How to make your phone's battery last longer

WLS logo
Monday, November 18, 2019
How to make your battery last longer
Your phone is almost dead, and there's nowhere to plug it in. Remain calm, and follow these tips to stretch out the time between before your battery goes fully dead.

SAN FRANCISCO -- During an emergency, it's important to keep your cellphone handy and charged. In the event the power goes out, it's going to be even more difficult to find a place to plug back in and recharge.

Here's how you can make your phone's battery last longer, whether you're using an iPhone, Android or another brand of phone.

RELATED: PG&E Outage: A look back at utility company's history of blackouts

Turn on Airplane Mode to preserve battery life.

Your phone uses battery power when searching for a signal. Enabling Airplane Mode cuts off all radio signals to and from your phone. When turned on, you will not receive emails, messages or phone calls.

To save battery power, switch your phone to Airplane Mode when you are not actively checking messages or making calls. Charging your phone in Airplane Mode will also allow it to regain power faster.

If you need to avoid a total disconnect while preserving battery power, you can individually disable GPS, cellular data, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. In general, connecting to the internet over Wi-Fi uses less battery power than cellular data.

Swipe down on both iPhone or Android models to access Airplane Mode. It is also located in the Settings app.

RELATED: Power shutoff food safety: Save it, or throw it out?

Dim your screen.

Reducing screen brightness is an easy way to conserve battery life. A brighter screen requires more power to illuminate the pixels.

Another tip is to turn off push notifications, which light up your display when you are not using your phone. You can turn off notifications for specific apps in Settings, Notifications, select the relevant application and click Disable Notifications.

You can also enable Dark Mode to save battery power. Black pixels are not illuminated and require less power to maintain the image. If your phone does not have a Dark Mode option, you can switch to a dark wallpaper image.

Limit background app refresh.

Many apps on your phone run in the background, even when you are not using them. You can adjust it so all apps can run in the background, or restrict specific apps from doing this and draining your battery.

Here's how you can limit apps from running in the background.


Go to Settings, select General, then Background App Refresh. From there, you can select Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi & Cellular Data or Off.


Open the Settings app, hit Battery, tap the more symbol and click Battery Usage. Select the app, then select Background Restriction and click Restrict.

RELATED: How to prepare for a power shut off

Switch to battery saver mode.

Your phone's battery saver mode is an easy-to-use feature that is designed to automatically adjust your settings to use the least amount of power. On an iPhone, it is called Low Power Mode and on an Android, it is called Battery Saver.

Here's how you can activate your phone's battery saver mode.


Swipe down and hit the battery icon. When activated, your battery icon will turn yellow. You can also access Low Power Mode by navigating to Settings, then hit Battery.

According to Apple, Low Power Mode is designed to keep your screen brightness low, minimize animations and apps will not use data in the background. You can still make phone calls and send messages. Push notifications will be turned off because they use a data connection, therefore power.

Low Power Mode will automatically turn on when your battery dips to 20%.


Swipe down and hit the Battery Saver icon. When activated, your battery icon will turn orange. On older Android versions, the top and bottom of your screen will turn orange. You can also access Battery Saver by navigating to Settings, then hit Battery.

According to Google, Battery Saver will turn on Dark theme and apps will not use data in the background. You can still make phone calls and send messages. They also mention that some notifications may be delayed.

You can set Battery Saver to turn on automatically at a certain percentage in the Settings, Battery.