If you have an iPhone, you’ve probably heard about the controversy over Apple deliberately slowing down batteries on older phones.
But it’s not just a two-year old phone problem. Even some owners of newer phones say their iPhone doesn’t make it through the whole day.
If your iPhone battery is running down by lunchtime, Apple will now replace the battery on most iPhones for just $29. But yes, it’s a bit of a hassle, as you have to make an appointment at the Apple store or ship it in (and have to live without your phone for five days).
Try these things before you buy a new battery
But if you don’t want to deal with the battery fix yet, and you don’t like the idea of someone opening your phone, here are six things to try first to make that battery last longer.
1. When your phone says low battery, switch to Low Power mode. That disables updates and synching, and makes that last 20 percent last longer. A lot of people just dismiss Low Power mode: bad idea, because your phone will be down to 2 percent in about 20 minutes.
2. Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when you are not using them. With WiFi on, your phone is constantly searching for a WiFi signal. Conversely, if you are using WiFi, put your phone in Airplane Mode to prevent it from searching for a cellular tower.
3. Lower the screen brightness to 50 percent, unless you use your phone outdoors in the sunshine a lot. Most people have their brightness turned up almost all the way, which is a big battery drain.
4. Turn off “fetching,” or automatic pushing of emails to your phone. You can set it to download emails once per hour, or set it to manually fetch emails only when you tell it to.
5. Turn off Location Services, unless you’re using Maps. Location Services is a big battery drain on Facebook and many other sites, as it is running your phone’s GPS tracking system. Unless you are on the road, most people don’t need it.
6. Avoid extreme heat and cold. Don’t drive with the phone baking in the sun on your car’s dashboard.
When that doesn’t fix things…
So you have tried all that, and your phone is still running slow and running down to low battery by 3 p.m.?
In that case contact Apple or an authorized repair shop and ask about a $29 battery replacement.
Unfortunately if you have an iPhone 5 or 5s (the phones most in need of new batteries), you’ll say “doesn’t that stink?” if you ask for a $29 battery replacement.
That’s because the battery replacement program is only for versions of the iPhone 6, 7, or 8. If you are still limping along an iPhone 5, it may just be time for a new phone.
Bottom line: if your battery still won’t hold a charge long after you make some basic settings changes, then it may a good idea to take Apple up on its offer of a new battery for just $29.
That could give your older phone an extra year of life, and you don’t waste your money.