Nothing is more annoying than battery drain from a system app that you can’t even uninstall.
Google Play Services is one of these apps.
So what is Google Play Services? Why can’t you uninstall it? Why does it even exist in the first place?
Well, Google Play Services actually includes several packages that are necessary for your Android device to function. It runs in the background to make sure that all of your apps work correctly by coordinating authentication, privacy settings, and syncing contacts.
For example, GCM Push, the service many of your apps use for push notifications, is bundled in as part of Google Play Services.
By default, your Battery Optimization settings doesn’t optimize Google Play Services. This is because many of its tasks are too crucial to end for the sake of battery. But that doesn’t mean that you have to let Google Play Services suck your phone’s battery dry.
Let’s talk about a few ways to prevent battery drain due to Google Play Services.
Method 1: Resolve Sync Errors
You’ve got to hand it to Play Services for being persistent. Even if it runs into an issue trying to sync an account, it will try and try and try again. Unfortunately, this leads to battery drain. You can find out if Play Services is experiencing a sync error by visiting Settings > Accounts to see if there are error notifications within any individual accounts.
Step 1: Toggle Service
Try turning the service encountering the problem off and back on again.
Step 2: Stop Automatic Syncing
This is a major contributor to battery drain. To turn it off, go to Settings > Accounts (this may also be known as Accounts & Sync or Data Synchronization or Users & Accounts) and select the account who sync settings you want to change. Or, on some devices, select the menu in the upper-right corner and turning off syncing for all accounts.
Step 3: Turn Sync On or Off for Certain Apps
Follow the same procedure from Step 2, but when you are in an account you have the option to check or uncheck/toggle specific apps. For instance, if you are in the Google account, you have the option to tick or untick syncing for Contacts, Gmail, or the Calendar.
Step 4: Remove Account(s) & Add Again
Go to Settings > Accounts > Remove account. To add it back, go back to Settings > Accounts > Add account.
Step5: Remove Account(s)
Sometimes having multiple accounts just causes too many problems. Go to Settings > Accounts > Remove account.
Method 2: Update Google Play Services
Many of these issues can be caused by an update, but then corrected by a subsequent patch. So while it may seem weird that an update is often both the cause and solution to this problem, it is.
Step 1: Open Play Store
Step 2: Tap Menu
It’s the three bars stacked on top of each other in the upper-left corner.
Step 3: Select My apps & games
If a new update for Google Play Services is available, you’ll have to option to tap Update.
Step 4: (Optional) Download Google Play Services APK
The newest version of Google Play Services is available on Google Play, but you can also go back to previous versions by flashing an APK manually.
Betas are also sometimes attainable this way. You’ll need to know the version of Android you have (Settings > About Phone), and have unknown sources (Settings > Security > Unknown Sources) enabled on your device.
You will also have to identify your device’s CPU architecture and your screen’s DPI (Dots Per Inch) and we have provided a couple of apps below to help.
Then you will need to locate the version of Google Play Services that corresponds to the combination of your version, architecture, and DPI. This is a somewhat drastic approach normally not required to fix your Google Play Services battery drain, but there are times when it might help.
Download Droid Hardware Info
Download Display Info
Step 5: (Optional) Uninstall Updates
Sometimes you might be given the option to uninstall the latest update of Google Play Services.
Method 3: Change Mode to Battery Saving
GPS tends to consume a lot of battery, and this consumption may actually appear to be the fault of Google Play Services. That’s because apps go through Google Play Services to request your location. You can choose settings to help your battery endure. You can change your device’s location accuracy mode.
Step 1: Open Settings
This is the gear icon.
Step 2: Tap Security & Location
If you don’t see this option, skip to Step 3.
Step 3: Choose Location
This can be located under Privacy or Personal.
Step 4: Tap Mode
Step 5: Select Battery Saving
If you use an app that needs your location, such as Google Maps, you will need to switch this setting back to High accuracy.
Method 4: Adjust Certain Settings
The most effective settings change was Method 3, but there are a few other tweaks you can implement to try to take the power back, literally.
Step 1: Set Wi-Fi/Mobile Data to be Kept On Never or Only During Charging
Google Play Services is a busy bee, often syncing in the background. If your Wi-Fi is set to Always On, it’s an opportunity for Play Services to always be on as well. T
he path to get there may differ depending on your phone, but one way is to go to Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Advanced > View More > Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep. Change the setting to Never or Only during charging.
Step 2: Disable Google Location History
Or, on some MIUI ROMs, some have found improvement by enabling this function. Scroll down to the bottom of the Location screen.
Step 3: Toggle Off Permissions
Disable permissions for Google Play Services to make modifications to the system and toggle off any and all apps’ location permissions. Go to Settings > App Info > Choose App > Permissions.
Step 4: Turn Off Background Data Usage
You can use an app like Greenify or do this manually. Go to Settings > Connections > Data usage > Mobile Data Usage > Google Play Services. Toggle off Allow background data usage.
Method 5: Delete Data/Cache
Although some users dismiss this as a temporary fix, it just might work. And if nothing else, it will grant you temporary reprieve. Also, it doesn’t hurt to go ahead and clear the cache and data of your Google Play app, or your whole system. As is especially the case with updates, old information can still sometimes linger in the cache and conflict with the new.
Step 1: Visit Settings
Then find Apps.
Step 2: Locate Google Play Services
Tap on it.
Step 3: Clear Data & Cache
Whether it’s temporary or not, clearing data and cache is easy to do, and can potentially make a world of difference in fixing Google Play Services’ battery drain.
Step 4: Reboot
Some users also swear that disabling Wi-Fi also helps at this point.
Step 5: Fully Charge
Method 6: Disable Task Killers
Pit your task killer up against the likes of Google Play Services, and it will only halfway succeed in its endeavors. In other words, it may start and even accomplish killing a Play Services task, only to have it start right back up again. All of this battling only consumes more energy.
Of course, if you haven’t downloaded a task killer, then you don’t bother with this method.
Step 1: Go to Settings
Step 2: Tap on Apps
Depending on the device, you may also need to go to Applications Manager or Application List.
Step 3: Select Task Killer
Examples of task killers include: Advanced Task Killer, Task Killer, ES Task Manager, etc.
Step 4: Disable Task Killer
See what effect this has on battery.
Step 5: Uninstall Task Killer
If Step 4 resulted in an improvement, go ahead and uninstall the task killer.
Method 7: Uninstall Third-Party Troublemakers
Did the problem appear recently after installing some apps? You could try putting your phone in Safe Mode to see if the battery drain persists when no third-party apps have access to Google Play Services.
If your battery use returns to normal, you probably need to uninstall some apps. Start with any that you installed around the time the issue started or that came third-party sources (outside of Google Play Store).
Step 1: Record Current Battery Usage
Go to Settings > Battery > Battery Usage and take some samples over a few days of the percentage value Google Play Services is using.
Step 2: Enter Safe Mode
There are a couple of ways to do this depending on the device: Long-press the physical Power button until the option to Power Off appears. Then long-press Power Off until the option to boot into Safe Mode appears. Select it. The second way is a to turn your device off, then turn it back on and quickly press a combination of Volume buttons, but this tends to be more common for older devices.
Step 3: Record Battery Usage Again
Keep a log of Google Play Services battery usage in Safe Mode.
Step 4: Compare Battery Usage
Contrast the average battery usage before you placed your phone in before you boot your phone in Safe Mode and after you turn Safe Mode off.
Step 5: Uninstall/Disable as Necessary
In some cases, free apps can also use Google Play Services a lot to retrieve information for the ads they want to show you. If you really want these apps, consider the paid versions of these.
That’s All for Now
If nothing above did any good, you could also try a factory reset to fix your Google Play Services battery drain. It also doesn’t hurt to try disabling Google Now and Google Play Services, but we don’t recommend uninstalling them. It’s not a bad idea to use general battery life enhancing tactics as well. This problem can wax and wane, depending on updates.
Did we miss a strategy that has worked for you to reduce battery drain from Google Play Services? Let us know about it.