Why does my phone battery drain overnight?

Why does my phone battery drain overnight

Updated: September 17, 2023

Your smartphone’s battery drain overnight could potentially indicate several issues that go beyond standard battery degradation. It could be the consequence of newly installed apps operating in the background, social media updates, email synchronization, location services, Wi-fi, Bluetooth and other connectivity options, multimedia and gaming, and routine updates to your smartphone’s software and applications running in the background. Even when your smartphone is idle during the night, these functions and applications may continue to run and consume significant battery power.

What can cause battery drain?

Firstly, background apps are a common reason for overnight battery drain. Many applications on your smartphone continue to run in the background even when you aren’t using them. This constant running can drain battery power significantly. Some apps consume more power than others, especially those that require frequent updates or operate real-time like email apps and social media apps. They continually sync and refresh even during the night, leading to a substantial battery drain.

Privacy panel in Android 12.
Privacy panel in Android 12. Allows you to see which apps have been granted permissions to run. The privacy panel makes it easier to track apps that are running at night.

Similarly, location services can make a considerable difference to your battery life. Apps that track your location, give you directional assistance, monitor your fitness, or ensure your safety, frequently check your location and, therefore, consume more energy.

Moreover, social media apps, which keep you logged in all the time and frequently auto-refresh, contribute to additional battery drain.

Wireless connectivity options like Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and mobile data also cause substantial battery drain. When left switched on, they continually search for a connection or connect to nearby devices, thus draining your battery. Multimedia applications and online games too, even when not actively running, can consume battery by updating content, saving data, and regular push notifications.

Simultaneously, software updates can lead to battery drain. New features in the updates often consume more energy, and when an automatic update runs overnight, it drains the battery noticeably. Equally, the overall condition and age of your battery also factor in. Over time, all rechargeable batteries become less efficient at holding a charge, leading to faster battery drain.

Main reasons for fast battery drain overnight

Here’s a short list of reasons why your phone battery may drain overnight:

  1. Background Processes: Apps and services running in the background, including updates and sync activities.
  2. Push Notifications: Frequent notifications from apps or messaging services.
  3. Poor Signal Strength: The phone searching for a weak or fluctuating cellular signal.
  4. Location Services: Apps using GPS or location services even when idle.
  5. Software Bugs: Malfunctions or bugs in the operating system or apps causing excessive power usage.
  6. Apps Running: Unoptimized apps running continuously or consuming resources.
  7. Wi-Fi or Mobile Data: Leaving Wi-Fi or mobile data connections on during the night.
  8. Screen Wake-up: Accidental screen wake-ups from notifications or movements.
  9. Background Updates: Apps updating or syncing data during the night.
  10. Battery Health: Aging or deteriorating battery capacity resulting in faster drainage.
  11. The phone’s sensors and gestures are active. Using the voice assistant, voice commands and gestures causes various sensors to be active. The phone is always on standby to receive the next user command.
  12. Internal faults. Regular use of low-quality chargers, strong shaking and vibration leads to damage to various components inside the phone. The power control or charge control ICs are the most commonly affected. One or both of these chips use more power than they should, causing the battery to run down over the course of a day or night.

From personal experience, there are two most common problems of fast battery drain. The first is a running application process and the second is a faulty power or charge controller. A running application process occurs randomly with any standard or installed application. Often this problem occurs with pre-installed Google apps like Google calendar. Once the phone goes into standby mode, the app continues to run as normal. As a result, a fully charged battery drains in about 24 hours or faster. A full system reboot helps to solve the problem, as a quick reboot may not clear all RAM. It is advisable to power off the phone and then switch it on after 1-2 minutes.

Faulty power controller and charge controller is a frequent problem due to the use of poor quality charger. Strong ripples disable microchips that control the accumulation and distribution of energy. The result is a short circuit on some contacts of the chip or complete failure of the entire chip. It is often possible to determine the failure of the chip by a slight heating of the case in the inactivity mode. This method does not always work if the chip is not adjacent to the case. The only solution to this problem is to replace the chip on the motherboard or on the battery charge controller. If the charge controller chip cannot be replaced, then the battery must be replaced.

How do I stop my phone battery from draining at night?

If you often find your smartphone battery drained out overnight, there are a few steps you can take to stop it from happening.

Firstly, you may want to look into adjusting your settings. Reduce the screen timeout – that’s the length of time your phone stays lit after you finish using it; lower settings save more energy. Turn off the wireless functions that run in the background, like WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and mobile data when they are not being used, particularly overnight.

Setting the screen time.
Setting the screen time.

Another significant contributor to battery drain can be your apps. Some apps run continuously in the background, consuming power even when not in use. Therefore, it’s essential to close all your applications before going to sleep. You can also enable background app refresh- a setting available on both Android and iOS. This ensures that apps only update in the background when you’re on WiFi and plugged into power.

Furthermore, utilizing the power-saving mode available on most smartphones can optimize your battery’s performance significantly. Typically, it limits the overall energy the phone uses, reducing screen brightness and turning off non-vital functions. Similarly, investigate which apps are draining your battery the most by checking the battery usage in your phone’s general settings. Uninstall or restrict apps that are excessively consuming power.

In the battery settings, you can enable the power saving function and the adaptive battery function.
In the battery settings, you can enable the power saving function and the adaptive battery function.

Regularly updating your phone and the apps can also improve your battery life as many updates often contain bug fixes aimed at improving system efficiency. Turn off automatic updates for your apps since they can start updating overnight leading to battery drain. Try to set them to manual updates only.

Finally, another possible solution is to enable airplane mode at night. In this mode, your phone suspends most of its signal transmitting functions, saving a considerable amount of battery life. However, it also means not receiving any calls or messages till you switch it off. Remember, every phone and battery situation might be different, so it could require some trial and error to see what works best for your device.


In conclusion, multiple functions and apps can cause your smartphone battery to drain overnight. To manage and minimize this, you could consider adjusting your settings to limit background activity, disable unnecessary location services, manage your apps effectively, switch off unnecessary wireless connections and update your smartphone’s software and applications judiciously. It’s also worth noting that battery quality degrades over time and that it may be necessary to replace the battery after a certain usage period. In essence, the smarter our phones get, the more they do even when we aren’t using them and consequently, the more battery power they require. Thus, it needs balancing by smart use and regular optimization of phone features and settings.


Why does my iPhone battery drain even when I’m not using it?

Background processes, notifications, and sync activities can contribute to battery drain.

Why does my Samsung phone battery drain overnight?

Possible reasons include background processes, push notifications, and apps running in the background.

Why does my battery drain overnight iPhone?

Similar to other smartphones, background processes, notifications, and apps can cause overnight battery drainage on an iPhone.

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About the author

Alex Gustman

My name is Alexander.
I am the author of articles, reviews and videos on the YouTube channel of Androidncomp.com. I have been testing various electronic devices, mobile games and Android applications since 2012.

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