In short: Apple Music can drain a lot of battery when it’s continuously running in the background, either syncing with another device or downloading music from your Library.
It’s frustrating to open your iPhone and notice a significant drop in battery life, especially when you’re listening to songs on Apple Music. Let’s discuss how to solve the problem.
Does Apple Music drain a lot of battery?
The Apple Music app drains a lot of battery, especially when it is running constantly in the background. It drains the battery 40% faster than Google Play Music.
Although Apple Music drains less battery than Spotify, plenty of subscribers have complained that Apple Music drains a lot of battery, even when the app is not running.
How much battery does Apple Music use?
The Apple Music app uses 30% battery in less than one hour, but if you keep your phone in low power mode and disable the Background App Refresh, you can cut it to 5% to 15%.
Why does Apple Music drain my battery so much?
The Apple Music app drains a lot of battery due to continuous syncing with another device, operation system issue, unsuccessful download attempts, and running in the background.
1. Operating system issue
The battery drain issue happens no matter the iPhone model, whether it’s the older iPhone 7 or the newer iPhone 13, which makes me conclude that the problem lies on Apple’s end of the line.
For example, iOS version 15.2 has a known issue within the Apple Music app. Apple made the statement during beta testing and on release. iOS version 15.3 fixed the issue.
2. Continuous syncing with Apple Watch and/or MacBook
In some cases, the excessive Apple Music background activity is caused by the fact that the iPhone is trying to connect to a paired Apple Watch and/or MacBook to sync media.
In my case, I realized that the problem was caused by my MacBook Pro. The Apple Music application on my MacBook Pro was constantly communicating with my iPhone.
If the connection between your iPhone and the Apple Watch and/or MacBook doesn’t work, a continuous loop is created that drains the battery in the background, even during sleep.
3. Unsuccessful music download attempts
Another reason is a problem that prevents your iPhone from downloading music from the app, which causes a continuous cycle of unsuccessful download attempts that drains the battery.
4. Background App Refresh is turned on
Ever notice Apple Music alerts you about an album release you didn’t know about? You can thank the background app refresh feature on your device.
Background app refresh is a smartphone feature that allows apps to idle in the background (when you’re not using them) in order to send convenient alerts and implement updates.
Unfortunately, these background apps, including Apple Music, drain your battery and can chug data at an alarming rate of 3 to 5MB per hour, according to Mint Mobile.
Does Apple Music drain more battery than Spotify?
Spotify drains more battery than Apple Music. As you can see in the screenshot of my battery activity, TIDAL drains the least battery followed by Apple Music and then Spotify.
Based on my 1-hour commute to work, I’ve noticed that Spotify uses between 5% to 6% of my phone’s battery, whereas Apple Music uses roughly 3% of my phone’s battery.
How to stop Apple Music from draining the battery
You can make Apple Music use less battery by disabling Automatic Downloads, disconnecting your iPhone from MacBook and/or Apple Watch, and turning off Background App Refresh.
1. Listen to music offline
Instead of using the internet to stream music, download them and listen to songs offline. The battery life of my phone seems to barely drop when using offline music.
When the Apple Music app relies on the internet to stream music, it can drain a lot of battery, especially when the connection is unstable. Just be sure to turn off Automatic Downloads.
2. Turn off Automatic Downloads
Make sure to turn off Automatic Downloads under Music in the app settings. I noticed there were 200 pending downloads just sitting there spinning, so I canceled all of them.
By turning off the Automatic Downloads feature, Apple Music automatically downloads the content to your device or computer when you add it to your Library, which drains a lot of battery.
Once I’ve turned off Automatic Downloads and canceled all of the pending downloads, I’ve yet to experience another battery drain issue caused by Apple Music.
3. Disconnect iPhone from Apple Watch and/or MacBook
On your iPhone, open the Apple Music app. In the menu bar select Account, and if you are signed in, simply sign out. This will disconnect the Music program from iCloud syncing.
Doing so will stop your Apple Watch and/or MacBook from connecting to your phone (even when the program is not in use) to try and sync in the background.
The only downside is that it will remove any downloaded music you have on your phone, so you have to start over, but your battery will no longer get hit and drain rapidly.
Once I did this, Apple Music was no longer constantly connecting the Mac and the phone, and the battery stopped draining. Simply sign in to your account if you want to use Apple Music.
4. Turn off the Background App Refresh
Turning off the Background App Refresh will prevent an app from using data and battery in the background, but background usage will continue when connected to Wi-Fi.
How to turn off Background App Refresh for iPhone
- Open the Settings app.
- Select General.
- Scroll down and tap Background App Refresh.
- Turn off Background App Refresh for selected apps.
Make sure to disable Apple Music from running in the background. To disable background app refresh for all apps, tap the option at the top of the page and select one of the following:
- Wi-Fi & Cellular Data: This is the default, so you won’t want to choose this.
- Wi-Fi Only: Apps only update if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.
- Off: This stops apps from updating in the background entirely.
How to turn off Background App Refresh for Android
- Go to Settings.
- Select Apps & Notifications.
- Select See All Apps.
- Tap the app you want to disable refresh for, then select Mobile Data & Wi-Fi.
- Turn the Background Data slider to Off.