Why Does Your Phone Use So Much Battery When It’s Idle?

Your phone uses more battery than it should when idle, causing it to have shorter battery life. Basically, this is due to the programs or installed applications that consume more energy while running in the background. This behavior has a variety of explanations, which we’ll go through in detail below. Continue reading to find out more reasons why your phone drains so fast and to know what tips you could do to lessen its power consumption. 

What is a phone idle? 

When you are actively using your phone, such as looking through social networking sites, making a call, sending an email to a buddy, or playing your favorite online game, you’re considered an active user of the phone. Using your phone frequently consumes a tremendous amount of battery power that will deplete the battery significantly quicker.

However, as soon as you put the phone down and stop using it, it will transition into an idle mode. You might want to put your phone into idle mode when you go off the grid and don’t want any alerts to come through. It might also be when the screen is off or the phone is just sitting in your pocket or your purse, but it still uses battery power to do things in the background. These tasks include syncing email accounts, upgrading apps, and other similar activities.

If you leave the device in standby mode, the status of the battery in idle mode will continue to drain at a sluggish rate. With the screen turned off and background processes running, you can accomplish a great deal, from synchronizing email accounts to playing music, even when you aren’t looking at your device. That’s why battery drain when phone is idle.

How to stop phone from idle?

The settings may differ depending on your phone model. But you can do a few things to stop your phone from going idle. One is to disable the “idle timer” in your phone’s settings. Another is to keep your phone’s screen active by using a screen saver or by interacting with it regularly (e.g., answering notifications, scrolling through apps, etc.). Finally, you can also try using a battery saver app to extend your phone’s battery life.

Reasons Why Your Phone Uses So Much Battery When It’s Idle

When your phone is idle, it’s actually doing a lot of work. Here are a few things that can drain the life out of your device when idle: 

1) Background apps like Facebook or Instagram: These social sites use power in the background even when they aren’t open.

2) Location Services: If you don’t need them on, turn them off and save some juice for later.

3) Phone calls and text messages: This one is obvious, but too many texts will quickly consume your minutes.

4) Navigation apps like Waze or Google Maps: These map services use location information in the background, quickly draining the battery.

5) The battery on your phone is getting old: This might be a sign that it’s time to upgrade your device.

6) System live wallpapers: They consume power on your phone, including the type of platform you’re using. Android consumes more battery than Windows phones or iPhones.

7) Several features installed on the phone: Your Bluetooth devices can drain your cell’s battery life if left on, so don’t forget to turn them off. Moreover, Wi-Fi and GPS are always active even when not used by any apps or programs, which means that they will also continue eating away the battery.

8) Apps update: Your phone will continue to drain its battery as apps automatically update. A smartphone is a device that allows people to access the internet on the go with ease and convenience, but these devices are not without their drawbacks, one of which is power consumption. 

9) Unstable radio signal: Your phone will lose battery life if it can’t find a stable radio signal. It’s because radios constantly transmit signals through the air, which are power-hungry, so your device needs to ensure all of its devices work together in harmony. Otherwise, you’ll be left with an empty battery after only thirty minutes or less.

10) Charging habits: This could lead to a draining battery. If you’ve been using your phone and then charging it, the subsequent discharge will weaken the cells in your battery over time. 

How to reduce the phone’s idle battery usage?

Conserving your phone’s battery in different situations is not difficult. Here are ways to save your phone’s battery:

  • Please turn your phone off when you plan not to use it for more than an hour.
  • When using your phone for apps, turn on low power mode.
  • When playing games, turn off background data to save battery life.
  • Avoid charging when the battery is at 100% or, if possible, charge it after use.
  • Turn off unnecessary features like Bluetooth and GPS to conserve battery life.
  • Avoid heating and cooling systems that steal up 15-30% of your phone’s energy.
  • Plan out your travel routes in advance with Apple Maps.
  • Use airplane mode when you know you’ll be unable to pocket your device. This will help avoid unintentional calls, texts, and other services running in the background. 
  • Turn off screen animations to save some battery life.

Tips for prolonging the life of your phone’s battery 

Here are some helpful tips on extending your phone’s battery life, so you’ll never have to worry again.

  • You must learn how to turn on its energy-saving modes to increase your phone’s battery life and performance. 
  • Delete apps that you don’t use regularly. Your phone may even do this automatically as you use them less and less, but giving an app or two the boot is never wrong if they’re draining your battery life without any benefit.
  • Find out what apps are running in the background when you have shut down all of your programs.
  • Keep the brightness of your screen as low as possible to help extend its life and make it easier on your eyes too!
  • If you’re going to be away from a power outlet for an extended period, turn off all unnecessary functions like Bluetooth or GPS so that they don’t continue draining juice.
  • Avoid draining your phone’s battery down to 0%—this can cause it not to work, so keep it charged between uses.
  • If you’re sitting at your desk, turn off the screen to keep it from running the system.
  • It’s vital to acknowledge the extremes of heat and cold as they may take a toll on your phone. Leaving it in your car during hot or freezing temperatures will cause irreversible damage.

Some Frequently Asked Questions About the Topic

If I reset my phone, will that fix the phone’s idle battery drain?

Yes, but it won’t be an instant fix. A reset will return your phone to its original settings, which means that all the apps draining your battery will be gone. The disadvantage is that you’ll have to reinstall them and wait for them to sync with accounts again before they work correctly.

How to tell if I have a healthy phone battery?

You’ll know that you have a healthy phone battery when it can last through the day without charging. If your battery is constantly at 20% or less, then there’s probably something wrong with it, and you should get a new one immediately.

Which app drains my battery the most?

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are notorious for draining your phone’s battery life. If you can’t live without them, turn off those functions when they’re not in use, so you have more power leftover later. In addition, Snapchat, Netflix, YouTube, and Facebook are some other apps that you might want to think about removing from your phone or at least limiting their usage.

If I set my phone to a darker mode or turn down the brightness, will that help?

Yes! Keeping your phone’s screen dimmer is a great way to save battery life and make it easier on your eyes. Some apps can adjust your display’s color automatically, so you don’t have to change settings.


Your phone’s battery life reflects how well you care for it. When you notice your phone’s battery dying, look at what apps you’ve been using. If the app tells you how much power it has used in the last few hours when it is not actively used, then that might be why your device has been draining its battery quickly. Thus, it would be best to uninstall or turn off applications you aren’t frequently using to keep them from running in the background.

About the author, Phil Borges

Phil Borges is a battery aficionado. He's written extensively about batteries, and he loves nothing more than discussing the latest innovations in the industry. He has a deep understanding of how batteries work, and he's always on the lookout for new ways to improve their performance.