How to save iPhone battery by automatically turning off Wi-Fi in iOS 16

You can have your iPhone Wi-Fi turn itself off or change almost any setting when you leave and return home. Here’s how to do it.

Apple has built a way for your iPhone to register that you’ve left your home or a specific location. This is done via a shortcut automation action, which means that once set up, you can have your iPhone do anything Shortcuts allows — just go somewhere or come back.

The truth is, you can do just about anything your iPhone can do, right where you are. But, for example, you can turn WiFi on or off this way to save battery power on your commute.

When the iPhone batteries are dead

If you find that your iPhone battery drains much faster when you are away from home or the office, it is because it is constantly searching for Wi-Fi networks for you and not finding them. To fix this constant scanning while commuting, you can simply go to Settings, Wi-Fi and turn off “Ask to join networks”.

Not only does this ask you if you want to join every network you walk past, it also keeps your iPhone from checking. You could still turn on Wi-Fi manually and it will then search for a network, but otherwise it wouldn’t search to avoid draining the battery.

However, there’s at least one Wi-Fi network you’ll always want to connect your iPhone to, and that’s where shortcuts come to the rescue.

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How to save iPhone battery automatically by creating a personal automation

No doubt you have Wi-Fi at home and at work, so naturally you’ll want the iPhone to use that to get faster data rates and lower your cellular bills.

The problem is that at the edge of your Wi-Fi range, there may be a small DMZ where your iPhone insists it’s on your network — but it’s not there enough to do anything.

So if you find that Siri takes a long time and fails when you ask it to take you anywhere on Apple Maps, the connection probably isn’t strong enough.

Use shortcuts to save iPhone battery

What you need to do is for Shortcuts to recognize that you have left your home, office or other location. Then for it to turn your Wi-Fi on or off.

To make this happen automatically, use the automation feature in the shortcuts. For this example, you don’t even need to create a shortcut.

  1. Open Shortcuts on your iPhone and tap automation at the bottom
  2. Tap the blue plus sign in the top right
  3. Choose Create personal automation
  4. Choose from the list that appears Leave
  5. Make sure At any time is ticked
  6. click around Choose Location
  7. Either tap Current location or enter an address
  8. Beat Completed
  9. Now tap Next
  10. On the screen that appears, tap Add action
  11. Look for “Wi-Fi” and select it Set WiFi
  12. Tap the word “On” to say it Turn off WiFi
  13. Beat Next and tap on the displayed screen Completed

This automatically turns off the WiFi when you leave the house. To turn it back on automatically, repeat each step, but specify this time Turn on WiFi.

You can give an address and drag the circle at least a little to define an area

make it more reliable

The easiest way to set this up is when you’re in the location in question, when you’re in the location you want to use. In practice, however, it is sometimes better to give the address than just to type it Current location.

There’s no reason for that to be true, but in testing it was sometimes necessary for this to work.

Also, there’s another small benefit of including a location when you include an address. You have the ability to say how close or far from your home or wherever you want to be when the automation is running.

The reason it’s only a small benefit is that you don’t get very fine-grain control. You cannot have the automation run if you are within 100 meters or about 100 yards of the position.

Tap to change this and turn off Wi-Fi. Or choose Run Shortcut, which lets your iPhone’s location trigger everything Shortcuts can do

That means you might have to hit the road before you can say “Hey, Siri, take me to the Apple Store” and be sure it’s working.

make it more flexible

Instead of using Set Wi-Fi, you can choose any shortcut action – including Run Shortcut.

So when your iPhone detects you’ve left or come back, you can do not just one action, but dozens. Set it up so the WiFi turns on when you pull up to your door and get out of the car, but you also text your partner to say you’re back.

If you have Homekit devices, maybe that one step could also unlock your front door, turn on the lights, and have each HomePod play ELO’s Mr Blue Sky.

Or you can just leave it that way, you save some battery life by turning Wi-Fi on and off.

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