How to identify apps that are draining your Android’s battery

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Does it seem like your Android device runs out of battery a lot sooner than it should? Before you run out and replace your battery, you might want to take a look at which apps, if any, consume most of your battery resources. Chances are there are a few apps that are responsible for this, and that your battery is fine.

Android actually keeps an internal measure of battery consumption for each running app. This post will show you how you can find this information out quickly and easily.

All you need to do is go to the Android system settings and select ‘battery’ (see screenshot bottom right). Note, however, that you might want to do this after an entire days’ worth of battery usage, or at least a few hours, such that the information you get is a meaningful sample.

Next, you will get a display similar to the bottom left screenshot, showing a ranking of apps based on their battery consumption.

System settings - batteryList of apps by battery consumption

A case study: In the screenshot above/right, the two top apps (Listen up and Chess by Post Free) consume a whopping 40% of battery resources combined over the 11 hours worth of data being displayed. What was surprising to me was that I virtually never used the first app (Listen Up). I had actually forgotten about this app, which automatically downloads podcasts and was consuming both battery and bandwidth.

The second app (‘Chess by Post’) was not very surprising to me. I am obsessed with it and play and check it constantly for moves by online opponents.

What to do about battery draining apps:

  • Check and modify the settings: for ‘Listen Up’, for example, there is an option in the settings for that app to only download only when charging. Problem solved. Some apps that make frequent online requests can usually be set to check less often, etc.
  • Do without: while you can’t do much about the Android OS apps, you can do without some of the other apps on the list. I did without the ‘New Year Snowflake Live Wallpaper’, for example (which was consuming 4%, not too much but not insignificant compared to a static wallpaper). I decided to keep and live with the ‘Chess by Post’ app, because the reason it was taking up so much battery resources was simply due to frequent usage.
  • Find another app: that does the same thing. Use for a while and see if it consumes less battery resources.

I hope this was helpful. Please share any thoughts about this in the comments section below.