Phones + hardware

Battery: making it last

The simplest way to make the battery in your Windows Phone last longer between charges is to use Battery Saver.

With Battery Saver, you can turn off all non-essential features and conserve battery in just a few taps. Or, you can limit background usage to save power – you can see how much battery power your apps are consuming and change whether they can run in the background. In this topic we'll tell you how and also give you tips on other ways to conserve battery.

Battery Saver on Windows Phone

Note

This topic is about Windows Phone 8.1. If your phone is running Windows Phone 8, some options and icons may look a little different, and some features may not be available. Check to see which software version you have and find out if an update is available.

Turning off non-essential features

If you prefer the blanket approach to conserving battery, you can use Battery Saver to turn off the non-essential features that consume battery in the background. When you do this, your phone won't be able to:

  • Automatically receive emails or calendar updates – You can still sync your emails manually whenever you want.
  • Update some Live Tiles – If a Tile uses push notifications to get its updates, it won't receive those updates in Battery Saver mode.

You can still make and receive phone calls, receive and send text messages and browse the Internet.

To turn on Battery Saver and change its settings

  1. In the App list, tap Battery Saver Battery Saver Start icon. In Settings, turn on Battery Saver Toggle on icon.

    Note

    If you don't have Windows Phone 8.1 installed, you can use Battery Saver by going to Settings Settings icon > Battery Saver.

  2. Once Battery Saver is turned on, you can do one of the following:

    • Tap When battery is low if you want Battery Saver to conserve power when the battery level gets low.
    • Tap Now until next charge if you want Battery Saver to conserve power immediately and then return to normal battery usage the next time you charge your phone.
    • Tap Always (limits functionality) if you want Battery Saver to conserve power all the time. Think twice before choosing this option; your phone will block most of your phone's background functions.

Limiting background usage

Some apps can drain the battery even when you aren't using them – this is known as background usage. Battery Saver lets you control your phone's battery usage on a per-app basis.

Note

Limiting background usage in Battery Saver is only available for Windows Phone 8.1.

To allow apps to run in the background

  1. In the App list, tap Battery Saver Battery Saver Start icon. Swipe over to Usage to see a list of your apps and their relative battery consumption.

  2. Tap an app, then turn on Allow app to run in the background Toggle on icon.

Note

This option won't appear for some apps.

Tip

If you want to allow apps to run in the background even when Battery Saver is on, tick the Allow this app to run in the background even when Battery Saver is on checkbox.

Battery-saving tips

Here are some more ways to conserve battery on your phone.

Display

  • Reduce the time before the screen turns off. Set a shorter duration before your screen times out and your phone locks.
  • Lower the brightness setting. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Brightness, turn off Automatically adjust, then select the Level that you want to use instead.
  • Use a dark background theme. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Theme > Background, then tap Dark.
  • Turn the screen off during calls. If you're using the speaker phone or a Bluetooth device, press the Power Power button button to turn off the screen.
  • Turn off the viewfinder after you take a picture. Press the Back Back hardware button button to exit the camera viewfinder, or press the Power Power button button to put your phone to sleep.

Synchronising

  • Sync email less often. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon, then tap Email + accounts. Tap the account that you want to change the sync settings for, tap Download new content, choose a longer interval, then tap Done Done icon.
  • Choose which contacts are synchronised to your phone. You don't have to sync email contacts and social media contacts unless you want to.
  • Limit what you pin to Start. It's great to have your favourite things – people, apps, songs and more – pinned to Start so you can access them quickly. Just be aware that the more Live Tiles you have on Start, the more battery you use.
  • Only upload the pictures you want to keep. This saves power – and saves you time later when you want to sort through your pics in OneDrive. For more information, see Taking, editing and sharing photos and videos.
  • Check social media less often. Each time you visit What's new in the People Hub and Photos Hub, your phone uses extra power to sync and update.

General

  • Restart your phone if you notice short battery life. This can sometimes fix issues that can shorten battery life.
  • Use headphones. If you're listening to music or using a Bluetooth device, try using headphones.
  • Turn off Bluetooth connections you aren't using. If you aren't using a Bluetooth accessory, you can turn off Bluetooth. For more info, see Pairing your phone with a Bluetooth accessory.

Warning

Don't remove or replace the battery when the phone is turned on. If you have a spare battery, turn off your phone, then replace the battery in your phone with the spare. This helps ensure that your data is saved properly. To turn off your phone, press and hold the Power Power button button for three seconds, then swipe down. The goodbye message appears, then the screen goes dark.

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