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iOS 11 update killing your iPhone’s battery? Here’s how to fix

Published Sep 27th, 2017 4:10PM EDT
iOS 11 Features Battery
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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iOS 11 is already installed on more than a quarter of existing iOS devices, but it’s not all good news for users who installed it. Slower performance and battery life issues are among the most problematic “features” of iOS 11. And while things will surely get better as Apple further improves iOS 11, some of you will still have to live with worse battery life on your iPhones. iPad doesn’t really count here, not because it has a massive battery, but because it’s the iPhone you take and use everywhere throughout the day.

Here’s what you can do to “fix” your iPhone 7 or iPhone 6s while you wait for Apple’s future improvements.

The radical approach

Buying a new device if yours is experiencing worse and worse battery life is a good idea. I’m not talking about iPhone 7 users here, but iOS fans who are still on older hardware. The older the batteries in these devices get, the worse they’ll perform.

If that’s not what you want to do, then you can always purchase a charging case or an external battery. These will likely fix all your battery problems. As an iPhone 6s owner, I have to say I haven’t noticed significant battery issues since the first iOS 11 betas. That’s because I usually charge the phone via an external battery.

If you have specific iPhone 6s models, you may qualify for a free battery replacement. You have to bring in your iPhone and have an Apple employee see if you are eligible. Or just go in for a battery replacement if your phone is ancient. Batteries only have so many cycles in them, especially smartphone batteries.

Getting into the software

You can use what’s readily available to you, free of charge, although it will consume your time while you test the changes in the Settings app in iOS 11.

Apply the right tweaks, and you may end up improving your battery life on the iPhone without paying a dime. It’s what some of the more experienced iOS users have been doing each year, with each new iOS release.

You can start using Low Power Mode more aggressively to get you through the day. You can lower screen brightness on the phone, and the Auto-Lock time to make sure the screen consumes as little battery juice as possible.

Be sure to check what apps “kill” battery life and consider uninstalling some of them, at least until developers optimize them for iOS 11. You can also disable some of their features, including Background App Refresh and Location Services. Yes, these are useful features that you may use on a regular basis, but if they kill your battery faster then try turning them off.

All these changes can be made via Control Center (Low Power Mode) or the Settings app, and 9to5Mac has a handy visual guide to help you find all the right toggles.

Apple’s smarts

Not too long ago, Tim Cook bragged that the iPhone’s AI and Machine Learning capabilities will let it optimize battery life to meet your needs. That’s one other way that might help you save battery life, but it’s out of your control. Let’s just hope Apple keeps improving it as it fixes iOS 11’s energy needs.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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