Power out? Simple ways to extend your phone's battery life

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By: Amy Robinson | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 11, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- With widespread power outages across our area from Hurricane Irma, many are trying to preserve their cell phone batteries.

Here are some simple ways to help extend your smartphone's battery life:

  • Put your phone into 'low power mode'
    Most smartphones have a power saving mode for when the battery gets below a certain percentage. You can turn this on manually by going to your phone settings and switching low power mode on.
  • Close your background apps
    Many smartphone users don't realize that their apps may continue to run and refresh in the background even when they are not in use. The Facebook app is one popular choice that has been shown to use a significant amount of battery life. Be sure to completely close any apps you aren't actively using.
  • Put your phone into airplane mode
    Putting your cell phone into airplane mode is a great way to preserve battery life, especially in areas with poor cell signal. Although you can't make or receive calls while in airplane mode, your phone will save battery as it is not continuously searching for a cell signal.
  • Dim your screen
    Putting your screen on the lowest brightness level possible will help conserve battery life.
  • Turn 'vibrate' off
    If you really want to preserve your battery, turn off vibrate mode. Vibrate mode uses more battery than even your ringtone does. Keeping your phone on silent is also a great option.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use
    If you are without power, chances are, you are without a reliable Wi-Fi signal as well. Turning off your phone's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities in your settings will save battery life, as your phone isn't constantly seeking out a signal.
  • Keep your phone in a cool place
    Although cool temperatures may not be possible if your power is out and the air conditioning is off, just keeping your phone out of the heat will help the battery function more efficiently.
  • Shut your phone off when not in use
    It may seem obvious, but turning your phone off when you aren't going to use it for a few hours is extremely effective for saving battery. However, use this sparingly as turning your phone on and off constantly is going to have the opposite effect.