11 Tips To Stop Android Battery Draining Fast When Not in Use


“How good is the camera” may be the first question we ask while evaluating a phone, but “how long does its battery last” is definitely the second question thrown. The last thing you want is the battery dying on you when you need the phone most.

Unfortunately, batteries can have tons of problems that could mess up your experiences, like heating up the phone, the phone not turning on or shutting down unexpectedly, or commonly; the high battery drain.

Talking about battery drain, I know it’s common sense that your battery should drain much faster when you are actively using it; like watching videos. However, what to do when it starts draining fast even when not in use?

It’s easier to fix battery drain issues when using the phone as the problem is usually in front of us. It’s much more difficult when it happens when the screen is off as you have no idea what is causing the drain. Don’t worry though, below I have listed some solutions to problems that cause battery drain even when the phone is not in use.

1. Check battery health

First, we should make sure the battery is fine before following the below solutions. This will help us set our expectations. If you have an old phone (2+ years) or a faulty battery, then the below solution will have very little impact or no impact at all.

Previously, I have written in detail about how to check phone battery health, you can check it out for more details. Although the easiest method would be to just use a third-party battery health checker app.

For this purpose, I find both Accubattery and Electron to be really good. Accubattery offers much deeper details, but you have to get paid version to access important functions. Electron is much better if you are looking for a free app. Although both will tell how good your current battery health is and how fast it should drain.

2. Disable unrequired connectivity features

There are a bunch of features mostly related to connectivity that drains the battery even when the phone is not in use. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi hotspot are common culprits for this as many users keep them on after use. Although WiFi and mobile data are usually required throughout the day, you should try to turn them off whenever possible.

You can turn off all these features right from the quick settings menu. Just swipe down on your phone from the top and the icons to enable/disable these options will show up. You might have to tap on the bar and swipe left/right to see all the icons.

Disable connectivity features

3. Limit location service for apps

Although location service is necessary for many apps to function properly, but if you have too many such apps then it could heavily drain the phone battery when not in use. You can check which apps constantly ask for location so you could disable the access if possible. Here’s how to do it:

Go to phone “Settings” and tap on the “Location” option inside it.

Now tap on “App access to location” and it will show all the apps that can access your location. Here look at apps under the “Allowed all the time” section. These apps are the ones that could drain the battery even when the phone is not in use.

Access location service

If there are apps that you don’t depend on all the time, just tap on them and set the permission to “Allow only while using the app”. A warning message will appear telling you that it may affect your device features, accept it and the permission will change.

Disable location service

4. Stop background apps

Many apps run in the background to provide their services timely, like messaging apps or the alarm app. If you have too many apps running in the background, then they will drain the battery. You can use an app like Greenify to see all the apps that can run in the background and hibernate the ones you don’t heavily depend on.

Although if you don’t want to use an app, then you can also do it from settings or developer options. Here’s a guide to stopping background apps on Android.

5. Take advantage of battery saver mode

I am not going to recommend you keep the phone on battery saver mode all the time as it limits important functions, but it’s worth using when you leave the phone for extended periods. Battery saver mode limits phone power and background functions, including background apps to save power. If you won’t be using the phone for a while, you can turn it on to save battery.

Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the quick settings menu and you’ll find Battery saver and Ultra battery-saver modes here. Ultra battery saver heavily limits apps and phone functions and only calls and messages will update in real-time. I’ll recommend you only enable basic Battery saver mode in your daily use.

Battery saver mode on Android

6. Avoid signal problems

Your phone tries to keep you connected with your carrier all the time so you could perform the main function of calling and messaging anywhere. This requires a lot of battery power. If you check your battery settings, you’ll see that cell service is almost always 3rd or 4th on the list of power-consuming apps. This battery drain becomes even worse when you have a spotty connection as your phone constantly tries to connect to the nearest tower.

If you are in an area that is away from your carrier network tower or you are in an area where signals are blocked; like a basement, then your phone battery will drain faster even when the screen is off.

If you have bad signals temporarily — like at your workplace — then you can turn on Airplane mode if possible to save the battery. In case the issue is consistent, then switching to a carrier that has a tower near your location will greatly help.

7. 5G connection might be bad for you

If you have a 5G supported phone and you are taking advantage of the latest in the wireless standard, then it could be the reason your battery is draining fast. 5G offers faster speed which requires more energy, leading to higher battery drain.

However, that isn’t the only problem. As 5G is only used for mobile data, your phone still uses 3G or 4G for calls and SMS. So basically your phone uses multiple connections when 5G is on. Furthermore, 5G also has limited availability as this technology is still being implemented. This means your phone may be constantly losing connection and being forced to try hard to get signals.

If it’s possible, you should disable 5G as most of the work can easily be done on 4G as well. Otherwise, at least disable the data connection when you are not using it.

To disable 5G, go to Settings > Network > SIM > Preferred network type. Here select 4G as your connection.

change SIM network type

8. Use the Do not disturb option

If you receive too many messages back to back, then it could be the reason your battery is draining. Whenever a new message comes, the screen of your phone turns on for a few seconds. If you constantly receive messages, then the screen will stay on for a long time even when you are not using it. The screen is also the most battery-hungry component, so the impact of constantly on screen can be very noticeable.

Do not disturb (DND) mode can stop all sounds, vibrations, and visuals when you receive messages. To turn this feature on, just swipe down from the top of the screen and you should find the DND button in the quick settings menu.

9. Keep Android updated

Depending on your phone model and manufacturer, you receive updates that patch security and performance issues. If you don’t have an updated phone, there is a possibility one of the patches was supposed to fix the battery drain issue you are facing.

To update your phone, go to Settings > Software update. On some phones, you might find it in the About phone option in Settings. Here tap on Download and install and it should automatically download and install it.

Update Android

10. Avoid heat or cold

Most Android phones have Lithium-ion batteries that don’t work very well in too-cold or too-hot temperatures. If the temperature falls below freezing point, the lithium ions stick to the anode leading to less lithium available for electricity flow. This decreases overall battery time.

Too much heat puts pressure on the phone’s components leading to requiring more power to function. Heat also increases the battery’s ion flow leading to excessive power getting wasted.

You need to make sure your phone temperature stays above 0°C  and below 35°C for optimum battery power usage. For cold, keeping your phone in your pocket and near your body is usually enough to keep it above 0°C. And heat usually generates when the phone is covered from everywhere in hot weather, like in a heavy case or under the pillow, etc.

11. Factory reset the phone

This is a rather nuke option, but it usually solves almost all software-related issues. If your phone battery is fine and none of the above methods worked for you, then a factory reset could solve the problem. The process deletes all the data in your phone, so make sure your required data is backed up somewhere else before going for this option.

On most phones, you can go to Settings > Location & Language > Reset > Factory data reset. This will restart your phone and reset everything. Afterward, you will have to provide basic information again like you did when you first got the phone.

Factory data reset Android

Ending thoughts

In my experience, your phone should not lose more than 5-8% of battery power when you go to sleep and don’t use it at all throughout the night. If you are losing 20%+ battery in such a case, then it’s definitely of concern and you should follow the above tips to try to fix it. Even if you have an old phone, the above method will at least help get more juice out of the battery.

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