As the life of your phone grows, so will the wear on your device’s battery. In most cases, any battery issues can be remedied by cycling your battery in full. But when a battery is damaged or worn down, the only remedy is to replace it.
If your device has a replaceable battery, great, you can swap it out for a new one easily.
If your device doesn’t have a removable battery — which is common for most newer devices — your only option is to send it in for repairs or to order a new phone.
Before you take the extreme route, however, there may be some software changes you can make to lessen its drain.
Calibrate Your Battery
The first thing you should always try is a battery calibration. What this does is essentially reset your battery to its default status, like when you bought it.
As your phone is used over time, the battery loses its total charge or power level. Calibrating will reset both the software and hardware to match the actual levels of the battery.
When there’s a huge discrepancy, phones or devices will shut down prematurely, at least it may look that way. Once the battery reaches 30 percent or less the phone might turn off, leaving you to think there’s still battery life available when, in fact, that’s not the case.
Calibrating your battery will sync everything up so you can get a proper indication or reading of total battery life.
- Use your phone continuously until the battery is depleted. You’ll know because the phone will shut off on its own while you’re in the middle of using it. Prepare for this by saving your work if you’re doing anything important.
- Turn your phone back on. It may turn on for a few minutes or it may simply start to boot and then shut down again. What we’re trying to do is drain the battery as much as possible, so keep powering it on until it will no longer boot. You’ll know it’s at its lowest when you no longer see a boot logo, splash screen, or low-battery indicator.
- Do not turn your phone on. Instead, plug it directly into a charger, preferably the one your phone came with. Leave the phone off but charging for some time, six hours at least is recommended. That may seem excessive, but the idea is to leave the phone to charge all the way, while remaining off and not in use.
- Once the phone has been charging long enough, and you’re sure its full, turn the phone back on. The battery should automatically calibrate, and you should see more accurate readings of its current status.
You’re not done just yet, though. After about a week or so of regular use, you want to re-calibrate the battery once again by following this same process. It helps ensure proper accuracy of readings.
Fix Battery Drain Problems on Android
After calibrating, you can move on to fixing the battery in an attempt to prolong usage. Outside of replacing the battery directly, there are some software changes you can make to optimize energy usage.
1. Turn Off Wireless Connections
WiFi, Bluetooth, mobile, all your wireless connections, use a considerable amount of power, even more, when they’re searching for an active connection or signal is low.
WiFi and Bluetooth especially can drain the battery when you’re out and about. Both will continue to seek new connections and attempt to make an active connection while they are enabled.
If you want to conserve battery life then its best to turn off these connections when they are not in use. You can minimize mobile connections by turning on airplane mode; this is useful in areas where a signal is low or spotty.
The worse the signal and coverage, the more battery life your device uses. Unfortunately, there’s no way to fix this other than disabling the appropriate connections.
You can use an app like IFTTT to set conditions where these connections are severed automatically based on a series of triggers.
For example, when you leave the proximity of your home and move away from your private WiFi network the app can turn off the connection entirely.
2. Check Your Apps
Certain apps if left running in the background will drain your battery considerably even if they are not actively in use. There are many reasons for this, one of which is poor utilization of device hardware.
A feature called wakelock, for instance, allows apps to keep your device screen on. Sometimes apps that use this function mismanage the feature and cause the battery to drain faster.
Whatever the case, it may be necessary to visit your app menu and kill off some of the active applications.
To find which apps are using your battery navigate to Settings > Battery. On Samsung devices, this is hidden away in the Device Maintenance menu so look for that instead.
Below the battery information, you should see a list of the apps using up the most battery. Just tap on an entry, and you should be able to Force Close or Force Stop from the window that opens.
3. Restart Your Device
Anyone who’s ever had dealings with an electronic device or computer knows that sometimes, you just need to reboot.
Believe it or not, a simple restart can fix a ton of problems that you may be having, including issues with the battery and battery drain.
If you notice the battery draining faster than usual, try powering off the device and powering it back on.
4. Turn on Battery Saver Mode
In the latest versions of Android, Google introduced a mode called Battery Saver that turns off anything that isn’t mission critical.
The idea is that once your battery is depleted past a certain threshold, battery saver mode will help it last longer so you can stretch its use.
This is especially helpful if you’re in a situation where you need your phone but can’t get to a charger, like an auto accident or when you’re in a remote location.
To turn it on:
- Swipe down from the top of your screen to open the quick access panel.
- Tap Battery Saver or Power Saving, it may appear different from device to device. That’s it, your phone should now be in battery saving mode.
Alternatively, you can set the mode to turn on automatically once your battery is depleted to a certain amount.
To do this:
- Open your Settings and navigate to Battery > Battery Saver. You’ll see an option to turn on the mode automatically.
- Choose a percentage at which the mode will activate.
5. Use a Task Killer
It’s not always recommended, so if you use this method don’t go overboard, but you can rely on a task killer app to eliminate all running apps and services.
This also prevents you from having to sort through the running apps list entry by entry.
Generally, the Android operating system is pretty good at resource and performance management but now and then it might be a good idea to kill off running apps to help conserve battery.
6. Get Rid of Homescreen Widgets
If you’re using home screen widgets on your device or an animated wallpaper, both of these things look great, but they also use up the battery in the background.
Widgets, especially, drain the battery when they’re set to poll or refresh data — like news, social, or messaging widgets.
Simply remove the widgets from your home screen — or multiple screens if there are more than one — and disable the wallpaper by swapping it out for something static.
7. Turn off Auto-Brightness
Most devices come with a sensor that allows it to adjust the brightness based on the current environment. When you’re outside in the sun, for example, your device might crank up the brightness automatically so you can see the screen better.
Honestly, this feature is unnecessary. You can always swipe down from the top of your screen to access the quick settings menu, which includes a brightness toggle right there. It’s super convenient and quick to access.
So, just disable the auto-brightness setting on your device and handle any screen brightness changes manually. It will conserve a ton of battery over time, allowing your phone to last longer throughout the day.
You’ll find the auto-brightness setting in:
Settings > Display > Auto Brightness
If you notice your battery draining faster than usual, you can take advantage of the tips listed here to extend its total usage.
It may also be worth calibrating the battery or replacing it entirely if and when it’s damaged.
Unfortunately, not all devices have a removable battery which means you might have to settle with some of the software changes listed above.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to respond promptly.