If iOS 11 is killing your iPhone’s battery, try this

A common sight with iOS 11.
A common sight with iOS 11.
Image: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
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If you’ve noticed that your iPhone’s battery seems to be draining considerably faster since upgrading to iOS 11, you’re not alone. And this might sound like something you’d read on an internet banner ad you wouldn’t click on, but hear me out: This one weird trick might fix our battery woes.

With the new operating system, it seems that Apple decided to automatically turn on “Background App Refresh,” a function that allows apps to constantly update and pull information from the internet even when you’re not actively using them. While you might want this for certain apps, you really don’t need it on for every app. I was seeing the battery on my iPhone 7 Plus drain in a matter of hours, when previously light usage would see it lasting the entire day.

Turning off background refresh has improved my battery life dramatically, pretty much to the levels I was seeing on iOS 10. Here’s how to do it yourself:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap General
  3. Tap Background App Refresh
  4. Go through all your apps and turn off the ones that you don’t need to keep on—pretty much everything other than maps, email, news, and music apps

That’s about it. You can also make it so that your app won’t update apps in the background unless you’re on wifi, which I also turned on for good measure. I have 191 apps on my phone, and I’ve left background refresh on for 15 of them. My battery life has massively improved.

There’s one more trick that can also help if this doesn’t allay your battery woes: turning off the “Auto-Brightness” function has apparently helped others, but I haven’t had to change this setting. If you’d like to, head to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Auto-Brightness.