Make Your iPhone Battery Last Longer: 4 Easy Steps

Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT


Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.


Let’s face it, we are all glued to our smart phones. And let’s also face it, the climate is changing, global warming is real, and we all should explore ways to use our everyday devices in a more eco-friendly manner.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Close unused apps
  2. 2. Don’t freeze your phone
  3. 3. Unplug chargers when not in use
  4. 4. Consider buying a refurbished phone
  5. In closing

So why not start with that iPhone?

Let’s explore 4 easy steps to make your smartphone use more energy-friendly.

1. Close unused apps

One easy way to extend your battery life and the life of your phone is by closing apps when you’re not using them. Apps running unnecessarily in the background eat up power and phone memory, making for a poorer, buggy, performance.

2. Don’t freeze your phone

LeafScore is based out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, so we know a thing or two about cold. But did you know that cold weather can zap your phone’s battery life? Making sure your phone isn’t extremely can also help preserve battery life. This might mean keeping your phone in an insulated sleeve in your bag when out and about, rather than in the front pocket of a purse or backpack. If you’re concerned about radiofrequency, don’t keep your phone toasty in your jacket or jeans pocket or in your bra, though!

3. Unplug chargers when not in use

Believe it or not, this is the big one for those of us looking to make our phones more energy efficient.

By far the best way to minimize energy use associated with your smartphone is to unplug chargers when not in use. One analysis found that recharging the batteries of a phone accounted for just 40% of all energy consumption.

A whopping 55% of total energy used came from wasted energy when chargers are left plugged in unnecessarily. I am absolutely guilty of this and am trying to buck the habit. One strategy I’m using is to charge my phone using this portable, fold-up solar power bank rather than at an outlet.

4. Consider buying a refurbished phone

For a more sustainable purchase, which reduces energy use throughout the lifecycle of the product, choose a refurbished smartphone that is unlocked to all networks. Some smartphones are only unlocked to GSM networks in the US, which means you can’t use them on CDMA networks like Verizon.

Be sure to check before buying.

In closing

Well, there you have it, a quick to-do list for making your smart phone use more energy efficient. As it turns out, the biggest thing we can all do is to unplug phone chargers at night, as the habit of leaving them plugged in is a major energy waster.

If you’re in the market for a new phone, check out the piece I did on the best energy efficient and low radiation cell phones.

Free eBook: Simple Steps to a Greener Home

Concerned about climate change? Learn actionable tips for making each room in your home greener.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Reply

If you have a question about the subject matter of this post, ask it in the comments below. To better serve our readers, we have started answering some reader questions in dedicated blog posts.

Back to top