Will Closing iPhone Apps Really Improve Your Battery Life?

It's never fun when your iPhone unexpectedly runs out of power at a bad time, but there are some things you can do to prevent the problem from rearing its ugly head — or, at least, give your phone the chance to hang onto a charge for longer. The thing is, not all of the common preventative measures are as helpful as you might think.

Case in point: closing apps to preserve battery life. Does it actually make a difference? Well, the answer to that is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no. However, one very important thing to consider is the nature of any given app. Yes, it's true that some apps will continue to run processes in the background if left open but not in direct use (a.k.a., suspended), and it's true that those processes can speed up your battery's race to empty.

The thing is, not all apps do this; if they don't, it's not always a good idea to shut them off when you're done with them. Especially if you use them frequently.

What you should be doing

As it turns out, in most general cases it's best to leave your apps running rather than close them because the amount of power they use when suspended is negligible — assuming they don't run background processes — compared to the amount of power required to start them up in the first place. Here are some ways you can preserve your battery from energy-hogging apps while knowing when to leave less vampiric apps open.

  1. Turn off Background App Refresh by opening Settings and selecting General, then Background App Refresh.
  2. Tap Background App Refresh in the new menu and select Off to prevent apps from refreshing on their own when not in use.
  3. Don't close apps (i.e., swipe up from the App Switcher screen) when you've finished using them unless you don't expect to open them again for a long time.
  4. It is, however, recommended (and often necessary) to close or restart apps that have frozen or may be acting strangely.

So, as tempting as it may be to shut off your apps when you've finished with them, it's really in your best interest to leave them alone. In fact, constantly reopening apps that you use frequently creates a bigger strain on your iPhone's battery over time and can lead to an overall faster decline in battery life.