How to Identify Which Apps Are Draining Your Battery on an iPhone or iPad

Since iOS 8, you can now see which apps are draining your battery the most. This includes apps that drain your battery in the background — something that’s possible on iOS since Apple added the “background refresh” feature in iOS 7.

You can stop these apps from using so much battery power, especially if they’re draining that battery in the background while you aren’t actually using them. Apps do this to be helpful, but it uses power and costs battery life.


View Apps By Battery Usage

This information is available in the Settings screen. To access it, tap “Settings” on the Home screen and then tap “Battery”.


Battery usage percentages display for each app currently consuming battery power, with the apps using the most battery power listed at the top.


Tapping the clock icon displays how many minutes each app has been active on the screen, in the background, or both.

NOTE: You can also tap on any app’s name to displays this information for all apps.



Understanding Battery Usage

The Battery Usage list provides two different columns. You can see how much battery apps have been using in the past 24 hours, or in the past seven days. Tap either column to see the list.

In the “Time Since Last Full Charge” section, at the bottom of the “Battery Usage” list, you’ll see two amounts of time, “Usage” and “Standby”. “Usage” shows how much time you have actually used your phone in hours and minutes since the last time it was fully charged. The amount of time your phone has been sitting idle since the last full charge is shown next to “Standby”.

There are no actions you can take from this particular screen. As we mentioned before, tapping on an app’s name displays the number of minutes on screen and in the background.


This screen works differently than the similar Battery screen on Android, which you may be familiar with. Android’s data resets when you charge the device, so the screen always shows data from the last charge cycle. On iOS, it always shows battery life over a period of time. For example, if you use your device very heavily and charge it three times a day, the “Last 24 Hours” list will show battery usage over those last three charges.

Keep this in mind — this list won’t show you exactly what drained your battery over the last charge. It will just show which apps are using the battery the most.


Make Apps Use Less Battery Power

In most cases, apps that appear in this list are using the battery power because you have your device on and are actively using the app. So, if you see Safari near the top of the list here, that’s because you spent a good amount of time using Safari on your device.

Of course, not all apps will use an equal amount of power. A graphically intensive game will use more battery life in 10 minutes than the Safari web browser or another basic app will.

For most apps here, there’s not a lot you can do to reduce their battery usage aside from using the app less. If you see a game using a lot of battery power, be aware how much battery that game is draining while you play it. Consider playing a less graphically intensive game if you want to play a game and need to stretch your battery farther.


Restricting “Background Activity” Apps

Some apps in this list have a “Background Activity” label. This means the app is using battery power by running in the background. For example, the Mail app automatically fetches new mail in the background. In the screenshot below, the AccuWeather and Surveys apps were refreshing in the background and using battery power.

To prevent apps from using data in the background, navigate to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Disable background refresh for battery-sucking apps here, preventing them from refreshing their data in the background.


Bear in mind that other things also reduce your device’s battery life. For example, the display uses a lot of battery power — turn down your display brightness to get more battery life. Push notifications, location access, Bluetooth, and other features also use battery power.

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