How I added four hours of battery life to my smartphone every day for free

I’ve had big-time battery drain issues on my last three iPhones. I just figured it was my fault — maybe I’m too addicted to apps, take too many photos, or just use my phone too much?

It’s an issue I’ve gone to Apple for help with many times. But the Genius’s — Apple’s retail support — were flummoxed, too. After the typical troubleshooting: Update iOS? Check. Adjust screen brightness? Check. Use Wi-Fi when possible, turn off location services, and tone down notifications? Check, check, and check again. Nothing seems to solve the issues. Maybe I got the phone wet?

It was time to kick things up to the next level. I enlisted experts like Scotty Loveless, a former Apple Genius and iOS tech who told me this would not be another, “turn off every useful feature of iOS posts…” because those “really grind my gears.” Finally, someone speaking my language!

With that said, here’s how I finally beat the worst of my battery battles — and now you can, too.

#1 Start with your own battery test

Your battery should only be doing its heavy lifting when you’re actually using your iPhone, and the rest of the time it should be relaxing in standby mode. Sometimes an app prevents your phone from going into standby and wreaks havoc on your battery life.

Here’s how to test it:

Go into Settings > Battery. Scroll all the way down to the bottom and you’ll find two numbers, one for Standby and one for Usage. Your Usage number should be way, way lower than your Standby number. If it’s not, you might have a problem, and you can confirm it by jotting down your Standby and Usage times and then clicking the lock button on your phone. Let it sit for about five minutes and then check the numbers again. If your Standby time is five minutes higher, you’re in good shape, but if your Usage time has bumped up by a more than a minute it’s a sign that your phone isn’t resting like it should.

On Android, you can get the same information under Settings > Device > Battery (or Settings > Battery if you have a newer version of Android). The information on this menu is essentially the same as it is on an iPhone, and lists “Device Idle” which is the same as standby mode.

If you find that your phone isn’t “resting” when you’re not using it, there’s likely a very clear reason, which brings us to #2.

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