iOS 7 (battery empty 001)

Among the numerous performance-enhancing techniques employed by iOS is a special battery-boosting feature, aptly called Low-Power Mode.

When enabled, Low Power Mode extends your iPhone’s battery life even further with up to three additional hours of run time before you need to charge your iPhone again.

Apple says Low-Power Mode “pulls switches you didn’t even know existed” and these switches basically optimize your iPhone for power efficiency by throttling down its processor and shutting down a few non-essential features like automatic downloads, fancy visual effects and more.

This tutorial covers enabling and using Low Power Mode on iOS while briefly touching upon other battery-saving tactics that iOS employs.

How Low-Power Mode saves battery

With Low Power Mode enabled, your iPhone temporarily reduces power consumption until you can fully charge it. This mode automatically kicks in when the battery falls below 20 percent, but you can enable it manually at any time.

Low Power Mode disables or reduces the following features:

  • Mail fetch
  • Background app refresh
  • Automatic downloads
  • Some visual effects
  • CPU is throttled down by as much as forty percent

As mentioned, Lower Power mode provides up to an additional three hours of battery life for the average user. This is in addition to other power-saving techniques described further below that result in another hour of run time before charging.

Keep in mind that Low Power Mode is limited to iPhones for the time being.

How to enable and disable Low Power Mode on iPhone with iOS

Step 1: Open the Settings application on your iPhone with iOS 9 or later.

Step 2: Swipe down to the Battery icon in the third section down and tap on it.

Step 3: You will see a toggle for Low Power Mode at the top. Flip the switch to the ON position to enable Low Power Mode, or to the OFF position to disable Low Power Mode.

Low Power Mode

Tip: When Low Power Mode is active, two things happen.

First, the battery icon in the iOS status bar turns yellow instead of the standard green and second, the battery percentage is shown at the top of the screen regardless of your preference. As mentioned before, Low Power Mode activates automatically when the battery falls below 20 percent.

iOS 9’s new Battery section within Settings also lets you sort battery-hogging apps on your phone by those using the most and the least amount of power.

Lastly, there’s a new Battery widget in the Notification Center to keep tabs of battery information for connected devices like Bluetooth headphones, other iOS devices and the Apple Watch.

Other ways iOS extends your run time

In addition to Low Power Mode, iOS adopts other optimization techniques to trim battery usage wherever possible, most of which just work right out of the box.

For starters, apps and key technologies have been made more efficient across the entire operating system in order to conserve power.

My favorite is the new facedown detection feature: if your iPhone is facedown on the table, iOS will prevent the screen from turning on when a notification comes in.

Lastly, iOS brings out so-called App Thinning technologies which yield smaller, more convenient app updates so your iPhone spends less time accessing the network, which also helps save power.

Should I use Low Power Mode?

Different people have different needs.

Should your iPhone run low on power and there isn’t an outlet nearby, or you don’t have the charger on you, Low Power Mode is a viable option for conserving juice.

People who are unhappy with their iPhone’s battery are definitely advised to try out Low Power Mode for a day or two to see if it works for them. But as mentioned above, the extra juice comes at a price.

If you don’t mind manually checking your email and app updates in the App Store, waiting a little longer for your favorite apps to load and not seeing fancy visual effects, than I’d say these tradeoffs are worth taking Low Power Mode for a spin.

Just don’t use it whilst playing games as Low Power Mode was discovered to throttle down the A8 processor inside the iPhone 6 by as much as forty percent, making the device comparable to the iPhone 5s in terms of sheer CPU performance.

Even if you don’t turned on Low Power Mode manually, your iPhone will still put up a prompt when you’re nearly out of juice, asking if you’d like to turn it on.

It’s worth reiterating that Low Power Mode is a completely optional feature, meaning Apple doesn’t force you into using it unless you’re OK with not having the full CPU speed available when running low on juice.

If you find this tutorial useful, please bookmark the article, share it with your friends on social media and send it to support folks. We like feedback so feel free to submit your ideas for future tutorials to [email protected].

  • Giacomo Castellucci

    low power mode is not available for me on iPad air 2. can anyone confirm?

    • eXoguti097

      Yep, not available on 4S either they probably can’t or shouldn’t slow down the A5 any more since it already struggles

      • StarShootex

        It is available on the 4S and low power mode is only available for iPhones.

      • eXoguti097

        I noticed it on my 4S, but I was too lazy to come back and change my response lol

      • StarShootex

        Haha Ok. At the moment, Low Power Mode on 4S literally does nothing, the battery drains just as fast. Might just be the fact that my battery needs a recalibration.

      • Ecigsandcoffee


    • That’s because Low Power Mode is iPhone only, as stated in the article

    • CG

      Not available on iPads.

  • InfinitePlusOne

    Do u reccommend use of low power mode from 100% or once it goes down to like 30%?

    • asch3n

      It’s really up to you. If you still enjoy the experience with low power mode on and have a long day ahead of you, maybe turn it on in the morning. However, if you are just going to work you could leave it off and just turn it on when you hit 20% or 30% so you have enough to get home.

  • askep3

    On an iPhone 6 if you start low power mode when you hit 20%, how much extra time will you get?

  • Tylor Jackson

    Low Power Mode should be support iPad 2,3,4,Air, Air 2, Mini, Mini 2, and Mini 3 :/ but only for iPhone? hmm…

  • Ryan

    So I don’t get it…. if I have 10% left, and I turn on low power mode, can I get 3 hours with sporadic texting or safari-ing?

    • Disqus

      I would say the extra three hours would be if you enabled it with a full battery, and under ideal conditions. If they were able to pull three additional hours at 10% capacity, just think what it would give you with a full battery…that would be making news around the world… make sense?

  • rockdude094

    I really like this feature, but I want a jailbreak before i jump over to iOS 9

  • JulianZH

    I wish this feature automatically kicks in when on low battery.

    • Luca

      When you reach 20% and the popup comes on the screen alerting you about that, there’s an option under “dismiss” which is “Turn on Low Power Mode”.

      Not automatic, but almost 😉

  • Manuel Molina

    Low Power Mode is the same stuff I do. I shut off my internet when my phone is dying or switch from LTE to 4G when I know I won’t need high speed stuff like videos and such. Mail has always been manual, and I don’t refresh apps. My motion is off because I never liked it. Brightness isn’t high. I don’t see how iOS 9 does what you already could do.

    • mickey

      Cpu throttling

      • theapple99

        Yep we always had this during the early mid 90s LOL as the turbo button

    • pdrake007

      Congrats, no one said it was anything new (apart from the CPU throttling) it does all of what you already do with one simple button which is a hell of a lot easier and welcomed by me

      • Manuel Molina

        I, someone who has these things already done, would prefer more useful methods under the hood. Using less ram, performing a dimmer screen brightness setting, shutting 4G/LTE while the phone is off and back on when it gets unlocked seem to be more useful tools. Throttling the CPU isn’t useful since iOS software caters to the CPU and already underclocked in the first place.

  • Luke

    Can I just please say, iOS 9 is extremely laggy on my iPhone 5s. Is it just me? Pulling up the control center makes me cringe, animations are choppy, and my device randomly freezes. I already downgraded back to iOS 8, things are running smooth again. Is it the software, orrrr? Idk….staying on 8.4.1 for a while.

    • HamptonWalley

      I do not know, but IOS 9 laggy on my Iphone 5, using IOS 9.1 beta 1 things getting better.

  • HamptonWalley

    Iphone 5 will be slow activating this energy feature, but for my new iphone 6S I’ll definitely use the feature from already at 100% charge. That has a kick ass CPU and even with 40% performance degrade I’ll get plenty enough processing power.

  • Felipe Queiroz Drumond

    Will 6s be shipped with iOS 8.4.1 or 9?

    • CG

      iOS 9

  • I was hoping it would throttle WiFi and LTE as well. Low Power Mode won’t help me much as I don’t use Fetch, only 2 apps use background app refreshing and I don’t use auto downloads. The only benefit is the CPU throttling.

  • Thinh Pham

    I’m using iPad 4 with iOS 9 and I don’t have low power mode. Is there anything wrong?