All the goodness of iPhone OS 3.0 aside, the one thing you’ve probably noticed after updating your iPhone or iPod touch is how quickly its battery is draining. I certainly did, along with many other users. The battery life of my iPhone 3G is now barely […]


All the goodness of iPhone OS 3.0 aside, the one thing you’ve probably noticed after updating your iPhone or iPod touch is how quickly its battery is draining.

I certainly did, along with many other users. The battery life of my iPhone 3G is now barely six hours, a huge departure from the 12+ hours or so I would get with 2.2.1. And even though I’d experienced a decrease in battery life with the beta builds of 3.0 back in May, the battery never drained at a rate as alarming as this. Now, it depletes 10 percent every hour even while the phone is left doing absolutely nothing.

My first thought was that push notification must be the cause of this. But even after turning off push notification, the battery continued to drain at an alarming rate. After some investigation, it would seem that the culprit is, instead, iPhone’s push mail setting.

To turn off push for all mail accounts, follow these steps:

  1. On the Home screen, tap the “Settings” icon.
    iPhone Settings Step 1
  2. Tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars.”
    iPhone Settings Step 2
  3. Tap “Fetch New Data.”
  4. Turn off “Push.” This turns off push, in one step, for all email accounts that are enabled for it, while preserving the “Fetch” settings you may have already set for every account.
  5. Reboot your iPhone. To do that, hold down the Sleep/Wake button (the one at the top) until you see the red slider appear, then drag the slider.
    iPhone Sleep Wake Button

After your iPhone has restarted, you should see an improvement in its battery life. Leave a comment, and tell us if this works for you!

  1. Problem here is that Push HAS to be enabled (along with Location Services) for Find My iPhone to work. What I did was leave Push enabled, but change MobileMe mail itself from Push to Fetch (along with my work Exchange acct). So “push” is on, but none of the mail is actually pushing…and at this point, my battery life seems to be more or less normal.

    My settings: 3G & Bluetooth off, Wi-Fi on (not searching), location services, push notifications, mail push all ON, all mail accts set to fetch hourly rather than push. After normal use without any iPod playback, at the end of the day I was on 2 hr 20 min use and 9 hr standby, and was still at 67%…not great, but good enough (I find I use an iPod Shuffle for music/podcasts most days).

    1. I have Push turned off on my 3G and Find my iPhone works pretty well. Location Services has to be on, but I don’t think Push needs to be on.

    2. I had the problem of not holding a charge and also my phone not wanting to charge at time and the constant buzz on my pc speakers from data traffic on the phone, but I figured out what it was, I had a cracked version of text free unlimited on my phone and once I unistalled it the constant buzz stopped imediately and also my battery life returned to normal like it was with 2.21, hope this helps someone

    3. The Push setting was it for me, turned it off and my battery life went way way up, at least double, thanks for the info, it really,really helped.

    4. i used to play on my iphone for hours and i never had problems before, then suddenly my battery drains big time could it be one of the apps that i have downloaded? is using it while charging a bad idea? i dont think so but then this happened

  2. Funny but I have had the exact opposite effect. Since the installation of OS 3.0, I have seen an improvement in my battery life. Not huge but it does seem a little better.

  3. My Push was already turned off but my battery life sucks anyway

    1. Emily Villavicencio Marcos Monday, July 6, 2009

      Same here. Push was already off. My battery life is about 6 hours vs. WAY longer before. It’s terrible.

    2. This freakin OS 3 is crap….. it offers some good stuffs but on the other hand it takes aways ur heart(battery)..

      Same here everything off but still battery just flies away…

    3. 6 hours! Ha that’s great I get 4 hours with my 3gs brand new out the box

  4. Howie Isaacks Thursday, June 25, 2009

    No battery issues here even with Push services turned on. Either way, I’m not going to settle with less functionality to save battery life. If iPhone 3.0 is a battery hog, then Apple needs to fix the problem instead of us needing to change the settings.

    1. I agree that Apple needs to fix this bug!
      Fortunately for you, you are not experiencing the massive lost in battery life. My iPhone is draining itself dry and what’s worse, you cannot even charge it to full capacity. The green bar on the battery life goes up to about half and then it drops down.
      So frustrating :(

  5. btw GPS, Edge, 3G & WiFi are turned off aswell.

  6. Try reinstalling the iPhone 3.0 update, I found that both performance and battery life improve with the 2nd install of any of the iPhone OS updates.

    1. Yeah, That and make sure you reboot it three times.

    2. I couldn’t agree more. I try to install each update about twelve times in a row just to grab that last bit of speedy goodness.

    3. I used to install updates 12 times but found that you reach optimum performance after the 8th installation. Everything after 8 is overkill.

    4. Adam/Mark/Trevor/Jeff … you guys serious about the 8 times installing the new update bit? how does that help? can you pls tell me what happens if one installs so many times? i mean whats the difference in each install?

      1. Compasionate Reader ajay Friday, April 30, 2010

        Oh, poor thing ;-) They are just kidding, laughing about Adam’s proposal to reinstall 3.0 update. You bad boyz… ought to be ashamed… You managed to confuse Ajay…

    5. I tried it!

      But only after 9th install did I get optimum battery performance.

      Also, by installing a battery monitor in terminal, I can get good reliable battery results to check each reinstall.

      Now I will check if installing only the kernal 10 times will make the cpu of the iphone faster

  7. I didn’t notice a decrease in battery life with the 3.0 software update.. But i’ll give this a try.. However, I think turning off Push will stop my automatic Google Calendar and Address book sync.

  8. my batt has been BETTER since 3.0 update.
    im getting 20-30% longer life.

  9. Alexander Brooks Thursday, June 25, 2009


    I read somewhere and tried it myself, you should try to recaliberate your battery. This means that you would need to run your phone until all the power drains and then fully recharge it.

    1. i dont believe the battery is that type of battery you should refer to your manual and see for your self, i have a 3gs and it for sure does not have that type of lithium batt it dont work on that kind of cycle!


  10. Same here as Gregg, Batt. life has increased. For me though, I have 3 tenants of battery conservation:

    1. Brightness – Keep it low, like under the “B”, and turn off Auto-Brightness. Adjust to situation manually.

    2. Keep Wi-Fi off – 9/10 times, I’m in 3G which is fast enough. Only time I need it on is downloading big apps or using an appt hat requires it.

    3. Closing apps – Now with 3.0, this is a bit more annoying, but closing down apps that can stay resident, like Safari, does seem to help. I use a memory tool as well to keep my 128MB with as much free memory as possible.

    I only have to ever really charge my phone when I’m sleeping. On a busy day I may need a mid day charge. On weekends, i drain it completely and charge it back up fully.

    1. FYI, the Wi-Fi radio consumes less battery power than the 3G radio. In other news, the BT radio is the most power hungry radio in the device.

      You would be better off to turn 3G off and use Wi-Fi religiously. …and only use BT when you absolutely need it.

      PS: Push notifications are a battery hog, because in order to get ‘push’ed information your 3G radio has to call home every 30 seconds or so. This means that your phone is constantly communicating, which can make for a power hungry hot antenna.

      Another thing to watch out for is how often you are going into and out of 3G zones. If you are on the cusp of 3G service and your device continually slips between 3G/Edge/whatever then you are consuming a lot of battery for this. Every time the service area changes the device must communicate with the network. This, like push notifications, means that your device is using the hot antenna more frequently, and consequently consuming more power.

      FWIW, my phone almost never dies on me unless I am forced to go more than 2 days sans charge.

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