Like many of you, we here at BoomerTECH Adventures use our cell phones daily and often, so having enough battery power is important. Here are a few tips and strategies for making the most of your device’s battery in the short and long run. Which ones are new to you?

Reduce screen brightness

The brighter your screen, the faster it will drain your battery. Set your screen to automatic and it will dim in low light and brighten during the day. You can also choose a constant low brightness.

Set your phone to sleep faster

When your phone is asleep, nonessential parts such as the screen are turned off while vital components stay on so that you can quickly start using your phone when want.

Use low power mode

In low power mode, the settings on your phone are automatically adjusted to prioritize battery life. Your screen is dimmer, background apps get shut off and phone operation gets reduced to “essential tasks only.” Low power mode adds several hours to battery life.

Use airplane mode

Phones spend a lot of power searching for signals, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular data. Airplane mode stops this search, saving battery life.

Watch out for power-hungry apps running in the background

Apps running in the background are big drains on mobile data and storage space. If you are draining your battery quickly, running low on memory, running up your data usage, review your apps. Most phones have an option under their Settings menu, often tied to Network Settings, where you can view app data usage. You can customize settings for when these apps run, pause them temporarily or even delete them completely depending on your needs.


Update your operating system

Phone manufacturers periodically release system updates that may include battery performance enhancements. Keeping your phone up to date gives you direct access to the latest optimizations.

Reduce push notifications

Alerts that pop up on your screen drain your battery. For maximum battery-saving effects, you can turn these notifications off completely. If you want to keep some notifications, such as receiving calendar reminders or text messages but avoid other app notifications, you can adjust which push notifications are enabled on an app-by-app basis from your Settings menu.

Limit location services

Leaving location services on means your phone is constantly interacting with local satellites, sharing updates on where you go, quickly draining your battery. In your phone’s settings, there is an option for location services, which you can adjust.

Don’t use animated wallpaper

Also called live or dynamic wallpaper, this requires more battery power for the animation. Don’t choose it for longer battery life.

Avoid multitasking

Listening to music while using email, reading an e-book or shopping online contributes to faster battery drain. So, use one app at a time and close it down when you’ve finished.

Avoid automatic downloads and rich content

Downloading files, streaming media, watching videos and playing music all accelerate the rate of battery usage. You can turn off automatic downloads from your phone’s Settings menu. Usually, this involves viewing the App Download settings and selecting the option to be asked every time (versus enabling automatic downloads over Wi-Fi).


Lock your phone

Set your phone to lock when you’re not using it. Even though you will have to sign in every time you need to use your phone, you will net massive gains on battery longevity.

Keep your phone at room temperature

The temperature range for optimal battery life is between 62 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above this are very bad for battery lifespan. Many phones automatically shut off when they overheat. If your phone is hot, move it out of direct sunlight and into the coolest spot you can find. Placing the phone near a fan will cool it faster. In cold weather, keep your phone close to your body in an inner pocket.

Carry a power bank

If you travel a lot or consistently run low on battery — or you’re just worried about losing power while you travel — a mobile power bank might be a great option. Power banks are a portable power source you can use to charge your phone while you’re on the go without worrying about your phone use. BTA guide Chris uses a solar-powered charger when hiking or cycling.

Finally, if you’re going to power down your phone, or any device for a long while, do it when the battery is about 50% charged. This could be when you go on an extended international trip or if you’re a snowbird who leaves a phone behind for several months. If it’s stored at 100% for an extended time, the battery may lose its ability to recharge to 100%, leading to shorter battery life. And remember: Store the phone in a dry, cool environment.

BoomerTECH Adventures ( helps boomers and older adults navigate the digital world with confidence and competence. Active boomers themselves, they use their backgrounds as teachers to support individuals and groups with online courses, articles, videos and presentations to organizations upon request.

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