How to fix iOS 11 battery drain on your iPhone and iPad

“If you’ve noticed that your iPhone’s battery seems to be draining considerably faster since upgrading to iOS 11, you’re not alone,” Mike Murphy writes for Quartz. “This one [adjustment] might fix our battery woes.”

“With the new operating system, it seems that Apple decided to automatically turn on ‘Background App Refresh,’ a function that allows apps to constantly update and pull information from the internet even when you’re not actively using them,” Murphy writes. “While you might want this for certain apps, you really don’t need it on for every app. I was seeing the battery on my iPhone 7 Plus drain in a matter of hours, when previously light usage would see it lasting the entire day.”

Murphy writes, “Turning off background refresh has improved my battery life dramatically, pretty much to the levels I was seeing on iOS 10.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We do allow Background App Refresh over Wi-Fi & Cellular Data on our iOS devices (you have a choice of just allowing Wi-Fi, too), but only for precious few apps (like Maps and Dark Sky, for two examples).

If you’ve been having battery drain issues, let us know if you found Background App Refresh on and if turning it off (or limiting it to just a few apps) helped your batery last longer.


    1. Also in Settings->Battery lets you see which apps are consuming the most juice. MDN was 47% over the last 24 hours, though it represented only about 10% of my usage in time.

  1. Updating to iOS 11 coincided with my iPhone 6 battery reaching end of lifespan. I replaced the battery and it fixed two problems. First, it has the power of a ‘new’ phone now. Second, it turns out that a battery reaching end of lifespan, expands or bulges the battery to the point it was creating strange screen artifacts by pushing on the phone screen from underneath. New battery solved that problem as well. Double score!!

  2. ““With the new operating system, it seems that Apple decided to automatically turn on ‘Background App Refresh,’… ”
    definitely not on my 6s, it’s off.

  3. “Background Refresh” is only for apps that are launched but not actually being used, right? Seems like a habit of quitting apps you don’t often use (instead of leaving everything running all the time, as some recommend) would also get around the drain problem. I only keep a few things up at once, and my SE hasn’t seen a change in battery life since upgrading to 11.

    1. Hard to say. I had to look at it and see what Apple has stated there.

      “Allow apps to refresh their content when on wi-fi or cellular in the background. Turning off apps may help preserve battery life.”

      Based on that statement, I’d say it doesn’t matter if you have launched it or not. It’s going to refresh.
      This made me check something. I have a Twitter account that I use to follow a small number of users.
      – I have Background Refresh off.
      – I have Notifications on, banners only.
      – I almost never launch the app.

      Throughout the day I will get Twitter notifications.
      – How is this happening if I have Background Refresh off and I never launch the Twitter app?
      – – Does Notifications override Background Refresh?

      1. Yeah, notifications are something different.

        I’ve noticed something else, too — the list of applications for “Background refresh” only includes those that I have run recently. I’m wondering if not all apps CAN be refreshed this way, and what actually gets refreshed. Like, I wouldn’t want an app that displays ads to constantly use data to refresh them if I’m not even looking at it, let alone running it…

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