So, you just put bought a shiny new Google pixel 6a, and you’ve already dug into it. Well, you should definitely enjoy the phone (just read our full review). However, if you want to enjoy it for even longer, then you’ll want to stretch the battery power as much as possible. If you’re wondering how to get as much out of the Pixel 6a’s battery, then you’ve come to the right article. Here’s a handy how-to guide to do that.
Adjust the screen brightness
There are several key factors that contribute to battery drain on a device, and one of them is the display. In fact, the display is one of the biggest loads on the battery. This is where adjusting the brightness comes in.
When you pull down on the notification shade twice, then you’ll see the brightness slider up top. Drag it to the left to lower the brightness to a level that you’re comfortable with. While this might not be the best for when you’re outdoors, you don’t need to have the screen at full brightness when you’re inside. Keeping the display at a low brightness will add some miles to your battery.
If you don’t want to constantly adjust the brightness of your display, then you can have the phone do it for you. There’s a Feature called Adaptive brightness. Using this tool, your phone will use its front-facing camera to see how bright the environment is. It will then automatically adjust the brightness accordingly.
To enable this Feature, go to your phone’s settings and find the Display settings page. There, right under Display brightness, you’ll see the Adaptive brightness option. Flip the switch next to it, and you should immediately see your screen’s brightness change.
Set screen-off time
Most of the time, the phone is most useful when you’re actually using it. When it’s left on the table or on your bed, it doesn’t serve much purpose. This is why adjusting the screen-off time is important. You’ll want to make sure that, when your phone is unattended, it will go to sleep in a timely manner.
Go back to your Display settings and look for Screen timeout. This is about a quarter of the way down. When you tap on it, you’ll see some options. You can set your screen to timeout between 15 seconds and 30 minutes of inactivity.
There’s also another option right below those that will keep the screen on as long as you’re looking at the device. The phone will use the selfie camera to look out for your eyes. Google assures you that the camera stores any data captured by the camera on-device. It’s not sent to Google. However, if you don’t like this Feature, you can leave it off.
Use the system dark theme
A handy setting that people like to enable is the system-wide dark mode. This will turn most parts of the UI a dark shade. This will go for app icons, menus, the notification shade/Quick Settings, folders, and the backgrounds in certain apps. Since everything is darker, it uses up less battery power.
To enable this, go to your display settings and scroll down a bit until you reach the Dark theme option. You’ll be able to toggle it right there, and you’ll see the interface go dark right then.
If you tap on the actual Dark theme text, it will take you to a page. On the bottom, you’ll see a schedule option. You can set a schedule for your phone to enter and exit the dark theme.
Enable Adaptive battery
This Feature might be enabled by default when you get the phone, but it’s always good to check. The Pixel 6a uses artificial intelligence to analyze your usage habits. In doing that, the phone is able to adapt the battery to your habits. With this method, the phone will allocate more power for the actions you do most and deprioritize the ones you use the least.
When you enable this Feature, the system will learn your habits over the course of some time. Because of this, you’ll see battery savings gradually over time.
Reduce background processes
Most of the time, when you close an app, it’ll still run in the background. This is useful for certain services like Google Assistant to be ready whenever you want to summon it. There are other useful services that should be on in the background, but not all of them.
Unfortunately, apps running in the background are another of the main causes of battery drain. They remain on even when your phone is sleeping, and they perform tasks that the processor needs to process. Thankfully, you can set it so that apps don’t function in the background.
You can see which apps are draining the most battery power on your Pixel 6a by going to your settings and finding the Battery settings page. There, right under the battery percentage bar, you’ll see the Battery usage page.
Tapping on that page will show you a lot of useful information. You’ll see your battery usage over the past 24 hours. Under that graph, you’ll see the list of apps that have been using the most power over the past 24 hours.
Each app will show you how long it’s been active, and it will also show you how long it’s been on in the background. This is a great way to get an idea of which apps are draining your battery right under your nose.
Tapping on the app will bring you to another page. On the bottom, you’ll see three options that you can select, and these manage how the apps operate in the background.
The Unrestricted option will let the app operate freely in the background, and that uses more battery power. You’d only want to use that option for an app that you need to work under the hood.
The Optimized option is selected by default. With this option, the system will adjust the app’s background usage based on how much you use it. If you use it more, it will operate in the background more and vice versa.
The Restricted option will completely stop the application from operating in the background. This is the best for apps that you do not need to work in the background.
Another way to get to this screen
If you want to restrict an app, but it’s not on the aforementioned list, you can still do so. Just find the app on your home screen or app drawer. Hold your finger on the app icon, and you’ll see a little menu pop up. Tap on the App Info option (the “!” inside of the circle).
When you do that, you’ll be taken to a page with all kinds of settings for that app. Scroll down to the Battery page, and you’ll be taken right to that page.
Battery Saver Mode
If you want an all-in-one solution for your battery conservation, then you should put on Battery Saver mode. This mode will combine the aforementioned battery-saving methods to boost battery savings automatically.
When you enable Battery Saver mode, your phone will turn on dark theme, and the system will restrict the background processes of most of your apps. Aside from that, the performance of your device will also slow a bit.
When you activate the mode, you’ll see a notification giving you the option to turn on Extreme Battery Saver mode. This will further reduce the processing power of the device, and restrict apps (ones you choose) from functioning at all. On top of that, your screen timeout time will be reduced.
With these tips, you can insure that your Pixel 6a will last you a lot longer on a single charge. If you also want to know how to take a screenshot with the Pixel 6a, here’s our guide to doing so. Also, if you feel that you want to look at our coverage of the Pixel 6 or Pixel Pro, here are our reviews.