How to find out which apps are draining your Android battery

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 recharge it mid-afternoon. While that didn’t work out in the end (because the battery was so bad in that phone), I was pretty much always aware of the apps draining her battery. In most cases, those apps were pretty 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 through the day). So how do you find out which apps are guilty of draining your battery? Let me show you.

Requirements

To go along, all you need is a relatively modern Android phone. I will be demonstrating on Android 12, running on a Pixel 6 Pro. Whatever device and operating system version you are using, you may need to tweak the process slightly.

That said, let’s get to it.

Checking for battery consuming apps

1. Open Settings

Log 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 (Figure 1

The Android app drawer containing the Settings app launcher.

Figure 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 section of Android Settings app with Battery section.

Figure 2: The Battery item in the Android Settings app.

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 in 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 list of app battery usage in Android 12.

Image: Jack Wallen

If you notice that an app is using a significant amount of power, close that app, check for an update, or consider uninstalling it. Whenever I find an app with double-digit battery usage, I always dig a little deeper to find out why. Usually that problem happens when something goes wrong with an app and can be solved 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.

Force quit an app

In the Battery Usage window, tap on the suspicious app and you’ll see a few options, including Force Stop (Figure 5

The battery usage of the Authy app shown in Android 12.

Figure 5: An app page within Battery usage.

Image: Jack Wallen

Tap Force Quit 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 up for optimized battery usage. If you find one that isn’t, make sure you set it that way.

And that, my dear friends, is how you can monitor how your Android apps are consuming your battery. Keep an eye on this to make sure apps aren’t going rogue and draining your battery too quickly, and you’ll find yourself extending the time between charges.

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