How to Make Your Smartphone Battery Last Longer

Our tech experts share their hacks for helping your battery last all day

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Do you feel lucky if your smartphone lasts until you get home without dying on you? Before you resort to turning it off to preserve its battery, check out our techie tips to keep your phone going until bedtime and beyond…

First start by identifying which items are draining your battery, if possible. Got an iPhone running IOS 8 or later? Head to Settings > Battery and then scroll down the list of apps, looking at which is using the highest percentage of your battery. If you've got a handset running Google Android, Open the Settings > Device > Battery or Settings > Power > Battery Use. 

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Unfortunately, Windows Phone doesn't offer an option to see these figures at the moment.

If it's the display that's using the most battery….

Reduce the brightness of the screen. On an iPhone go to Settings > Display & Brightness, while on a handset running Google Android it's Settings > Display > Brightness. 

Using a Windows Phone? You can still adjust the screen's brightness by opening the Settings app and then tap Brightness.It's also worth using screen timeout, if you don't already, so that the display is not permanently on, even when the phone is not in use, as this affects the battery level. 

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Got an iPhone, then head to Settings > General > Auto Lock, while those with a Google Android handset should open the Settings menu again and then select Display > Screen timeout. And if you're a Windows Phone user, head to the Settings Menu and then tap Lock Screen. iPhone owners should also be warned that using one of Apple's dynamic or live wallpapers that are animated will also deplete your battery. Swap it for a still that doesn't move in the Settings Menu and then selecting Wallpaper.

If it's an app that's using the most battery…

1. Turn off Background App Refresh, which connects apps such as Facebook, Twitter and others to the internet in the background, looking for new information. On an iPhone, got to Settings > General > Background app refresh. Those with Google Android smartphones should head to Settings > Data Usage and then use the menu button to switch on Restrict Background Data. 

On a Windows Phone, open the Settings Menu and then tap Data Sense, switching on the Restrict Background Data option.2.Think about switching off connectivity options like Bluetooth, and location-tracking services (GPS) if you don't need them, as they are a drain on your battery. 

For iPhone users, switch off Bluetooth by going to Settings > Bluetooth, while head to Settings > Privacy > Location Services; to turn off GPS.If you have an Android smartphone, Switch off Bluetooth via Settings > Wireless > Network. GPS can be turned off using the Location and Security option in Settings. 

Windows Phone owners can switch Bluetooth off from the Bluetooth tab in the Settings app, under the section marked Network and Wireless, while for GPS head to the section marked Privacy and tap Location to switch it off. If you're concerned about how much battery you have on a regular basis, it's always worth implementing the following steps, too.

Low power mode

If you have a power-saving or low power mode, use it! It will keep a mobile running for longer when the battery reaches a certain level by adjusting settings (such as how quickly the screen saver appears) and turning off functions like the camera flash. On an iPhone, tap Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode, while those with Google Android handsets should head to Settings > Battery and then Battery Saver/Low power will be displayed if it's available (it varies between handsets). 

If your Windows Phone has a power-saving mode, you'll find the Battery Saver option under the System section of the Settings app.Got a Google Android smartphone? Then download the free app Doze, which is a default feature on the latest version of the operating system, but also available as a standalone app for handsets running Google Android 4.1.  It automatically implements a number of changes to settings that will put your phone to sleep when it's not being used, helping you save battery, rather like Low Power Mode does.

Don't use Fetch for email

As much as it's tempting to have your email app notify you as soon as a new message arrives, it will drain your battery. Instead, use Manual where email is only collected when you open the app. To do this on an iPhone, tap Mail, Contacts & Calendar, then select Fetch New Data and switch off Push. Got a Google Android handset? Open the Mail app and then select the Menu option; from the Settings displayed, choose Sync Frequency or Push and turn it off. Finally, for those with a Windows Phone handset, open the Outlook app and then select Settings from the Menu. Tap Sync Settings and under the section marked Download New Content, select never. 

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