Basics

Battery: making it last

There's a lot you can do to make the battery in your Windows Phone last longer between charges. The easiest way is to use Battery Saver. You can set it so that it'll turn on any time your battery gets too low, or if you know in advance that you're going to need to make every bit count, you can turn it on to make sure your battery lasts as long as possible.

When you turn on Battery Saver, your phone automatically turns off some of the features on your phone that use battery in the background. So when Battery Saver is on, your phone will no longer:

  • Automatically receive email or calendar updates – You can still sync your email manually whenever you want. To learn more, see Sync my email.
  • Update some Live Tiles – If a Tile uses push notifications to get its updates, it won't receive those updates in Battery Saver mode.
  • Allow apps to run in the background – You'll only be able to use an app if it's open.

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

We've also put together some battery-saving tips to help you get started. The key is to find the balance between getting the most out of your phone while getting the battery life you need.

To turn on Battery Saver

  1. On Start, flick left to the App list, tap Settings Settings icon, and then tap Battery saver.

  2. Do one or both of the following:

    • If you want Battery Saver to turn on whenever the battery gets to 20%, select Always turn on Battery Saver when battery is low.
    • If you want to turn on Battery Saver now and leave it on until the next time you plug in your phone, select Turn on Battery Saver now until next charge.

    When Battery Saver is on, the battery icon looks like this: Battery Saver icon

Note

When Battery Saver is on, you won't be able to change the settings for features that are disabled (like email, for example). To change a setting, go to Settings > Battery Saver, and clear all of the check boxes. You can turn it on again when you're done.

Here are some more tips to help make your battery last.

Reduce the time before the screen turns off

Set a shorter Screen time-out duration and set your phone to lock. This helps save battery power and also prevents your phone from turning on by accident when you put it away. For more info, see Lock screen FAQ.

Lower the brightness setting

On Start, flick left to the App list and tap Settings Settings icon. Tap Brightness, turn off Automatically adjust, and then select the Level that you want to use instead.

Use a dark background theme

On Start, flick left to the App list and tap Settings Settings icon. Tap Theme, tap Background, and then tap Dark.

Sync music and pictures at your computer

When you're at your computer, connect your phone and sync your favorite music and pictures to it using the Zune software. To learn more, see Sync music, pictures, and videos . You can then enjoy your favorite pictures and songs on your phone, even if you're in an area with poor reception.

Of course there's a lot of music out there that might not be in your collection, and streaming lets you enjoy new stuff while you're on the go. But if your battery is running low or you can't be around a computer or an outlet, avoid long periods of streaming music because it uses more power. If you listen to your playlists with the screen turned off, make sure that the current playlist doesn't include streaming items. And if you're not a Zune Music Pass subscriber, you can turn off Connect with Zune in the Music + videos settings.

Turn off connections you're not using

When Bluetooth is turned on, your phone checks continuously for available accessories. So if you're not using a Bluetooth accessory, you can turn Bluetooth off. For more info, see Pair my phone with a Bluetooth accessory.

Also, if you listen to music or talk on the phone for hours, try using headphones instead of a Bluetooth device. And if you are using a Bluetooth accessory or the speaker in a call, press the Power Power icon button to turn the screen off. To learn more, see Make and receive phone calls.

Not using games now? Then you can turn off the Connect to Xbox LIVE setting in the Games settings.

Sync email and contacts selectively

To make your battery last a little longer, try one or more of these sync-related tips:

  • Change the sync settings for your email accounts to a longer interval, especially for secondary accounts that you don't need to check as often. You can change the sync setting on a per-account basis. (On Start, flick left to the App list, tap Settings Settings icon, and then tap Email & accounts. Tap the account that you want to change the sync settings for, tap Download new content, choose a longer interval, and then tap Done Done icon.)
  • If you don't use any Windows Live services and don't have an email account hosted by Microsoft, such as a Hotmail account, go into the Windows Live account settings and change the default sync setting to Manually.
  • Choose which contacts are synced to your phone. If your email account doesn't include any contacts that you want to keep on your phone, you can choose to not have them synced to your phone. You can also keep your Facebook contacts separate from your other contacts too, which should help reduce the total number of contacts synced to your phone. For more info, see Social networking on my phone FAQ.
  • Be mindful that each time you visit What's New for People and Pictures, your phone uses extra power to sync and update.

Picture-taking tips

When you're done taking a picture, press the Back Back hardware button button to exit the camera viewfinder. (You can also press the Power Power icon button to put your phone to sleep.) When the viewfinder is active, the screen stays on longer.

Also, when it's time to upload pictures, upload only the ones you want to keep and skip those not-so-great ones. This saves power—and saves you time later when you want to sort your pics at your computer.

Warning

Do not remove or replace the battery when the phone is turned on. If you have a spare battery, turn off your phone, and 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 icon button for three seconds until the goodbye message appears and the screen goes dark.

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