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How to use Extreme Battery Saver mode on your Google Pixel
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 an automatic option.
To use Extreme Battery Saver on a Google Pixel:
- Open the Settings app to Battery > Battery Saver > Extreme Battery Saver > When to use.
- 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 uses a number of measures to limit power consumption, such as:
- Switching to Dark Theme
- Slowing notifications
- Limiting app refresh to apps already open (i.e. no background tasks)
- Halting “Hey Google/OK Google” triggers for Google Assistant, as well as Continued Conversation
- Stopping location services when the screen is off
- Disabling Pixel-specific features like Motion Sense gestures, car crash detection, or squeeze controls
- Reverting cellular speeds 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 Extreme should really be a last resort, used when your power is near zero. In a Pixel’s Settings app, go to Battery > Battery Saver > Set a schedule and pick one of the following:
- Based on your routine: This triggers whenever Android thinks you might run dry before your next charging session. Its 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. 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.
Despite the subject of this guide, 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 dire emergencies, such as floods or hurricanes.
Under the Extreme Battery Saver menu, 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 or Threads alerts when your phone is about to die.
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, choosing to shut down 3G entirely.
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 is just bright enough to be readable in daylight.
- Switching from cellular networks to Wi-Fi whenever possible.
- Minimizing game and video time, especially 3D games.
- Turning off cellular, Wi-Fi, and/or Bluetooth when they’re unnecessary.
- Minimizing hotspot/tethering usage.