Top tips for saving battery life on the Samsung Galaxy S4

If you need your Samsung Galaxy S4 battery life at its peak, check out these tips!

Does your Samsung Galaxy S4 not have enough juice to make it through the day? Well, we've got some tips to make sure you get the very most out of that battery. Managing background apps, wireless activity, and display are all big parts of the picture. A lot of it is straight-up common sense, but it's very easy to forget to do a lot of the basics.

If you've got a newer Galaxy phone, check out our top battery saving tips for the Galaxy S5!

Turn on Power Saving mode

Power Saving mode conveniently throttles processor usage, screen brightness, and disables vibration all at once to save on battery life. Vibration is a big one; be sure to have your notifications set to mute or audible instead by using the volume keys. 

  1. Swipe down from the top of the home screen to bring up the notification pane.
  2. Tap the icon in the top-right to see all options.
  3. Tap Power saving.

Lower screen brightness and reduce timeout duration

The display on the Samsung Galaxy S4 is generally the biggest drain on battery life. Reducing the brightness of the screen can earn you some precious time, but will reduce visibility outdoors. Setting a shorter timeout duration will ensure that the screen isn’t active for any longer than it absolutely needs to be, though it may turn off too quickly for your preferences.

  1. Swipe down from the top of the home screen to bring up the notification pane.
  2. Drag the brightness slider near the top towards the left.
  3. Tap the gear icon at the top, the My Device tab at the top, then Display.
  4. Tap Screen timeout and set how long before the screen turns off on its own.

Turn off unused functions and wireless connections

It’s easy to forget that some wireless functions are continually on in the background not doing much of anything. Turn them off when not in use. Just remember that if you’re within Wi-Fi hotspot range most of the day, you’ll actually save power using it instead of cellular data.

  1. Swipe down from the top of the home screen to bring up the notification pane.
  2. Tap the icon in the top-right to see all options.
  3. Tap NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and Mobile Hotspot so the icons are greyed out. Other extraneous functions, such as Air view and screen mirroring can also be disabled here to save on battery.

Manage sync and auto-uploads

Sync in particular can be a major battery drain. Though turn off sync from the notification tray means certain apps won’t notify as quickly as you like, it will certainly save you some battery life. Google+ can be a key offender here, but also other cloud apps, like Dropbox, that are set to back up photos as you shoot them. Be sure to dive into your various apps and individually disable auto-uploads and sync on any that aren’t vitally important.

  1. Swipe down from the top of the home screen to bring up the notification pane.
  2. Tap the icon in the top-right to see all options.
  3. Tap Sync so the icon is greyed out.

Disable widgets and live wallpapers

Home screen widgets and active wallpapers are notorious battery hogs since they’re basically active all the time. Give them the axe. You never really needed them anyway, right?

  1. Long press on a home screen widget.
  2. Drag it to the trash can at the top of the screen, and release.
  3. Long press on the home screen background and tap Set wallpaper from the pop-up.
  4. Tap Home screen and pick a wallpaper source other than Live wallpapers.
  5. Select an image, crop appropriately, and tap Done in the top-right.

Close, disable, or uninstall unused apps

Apps can run in the background and use up precious CPU cycles when you’re not actively using them. Most of them show up in the multitasking view and can be closed safely from there. While some need to be manually closed down, it's not always advisable. Force closing and disabling background apps may cause instability, depending on how vital they are. Be sure to read up here on how your phone already does a pretty good job of handling memory management before going on a task killing spree. In any case, drilling into your system settings can at least show the most active (and power-hungry) apps on your Samsung Galaxy S4. In most instances uninstalling these apps will be better than just killing them, since they'll often restart on their own. 

  1. Hold down the home button to summon the multitasking view.
  2. Tap the icon in the bottom-right to close all active apps.
  1. Swipe down from the top of the home screen to bring up the notification pane.
  2. Tap the gear icon at the top, the More tab at the top, then Application manager.
  3. Swipe to the left until you're on the Running tab. Tap Show cached processes at the top to see background apps.
  4. Tap apps and select Stop to stop currently running processes.
  5. Swipe to the All tab and tap problematic apps to force stop, uninstall, or cease notifications. 

Get battery management apps

Many of the tasks outlined above can be performed automatically (or at least aided) by high quality apps in Google Play. With them, you can control which apps launch when, which apps are hogging precious resources, and automatically toggle certain functions under specific conditions. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.

Get an extended or spare battery

If you need added assurance that your Samsung Galaxy S4 will make it through the day, extended battery packs are available. These will add thickness to your device, but it may be a necessary evil to keep your phone active for as long as possible. You can also grab a standard stock battery to swap out as needed.

Those are our tips for saving battery life on your Samsung Galaxy S4, but maybe you’ve got a few tips to get yours through the day. Sound off in the comments and let us know how you get your phone through the day!

Simon Sage
Simon has been covering mobile since before the first iPhone came out. After producing news articles, podcasts, review videos, and everything in between, he's now helping industry partners get the word about their latest products. Get in touch with him at
  • Root and get touchwiz off. Battery life will be great.
  • Snapdragon battery guru is what I use
  • Have you tried Go Powermaster?
  • Turn off everything, disable everything, uninstall everything and voila your brand new Nokia 6210 is at your disposal...
    Improved battery tech is going to be the next breathrough in mobile tech.
  • I had never issues with the battery life of the S4 and have almost everything enabled. The only thing which kills my battery sometimes pretty quickly are the Google location services - turn them off and the wakelocks are usually gone. Google really has to improve them and make the batterystats more transparent, especially the ones about the google play services.
  • You could also disable Samsung Push Service to increase battery on Samsung Galaxy devices .
  • I tried battery doctor and I'm quite sure it made battery life way worse... Any chance you've seen anything like that? I don't think I'll try that one again, and a bit apprehensive to try others, especially paid ones.
  • beware of Battery Doctor... I've been using this app and so far it has been pretty good, however like the author's other app, Clean Master, there has been an introduction to crappy bloatware that have nothing to do with the name off the app.
  • I've used all the above suggestions over the years since each option was available, but the best thing I could possibly recommend to save battery life would be DO NOT UPDATE TO KIT KAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was able to last close to 10 hours out of the house with about 45~50% left when I got home, post update my extended 7700mah battery can't get me through the day with more than 35% when I get home.
    Even a few suggestions in the comments I've use over the last year since I got my S4.
    Sync is the worst, disable sync on unnecessary apps (I've had it kill my phone a few times, just didn't sleep at all)
    Samsung Push disable/root remove/flash new rom
    powersaving mode helps a little
    screen brightness=all the way down/auto/Lux set to 0
    timeout set to 15sec w/smart stay
    nfc doesn't do anything unless you use an app=minimal drain
    Wakelock detector/greenify combo are great BUT they don't work unless rooted port KITKAT screwup What I've heard is if you factory reset/wipe your phone (great!) it will alleviate kitkat issues, but I haven't tried it yet, I have cleared the cache and it helped a bit (maybe 50% better post update), still not up to par with 4.3 or 4.2 battery life. Just uninstall any app really because they really kill your battery/memory, I know, I love my apps too but if you want good battery its a trade off.
  • I absolutely agree. Unfortunately I read the warnings too late so I upgraded to KitKat hoping it would be a great thing. It wasn't.
    To make things worse I had my phone sent on repair a few months back (replacing half the phone) and they replaced the software with a carrier branded Android instead of my unlocked (not rooted) Android. That meant I never got the updates everybody else got. So when I showed up at our local Samsung Service Center they promised to upgrade my phone and replace my carrier branded Android with the standard version of KitKat. Little did I know it craved for double the battery power, and little did I know I would get a parking ticket outside on their visitors parking (because the upgrade took 50 minutes instead of 20 as they first promised).
    That was double the bad luck.
    It took me a few days but with the help of their Facebook Customer Service I got them to take the parking ticket back, but not the KitKat "update" :-(
  • This article is helpful. I have to say though, as a new smartphone user I'm a little frustrated I have to spend so much time tinkering with so many different settings to get reasonable battery life. Some people say just "root" the phone and do xyz. Oh sure, like I really know how to do that.
  • Rooting is illegal in the US, by the way.
  • it's not.
  • I disabled all the apps I didn't need, as well as all un-needed notifications and kept just the ones I want or needed and still had the drain problem. I finally cleared all my info from the default mail app and quit using it and started using the myMail app, my battery went from lasting 6 - 8 hours under normal use to 1 1/2 - 2 days. Hope this helps as much as it helped me.
  • Thank you for everything