may ultimately allow your battery life to return to normal (like the aforementioned indexing tasks), so you’ll want to use this if you’re out and about and looking to make your iPhone battery last longer.

Enabling Low Power Mode is easy from Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode.

6: Force Restart the iPhone

Sometimes simply restarting an iPhone can resolve battery issues, and it’s a simple procedure so there’s little reason not to try it.

You can force restart any modern iPhone with Face ID by pressing Volume Up, then pressing Volume Down, then pressing and holding the Side/Power button until you see the  Apple logo on screen.

7: Turn Off Keyboard Haptics

The iPhone keyboard haptic feedback feature is one of the coolest new features in iOS 16, but it also can cause the battery to drain faster than expected. This is because it’s using more energy to trigger the vibration engine on the iPhone.

If you notice that battery is draining faster with iOS 16, and you use the haptic feedback feature on the keyboard, try turning it off and you’ll likely see an improvement.

Did installing iOS 16 impact your battery life? Did you notice your battery draining faster on iPhone after updating to iOS 16? Did it improve? Did the tricks mentioned here help? Let us know your experiences in the comments!

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

9 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Xʀ here, I noticed no real difference. A real battery vampire are the location services. I get more than double the runtimes when disabling location services. It’s been like that with iOS 15 as well, but the problems got worse, I think. Which makes me suspect that iOS 16 accesses the devices location more frequently.
    So, no real changes here.

  2. M says:

    My iPhone 12 used to give 6.5 to 7 hrs screen on time, but after ios 16 update I’m getting only 5 hrs. I should not have updated my iPhone

  3. Debbie says:

    Upgraded SE2020 to 16 and battery doesn’t last half the time it did before.

  4. G says:

    Upgraded XR and battery performance has dropped to unusable level, draining the battery at a noticeably faster rate than a week ago. Battery health is the same at 82% capacity and how I use the phone unchanged from a week ago. The cynic in me thinks the upgrade has redundancy programmed in. If I found the newer iPhones compelling to update to, I would, but I don’t want battery life to be the reason to upgrade.

  5. Ron Beagle says:

    I updated my iPhone to iOS 16. I made all the necessary changes by the Apple advisor. The stupid battery 🔋 life is running down much to quickly. I never should have updated to iOS 16. You shouldn’t either. It’s a terrible thing for your battery to run down this quickly. Especially when it’s been so Hot 🥵 outside and power outages abound I need maximum Battery Life running if there’s a Power Outage. Don’t ever update your iOS software immediately. Wait a few days or weeks before everyone else comments on the problems with the Update.

  6. Ron Mp says:

    Updated my iPhone 13 Pro to iOS 16 and made suggested changes but it phone continues to drain faster. I only have cellular here. Frustrating.

    • Peter Parker Kent says:

      While iPhone 13 Pros were manufactured starting last September, supposedly batteries are only good for 500 charging cycles before they noticeably start to lose effectiveness. Maybe going to Settings > Battery and tapping Battery Health could give a bit more information?

  7. Madeline says:

    I downloaded the iOS 16 Wednesday and my battery life drained quickly. My battery life capacity is at 85% and I contacted  Friday morning and they ran a check on my phone etc. and all is fine and asked me what I used the most n it was Fb 10% . It’s nothing . She told me to hook it up to my pc and to go to factory reset and it should resolve . I shouldn’t have to go that far . I just charged my phone now at 95% and it’s at 86 now .. wth really ?

  8. M says:

    Upgraded my SE to OSX16 from 15.n while on my Qi charger. Previously my phone never got more than slightly warm on my Qi, but after 16 it gets hotter than I’d like.

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