How to Fix Bad iPhone SE Battery Life

If you start noticing severe battery drain on your iPhone SE after an update or all of a sudden, there are a few steps you should take before taking the phone to your local store.

As we head into 2018, we continue to see and receive complaints about poor iPhone SE battery life. We don’t see any major issues with the current version of iOS 12, but some iPhone SE users have noticed a dip in battery power.

iOS updates are not supposed to kill your device’s battery. You may see a gradual decline in battery life over the years, but you shouldn’t see a sharp drop all of a sudden. This is abnormal.

While some of you may be dealing with a hardware issue (swollen battery, etc.), there’s a good chance it’s a software issue. Maybe an app did the trick, maybe you need to change your settings or the way you use your iPhone SE.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through some steps to fix your iPhone SE battery life issues from your couch or computer chair. Some of these steps will take a few seconds, while others are a little more involved. All of them have a chance to lighten up everything you see on your phone.

Restart your device

If you start noticing that the battery is strangely draining on your iPhone SE, the first thing to do is to turn the device off and then on. Press and hold the power button, slide to turn it off, wait 30 seconds to a minute, and then press and hold the power button to turn it back on.

Download Latest iOS Update

If you’re having problems with an older version of iOS 12, try upgrading to the latest version of iOS 12.

Use iPhone SE’s Low Power Mode

Your iPhone SE comes with a handy Low Power Mode that automatically turns off features like AirDrop and iCloud Sync to save battery life.

Useful when you’re in trouble, you’ll get a prompt to activate when you hit the 20% battery mark, but we tend to activate this feature continuously throughout the day.

To enable Low Power Mode on iPhone SE, go to Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode > switch it to On when you need to save battery life.

Add it to Control Center for easy access. Control Center is the menu that appears when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

To do this, go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and tap the green plus sign next to Low Power Mode to add it to Control Center.

Always Use Wi-Fi

Using cellular data such as LTE can drain your battery faster. Using Wi-Fi can help conserve battery life, so be sure to use it whenever possible.

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Use Airplane Mode

If you are using your iPhone SE in a bad service area, your device may be working hard to get a signal. Your battery drains when your phone works too hard.

If you’re in a dreaded service area, you may want to turn on Airplane Mode until you get better coverage. You should also turn on Airplane Mode if you start to notice serious battery drain as it cuts off all your phone connections to help conserve battery.

Airplane Mode can be accessed from within the Settings app (near the top) or Control Center.

See Your Apps

There’s a very good chance that one of your iPhone SE’s apps is causing the battery problems. Apps like Facebook and YouTube are known to suck a ton of power.

Knowing what is sucking your juice is important, so go to Settings > Battery and take a look at the Battery Usage tool. It will show you the apps that are causing the most damage to your iPhone SE’s battery.

If you find that an app is consuming too much battery and you haven’t used it on your phone that much, try deleting the app to see if your battery life returns to normal. If you determine it’s not the culprit, you can always download it from the App Store.

If you prefer to keep the app installed, check the App Store for bug fixes and install the latest update.

Stop Killing Your Apps

When you notice an increase in battery consumption, you may want to close your applications via the Multitasking menu. This does nothing. Actually, Apple says closing apps on your multitasking screen doesn’t help your battery life.

Disable Vibrations

Your iPhone SE will vibrate when you receive a phone call or a new text in Messages. These vibrations can be beneficial, but they can also absorb valuable power.

If you don’t trust vibrations for phone calls, texts, and other notifications, turn them off. Go to Settings > Sounds and turn off Vibrate on Ring and Vibrate on Silent.

Also make sure you go into each Sound & Vibration and that Vibrate (located at the top of the screen) is set to None.

Manage Your Screen

The iPhone SE’s Retina Display is great, but it can drain battery life if you’re not careful.

If your screen turns on when you don’t need it or bright when you don’t, you lose battery percentage points.

Auto-Brightness is useful, but it can also misread your media. That’s why we recommend manually adjusting your display to suit your lighting conditions. To do this, you need to turn off Auto-Brightness.

If you’re ready, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > View Accommodations > Auto-Brightness > Off. When turned off, you have to manually adjust your screen brightness. It’s easy.

Pull up the Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of your iPhone SE and adjust the screen brightness as needed. You can also adjust it from Display and Brightness in Settings.

Turn off Lift to Wake

If you don’t need it, we also recommend turning off the Raise to Wake feature of your iPhone SE.

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If your iPhone SE’s screen doesn’t need to turn on automatically when you pick it up, go to the Settings app > Display & Brightness and turn off Raise to Wake.

Turn off Background Refresh

Your iPhone SE may be refreshing apps in the background to show you the latest data every time you turn it on. It’s a nifty feature, but it can wipe out your battery if it’s not under your control.

If you don’t need your apps to be constantly refreshed in the background, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh > and turn this feature off for apps you don’t use often.

You can do this on a case-by-case basis or turn off Background App Refresh altogether if you don’t want to go through it one by one.

Stop Using Dynamic Backgrounds

You may like to use animated backgrounds on iPhone SE, but they can also kill your battery. If you want to save a few percentage points, stick with static backgrounds.

reset all settings

If you’ve made all these fixes and none of them worked, it’s time to take some additional steps.

The first thing we recommend is a quick reset to your Settings. To do this, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings and then enter your passcode if you have one enabled on your iPhone SE.

This process may take a few minutes and will return your iPhone SE’s settings to their factory defaults. Before doing this, be sure to write down your Wi-Fi passwords if needed. This will cause your device to forget known connections.


You can also try downgrading your iPhone SE to an older iOS version (if available) to improve battery life. There’s no guarantee it will work, but if you’ve had a good experience on a previous iOS version, there’s a chance.

If you’re not sure how to downgrade your iPhone SE, we’ve prepared a downgrade guide that will walk you through the steps to downgrade to an older iOS version.

Buy Battery Case or Battery Bank

If you’re willing to spend money improving the battery life of your iPhone SE, consider purchasing a battery case or battery bank.

There are loads of battery case options out there, and our list of the best iPhone cases will get you started.

If you don’t want to lug around a bulky case and most battery cases add tons of weight to the iPhone, you might want to buy a battery bank instead.

If you’re not familiar, battery banks are small and lightweight gadgets that give you multiple iPhone charges. Such a device RAVPower battery pack can give you six full iPhone charges.

Start from scratch

If you can’t fix the problem yourself and don’t want to deal with taking it to a store, you can wipe your iPhone SE and start from scratch.

Factory resetting your device will erase everything on the iPhone SE and return it to the way it was when you first opened the box, so be sure to back up your file before starting this process.

After backing up your iPhone SE via iTunes or iCloud, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings to start the process.

Moyens Staff
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