How to keep your apps from draining your phone’s battery

It’s frustrating when the battery in your phone dies unexpectedly — but there are a number of ways to keep your phone’s power from draining too fast.

One way: Find out which power-hungry apps are sucking the most juice from your smartphone and put a stop to it.

Here are some tips on how to prevent your apps from draining your phone’s battery and keep your device running longer.

Which apps use the most battery?

When it comes to battery usage, not all apps are created equally. According to UK-based USwitch, these are the top 10 power-intensive offenders:

  • Google 
  • Facebook 
  • Messenger 
  • WhatsApp Messenger 
  • Amazon Alexa 
  • Gmail 
  • Uber 
  • Waze 
  • Google Chrome 
  • YouTube Music

In addition to these, keep in mind that games and streaming apps use quite a bit of power when in use, too.

You can also find out which apps are using the most power on your phone. On both Apple and Android devices, go to Settings > Battery to see a list of which apps are hogging power on your device.

Disable app data/refresh in the background 

Some of your apps will continue to gather data in the background while you’re not using your phone, and that can drain a lot of battery life. This is a great feature for, say, a music app playing your favorite tunes, a news app to give you the freshest information the next time you load it up, or a navigation app helping you get around town, but not every app needs this feature to function properly.

  • To turn this feature off for your apps on iOS, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Here, you can choose whether you want this feature on or off completely, or just WiFi only. You can also toggle this on and off for individual apps.
  • On Android, go to Settings > Data Usage to see which apps are using the most data. Tap on the app you’d like to restrict and disable background data. For some apps, you may be able to turn on Battery Restriction, and be sure to turn on Battery Optimization.

Should I quit my apps when I’m done with them?

It would seem to make sense: when you’re done using an app, you should close it to save battery life. While it might sound counterintuitive, you’ll probably want to keep those apps open. Not convinced? Here’s some authoritative proof:

When Apple iOS chief Craig Federighi was asked if he himself quits apps or if quitting apps helps with battery life, he unequivocally said “no and no.” 

So what about Android? Hiroshi Lockheimer, the VP of Engineering at Android tweeted “(closing apps in the background) could very slightly worsen unless you and algorithm are ONE (you kill something, system wants it back etc).” 

And here’s a technical explanation why closing apps probably doesn’t save your battery.

Still having issues?

If your phone’s battery is still draining too quickly after these tips, check out our recent post, 8 easy ways to extend your phone’s battery life, which will give you even more advice on keeping your device running longer.

Depending on the age of your device, you might also consider upgrading your phone with us here at CREDO. We’re offering some amazing deals right now on new and refurbished phones, and you’ll feel good knowing that your phone bill is supporting incredible progressive non-profit organizations fighting for climate justice, civil rights, economic justice and more. Visit and find a new phone and plan that’s right for you!