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Troubleshooting for iPhone Battery Draining Fast

written by: Stephanie M. Lucas•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/18/2011

Having trouble with a pesky battery that drains too fast? We're going to look at some things you can do to improve iPhone battery life and get to the bottom of what may be causing your battery woes. If your iPhone battery is draining fast, you'll want to read on for troubleshooting tips.

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    The Cost of Data: iPhone's Battery Drawbacks

    iphone 4 The capabilities of an iPhone are nearly endless, providing useful apps and services for almost every taste. But with all that technology packed into a tiny device, it is bound to drain your battery. The more data that a phone uses, the faster the battery drains. Since iPhone is one of the most data-intensive phones on the market, it struggles to combat a fast draining battery. Sometimes a fast draining battery is caused by heavy phone usage, but other times can be indicative of some problems with your phone. We're going to look at some things that you can do if your iPhone battery is draining fast.

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    Average iPhone Battery Life

    In order to determine if there is something wrong with your phone or your battery, you'll want to know what a standard iPhone battery expectancy is. A brand new iPhone 4 can be expected to get:

    • 7 hours of talk time on 3G.
    • 14 hours of talk time on 2G.
    • 6 hours Internet usage on 3G.
    • 10 hours Internet on Wi-Fi.
    • 10 hours video playback.
    • 40 hours audio playback.
    • 300 hours of standby.

    Keep in mind that those are examples of battery life times if you are using only that function. Using different features of your phone will cause different amounts of drain on the battery. I'd say if you are using your phone all day long with a combination of standby, phone calls, Internet browsing and listening to audio, you'll need to charge your phone by the day's end. More data intensive functions drain the battery faster. Also, the older that your phone gets the less the battery will perform. If you have an iPhone 3G or 3GS, your battery life will be roughly 30-40% less than that of an iPhone 4.

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    Tips to Improve iPhone Battery Life

    Before we troubleshoot what may be causing your iPhone battery to drain fast, make sure that it isn't simple phone usage that is causing excessive drain. Each tip will help you improve your battery life.

    • Update iPhone to the latest software - Developers are always working to improve battery function. New software updates might contain improved function that saves battery.
    • Turn off Wi-Fi when not in use or your phone will constantly search for a Wi-Fi signal.
    • Turn off 3G.
    • Turn off push notifications.
    • Turn off Bluetooth when not in use or your phone will continually search for a Bluetooth signal.
    • Adjust the brightness of your phone to a dimmer setting.
    • Lock the screen when you are done using your phone.
    • Minimize location services being used from the settings menu.
    • Sync fewer e-mail accounts to your phone.
    • Fetch new e-mail data less frequently. Manually fetching new data will save the most battery life.
    • Close out of apps from the multitasking menu.

    If you still have trouble after applying these tips then it is time to troubleshoot the cause of your fast draining battery.

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      iPhone Battery Draining Fast: Troubleshooting Tips

      Now that you know what a standard iPhone battery life is, you'll know if yours is draining unusually fast. If you're dropping from a full charge to near death in a short amount of time, it's time to try to fix the problem. There may be a few things that could save you from needing to buy a new battery.

      Things That May Cause iPhone Battery to Drain Faster

      High Usage - Using your phone a lot? If so, this could be the cause of a fast draining battery. If you'll be using the Internet and/or talking on the phone a lot, your battery will lose juice much faster than if you were listening to music or leaving your phone on standby. Try charging your phone more often when using it frequently.

      Settings - Your settings may not be optimized for maximum battery life. Some settings, such as having Wi-Fi turned on, can be very draining to the battery. Make sure to turn off all data features that you aren't using to avoid unnecessary drain.

      Multitasking - You may have too many apps running in the background causing a strain on your battery. Close out all applications that you are not using. Double tap the home screen to show the multitasking menu to close unused apps.

      Operating System Malfunction - If you've tried limiting usage, optimizing your settings and limiting multitasking and still find yourself having trouble with the battery draining too fast, there could be a problem with your operating system. You'll want to restore the iPhone to try to clear up the problem.

      Battery - If all those things don't help, then I have some bad news for you. Your battery is the culprit after-all and it needs to be replaced. Apple's warranty covers battery replacement for 1 year after your phone is purchased or 2 years if you purchased Apple Care for your device. Past those time limits? You'll probably have to shell out $79 plus shipping to have Apple replace your battery. Consult your local Apple store or wireless carrier for more information.

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      Sources and Image Credit


      iPhone 4 image courtesy of Apple