Why is My iPhone Battery Draining so Quickly?

A common question I hear is "Why is my iPhone battery draining so quickly?".  There many different factors and reasons for this and there is no single easy answer. However, there are a simple thing you can do to help figure out what the issue might be.

Background Apps Running

The first (and best) thing to do is check the battery usage screen that Apple provides.

Open the Settings app.

Scroll down a little ways and find the Battery setting.

Tap it and wait for the screen to load completely. It will take 10-30 secs (depending on your type of phone) for the app to show the battery usages stats. Once it is open you will see a list of apps and the percentage of battery that it used in the last 24 hours sorted from highest usage to lowest. This list should give you a good indication as to what is draining your battery.

For more details, tap the little clock icon to switch the display to show how much time the app used the battery. It also shows details like screen time and background time.

Age of Phone

Keep in mind, an iPhone that is more then 2 years old will probably start to show signs of quick battery drain. You may start to notice that your battery jumps from 30% to 5% in the matter of minutes or after you open an app. At this point, your only option is to have the battery replaced.

You can try to replace it yourself. There are a few sites that show you how to do this and allow you to buy the new battery. I like iFixit's website. Or, you can have Apple replace it. 

Change the location of the MobileSync Folder on a Mac

The MobileSync folder is used by iTunes to backup your iOS devices (iPod, iPhone, IPad, etc.) and, if you are like me and have a couple of these devices, it can grow to a very large size and take up a good amount of disk space on your harddrive. For me, it was taking up about 15GB of disk space. Which doesn't seem like a lot but when you only have a 120GB harddrive that has only 10% free space on it 15GB is a nice savings.

My solution for this problem was to move the MobileSync folder to an external harddrive (the same drive that happens to hold my iTunes library). The problem though is that iTunes doesn't give you a Preference setting with which to move it. So, here is how to move it.

  1. Copy or move your ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync folder to your external harddrive. I typically copy a folder first incase there are errors and then delete the source folder. If an error happens while you are moving a folder you end up with some files in one place and some still in the original and it can be a mess to clean up.
  2. Now open terminal and run the following command, replacing <Your External HDD> with the name of your actual external harddrive:
    ln -s /Volumes/<Your External HDD>/MobileSync ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync

Essentially what this does it create a symbolic link for the ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync folder that points to the external harrdrive MobileSync folder and from iTunes point of view, nothing has changed and it works as normal.

On a Windows PC, here are some procedures that you can follow: how to move MobileSync backup folder?