While iOS 8.0 has some great new features, some people who have updated to the new version have been experiencing battery drain issues. Apple’s operating system updates have been known to cause minor battery issues that are usually quickly fixed with the next update. Prior to iOS 8.0.1, here’s how you could improve battery life on your iOS device.

(See also: How to Improve Battery Life in iOS 7.1)

Check battery usage
The first thing you can do to reduce battery drain is to close the apps that use it the most. We did experience a fairly noticeable battery drain even when the device wasn’t in use, but turning battery drain off will give you some extra time. You can check with:

  1. Settings > General > Usage > Battery usage.
  2. Now tap Last 24 Hours or Last 7 Days (if you just switched to iOS 8, you may see different numbers, but the counter stops at 7 days) to see which apps are using the most battery.
  3. Based on what you see, you can take steps to reduce battery drain. For example, if you find that Mail is using up a lot of battery power due to background activity, you can change the Background Refresh setting, which we discuss below.

(See also: NDTV Gadgets staff pick their favorite new iOS 8 features)

The display drains most of an iOS device’s battery. Here’s how to make sure your screen doesn’t use more power than it needs.

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center.
  2. A slider above the music player helps control brightness. Swipe it all the way to the left to keep it to a minimum. Indoors, this should actually be good enough, but in bright areas you’ll need to tweak the settings for better readability.
  3. The auto-brightness feature in iOS keeps the screen at just the right brightness based on the ambient light. However, doing so will drain a bit of battery power, and if you want to maximize battery life, you’ll want to set the brightness to its lowest setting and turn off auto-brightness. If you’re low on battery, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Brightness > Off.
  4. Make sure your device’s screen isn’t on for longer than needed. Go to Settings > General > Auto-Lock. Now choose the lowest value – 1 minute on iPhone or 2 minutes on iPad.
  5. You can also turn off the cool parallax effect, which might not be as cool when your battery is dead. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion > On.

(See also: How to upgrade when iOS 8 requires GB storage and cannot be installed)

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Wireless connections
When you’re outside, your iPhone or iPad is constantly switching from LTE to 3G, and even to Edge. We found that controlling mobile data usage can significantly improve battery life. Here’s what you can do.

  1. Go to Settings > Mobile. If you’re on a WiFi network, you can flick the mobile data switch to off. Below Mobile Data there is an Enable LTE switch. You can also turn it off, unless you’re one of the few people in India who have 4G access right now.
  2. Now scroll down to the heading “Use mobile data for:”. This is a list of all the apps that are allowed to use mobile data on your iOS device. Next to each app is an on/off switch. For apps that don’t require mobile data, you can turn it off. Most games don’t need it, and neither do fitness apps.
  3. Below each app’s name, you’ll see how much mobile data it’s used so far. Check the apps with the most mobile data usage and see if you can disable it for those apps.
  4. You can also prevent apps from using mobile data to download updates. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Use Mobile Data > Off.
  5. You can also turn off WiFi, Bluetooth and AirDrop when not in use. Doing so is easy – just swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center and turn off WiFi and Bluetooth. Tap AirDrop and select Off to turn it off. Remember to turn on WiFi again when you get home or arrive at the office.


(See also: Six iOS 8 Extensions You Shouldn’t Miss)

location service
Another big power hog is the device’s GPS. There are several apps that want to access your location, and the result is an almost constant drain on your battery. There are some cool new location options in iOS 8 that let you save battery. Check these steps to learn how.

  1. If you don’t want any apps to use your location, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Turn Off Location Services.
  2. If this doesn’t work for you, scroll down to the list of apps. In iOS 7, you can allow or block location access. In iOS 8, you can choose to let apps access your location only when you’re using them.
  3. In Settings > Privacy > Location Services, tap any app in the list. Most apps will have three options: Never, While using the app, and Always. Tap Never let apps disable location access, or tap “While using app” if you want apps to have location access while they’re in use.
  4. Go back to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and tap Share My Location. You can also disable this feature, but we recommend leaving it on if you use the Find My Friends app to let friends and family know where you are.
  5. You can also disable Find My iPhone from Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone, but it’s a very useful anti-theft feature. So we recommend you to keep using it.
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(See also: Best iOS 8 Notification Center Widgets)

Almost every app you install on iOS asks permission to send you notifications. Some of these can be very useful, like in-app transaction alerts, but many aren’t. Whenever you receive a notification, your device’s screen will turn on, and it will play a sound and vibrate. All of this adds up to shortened battery life.

  1. iOS 8 has a neat switch that lets you disable all notifications from any app. Follow the steps below to disable notifications.
  2. Go to Settings > Notifications.
  3. Scroll down, tap any app under the “Includes:” heading > toggle “Allow Notifications” to Off. You can disable notifications from games without missing out too much, and depending on which services are important to you, there will be quite a few apps that can have their notifications turned off.
  4. If you don’t want to disable notifications, you can use “Do Not Disturb” mode. Even if you get a notification, it won’t wake up your iOS device. You can set it in “Settings” > “Do Not Disturb”. This can be useful, for example, if you’re in the office and don’t need to be notified by mail for the next few hours.
  5. Once set up, Do Not Disturb can be quickly accessed through the Control Center. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the moon icon.
  6. If you have push notifications enabled for email, you may want to reduce the frequency of your alerts. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data. Turn off push. This means you have to manually check your mail, but it should help improve battery life.
  7. Select each of your accounts and choose Manually instead of Get. That way, the app only downloads email, contacts, and calendar updates when you open the app, not in the background.
  8. Scroll down to FETCH. If you have set any account to fetch data automatically, you can set the refresh frequency. To save battery power, select Manual or Hourly.
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(See also: Our Favorite Third-Party Keyboard Apps for iOS 8)

background data usage
Many apps automatically update or download data in the background. Here’s how to disable it.

  1. If you don’t want apps to download data in the background, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh > Off. This will prevent all applications from running in the background. If that’s not an option, you can scroll down and turn it off for any app in the list.
  2. iOS 8 has a new feature called Handoff that allows you to receive calls as long as your iPad or MacBook is on the same WiFi network as your iPhone. It’s useful, but if you need the extra battery life, turn it off in Settings > Toggles & Suggested Apps > Off.
  3. You should also turn off automatic downloads of app updates to preserve battery life. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store. Scroll down to Automatic Downloads. Flip the toggles for Music, Apps, Books, and Updates to the off position. Scroll down to “Suggested Apps” and close the App Store.
  4. While we recommend setting your device to automatically back up via iCloud, battery life will be better if you only back up via WiFi. Go to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive > Use Mobile Data > Off.
  5. Another rather extreme battery-saving option is in Settings > Safari > Preload Topics > Off. When you search in Safari, this will prevent the browser from loading the top websites in the search results. Small gains, but they all matter when you crave longer battery life.


(See also: How to Set Up iOS 8’s Family Sharing and Why It’s Super Useful)

Don’t let the device vibrate
When you’re at the office or at home, your phone probably isn’t in your pocket, and vibrating just wastes battery life. To turn them off, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings > Sounds > Ringtone Vibration > Off. You can also turn off vibration on silent if you prefer.
  2. If your battery issues are pretty serious, you can disable the sound when the device is locked and the click when you type. In Settings > Sounds, scroll all the way down and turn off Lock Sound and Keyboard Click.

(See also: How to Prevent Photos from Your iCloud Account from being Stolen)

This should cover everyone’s battery-saving needs, from those with minor complaints to those who regret downloading iOS 8 because their batteries died. If we missed something, please let us know via comments. As always, you can find more tutorials in our how-to section.

By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...