04/30/2014 07:53 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

3 Simple Steps To Improving Your iPhone's Battery Life


We've all experienced those moments when you're about to Instagram the world's most flattering photo, post truly the wittiest Facebook comment you've ever conjured up, or delete an accidental like that totally shows you were stalking someone ... and your phone dies. You're not alone! Smartphones have notoriously terrible battery life.

To help you out, here are three steps to make those charges last longer, so you can snap, tweet, and Instagram to your heart's content.

1. Change your settings

If it seems like your battery is determined to die after 4 hours every day, there are some changes you can make to your software settings to make it last a bit longer.

One thing you need to do to preserve your battery life is turn things off that you're not using. Are you out running errands? Turn off your Wi-Fi. Your iPhone will waste precious battery life searching for Wi-Fi signal that's not there. If you're going to be totally without service for a while (underground in the subway, for example) turn on Airplane Mode.

There are a bunch of features you can turn off completely if you're not using them. To turn off Siri, go to Settings, then General, then Siri. From there you can just pull the toggle to the left and turn Siri off. That should save you some juice. If you don't mind manually updating your apps, you can turn off app auto updates. Just go to Settings, then iTunes & App Downloads, click Automatic Downloads and turn that off.

You can also turn off Frequent Locations either in general or just for certain apps. Your iPhone learns the places you frequent the most so that apps can give you targeted ads. Honestly, you don't need that. To turn off Frequent Locations, go to Settings, then hit Privacy, then Location Services, then System Services, and scroll down to the bottom to turn Frequent Locations off. You're welcome.

ios 7 battery life

Finally, if we've said it once, we've said it a million times: Turn your brightness down. With iOS 7, it's simple to adjust your brightness throughout the day. Just pull up from the bottom of the screen to show the Control Center. From there, just bring the brightness down as far as possible. Keep an eye on it throughout the day -- it can make a big difference in your battery life.

2. Get the right charger

Get a real Apple charger. Did you read that? Get. A. Real. Apple. Charger. Yes, they're more expensive than knock-offs. Yes, they're harder to find. Yes, other chargers look just like official Apple chargers. But you need to get a real Apple charger.

The real chargers that are made to charge your iPhone most likely charge it faster than fake ones, for obvious reasons. More importantly, though, fake chargers can be dangerous. Last year, there were reports of people being injured by fake iPhone chargers, and Apple was even offering people money if they traded in their phony chargers for a period of time.

3. Pick up an external battery

If your iPhone just refuses to hold a charge no matter what, you'll want to buy an external battery to keep it going all day.

One good option is a charging case, which protects your iPhone and charges it at the same time. Mophie makes a popular battery case called a juice pack, and you can buy them for Apple phones and for other brands.

iphone battery life

If you have an iPhone 5 or 5S, for example, Mophie's juice pack costs $79.95 for a case that gives you 80 percent extra battery life. For $99.95, you get 100 percent more battery life, and for $119.95 you'll get 120 percent more. The only downside is that the cases tend to be bulky and heavy.

If you'd rather keep your current case and carry a separate battery, you can buy a portable external battery like these from Anker.

iphone battery life

For $49.99, an Aker 2nd Gen Astro3 can charge your iPhone six times before you have to recharge the recharger (so meta). Their $36.99 battery can charge your iPhone four times, and the $29.99 charger gives you three charges. Of course, you'll have to carry around an extra battery, but if you need that sweet, sweet charge, you'll do what must be done.