How to Fix iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 Battery Draining Fast

How to Fix iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 Battery Draining Fast 

Mobile phones are an indispensable part of our everyday lives, and unfortunately, like us, our phones’ power (battery) goes down as the day progresses. However, you must be concerned if it seems like your iPhone battery is draining faster than it should.

The best way to fix an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13’s dropping battery health is to prevent unnecessary strain and minimise the full charge cycles the battery receives. This can be done by optimising the settings and usage of our iPhones.

As always, we’ll list things you can do to fix your fast-draining battery issue from the easiest to the most complicated ones. Follow this guide so you can get your iPhone’s battery health in tip-top shape in about 5 minutes! Let’s go!

DifficultyModerate ●●●○○
Duration3-5 minutes (average)
Number of Fixes23
Things You NeediPhone 12, 13, or newer models

Why is my iPhone 12 or 13’s battery health dropping so fast?

The iPhone 12 has a 2,815mAh battery that can provide up to 6 hours of video playback, while the iPhone 13 has 3,227mAh, good for around 8 hours. A faster discharge time and dropping battery health are valid causes of concern for any user.

Your iPhone 12 or 13’s battery health could be falling so fast because of battery-hungry software features and apps. It could also be due to a physically defective battery.

How to Fix iPhone Battery Health Dropping So Fast

Once you notice your iPhone 12 or 13 battery going empty faster, it’s best to thoroughly assess whether such occurrence is caused by hardware or software issues. 

Here are fixes you can try to save your iPhone battery’s health:

1. Avoid overheating your phone.

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1

Your iPhone’s lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery will degrade or hold less charge much faster when consistently used in extreme temperatures. Thus, ensuring your phone does not overheat is a must.

Apple even advises consumers to use iPhones and other Apple products in temperatures between 0 and 35°C (32 to 95 °F). Other things you can do to avoid overheating include not overcharging your iPhone and not using a case when charging.

2. Use dark mode.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps3 (or 4)
Duration5 seconds

The iPhone 12 and 13 models are equipped with a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display. 

OLED is a nifty screen technology that allows for a “true black” colour because it doesn’t light up pixels that are supposed to be in black. It also means less battery power is used when an OLED phone screen displays black, like in dark mode.

Dark mode isn’t a new user interface (UI) style, but since its resurgence around 2017, over 80% of users now prefer a dark UI over the typical “light mode,” at least according to the readers of Android Authority in 2020.

OLED screens in dark mode are less harsh on the eyes, help improve reading comprehension, and consume less battery power, helping make your battery health last longer. 

We’re glad it’s also available on the iPhone (but only Apple apps and not all third-party apps support the feature).

Here’s how to set your iPhone 12 or 13 to dark mode:

Step 1: From your iPhone home screen, tap Settings.

Step 2: Scroll down for a bit and tap on Display & Brightness.

Step 3: Select Dark to enable dark mode.

Step 4: (OPTIONAL) You can set when to automatically enter dark mode by toggling Automatic to ON. You can also tap on Options below to select whether dark mode will follow [1] sunrise and sunset or [2] your preferred schedule.

Once you’ve set stuff in Settings, you can quickly toggle between light and dark modes at your iPhone’s Control Center.

3. Lower your screen brightness.

Regardless of the preference between dark or light modes, most people would agree that a very bright phone screen hurts the eyes and consumes much of the iPhone’s battery. 

You can quickly lower the iPhone 12 or 13’s brightness via the Control Center or Settings.

Lower Brightness via the Control Center

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps2
Duration5 seconds

To adjust screen brightness in the Control Center, you should:

Step 1: Drag down from the top of your home screen to access the Control Center.

Step 2: Drag up or down on the brightness bar (the one with the “sun” symbol) to set your iPhone screen’s brightness to as dim as you want it to be.

Lower Brightness via Settings

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps3
Duration5 seconds

Another way to adjust your iPhone 12 or 13’s screen brightness is through the Settings menu. Here’s how to do so:

Step 1: Start on your home screen and tap Settings.

Step 2: Tap Display & Brightness.

Step 3: Drag the Brightness slider left or right until you get your desired brightness level. Slide all the way to the left if you want the lowest brightness possible and save the most battery power.

There you have it, your iPhone 12 or 13 isn’t so glaring to the eyes anymore (and your battery health will also improve).

4. Enable Auto-Brightness.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps3
Duration5-10 seconds

If you don’t want to adjust your screen’s brightness every time your lighting conditions change, then we suggest you turn on Auto-Brightness instead. It will still help you save battery on top of saving you a few swipes and taps on your iPhone 12 or 13.

Here’s how to enable Auto-Brightness:

Step 1: From Settings, tap on Accessibility.

Step 2: Tap on Display & Text Size.

Step 3: Scroll down until you see Auto-Brightness. Toggle its setting to OFF.

5. Set a faster Auto-Lock duration.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps4
Duration5 seconds

Your iPhone 12 or 13 screen can automatically lock and turn itself off after a set amount of time. This can help your phone to conserve its battery and preserve its health since less power will be spent to keep the screen lit up.

For maximum power savings, we suggest you set the Auto-Lock to kick in at the soonest time possible, 30 seconds. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open Settings from your iPhone 12 or 13’s home screen.

Step 2: Tap Display & Brightness.

Step 3: Scroll down a bit and tap on Auto-Lock.

Step 4: Set the Auto-Lock duration to the shortest one (30 seconds).

6. Turn off Raise to Wake.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps3
Duration5 seconds

Raise to Wake is a feature that makes the iPhone’s screen automatically “wake up” when the phone is lifted from any surface. With it, you can quickly glance at your lock screen to check notifications, battery, and signal levels without pressing any button. 

The downside of Raise to Wake is that it uses system resources in the background. Thus, it can also add to the long list of reasons why your battery might be draining faster than usual.

You can easily toggle this feature off by following these steps:

Step 1: Quickly tap Settings.

Step 2: Tap on Display & Brightness.

Step 3: Toggle Raise to Wake to OFF.

7. Stop using a 5G connection.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps2
Duration5-10 seconds

5G is the latest and fastest global wireless communication standard that started its rollout in 2019. As of this writing, 4G is still the most widely-used network in many countries, but 5G is steadily rising due to its faster speed and lower latency.

Although very promising, 5G’s greatest weakness is its high power consumption. 

5G’s higher data transfer rates can drain an iPhone 12 or 13’s battery quicker than if done over 4G — the Wall Street Journal even noted at least a 2.5-hour decrease in the iPhone 13 Pro’s battery life when it tested battery longevity in a 5G connection.

That’s why we highly suggest you don’t use a 5G connection, unless necessary, to save your phone battery.

Step 1: Open Settings and tap on Cellular.

Step 2: Tap Voice and Data and set the connection to LTE

Note: If you need the faster speed of 5G but still want to save battery, tap 5G Auto instead of 5G On to switch your phone between 4G and 5G. Your iPhone will choose the best network to connect to based on your usage and battery level. 

You can also connect to Wi-Fi instead to save the most battery.

8. Turn off or choose how apps access Location Services.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps4
Duration5 seconds – 1 minute

Location Service is an essential part of any phone’s function because it can help a lot in emergency situations. However, it’s also one of the biggest battery hoggers on an iPhone.

Here’s how to disable location services on your iPhone 12 or 13:

Step 1: Open your Settings app.

Step 2: Scroll down and tap Privacy.

Step 3: Toggle Location Services to OFF position.

Step 4: If you want to set separate location settings for specific apps, you can do so at the lower part of the Location Services menu.

You can turn off Location Service on your iPhone 12 or 13, but it will automatically turn back on again if you access Apple’s Find my iPhone service.

9. Don’t use dynamic or live wallpapers.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps3
Duration20 seconds – 1 minute

Long gone are the days of only having static or still wallpapers for the iPhone. You can now choose a dynamic or live wallpaper for your iPhone 12 or 13.

Dynamic wallpapers don’t need touch input for the image to move. On the other hand, live wallpapers rely on your touch to begin their animation.

Nonetheless, dynamic and live wallpapers use your phone’s resources, including your battery. So, we suggest you stick to a still or static wallpaper if you have battery health issues.

This is how to change your iPhone 12 or 13 wallpaper to a still:

Step 1: Once you open Settings, tap Wallpaper > Choose a New Wallpaper.

Step 2: Select either [1] your own still image from your photo library or [2] any of Apple’s stock stills (in this case, we’re going with the stock ones). Tap your chosen wallpaper to preview.

Step 3: Once the wallpaper preview appears, tap Set and select the area/s you wish to apply your new still wallpaper to.

10. Delete widgets from your home screen.

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps3
Duration10 seconds

Until the release of iOS 14 back in 2020, widgets have only been found in Android phones. Widgets have indeed been a very welcome addition to the features of iPhones.

These nifty mini-apps on your iPhone 12 or 13 home screen use a part of your phone’s battery and computing power to become constantly updated in the background. 

Although very useful for the multi-tasker, letting these widgets go might solve a phone’s drop in battery health. Here’s how to remove any widget from your iPhone home screen:

Step 1: Long press on the widget you want to remove until a popup appears.

Step 2: Tap on Remove Widget.

Step 3: Another popup asking to confirm widget deletion will appear. Tap Remove.

That’s it. You can also remove widgets on your iPhone’s Today View to maximise battery saving.

11. Uninstall apps.

Having lots of apps on your iPhone is also one possible reason your battery drains too fast. It’s best to clean up your iPhone 12 or 13 and only retain apps you frequently use.

Uninstalling apps can be done on the home screen or via Settings.

Uninstalling Apps via Home Screen

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Duration5 seconds

Uninstalling via your iPhone home screen is pretty straightforward. The phone just shows numerous popups to confirm that you’re sure you want to uninstall an app.

Step 1: On your home screen, tap and hold on the icon of the app you wish to uninstall. For example, you want to uninstall this GoPro app.

Step 2: Tap Remove App on the popup.

Step 3: Tap Delete App to fully remove the app on your phone.

Step 4: Tap Delete on the last popup that will appear.

Uninstalling Apps via Settings

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps3
Duration5-10 seconds

Deleting your iPhone 12 or 13 apps via Settings can be a bit more complicated than doing so on your home screen. However, we think this method is better, especially if you’ve forgotten what an app is for because you’ll see each app’s description.

Step 1: Go to Settings and tap your Apple ID icon to access your account information.

Step 2: Scroll down to your list of installed apps. Choose the app you want to uninstall by swiping left on its respective entry on the list to reveal a red Remove button. Tap that red button.

Step 3: Tap Delete to confirm the app uninstallation from your iPhone.

We highly suggest you do an “app cleanup” at least once a month to save your iPhone’s memory and battery.

12. Disable vibrations.

Your iPhone’s vibration motor also consumes battery power, so it’s best to turn vibrations off to conserve charge. You can turn the vibration off only for calls, SMS, and Mail or across the board.

Turn Off Vibrate for Calls, SMS, and Mail

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps2
Duration5 seconds

You can disable vibrations when being notified for calls, SMS, Mail, or even Calendar alerts by doing the following:

Step 1: Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics.

Step 2: Toggle both Vibrate on Ring and Vibrate on Silent options to OFF.

Turn Off Vibrate All throughout Your iPhone

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps2
Duration5-10 seconds

For a quicker method to turn off all vibrations on your iPhone 12 or 13, you can go to Accessibility options:

Step 1: From Settings, go to Accessibility and tap Touch.

Step 2: Scroll down and toggle Vibration to OFF.

Once your iPhone’s vibration is off, you can save more battery. The caveat is that you’ll need to rely only on sound or check your phone more frequently if it’s on silent to be updated on new notifications.

Nevertheless, we think the pros outweigh the cons here.

13. Use low power mode.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps2
Duration5-10 seconds

Low Power Mode is most popularly used when an iPhone’s battery is very low or nearly empty. This feature extends the battery’s life even though with a very minimal charge.

Here’s how to turn Low Power Mode on:

Step 1: Go to Settings, scroll down, and tap Battery.

Step 2: Toggle Low Power Mode to ON. Tap Continue to confirm.

Your iPhone 12 or 13 is already on Low Power Mode if you can see a yellow battery icon on the top right corner of its screen.

14. Enable Optimized Battery Charging.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps2
Duration5-10 seconds

Li-ion batteries get strained and have shorter lifespans when left without charge and consistently overcharged. 

Thus, when talking about an iPhone’s battery health and the prevention of fast discharge, then one shouldn’t miss optimising battery charging. Optimized Battery Charging has been a staple feature of iPhones since iOS 13 in 2019. 

This feature helps reduce battery wear and tear by delaying charging from 80% to 100% when plugged in for a long time. Based on your usage patterns, it predicts when to begin charging your iPhone to full capacity.

Optimized Battery Charging is enabled by default, but if yours isn’t, here’s how to enable it:

Step 1: In Settings, scroll down and tap on Battery.

Step 2: Toggle Optimized Battery Charging to ON.

Now, you won’t have to worry about overcharging your iPhone 12 or 13 because Optimized Battery Charging has your back. 

15. Turn off Background App Refresh.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps3
Duration5-10 seconds

Background App Refresh is an iPhone 12 or 13 feature that constantly keeps your background apps updated so that they’ll show the most current information when you go back or open them again. 

Given this description, Background App Refresh can easily be seen as one big reason for fast battery drain. To save your battery and prolong its health, we highly suggest you turn this feature off.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: From Settings, tap on General.

Step 2: Tap Background App Refresh.

Step 3: Turn off Background App Refresh for all apps simultaneously by tapping Background App Refresh again and then Off.

Step 4: (Optional) If you want to turn the feature off for only a select number of apps, scroll down and toggle the feature off individually for your chosen apps.

16. Turn off automatic sync to iCloud.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps4
Duration5-10 seconds

iCloud is a handy feature that ensures your iPhone 12 or 13’s data is securely backed up in Apple’s servers. However, the automatic synching with iCloud can drain your phone’s battery.

You can turn off automatic sync to iCloud by following these steps:

Step 1: Go to Settings, then to your Apple ID.

Step 2: Tap iCloud.

Step 3: Choose which iCloud services you want to turn off.

If you want to sync your iPhone data to iCloud, just turn off this feature again. You can also back up your iPhone to iCloud using your computer.

17. Limit push notifications.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps2
Duration5-10 seconds

Push notifications use your iPhone’s battery a lot. These wake your phone’s screen from standby and automatically fetch data in the background.

You can turn off push notifications to save your battery’s capacity and health. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: In Settings, tap on Phone.

Step 2: Tap Notifications and toggle Allow Notifications to OFF.

From now on, you won’t be bugged by notifications on your iPhone 12 or 13. Your inner peace and phone battery will thank you.

18. Reset all settings.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps4
DurationA few minutes

Resetting all of your iPhone 12 or 13’s settings can reset any processes that use up large chunks of your phone’s battery life. This reset can make your iPhone function optimally and efficiently again. 

Here’s how it goes:

Step 1: Go to Settings, then General.

Step 2: Scroll down a bit and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

Step 3: Tap Reset, then Reset All Settings.

Step 4: When asked, enter your passcode. Do so and then tap Reset All Settings twice to confirm.

Do not fret; resetting all settings does not delete your iPhone’s data.

19. Do a factory reset.

Another way to reset your iPhone settings to make it work like new and (hopefully) solve your battery health issue is by going all in for a factory reset. You can do this using your PC, Mac, or phone.

REMINDER: Back up your iPhone’s data before doing a phone reset.

Factory Reset iPhone on Your Computer

DifficultyModerate ●●●○○
Number of Steps4
Duration15-30 minutes

When doing a factory reset via computer, follow these steps:

Step 1: Connect your phone to your computer (Mac or PC) via cable or via Wi-Fi sync. 
Step 2: Once your iPhone shows up on your Mac (via Finder) or PC (via iTunes), click on your device’s name to see its summary.

Step 3: Click on Restore iPhone

Step 4: Click Restore > Next > Agree on the series of confirmation pop-ups. Follow the rest of the instructions shown on your computer and iPhone until the factory reset is finished.

Factory Reset on Your iPhone

DifficultyModerate ●●●○○
Number of Steps6
Duration15-30 minutes
REMINDER: Ensure that your iPhone has enough power. We highly suggest plugging it in for the duration of the whole reset.

Here’s how to factory reset your iPhone 12 or 13:

  • Disable Find my iPhone. Go to Settings > Apple ID.
  • Tap Find My and toggle Find My iPhone off. Encode your Apple account password to confirm.
  • Sign out of your Apple ID account. Back to your Apple ID page, tap Sign Out. You’ll be asked about keeping your data on the phone, but you can click Sign Out twice to proceed without doing anything to your information.
  • Begin the factory reset. Go back to General > Transfer or Reset iPhone or simply Reset.
  • Tap Erase All Content and Settings. Enter your phone’s passcode, then tap Erase iPhone.
  • Wait until the factory reset is complete.

Et voila, your iPhone 12 or 13 is now fully reset. Hopefully, your battery won’t drain as fast as before now.

20. Disable automatic app updates.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps2
Duration5-10 seconds

Unknown to the average user, an iPhone’s automatic checking for and downloading app updates in the background can also contribute to its battery’s dropping health. These automatic updates can make an iPhone battery drain faster than expected.

Here’s how to disable automatic app updates:

Step 1: Go to Settings and scroll down to tap on App Store.

Step 2: Under Automatic Downloads, toggle both [1] Apps and [2] App Updates to OFF.

After this, you can just manually check for any app updates.

21. Update all apps.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of Steps4
Duration30 seconds – a few minutes

Outdated iPhone apps could have code that drains power faster, therefore, contributing to your battery’s declining health. This is why it’s best to use the most updated version of any app for a more battery-friendly operation.

Here’s how it should go:

  • Tap the App Store icon on your iPhone 12 or 13’s home screen.
  • Tap your profile icon at the upper right edge of the screen.
  • Scroll down your Apple account details and check for available or upcoming automatic updates.
  • Tap Update All to update every app you own to its newest version (1). Otherwise, you can choose the apps you want to update (2).

22. Update iOS.

Your iPhone battery fast discharging can also be caused by outdated iOS. You can update your iOS by hooking it up via a cable to your computer (PC or Mac) or wirelessly on your iPhone. 

REMINDER: Back up your data before proceeding with any update. iOS is the most essential software in an iPhone, and you could lose data when updating it.

Update iOS on Your Computer

DifficultyModerate ●●●○○
Number of Steps7
Duration10-40 minutes
  • Open iTunes (PC) or Finder (Mac).
  • Connect your device to the computer via cable.
  • iTunes: A popup about available software updates will appear once you connect your iPhone to your computer. Click Update and follow the rest of the on-screen instructions.
  • Otherwise, look for your device’s button on the iTunes toolbar (PC) or Finder (Mac) and click it to see your device’s summary.
  • Click Check for Update on your iPhone’s summary page (both on PC and Mac).
  • If an update is available, click Download and Update.
  • Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions until the update finishes.

Update iOS on Your iPhone

You can update your iPhone 12 or 13 via Wi-Fi or a 5G mobile data connection. Back up your data to iCloud before updating iOS.

DifficultyModerate ●●●○○
Number of Steps5
Duration16-40 minutes
  • Plug your iPhone into an outlet and make sure it’s connected to the internet.
  • Go to Settings > General.
  • Tap on Software Update. Wait for a bit while your iPhone automatically checks for available updates.
  • Press the Download and Install if an update is available. To continue with the update, type your passcode.
  • Let the phone go through the iOS update process until finished.

23. Replace your iPhone battery.

DifficultySomewhat Hard ●●●●○
Number of Stepsvaries

If all of the tips we previously mentioned fail, then you might already need to replace your iPhone 12 or 13’s battery with a new one. It can be quite a hassle, but this is the surefire way to bring your phone battery health to 100%.

You’re in luck if your iPhone is still under its one-year warranty because Apple will provide battery service if your battery health falls below 80% within this period. 

For out-of-warranty iPhone 12/13 units, you can simply send these to Apple to be repaired for a fee or to any third-party repair shop. 

On the other hand, you can also replace the battery yourself if you’re up for a challenge. You can buy third-party battery replacement kits online; Apple also has Self Service Repair kits for iPhone 12 and 13 models.

Tips to Prevent Battery Health Drop on the iPhone 12 and 13

Aside from the fixes mentioned in the previous section, here are some tips to prevent the drop in your iPhone 12 or 13’s battery health:

  • Use original charging accessories. Your iPhone battery will charge properly and generally have good health when you use the original charging accessories made for it — beware of buying fake products because cheaper isn’t better.
  • Don’t overcharge your iPhone. Li-ion batteries degrade slower when pulled off the charging plug as soon as they reach full capacity. 
  • Regularly check your iPhone’s battery health. Take advantage of your iPhone’s battery settings menu and monitor whether your phone is charging correctly and discharging in a typical manner.

Wrapping Up

Remember that a battery that’s dropping its power fast can be caused by the settings of your iPhone, physical defects on the battery, or just general wear and tear.

If you notice that your iPhone 12 or 13’s battery is discharging relatively fast and overall dropping its health, you can take this list of fixes as a guide on what to do. 

FAQs on iPhone 12/ iPhone 13 Battery Health Dropping Fast

How long does iPhone 13 / iPhone 12 battery health last?

An iPhone 12’s battery life can last up to 6 hours when playing videos, while an iPhone 13 battery can do the same for up to 8 hours. The typical lifespan of any iPhone battery is around two years.

How long does iPhone 13 / iPhone 12 battery last before replacement?

An iPhone 12 or 13’s battery can last 300 to 500 complete charging cycles or about two years before replacement. However, a battery can die and need replacement sooner or later, depending on your actual use and the battery’s condition out-of-the-box.

Should you charge your iPhone 13 / iPhone 12 every day?

Ideally, you should only charge your iPhone 12 or 13 when the battery is below 40 percent. This means you don’t need to charge your iPhone daily, especially if you use it lightly or moderately.

Should you charge your iPhone 13 / iPhone 12 all night?

You should not charge your iPhone 12 or 13 overnight. Although newer iPhone models have the Optimized Battery Charging feature, it’s still best to avoid leaving your iPhone charging for long periods to prevent the shorter lifespan of its battery.

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