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Fix: Google Play Services causing battery drain

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Google Play Services is an essential system app that has a big part in the functioning of the Android system. In ideal conditions, you won’t even know that it’s there but things are hardly ideal when it comes to the transitional evolving nature of Android and also Google’s tendency to fix things that are not broken. Some users, upon looking at Battery stats, confirmed that Google Play Services is causing noticeable battery drain.

This might be because of the service itself or the way Play Services is integrated within the system on some devices with heavy bloated Android skins (MIUI, OneUI, etc.). It’s hard to tell what’s the cause but we have a few suggestions on how to fix the problem. You can learn more below.

How do I stop Google Play Services from draining my battery?

1. Update Google Play Services

The first thing you should do is update Google Play Services. This is usually an automatic process that takes place behind the curtains and you can’t locate Google Play Services in Play Store by simply searching for it or looking through the list of available apps. However, there’s a way to update Google Play Services manually and we made sure to explain it below.

Here’s how to update Google Play Services on your Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps (Apps & notifications).
  3. Expand All apps (App manager or Manage apps).
  4. Open Google Play Services from the list of available apps.
  5. Tap on the App details in Store.
  6. If there are updates available, tap Update.

2. Clear local data from Google Play Services

If that doesn’t work, you can reset Google Play Services (in a way) by clearing a small portion of local data that this app stores. And depending on your usage and number of apps, this number can even get up to a few gigabytes. This is somewhat ludicrous when compared to other apps, but you can’t do much about it since the large chunk of local data can’t be deleted.

Here’s how to clear data from Google Play Services and, hopefully, reduce battery drain on your Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps & notifications (Apps).
  3. Expand All apps (App manager or Manage apps).
  4. Open Google Play Services from the list of available apps.
  5. Tap on Storage.
  6. Tap Manage Storage and Clear All data and confirm the selection.clear all data google play services 1

3. Clear local data from associated services

Aside from Google Play Services, you can clear data from additional system services. In this case, we talk about Google Services Framework and Google Play Store which work in unison with Google Play Services. Clearing data from associated services should help if the previous step failed.

Here’s how to clear local data from Google Services Framework and Google Play Store on your Android:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps.
  2. Tap on the 3-dot menu and choose to Show system processes.
  3. Open Google Services Framework.
  4. Select Storage and clear all data.
  5. To the same for Google Play Store.
  6. Restart your device and check if there are still spikes in background battery usage.

4. Uninstall updates

As you probably suspect, there’s no way to completely remove Google Play Services from your device. This is a system app and essential at that so, even if you could remove it (ADB), we wouldn’t suggest it. Unless you definitely know your way around ADB and don’t want Google on your Android.

What you can do is uninstall updates from Google Play Services and re-update the app in hope that the battery drain will reduce.

Here’s how to uninstall updates from Google Play Services on your Android:

  1. Navigate again to Settings > Apps > All apps > Google Play Services.
  2. Tap on the 3-dots icon and select Uninstall updates.uninstall updates for google play services 1
  3. Restart your device and wait for the app to update or follow the steps in the first step above to update it manually.

5. Sideload an older version of Google Play Services

We wrote extensively about the benefits of APKs coming from third-party sources. Google Play Store updates apps but it can’t roll back to an older version of said apps. And, in this case, chances are that the battery leakage is caused by the current version of Google Play Services.

For that reason, we suggest sideloading a Google Play Services APK but going for an older version. Hopefully, this will address the issue.

Here’s how to roll back Google Play Services with an APK:

  1. Uninstall updates for Google Play Services.
  2. Navigate to APK Mirror or use any other APK aggregator that you trust.
  3. Download an older version stable version of Google Play Services APK.
  4. Run the APK and allow the installation of third-party apps (unknown sources) on your device when prompted.
  5. Restart the device after the update/downgrade.

6. Reset your device to factory settings

Finally, if Google Play Services keeps causing battery drain, we can suggest going nuclear and restoring your device to a clean-slate state. This usually helps with any issues and it’s often the only way to deal with major system faults.

Here’s how to reset your Android to factory settings:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose System.
  3. Select Reset options.
  4. Tap Erase all (factory reset).
  5. Tap Erase all.factory data reset samsung 4
  6. Your device will restart and you’ll get to the initial setup screen.
  7. From there, sign in to Google and/or to OEMs account and restore everything that’s backed up.

And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and feel free to reach us and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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