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Is there anything sadder than the little red battery in your phone’s upper corner blinking 6 percent with increasing alarm?

But I only sent two texts today! you think (while frantically warning your 20 best friends that you’re about to go dark). What could be draining old ringy so quickly?

Here, eight of the sneakiest culprits.


Your Screen Is Too Bright

Yes, it’s fun to annoy your Eagle Scout brother by using your phone as a flashlight. But the rest of the time, turn down your screen’s brightness level to save precious battery life. A tip for iPhone users: Turn on auto-brightness (in settings) to conserve power by automatically adjusting to outdoor conditions.

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You're Vibrating

We love that you swapped out the “Drop It Like It’s Hot” ringtone for a more subtle vibration. But the sad truth is that a gentle buzz drains your battery much faster than a ring or, of course, silent mode.


You're Addicted to Facebook

Facebook--which comes preinstalled on most phones--is one sneaky bastard. Even when not in use, this app is constantly refreshing itself and, in the process, draining precious battery life. Luckily, there’s an easy fix: Simply disable Facebook background checks in your phone’s settings.


You're Searching for Wi-Fi

Using Wi-Fi instead of data is great for saving on your wireless bill. But your poor little phone can run itself ragged looking for a signal when you’re out and about. Do yourself a favor and turn “enable Wi-Fi” off when you know you won’t have Internet access.  


You're Automatically Syncing to the Cloud

Those 45 pictures of your cat must be saved for posterity. (All hail Lord Whiskerton!) But every time you automatically sync to your Dropbox or iCloud account, you’re zapping battery life. Instead, set your phone to sync manually or when connected to a computer.


You're Google-Mapping Your Ex's House Again

Apps that use GPS to track location are notorious power sucks. When you’re not actively using them, turn them off.


You're Checking the Weather for the 40th Time

See above. Weather apps track location.


You're Not Letting the Battery Drain Regularly Enough

It’s counterintuitive, but the more often you charge your phone, the harder it is on your battery. Let your battery drain completely from time to time, and never charge it for hours overnight. (Phones need sleep too!)

See More Battery-Saving Tips

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