How to find out which apps are draining your Android battery

Back when my wife was dealing with the dreaded Pixel 4 battery, I was constantly trying to find ways to improve her device’s ability to get through the day without having to charge it in the afternoon. Although that ultimately failed (because the battery in this phone was so bad), I was pretty much always up to date on the apps responsible for draining her battery. For the most part, these apps have been fairly consistent (with Instagram being the biggest culprit).

For most Android users, battery life can be an issue, especially when working with a non-flagship device (where batteries tend to be smaller and less able to get you through the day). To that end, how do you find out which apps are draining your battery? let me show you

requirements

All you need to take part is a relatively modern Android phone. I will be demonstrating on Android 12 running on a Pixel 6 Pro. Which device and operating system version you are using may require you to modify the process slightly.

Let’s start with that.

Look for apps that are using the battery

1. Open Settings

Sign in to your Android device and pull down the notification shade twice. Click the gear icon to open the Settings app. You can also open the Settings app from the App Drawer (illustration 1).

The Android app drawer showing the Settings app launcher.

Illustration 1: The Settings app launcher in the Android app drawer.

Image: Jack Wallen

2. Access the battery details

In Settings, tap Battery (figure 2).

A portion of the Android Settings app showing the Battery section.

Figure 2: The battery entry in the Android app “Settings”.

Image: Jack Wallen

3. Open Battery usage

In the resulting screen (figure 3), tap Battery usage.

The battery usage app as shown in Android 12.

Figure 3: Here you can see how much battery you have left, as well as several other configuration options.

Image: Jack Wallen

Once inside the Battery Usage window, you’ll see a list of installed apps and the percentage of battery they’ve used in the last 24 hours (figure 4).

Android battery usage is displayed over a 24-hour period.

Figure 4: The listing of app battery usage in Android 12.

Image: Jack Wallen

If you find an app that is using a lot of power, you should either close that app, check for an update, or uninstall it. Whenever I find an app that has double-digit battery usage, I always dig a little deeper to find out why. Most of the time, this problem occurs when something goes wrong with an app and can be fixed by closing the app or restarting the phone. If, after closing the app or restarting your phone, you find that the app in question does the same thing (after another 24 hours), seriously consider uninstalling the app.

How to force quit an app

On the Battery Usage window, tap on the suspicious app and you’ll see a few options including “Force Stop” (Figure 5).

Authy app battery usage shown in Android 12.

Figure 5: An app page within battery usage.

Image: Jack Wallen

Tap Force stop to close the app. You can also configure this app for optimized battery usage (which is highly recommended). Most of your installed apps should already be set to optimize battery usage. If you find one that isn’t, make sure you set it that way.

And so, my dear friends, you can check how your Android apps are consuming your battery. Keep an eye on this to ensure apps don’t go rogue and drain your battery too quickly, and you’ll find that you can increase the time between charges.

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