Does iOS 16 drain your battery? Here's the deal.

iOS 16 Might Be Draining Your Battery, But These Hacks Can Help

All is not lost.

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Uh oh, it’s happening again. It seems like every time Apple releases a major software update, people report their phone batteries appear to drain more quickly than usual — and it looks like iOS 16 is no different. Sure, you could be spending more time on your phone checking out all that iOS 16 has to offer, like Lock Screen customization and the new photo cutout tool, but if you’ve been wondering if the iOS 16 update is draining your phone battery, you’re not the only one. Here’s the deal on whether or not the update is to blame, and if it’s possible to restore your battery life back to normal. Elite Daily reached out to Apple for comment on if the iOS 16 update might cause your phone’s battery to drain, but did not hear back at the time of publication.

The iOS 16 update was released on Sept. 12, and it didn’t take long for the tweets about drained batteries to roll in — even Olympic Gold medalist Simone Biles noticed some issues. Considering the new update includes a handful of highly requested features like the ability to edit or delete sent text messages, it’s no wonder all eyes are on the iOS 16 software update. Traditionally, new iPhones accompany the new software release, and this year saw the release of the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro lineup. The new phones automatically come with iOS 16 on them, but users with older models also get the software update, and that may be where you can run into issues.

Since the new phones have faster chips and the most updated technology, they are likely more equipped to handle the software without a noticeable change to the battery life. But if you’re rocking an older iPhone, you have the double-whammy of an older chip and an older battery. That combined with the upgrades in the iOS 16 update had some users complaining of seriously drained batteries.

Why iOS 16 Might Drain Your Battery

As of publication, Apple hasn’t commented on if the iOS 16 update could be causing battery issues in older phones — but that doesn’t mean the issue doesn’t exist.

MacRumors shared its own explanations as to why your battery might be draining. For starters, the Photo app runs advanced machine learning and image recognition algorithms on iOS 16, so that your phone can detected when a duplicate image has been added to your Camera Roll. The more content you have, the longer it takes to pinpoint the duplicate.

iOS 16 also offers Spotlight search, which allows users to not only search for apps and contacts, but to search for content with apps like Messages, Photos, Maps, and more. MacRumors explains that this can take a toll on your battery life because your phone indexes all the content within your apps by using on-device processing.

How To Get Better iPhone Battery Life

As for restoring better battery life, there may be a few things you can do. Per MacRumors, you can disable Spotlight search by opening Settings, then selecting Siri & Search. From there, you can disable the ability to Spotlight search within specific apps by tapping a certain app and turning off the toggle next to “Show Content in Search.” Once you’ve done that, that app with no longer be searchable with Spotlight, and therefore your phone will have less indexing to process — but you’ll also lose the helpful feature.


Plus, there are other battery-saving hacks that you can try that aren’t related to iOS 16, like disabling automatic updates for apps and manually updating them yourself, or turning off unnecessary Location Services. You can make these changes by opening the Settings app, and navigating to the either the App Store or Location section and turning off the services from there.

You can also check your battery health if you have an older iPhone and see if it might be worth replacing it. Go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health. From there, it’ll tell you your battery’s maximum capacity, which is how much charge it can hold compared to when it was new. Considering a new battery costs about $70, it might be worth it if you’re not ready to shell out for a new phone yet.

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