Google Play Services’ battery drain is, to some extent, a misnomer, because it’s often caused by external apps and functions that use features like location, metrics, Wi-Fi and so on, which are handled by Services. Usage of these features ends up being reflected in the battery usage of Services. We’ve put together a bunch of solutions that should help you fix the battery drain and get Play Services playing nice again.
- How to Detect Google Play Services’ Battery Drain on Android
- Find the REAL Source of the Battery Drain
- Clear Google Play Services Cache and Data
- Fix Google Play Services’ Battery Drain by Turning Off Auto-Sync
- Sync Errors Could Be Draining Your Battery
- An App Is Requesting Your Location
- Uninstall Google Play Services Updates
- Install an Older Version of Google Play Services
How to Detect Google Play Services’ Battery Drain on Android
You don’t need to install another app to detect whether Google Play Services is draining your Android device’s battery.
- Head to Settings and tap “Apps & notifications.”
- Tap “See all xx apps,” scroll down to “Google Play Services” and tap that.
- Tap “Advanced,” then take a look to see what it says under “Battery.”
What percentage of battery has been used since the last full charge? If it’s using more than a few percent of your battery (i.e., if it’s going into double figures), that’s too high, and you need to act to address the problem.
Find the REAL Source of the Battery Drain
But there’s a little more here than meets the eye, as in itself, Google Play Services doesn’t actually drain your battery. As we touched on earlier, it’s really other apps communicating with Google Play Services – location access, Wi-Fi, data, and running in the background – that causes the drain.
So once you see that Google Play Services is draining your battery, the first port of call should be to see which apps are actually causing it to drain your battery.
There used to be quite a few apps for this purpose, but some have fallen off the edge of the world. BetterBatteryStats was at one time one of the best but is no longer on the Play Store, while the once-popular Greenify hasn’t been updated in a couple of years.
That leaves AccuBattery to take all the glory. You need to let it run for a few weeks to gather data properly. Once you’ve done that, it presents battery usage in a clear way, letting you find the real battery drain culprit using graphs, ranked lists and detailed metrics about your phone battery.
Clear Google Play Services Cache and Data
A simple first thing to try is to clear the Google Play Services cache, which may have become bloated with excess unnecessary information that’s causing it strain.
To do this, go to “Settings -> Apps & notifications -> See all xx apps -> Google Play Services -> Storage & cache -> Clear Cache.”
If you’re still suffering from battery drain, the more radical step is to clear Google Play Services storage, which will require you to sign back in to your Google account afterward.
To do this, go to Settings -> Apps & notifications -> See all xx apps -> Google Play Services -> Storage & cache -> Clear storage.
Fix Google Play Services’ Battery Drain by Turning Off Auto-Sync
If you have more than one account connected to Google Play Services, that could explain the battery drain issue. Since Google Play Services has to look at your location for new events in your area, emails, notifications and more, it’s continuously running in the background. Therefore, that’s even more memory.
You can fix this by turning off auto-sync for various accounts, such as your email, Calendar, and Drive, as well as third-party apps like WhatsApp. Your Google account in particular manages syncing for a lot of apps.
To do this, go to “Settings -> Accounts,” then tap each account to see whether syncing is switched on or off. You’ll see when you tap “Google account ->’Account sync,” many apps are probably auto-syncing. Have a think about whether you need all that syncing!
If it says “Sync on,” tap “Account sync” to go into that app and control the various syncing options for that app. Obviously, if auto-sync is very important to you for a given app, then leave it on and try turning off auto-sync on the less important apps first.
Sync Errors Could Be Draining Your Battery
Whenever Google Play Services tries to sync data but can’t, you obviously get sync errors. These errors can also be the reason you have to charge your phone more than before. Take a look at your contacts, calendar, and Gmail account and see if you can spot any errors. Try removing any emojis you may have on any contacts, as Google doesn’t like that.
You can also try removing and re-adding accounts to try and fix those sync errors. Turning off mobile data in your device’s settings for a little more than a minute can also help, but remember to turn it back on.
An App Is Requesting Your Location
There are plenty of apps that will ask for your location. The issue is that when they do, they ask for it through Google Play Services, which then uses your GPS to get that information.
- Open the apps asking for your location and toggle off the location permission by going to “Settings -> Apps & notifications -> [App name] -> Permissions.”
- Tap the “Location” slider to turn off location syncing, which can cut down on Play Services’ battery use.
Uninstall Google Play Services Updates
This may sound a little strange, but sometimes updates will cause a bug. For this reason, if you’re experiencing battery drain because of Google Play services, you can try uninstalling the updates to this service.
- Go to “Settings -> Apps and notifications.”
- Select “Google Play Services” from the list of apps.
- Tap the three dots at the top-right corner.
- Select “Uninstall updates.”
- Reboot your phone and see if that makes a difference.
Install an Older Version of Google Play Services
On occasion, the latest version of Google Play Services may not behave as it should. If you’re witnessing increased battery drain since updating Google Play Services, you may need to roll back to a previous version of Google Play Services (at least until the latest version works as it should).
- To roll back to a version of Google Play Services of your choice, go through the tip above to “uninstall updates” to Services, then go to the Google Play Services section of APK Mirror.
- Scroll down and tap a version of Services one or two versions before the latest one (ignore the beta versions).
- You’ll see that there are dozens of variants here. To download the right variant, you need to know three things:
- The architecture of your phone’s SoC
- The DPI of your phone screen
- Your Android version
- You can find out your Android version by going to “Settings -> About phone.” You can find out the other stuff on a site like GSMArena.
- With that in mind, download the correct APK for your phone, grant your browser permission to download it if you have to, then install it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I update Google Play Services?
Check for updates to Google Play Services by going to “Settings -> Apps & notifications -> See all xx apps -> Google Play Services.}
If there’s an available update for Play Services, you’ll see it on this screen.
2. Can I get the Google Play Services beta?
Yes. If you want to play around with the latest Play Services features and be on the frontline of what the app has to offer, you can become a tester for the app by registering at this page.
3. Is Google Play Services spying on me?
Sort of, yes, though how nefarious you consider it really depends on your feeling about Google’s data harvesting, which is very much a part of its MO. Tons of apps – from Maps to WhatsApp and even your phone app – “phone home” to Play Services to let it know what you’re up to. To avoid this, you really need to “de-Google” your phone, which is too much to tackle here in this space.
4. Can I delete Google Play Services?
You can with a rooted phone, but at that point will lose access to those Google privileges, like the Play Store, Google Maps, and basically all Google apps as well as many third-party ones. Basically, it’s a big commitment – even a lifestyle choice – and not something to be taken lightly.
Now that you’ve hopefully fixed your battery drain issues, why not have some fun by making your Android look like an iPhone.