TikTok is a unique video-sharing app that captivates users of all ages.
It’s so absorbing that you may find yourself spending hours on the app without realizing it.
While it can be a great source of entertainment and education, the TikTok app may take a toll on your smartphone.
For example, have you noticed that TikTok uses a lot of battery power?
Why Does TikTok Drain My Battery? (Causes, Fixes)
TikTok drains your battery because of the content it offers: video.
Video content uses the highest amount of battery compared to other content like images, GIFs, and text.
In addition, since the app plays the videos automatically as you scroll down, it encourages you to view more videos.
The more videos you watch, the higher the battery usage will be.
There’s another battery-draining action involved when using TikTok: downloading.
While you open your TikTok feed, the videos start to download and then play.
Downloading content, regardless of the file type, can use huge amounts of battery charge.
And since videos are more involved than other file types, they can take longer to download, requiring more battery.
What’s more, the default video quality in TikTok is HD, which can use more power than lower-quality videos.
The app doesn’t have good software optimization compared to other apps like YouTube.
Consuming huge amounts of battery while using TikTok is inevitable to some extent, but you can use some techniques to reduce the battery drain caused by TikTok.
Cause 1: High Video Quality
When you use the TikTok app, it uses the Internet to download videos.
Downloading and playing videos can consume enough battery power that your phone drains quickly.
Most users don’t care about how much data they use to download content on their smartphones because they’re more concerned about speed than data consumption.
However, higher data consumption can lead to higher battery usage.
How To Fix
Most apps with high power consumption, including TikTok, have built-in features to limit your data consumption.
This feature is primarily for reducing costs and hassles while you’re on cellular data, which is generally slower than Wi-Fi.
However, you can use it to curb battery consumption because these two are directly related.
This feature reduces your data consumption by lowering the video quality—another battery-draining factor.
Your videos may take longer to load, and you can watch them in lower resolution, but it’s worth it if you’re tired of keeping your phone plugged in while using the app.
So, you can use TikTok’s settings to reduce data consumption.
To do so, open your TikTok app and go to Profile.
Click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner to open the settings.
Click on Settings and Privacy.
Scroll down to Data Saver.
Tap Data Saver to access the settings and move the toggle to turn the Data Saver on.
Note: The steps for turning on Data Saver are the same for Android and iOS apps.
Cause 2: Autoplay Feature
When you open the TikTok app, your feed is full of videos that play automatically when you scroll through your feed.
There’s also the loop feature, meaning the video will replay as long as you’re on it.
Whenever you scroll up and down the screen, the previously loaded videos will play, draining your battery faster.
This feature can use large amounts of data and power.
In addition, it can keep you engaged longer on the app, making you scroll down further to watch the next videos.
How To Fix
Turning off the Autoplay feature is a great option that gives you more control over your app usage.
You can decide what content to watch and reduce your battery usage by not playing videos you’re not interested in.
Unfortunately, the current build of the app no longer offers this feature, but if it comes back, you can simply open the TikTok app and again go to Settings and Privacy and look under the section called Content & Activity for Accessibility.
Under Display and Languages, look for Data Usage and select Autoplay > Never.
Cause 3: Using Cellular Data
If you use your cellular data instead of Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet and use TikTok, it can drain your battery more quickly.
The main reason is that cellular data consumes more power because of how these technologies are configured.
When you’re outside of the home and connect to cellular data, your phone has to constantly look for the closest tower to connect to.
Even when you’re at home, your phone searches for the most powerful signal, making the device work harder and use more energy.
How To Fix
Whenever you’re at home or in a place with Wi-Fi coverage, connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi.
It gives you a stronger and more stable connection while reducing your power consumption.
Some smartphones automatically turn off cellular data when connected to Wi-Fi.
However, if your phone doesn’t have this feature, turn your cellular data off to prevent your phone from using battery while connected to Wi-Fi.
Cause 4: Display Settings
No matter what you use your smartphone for, you want the highest visibility, especially because it has a small screen.
As a result, many users adjust their screen brightness to the highest levels, which can reduce the device’s battery life significantly.
While using TikTok, your screen is on for a long time, draining the battery faster if it’s on a higher brightness level.
How To Fix
The first thing you can do for screen brightness is to lower it as much as is comfortable for your eyes.
Automatic light adjustment is also beneficial because it sets the brightness according to the ambient light.
In addition, you can activate the dark mode in the TikTok app.
To do so, go to Profile and tap the three horizontal lines in the top right corner.
Go to Settings and Privacy > Dark Mode > Dark.
You can only manage TikTok’s battery usage to some extent because videos still use a lot of power.
Still, sometimes your battery depletes for other reasons that you can control more easily.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Close Background Apps
While watching TikTok videos, many users like to multitask and run several applications simultaneously, switching between apps constantly.
You can guess how much power multitasking can draw from your battery.
So, avoid multitasking and close all the other background apps.
These apps use power by constantly updating in the background and even connecting to the Internet.
2. Limit Your Usage
Social media apps are among the biggest battery-draining apps on smartphones.
Some of them may be optimized to reduce power consumption, but there’s another factor: user behavior.
We tend to use these apps longer than others because they’re entertaining and immersive.
You can get so captivated by TikTok that you don’t realize how much time has passed and that your battery has drained to under 10%.
So, you should try to reduce your usage through time management apps or any other method that works for you.
3. Turn Off Notifications
If you have your TikTok notifications enabled for every account you follow, you’ll get an overwhelming number of notifications whenever a person uploads a video.
These notifications can drain your battery in different ways.
They tempt you to open the app and spend your time and battery power on it.
Even waking the screen to check notifications can use power.
They also keep your phone busy by constantly checking for new posts.
To disable TikTok notifications, go to Settings (three lines in the top right corner) > Settings and Privacy > Push Notifications and disable the option.
4. Reinstall The App
If your TikTok app is acting strangely and consuming more battery than before even though you haven’t changed your habits, the app may be faulty.
It may have developed a bug that causes it to use more power.
In such cases, uninstalling and reinstalling the TikTok app can help remove these bugs and get the latest version of the app.
Why Does Video Content Consume Battery?
If you track your phone’s battery usage, you can see that the screen has the highest power consumption.
So, no matter what you use your smartphone for, just turning on the screen will use your battery.
However, some functions use more battery than others.
For example, watching videos will use much more power than looking at pictures or texting.
This power consumption can be high even if you’re watching the video offline (although it can be considerably higher if you watch videos on TikTok).
The main reason for higher power consumption while playing videos is simply the fact that videos are essentially photos that move.
When you see a still photo, your screen doesn’t have to do much to show it to you.
However, a video means your screen has to show hundreds of pictures in a second.
The screen has to refresh repeatedly, and each pixel has to change in split seconds to display the video.
These constant changes can use a lot of power, making video-playing apps one of the biggest battery consumers.
Why Does TikTok Make The Phone Run Hot?
When you’re on TikTok, it’s even easier to notice that your phone is too hot than the fact that your battery is draining quickly.
But these two things are related and happen for many TikTok users.
Using any battery-draining app can make your smartphone hot because of how electricity works.
Electric current is the movement of electrons inside the device and between its components.
For example, when you’re using TikTok, the electrons go from the battery to the processor and the display to give you the images you want.
The movement of electrons creates heat, and the higher the power consumption, the faster the movement of electrons, and the higher the generated heat.
Which Apps Drain More Battery?
In addition to TikTok, many other smartphone apps can drain your battery.
According to a study, the most draining apps belong to Google (Chrome, YouTube, Waze, Gmail, Google App) and Facebook (Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger).
The function of apps can also affect their power usage.
Identifying these apps can help you optimize your battery usage by managing them and using them more wisely.
Mobile games are optimized for their operating systems, featuring lighter configurations and less complex details.
Still, they can drain your battery fast because of the high visual demands and complexities.
These games have higher refresh rates than videos, meaning the pixels have to refresh much faster than videos.
2. Streaming Apps
Streaming apps have the same elements that make TikTok a battery-draining app: videos and data usage.
They can use even more battery than TikTok because they run the videos for a longer time.
You know how easy it is to spend hours binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix or going down the rabbit hole of suggested YouTube videos.
Although these apps are software-optimized for mobile, they can still drain your battery if you use them for too long.
3. Social Media Apps
As mentioned before, social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are infamous as battery killers.
They download and play videos, show pictures, send notifications, sync data in the background, and send and receive messages.
Many users spend long hours on the same app or constantly switch between different apps, placing a huge burden on the battery.
Web browsers are among the most draining apps because of the way they work.
They use too much RAM because they have to load so many different things, from text and videos to ads and extensions.
That’s why experts don’t recommend using the software versions of popular programs like Instagram or TikTok.
However, you can cut power usage if you use these apps’ web versions by opening only one tab in the browser.
5. Geolocation Apps
Any app that works based on your location can drain your battery.
Navigational apps, such as Waze, and ride-hailing apps, like Uber, use a large amount of battery because they have to constantly refresh your location by connecting to satellites.
These can be even more problematic because we mostly use them when we’re away from home and don’t have access to charging facilities.
How To Preserve Your Battery
While TikTok and many other apps drain your battery, you can get more juice out of it for longer if you consider the following tips.
1. Disable Unnecessary Features
When you turn on additional features like Bluetooth, Hotspot, or GPS, remember to turn them off after you’re finished.
When you leave these features on, they continue to look for available connections or necessary information, draining your battery.
Most features are easy to access through notification trays, especially on Android phones.
So, you can easily find and disable them.
2. Adjust The Screen Timeout
As mentioned before, the screen is the primary component that uses the most battery power.
So, you can reduce your battery usage by adjusting its settings to turn off the screen when not in use.
Set the screen timeout to one minute or even lower so the screen turns itself off when not in use.
3. Take Care Of Your Battery
Smartphone batteries have long lifespans, but you can prolong their life by avoiding things that can damage them.
For example, heat is the number one enemy of all electronic hardware, including batteries.
Don’t put your phone in a place that makes the device run hot, like near a heat source or in your coat pocket.
Extreme cold can also damage Li-ion batteries used in modern devices.
The battery charge level is also important.
Modern batteries shouldn’t reach zero or 100 percent.
Always keep your battery charge between 20% and 80%.
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