How to improve battery life in iOS 7

“It’s been possible for a while to run some apps in the background on an iPhone and other iOS devices but with iOS 7, Apple extended that privilege to a broader range of apps,” Larry Magid writes for Forbes. “That can be good news — if you want an app downloading the latest stock prices, weather or other information, or processing or sending out data, or tracking your location while it’s not in the foreground — but it can also wreak havoc on battery life.”

“Fortunately, there are a few things you can do. For one, you can disallow specific apps to refresh their content in the background by selecting Settings>General>Background App Refresh,” Magid writes. “That brings up a control panel. Look at each app and decide whether it really needs to be refreshing content in the background.”

Magid writes, “As always there are other tricks to save power…”

Read more in the full article here.

“Turn off AirDrop except when needed. AirDrop is now available for iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c devices running iOS 7, allowing you to share files and photos with friends and colleagues over the air when they are in close proximity. But its use can take a heavy toll on your battery, particularly when AirDrop is in ‘discoverable’ mode,” Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet. “Simply swipe up from your home screen to bring up the Control Center, then tap AirDrop. Select Off when you’re not using it.”

“Disable auto app updates; manually update at your convenience,” Whittaker writes. “iOS 7 will now update your apps in the background. As you’re connected to Wi-Fi networks (or the cellular network), your apps will remain up to date without bugging you. But this consumes data and power, and should be restricted for when you’re free to plug in your iPhone to charge. Tap the Settings icon, scroll down to iTunes & App Store and turn off the Updates and Apps settings. Another quick power (and data) saving tip: You can allow updates when you’re on Wi-Fi only by deselecting Use Cellular Data at the same time.”

22 more tips in the full article here.


  1. After using iOS 7 for a few days, I have to saw the new user interface experience is definitely two steps backwards.

    The fonts seem smaller and harder for my old eyes to read. The display seems “washed out” and harder to read, too.

      1. As Doc and Lynn mentioned “accessibility” offers numerous settings above and beyond what iOS 6 offered. Bold text should give you what you want. This is especially helpful if you have an iPad mini, iPad 1 or 2 that do not have retina displays.

      2. That is what I keep telling these “modern morons” about! They think just because the release date has the year “20xx” it has to be good, high quality and shiny. No, the 21st century has given us not one good thing. You might as well say you liked 9/11 or the Iraq War, or even say you liked Bush and Obama as presidents. Sorry, I’ll keep my “peacefull” decade, Bill Clinton, and simple, and stylish, PowerPC Macs from the 90s. Don’t even start with me on the quality of the movies, TV shows, music, and video games from that decade.

        1. how the..? what? you can’t be serious. simple powerpc macs? did you ever even SEE the inside of a power mac 8500, much less try to work on one? you know, the computer you have to COMPLETELY disassemble to upgrade the RAM?

          for every “modern moron” there is a “nostalgia ninny” who remembers everything being better than it was. the clinton era was not peaceful, powerpc macs from the 90s were uninspired beige “me-too” boxes that ran an outdated OS, and if you were serious about saying “you might as well say you liked 9/11”?

          no… there’s no way you could be serious. nice troll buddy. if you’re nostalgic for the 90’s, you’re nostalgic for an era in which apple was slowly destroying itself by trying to fit in, instead of “thinking different”.

      3. Sorry, but ‘need eyeglasses’ is an ignorant, crass attitude.

        The complaints about readability in iOS7 is one of the reasons why my wife & I are “Going Slow” on our devices’ migrations to iOS7, and the comments here on ‘accessibility’ settings is good news for us.

        If you have no meaningful eyesight problems (which includes having an *easy* correction), please stop taking it for granted.


      4. After a few weeks of iOS 7… I really don’t like it the new simplified interface. It just makes it harder to do things, the calendar app is the worst, the messages app looks terrible bright green message bubbles !! uggh

    1. There are a wide range of options to address this. You can use the Accessibility settings to make text bold or change the contrast levels to your liking (as previously mentioned), and you can increase the font size. My mother was complaining about that (it’s also her first iPhone experience), and she’s much happier now that I’ve shown her how to adjust those settings to best fit her needs.

      Just because the iPhone is physically “one size fits all” doesn’t mean the whole thing is, which is something I don’t think people understand.

      1. I am an IT guy. And I know all the settings. Anyway iOS 7 is for me big step down of user experience. Great features destroyed by readability, sense and feel of new design. OS shall be servant, not too showy or striking, but always ready to serve you. Now iOS is cocky OS, trying to have all attention and not even serving good in all aspects…

    2. Like Bandit Bill said, font boldness and size can be changed in the Accessibility settings, but I’ve noticed that a few things don’t seem to pay attention to the settings like the bookmark titles in Safari. They stay small. I suspect that will get fixed. The thing that bugs me is how the trash can, Edit, Cancel, Select, etc. “buttons” keep moving around to different places on the screen. I guess having everything come up in a known place (like the excuse for the menu bar in OSX — I can’t remember the name of the study that propsed it — which goes back to the first Macs) is too boring after a couple of decades.

    3. Gary. Have you checked out some of the articles about working with IOS 7. If you click on Settings and click on Text Size you can make changes. Then look at Accessibility. You can Larger Type and also, one that I like, turn on Bold Text. That made a big difference for me. You can even Increase Contrast. You need to spend a little time seeing what IOS 7 can do. HTH

    4. Right you are. Apple is leaving some ground principles. User friendliness, readability, intuitiveness are gone. Design rules the use. I did all recommended setting to improve battery live and I am still not on the same level like with iOS6. And I did all the improvements possible about readability and it is not a 30% as pleasant to use as iOS6 was…

      1. Dyrck, it sounds as though making the fonts larger only affects APS, not necessarily the OS itself. I went in and further adjusted it larger to check again. No change. Turning on bold did seem to help a bit so thanks for that, assuming I’m not imagining it, which I could be. Seems strange that Apple would offer these kind of accessibility features for the aps, but not for its own system.

    5. Gary, I agree that the fonts or smaller and harder to read. There is a setting to make certain fonts larger, but it doesn’t handle the problem everywhere. I really like the new system, but this issue also bothers me. Young people figure they can see it all right so it must be fine. Except some of the people at Apple are not young so I don’t know what’s going on. It’s not just you. People who gave you negative votes (likely me, too, now) may not care about the legitimate needs of others. They’re likely (hopefully) the young ones, too.

  2. Why would I want to upgrade my battery life on iOS7? If I had that, I would wish it drained quickly. iOS7 goes against everything Steve Jobs stood for. It is just as tacky as any Fragmandroid phone. I swear the 90s were better. I don’t care that Apple almost died, the music and the movies were at its best. Nirvana? Stone Temple Pilots? Even the kiddie stuff was good with shows like Rugrats and Ren and Stimpy. I would sacrifice Apple’s reputation to go back to that era. Oh…and OS9 was actually good. OSX is like the iOS7 of Macintosh. The 21st century sucks.

      1. Let me guess: You like to watch Miley Cyrus twerk it on your iOS7 powered iPhone 5S? This new generation has no taste whatsoever. Even the Apple Newton had more taste and class. Apple should have kept the Garamound font instead of switching over to hipster Myriad Pro. You know what, they should have never even left PPC for Intel. That was what made Apple unique. Despite their problems, Apple in the 90s was when they were the most creative. Just like the movies, TV shows…and pretty much everything else.

        1. yeah! everyone who doesn’t HATE the modern era must embrace every stupid pop aspect of it blindly! and those awesome powerpcs! yeah, they were great! remember the powerbook g5? OH WAIT. what makes apple unique is they do what THEY want, not what ridiculous internet armchair weenies want.

          the thing is, if it weren’t for the flippant and TOTALLY off-topic nature of your post, i’d actually agree with a few points! the 90s WERE an awesome era for entertainment media… BUT WE ARE NOT DISCUSSING THAT HERE!

    1. Oh fuck, don’t tell me. we’ve got another BLN that’s going to take every opportunity to bitch non-stop about iOS 7? Good times, never gets old.

      For an added treat – I’ll bitch about the entire decade. So glad you could join us.

  3. A lot of these ideas on battery are misguided and based on an obvious lack of understanding of how iOS 7 manages battery life. For instance, iOS 7 knows when your driving and stops looking for wifi automatically. With an iPhone 5s all of the motion sensing is done by the M7 chip (which never stops its monitoring) so parallax is really not very draining.

    1. first, let me say i love your avatar. 🙂

      the parallax effect might use the m7 for motion detection, but it also requires additional gpu resources to actually render the extra layer and the associated movement.

      of course, that says nothing about the 4, 4S, 5, and 5c, and every iPad, which don’t have the m7. my understanding is that the 5 took the largest hit in battery life, so these tips might be good for people who just want it to last as long as it did in iOS 6. nothing is free. 🙂

      1. This update was free and I wish people would just embrace the change. iOS7 looks very fresh and it is different. I feel like the entire phone experience just feels so alive. It’s really enjoyable. I’m thankful that apple made this free update available for almost every phone & iPad out

  4. I find my battery life much better with iOS 7. I spend a lot of time in areas at the edge of reception, where a signal seems to come and go according to the weather. In these areas my phone seemed to spend a lot of power trying to maintain a signal. With iOS7 it seems to be smarter and only ups the power when I’m using it, and not while its sitting in my pocket.

    1. I have a two year old 64GB iPad2 and I think it’s better too. It seems to stay at 100% charge for longer before it starts to drop than it did a couple of weeks ago. Makes me almost wish there wasn’t going to be an iPad5. Ha! I’ll be second or third in line (I’ll wait and see if there are any big bugs first), then it’ll be a 128GB with cellular (want that GPS functionality) pad.

  5. iOS7 is certainly draining battery life faster than iOS6. with iOS6, my battery didn’t even go down 50% all day use. now, iOS7 makes me carrying charger kit all the time which is not a good news. comparing to iOS6, I see red battery gauge (less than 20% left) a lot everyday. of course, I turned off anything to cause battery life. but it doesn’t affect on mine well.

  6. All you bigots and homophobes…

    If Jonny and Tim want to share their pink underwear fantasies and sucking each others dicks and fucking each others ass in a closet at Apple with all the iOS users… they have every right to do so!

    iOS 7 is one of their beautiful rainbow farts.

    So all you racist Apple users… suck it up!

  7. On new iPhones, indeed there are many steps that one can take to improve battery life.

    For legacy devices, there is no shame in just doing one action to improve: reinstall iOS6. Seriously, when you set aside the styling differences and look at functionality, many legacy devices CANNOT take advantage of what iOS7 offers. Why carry the additional overhead? If you liked iOS6, then stick with it. Such a decision should not attract the scorn of the fanboys here who seem to love attacking the people who really don’t find iOS7 to be all it was cracked up to be.

  8. Useful tips for saving battery, thanks. I have bought an iPhone 5S, but I find ios7 drain battery rapidly. It’s pretty not convenient because of its irremovable battery, especially when I go out. I recently bought a portable charger from Kinkoo:
    I have found it to be great. With real 8,000mAh can charge iPhone 5S for 4 times, with juice still to spare. Works so good to keep my phone alive.

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