How To Fix iOS 6.1 Battery Drain Problems

ios 6.1 battery drain problem

*** Update 1.12.13 – additional tips added at the end of article.

** Update 1.10.13 – Added 3 more tips to help save / improve your battery life on your iPhone, iPad, & iOS 6 enabled device — scroll down to the bottom to view this additional tips

Roughly two weeks ago, Apple released iOS 6.1 to the majority of iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch users.  The iOS 6.1 update was released in order to provide for support and enhancements for the following:

  • LTE support for more carriers (complete list of supported carriers at www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/)
  • Purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri (USA only)
  • iTunes Match subscribers can now download individual songs from iCloud
  • New button to reset the Advertising Identifier

However, what actually happened is the iOS 6.1 update created a firestorm of unhappy iPhone and iPad customers because they are now experiencing excessive battery drain issues on their device.  Basically, when an iPhone or iPad (or iPod Touch) user upgrades to their device to iOS 6.1, within a day or so they are noticing their battery draining faster than normal.

SEE ALSO:  How To Fix iOS 6 WiFi Problems

There doesn’t seem to be one definitive fix to the iOS 6.1 battery drain problem.  This is primarily because no one is certain what, exactly, is causing the excessive battery drain after upgrading to iOS 6.1.  However, there are fixes that other users have implemented successfully and I’ve decided to compile a list here for you.  So if you have having battery drain problems after upgrading to iOS 6.1, here’s a list of fixes to try.  Perhaps just one of these will fix your battery drain problem, or maybe all of the collectively will do the trick.  Regardless, this sure beats spending hours on the phone and digging through forums!

After implementing one or all of these fixes, let me know if (and which one) you think ultimately fixed your iOS 6.1 battery drain issue.

Turn On “Limit Ad Tracking”

With iOS 6.1, one of the new features with this release is the ability for users to turn on a function called “Limit Ad Tracking”. Without going into a discourse on what ad tracking is on your iPhone or iPad, suffice it to say that ad tracking requires (and this might sound obvious) the device to track not only your location but also your browser and app interaction.  So it goes without saying that if “Limit Ad Tracking” is NOT turned on, then your iPhone or iPad (or iPod Touch) is working overtime to tracking literally everything you are doing, and everywhere you are doing it.  Ultimately, Apple is leveraging iOS to generate revenue for app developers through tools such as in app purchasing.  And “Ad Tracking” is one of the tools that helps these advertising programs deliver more targeted ads based on your device usage ad location.

How to TURN ON “Limit Ad Tracking:  go to “Settings” > General > About (yeah, they really hid this sucker…) > scroll all the down to the very bottom of your screen (yeah, they really hid this sucker) > tap “Advertising” > then turn on “Limit Ad Tracking”.

Now you are device will be preserving some precious battery life as the ad tracking capabilities are now limited on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.  Exactly how “limited” it is, I’m not sure.  But this is a good step in the right direction to preserving battery life.  If you want ads software tracking you at it’s maximum capability, then don’t turn this off.

Turn off Auto brightness

The next trouble shooting step in fixing your iOS 6.1 battery drain problem is to turn off “Auto Brightness”.  With iOS 6.1, auto brightness is a feature that has been enabled (turned on) automatically on your behalf.  Of course, the intent is to maximize user experience be ensuring your brightness adapts to your environment.  However, with auto brightness enabled, it really creates additional drain on your battery.

Not only does your iPhone or iPad have to work harder to recognize and adapt brightness according to your surroundings, but also the brightness levels may, and more than likely are, brighter than what you would consider necessary.

So in exchange for allowing your iPhone or iPad to automatically adjust screen brightness, you can be saving battery life by simple turning off this feature.

Here’s how to turn off “Auto Brightness”:  Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper > Turn “Off” Auto-Brightness.

Turn off / manage Location Services

Another huge impact on your iPhone or iPad batter life is the “Location Services” settings.  Basically, you have a bunch of apps that you’ve installed from the app store, and that are native to your device through iOS, that have location services turned on automatically.  And just like with ad tracking, the location services setting on your device will ensure those apps know where you are at any given point in time.  And obviously, the more location services you have enabled, the harder your iPhone or iPad has to work to keep of your location through multiple apps, and in turn the bigger the drain on your battery.

How to turn off / manage location services:  Settings > Privacy > Location Services

Now once you are in “Location Services”, you have a few different options:

  1. Completely turn off location services:  this will of course maximize and optimize the battery life on your iPhone or iPad.  But the trade off is disabling important apps such as the “Find My iPhone” or “Find My iPad” app which helps you locate your device if it gets lost or stolen.
  2. Manage location services:  the other option, and the one I recommend, is to manage your location services.  If you scroll down through the list of apps you see in your location services, you might be surprised to realize just how many apps have location services turned on.  SO…. go down through the list of apps and turn off all of the ones you know you don’t use, or don’t need location services enabled.  For example, I have absolute no need for location services to be turned on in my iPhone.  And since I use my camera a lot, then every time I open my camera app, the location services kicks in and creates additional drain on my battery.  So I turn it off.. problem solved.

Shut down all running apps

This step is also good at fixing the problem of your iPhone or iPad running slow, but definitely a tried and true fix for resolving battery drain issues.  There are some apps, a lot of apps actually, that when you open them on your iPhone or iPad, they never technically turn off.  Just because you close out of an app on your device, doesn’t mean that app has stopped working or running in the background.

How to shut down all running apps:  Double tap your home button (the round button on the bottom of your iPhone or iPad) > Press and hold just one of the apps you see along the bottom > start pressing the red circle to close each of the apps > do this until you don’t see any more icons along the bottom tray.

Start closing the first app you see (furthest left).  And as you close the apps, they will keep shifting left automatically for you.  Again, you might be surprised to find just how many apps are running in the background on your iPhone or iPad.  Basically, all of the apps you see listed along the bottom of your iPhone or iPad are apps that have been started, but never fully stopped.  And obviously, if you have a bunch of apps still running in the background, your iPhone or iPad is going to experience excessive batter drain.

Reset Network Settings (force reboot)

I’ll close this article with one troubleshooting step to fixing your iOS 6.1 battery drain problem and that is “resetting your network settings”.  I would recommend you do this last, after performing all of the other troubleshooting steps above, because this step will actually force a reboot of your iPhone or iPad.  And rebooting your device is a great idea, especially if you implemented all or some of the steps above.  Now your iPhone or iPad can start fresh with new setting configurations.

How to reset network settings:  Settings > General > Reset (all the way at the bottom) > “Reset Network Settings”.

** CAUTION ** On the reset screen, you’ll see a bunch of difference options to reset.  Only tap the “Reset Network Settings” – that’s the only applicable step I’m referring to here as a troubleshooting method for fixing your iOS 6.1 battery drain problem.  The other reset options have their place, but for other problems outside of battery drain issues.  Plus, you do not want to inadvertently reset the wrong settings.

After you tapped “Reset Network Settings” your iPhone or iPad will go through a reboot sequence and you’ll be done.

Go ahead and try some, or all, of the steps above to fix your iOS 6.1 battery drain problem and let me know in the comments if it worked, which one specifically worked, or did the combination of all of the above do the trick for you!

** Additional tips for saving / improving battery life on your iPhone, iPad, and iOS 6 enabled devices

1)  Turn off wifi:  turning off your WiFi until you absolutely need it will help conserve battery life as it will prevent your device from constantly seeking out new wireless networks, updating the available networks list, and attempting to connect to unsecured wireless networks… all of which consumes a lot of unnecessary battery life.

Turn off WiFi:  go to Settings > WiFi > Turn off WiFi

2)  Turn off LTE:  iPhone 5 users experience major battery drainage as a result of LTE speeds.  Alternatively, instead of relying on pushing the faster LTE data connection, you can turn off LTE and your device will automatically switch back to 3G.

To turn off LTE:  go to Settings > General > Cellular > switch “Enable LTE” to Off.

Again, your iPhone 5 will now run on 3G speeds and consume less power.

3)  Disable Push email:  Push email can be very costly to an iPhone or iPad battery.  You can conserve the battery usage that push email would normally consume by turning off the push email feature.

Turn off push email:  Settings > “Mail, Contacts, & Calendars” > Fetch New Data > Turn off “Push” > Select “Manually” (located at the bottom).

These are just a few more tips I’ve picked up in my research on how to maximize the battery life of your iPhone, iPad, and iOS 6 enabled device.

4)  Disable Microsoft Exchange:  One person wrote in and said one thing that had a dramatic impact on improving their battery life was disabling Microsoft Exchange email.  For those of you who use Microsoft Exchange email for your Google Apps, you should know that you no longer need this.  Go go ahead and disable Microsoft Exchange.

Turn off Microsoft Exchange email:  Settings > Mail, Contacts, & Calendars > tap on email account using Microsoft Exchange > scroll down to bottom and hit “Delete”.

Now, if you were using Microsoft Exchange for your Google Apps integration, you can now simply do this:

Setup up Google Apps email, calendar on iPhone, iPad:   Settings > Mail, Contacts, & Calendar > Gmail > now enter your Google Apps email account information (i.e.  yourname@yourdomain.com for your email then your Google Apps password).

Next you need to setup / sync multiple calendars (if you have multiple calendars) and you do this by following these steps:

  • Visit the following page from your device’s mobile browser: https://www.google.com/calendar/syncselect
    • (Google Apps users can go to https://www.google.com/calendar/hosted/your_domain/syncselect, replacing ‘your_domain’ with your actual domain name)
  • Select the calendars you’d like to sync, then click Save.

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