iPhone 5 Battery Draining Fast All Of A Sudden? Here’s What You Do

iphone 5 battery draining fast all of a sudden

If your phone battery runs out too soon but you don’t know why it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change the phone. There could be a bunch of reasons for it. Most of the latest smartphones have non-removable batteries now, so there is no way to get a new battery. So here are a few things you can do if you find your iPhone 5 battery draining fast all of a sudden. 

Possible Causes

Any issue with your iPhone can be both hardware and/or software-related. Battery draining is often because of the latter.

First, you need to try and find out what is causing the battery drain. Here are the most common causes:

  1. Your display and other gesture settings are taking up too much power
  2. Multiple apps keep running in the background
  3. Keeping location services, Wi-Fi, etc. turned on, even when not in use
  4. Apps or operating system is not updated
black iphone 5

Possible Solutions

We have some iPhone 5 battery drain solutions for you, although which one will work with your phone depends on what was causing the problem in the first place. If you are not able to pin-point to one reason, try some or all of these – at least one of them should fix it.

Adjust Screen Settings

Most of us do not realize these settings could be using extra power from our device – screen brightness and/or auto-brightness.

To reduce screen brightness,

  • Swipe up on your Home screen, from the bottom
  • You will see a slider – tap and drag it to reduce your screen brightness.

For optimum battery saving, you should also disable Auto-Brightness.

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on Display & Brightness
  • Below the brightness slider, you will see the option for Auto-Brightness. Just tap on the toggle bar to turn it off.

Turn Off Vibration

This is something that can help with battery life even if you are not facing draining issues. To turn off vibration,

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on Sounds
  • You will find two options – Vibrate on Ring and Vibrate on Silent
  • Tap on the toggle bars beside each to turn them both off.

Reduce Motion Effects

Some motion effects are activated by default on your iPhone. To reduce motion effects,

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on General
  • You will see an option Accessibility – tap on it
  • You will see an option that says Reduce Motion Effects. Tap on the toggle bar beside it to turn it on. Remember that the toggle bar should show a green color when on.

Disable Location Services

All applications do not require your location to operate fully. However, once you turn it on for one app, it continues to run in the background and keeps updating your location. Therefore, it is best to keep it disabled unless you are using the map, a delivery app, etc. Follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on Privacy
  • Find Location Services and tap on the slide bar beside it.

Check Battery Usage

To find out if a specific app or setting is causing the problem, check your Battery Usage:

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on Battery
  • You will see a feature named Battery Usage
  • Then tap on ‘last 7 days’ – this will show you how much battery power was consumed by each app or function in the past week, by percentage
  • You can tap on ‘time’ to get detailed information on each app.

If no app is using an unusual amount of battery, uninstalling them won’t help. Based on what is taking up most of your power, you can either:

Close Background Apps Every Time

Just leaving an application, locking your device, or going to the Home page does not close your apps. They often remain running in the background. Hence, after you leave an app,

  • Tap the Home button to see active apps
  • You will see a line of apps at the bottom. Tap and hold any one of those
  • You will see a small minus (-) sign appearing at the corner of the apps, tap on each of them.

Doing this will stop those apps from running in the background and save battery.

Remove Unwanted Apps

If there are external applications that show a high percentage of battery usage, even though you do not use it as much, consider uninstalling them. Try finding alternate apps that may be more suited to your phone. To remove apps,

  • Tap and hold the icon of the app you want to remove
  • The icon will wiggle a little and a ‘cross’ (x) will appear at one corner – tap on it
  • When you see a popup, tap on “delete” to uninstall the app.

Disable Background App Refresh

Another reason for your iPhone 5 battery issue could be because the apps you have active in the background keep refreshing. Your phone does this so that when you open the app again, it takes less time to load. However, this does use some unnecessary battery life. So here’s what you can do:

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on General
  • You will see an option for Background App Refresh. If it is on (slide bar colored green), tap the slide bar to turn it off.

Disable Auto Mail Fetch and Push

Your iPhone constantly keeps updating your mailbox, whether or not you are using it so that you can view your emails exactly when you receive them – in real-time. However, this constant updating uses up a lot of your battery. To turn off this feature,

  • Go to Settings
  • Scroll down and find Mail, Contacts, Calendar – tap on it
  • You will see an option that says Fetch New Data – tap on it
  • You will see an option that says Push. Tap on the toggle bar beside it to turn it off.
  • On the same page, you will see options for how often you want to receive email data – 15 minutes, 30 minutes, hourly, or manually. Tap on “manually” to stop auto fetching.

For the “manual” setting, you will just need to refresh your mailbox whenever you want to check it.

iphone 5 Settings - Mail, Contact, Calenders

Update System

One of the reasons for your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S battery draining fast could be a backdated system. When Apple releases a new version of iOS, it usually contains bug fixes, which can significantly improve your phone’s performance – that includes battery life. To update your iOS version:

  • Turn on Wi-Fi
  • Go to Settings
  • You will see an option for Software Update – tap on it
  • Then tap “download and install”
  • When you see a popup, press “continue”
  • The software update takes some time, so you will have two options – Install or Later. Tap “install” to start the installation process immediately. If you tap “later”, you can choose the update to be installed at a later time.
  • If you have a passcode, you may need to enter the passcode.

Additionally, developers also keep updating their apps to keep up with the upgraded operating system. Hence, whenever you find an update available for any app, do it. Follow these steps:

  • Turn on Wi-Fi
  • Open the App Store
  • At the bottom right, you will see Updates – tap on it
  • On the upper right corner, you will see an option that says “update all” – tap on it to update all your current apps.

Enable Low Power Mode – For iOS 9 or Higher

This feature is only available for iOS versions 9 or higher. In Low Power Mode, features like background app refresh, mail fetch, animations are reduced and/or turned off. This greatly increases your battery life but it also means you will have to compromise on user experience. To enable this mode:

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on Battery
  • You will see an option that says Low Power Mode – tap on the toggle bar next to it to turn it on.

When in Low Power Mode, you will see a yellow battery bar on your iPhone.

Turn On Airplane Mode

If you are facing battery problem on iPhone 5S or iPhone 5, but it is not a recurring issue, it could be network trouble. If you are in an area with poor cellular network coverage, your antenna uses up a lot of power trying to connect to the network. If you are suddenly facing this, turn on Airplane Mode on your phone and check if the draining stops.

  • Swipe up on your Home screen, from the bottom
  • Tap on Airplane Mode to turn it on.

Reset All Settings

If nothing seems to help, you can perform a full factory reset on your phone. This will set all your features to default settings. Follow these steps to reset your phone:

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on General
  • Scroll down and find the option Reset – tap on it
  • You will see an option that says Reset All Settings – tap on it
  • Then you will see a popup. Press “confirm” to reset your settings.
iphone 5 Settings - Reset

Additional Tips

These solutions will work unless you have a hardware issue. For future reference, here are some recommendations that can help improve your phone and battery health:

  • Keep your Wi-Fi and Mobile data turned off when not in use.
  • Keep your environment in check – Avoid leaving your phone in extreme temperatures, for example, an ambient temperature higher than 35° C (95° F) can severely damage your battery.
  • If you have a thick phone cover, remove it while charging. Fast charging can generate heat and the cover might prevent the heat from being released. This can damage battery capacity.
  • If you plan to store your device (not use it) for a long period, do not charge or discharge it fully. A completely discharged battery, stored for a long period, may lose the ability to hold a charge at all.
  • It is best to recharge your device when the charge is at least 10% to 20%. Fully discharging the battery continuously affects the battery’s capacity.


Since we tend to use multiple applications these days and simultaneously, we often have a lot of things running in the background. These usually impact phone battery and phone performance. If none of the changes or the reset brings any improvement, you may have a hardware issue. In that case, you need to take your iPhone for servicing.

Did any of these solutions help you? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this with your family and friends in case someone else is facing the same issues.


David Castano

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