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How to use Extreme Battery Saver mode on your Google Pixel

You'll need the standard Battery Saver enabled first.
By
October 28, 2022
Google Pixel 7 close on green wall
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Available on Pixel phones from the Pixel 3 onwards, Extreme Battery Saver can be a lifeline, keeping essential functions going when your phone would otherwise shut off. Below we’ll explain what Extreme Battery Saver changes and how to toggle it, including automatic settings.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro

QUICK ANSWER

Extreme Battery Saver is an optional extension of the normal Battery Saver mode on Google Pixel phones, drastically scaling back apps and features. To use it, open the Settings app to Battery > Battery Saver > Extreme Battery Saver > When to use and pick whether it will always turn on alongside Battery Saver, or only when prompted.


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What’s the difference between Battery Saver and the Extreme Battery Saver mode?

With the standard Battery Saver option, your Pixel use a number of measures to limit power consumption, such as:

  • Switching to Dark Theme
  • Slowing notifications
  • Limiting app refresh to open apps (no background tasks)
  • Halting “Hey Google/OK Google” triggers for Google Assistant
  • Stopping location services when the screen is off
  • Disabling Pixel-specific features like Motion Sense gestures, car crash detection, or squeeze controls
  • Reverting cellular bandwidth from 5G to 4G

Extreme Battery Saver takes these tactics even further:

  • CPU performance is throttled
  • Paused apps don’t send notifications at all
  • Screen timeout shrinks to 30 seconds
  • Hotspot/tethering functions shut off
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are no longer used for location data (connections to cars, earbuds, etc. still work)

In normal circumstances you should avoid Extreme Battery Saver, since it slows down your phone and can (potentially) cripple essential functions. Imagine not being able to get WhatsApp notifications while driving with Google Maps, for instance. If you’re stranded somewhere, however, or simply don’t need your phone that much until you can charge, it might be the ideal choice.

How to turn Extreme Battery Saver mode on or off on a Pixel phone

Before anything else, you should set a schedule for the regular Battery Saver mode, since Extreme is linked to it. Technically you can make Extreme turn on any time the regular mode does (see below), but it should really be a last resort. In your Pixel’s Settings app, go to Battery > Battery Saver > Set a schedule and pick one of the following:

  • Based on your routine: This triggers when Android thinks you might run dry before your usual charging time. The prediction is based on habits, so this option may not be useful during trips, or if you always charge whenever it’s convenient.
  • Based on percentage: This is the most reliable option unless you have a hard time judging how much power you can get by with. You can specify how low percentage needs to be — for Extreme, you probably shouldn’t set this any higher than 20.

With that done, go to Battery > Battery Saver > Extreme Battery Saver > When to use and select one of following:

  • Ask every time: You’ll be asked whether or not to use Extreme any time the regular Battery Saver goes live.
  • Always use: Extreme kicks in automatically any time Battery Saver does.
  • Never use: This disables Extreme entirely.

As we hinted earlier, most people should pick “Never use.” If you might have a legitimate need though, “Ask every time” still tends be better than “Always,” except in the rare case you only need to stretch out battery life during emergencies.

You can also select Essential apps that won’t be paused. System apps like Clock, Phone, and Messages are automatically protected, so be judicious here — you probably don’t need Twitter alerts when your phone is about to die.


Read more: A guide to everything that affects smartphone battery life

FAQs

No. In fact, your Pixel’s lockscreen goes black with the standard Battery Saver mode.

For phones without 5G, data is unaffected. That’s because many carriers are now using 4G as a baseline, shutting down 3G service.

We have a more comprehensive guide above, but there are a few common ways:

  • Switching to Dark Theme (a.k.a. dark mode), and lowering screen brightness until your phone’s just bright enough to be readable in daylight.
  • Switching from cellular networks to Wi-Fi whenever possible.
  • Minimizing video and game time, especially 3D games.
  • Turning off cellular, Wi-Fi, and/or Bluetooth when they’re unnecessary.