Android adaptive battery: everything you need to know

As phones have become more capable of performing various tasks, the need to better allocate battery power has become crucial to maximizing battery life. Today, our phone’s SoC greatly regulates power consumption between the apps and features we use during the day. Let’s see how Android’s Adaptive Battery works and how you can make sure it’s enabled for your device.

Read more: Android phones with the best battery life


Adaptive Battery is an Android feature that extends battery life based on how you use your phone.


What is Android Adaptive Battery and how does it work?

Samsung Galaxy S22 battery display

Ryan Haines/Android Authority

When you’re using your phone, it’s not just the app you have open that’s eating up your battery life. Even when you put your phone down and don’t touch it, there are plenty of background processes running behind the scenes. For example, many apps actively retrieve information, such as contacts or location data, from other apps, not to mention any ongoing cellular and external Wi-Fi connections.

All of these processes and many more require varying amounts of energy to operate. Without anything to coordinate the power consumption, you will notice a big difference between an optimized battery and a battery-less device. An adaptive battery is how your Android phone holds up for a full day of use or more. Here are some key system tools used by Adaptive Battery.

Limit background apps

The most common way Adaptive Battery can save minutes to hours of battery life is by restricting apps from running in the background. As mentioned earlier, some apps can consume a lot of power without you knowing. When Adaptive Battery is on and an app is running too much, you’ll get a notification with the option to put it to sleep.

Over time, Adaptive Battery will learn which apps consume the most background and limit some of their functions. This doesn’t really affect your phone’s performance, but it does mean that the battery won’t drastically drain when your phone is idle.

Learn their habits

Another way Adaptive Battery lives up to its name is by learning your phone’s usage habits. After you have Adaptive Battery enabled for a while, your phone will keep track of which apps you use the most, how long you use them, and how quickly your battery drains when not optimized.

Eventually, your Android phone will use this data to fine-tune how it spends a full battery so it can last through your daily use. A crucial piece of information in this equation is learning your charging habits. Once the time is regular enough, Android will start extending your battery life until the time it expects you to plug in your phone to charge it.

Reduced performance

One of the more subtle ways that Adaptive Battery improves battery life is by slightly reducing performance. The chips consume a lot of power and your battery can last much longer if that power is reduced to match your current needs.

On Samsung Galaxy phones, there is an add-on feature to Adaptive Battery in Settings that allows you to change the processing speed of your device. This tool can save you more battery life than Android’s adaptive battery. The Exynos processor in the flagship S-series devices barely lags behind in the “optimized” state. However, the performance difference may be more noticeable on other Android devices, but if you’re on the go without a charger, that might not be an issue.

How to Enable Android Adaptive Battery

Here’s how to enable adaptive battery on a Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy phone.

Google Pixel

Access the settings by swipe down from top screen and pressing the Settings cog. Then press Battery. Select Adaptive preferences, and finally, tap the toggle on Adaptive battery.

Samsung Galaxy

Access the settings by slide down on the screen and pressing the Settings cog. Select Battery and Device Care. You can optimize your battery usage here. Press the Battery reading near the top, then scroll down to select More battery settings. There you will find the Adaptive battery to toggle.

As mentioned earlier, you can also set the Processing speed just below the adaptive battery option. There are three different speeds: optimized, high and maximum. Select the option that best suits your use.

samsung processing speed

Adam Birney / Android Authority

How to Manage Battery Usage for Individual Apps

Adaptive Battery will treat all apps equally, but you can manually assign certain apps stricter exceptions or limitations. Access your Settings and select apps. From there, select the app you want to manage, scroll down to select Batteryand select the desired battery usage for this app.

All in all, Adaptive Battery is a great feature to extend the life of your Android device. If you find that your battery isn’t lasting long enough, try turning it on or limiting the use of power-hungry apps. Remember that Adaptive Battery needs time to learn your usage habits and may not work immediately, but you should notice results soon enough.

Next: Android Adaptive Brightness: Everything you need to know


If you find that your battery life is not lasting long enough, you should consider enabling adaptive battery to better suit your usage habits.

Fast charging will not damage your battery. However, if you leave your phone plugged in for long periods of time, you may consider activating Protect the battery in More battery settings. This will limit the maximum charge to 85% to help extend your battery life.

Adaptive charging can help extend your battery life and keep your device from heating up while charging. Learn more in our guide.

Rather the opposite. Adaptive Battery reduces the amount of apps and background processes that drain your battery, extending your device’s battery life.