My wife's Samsung Galaxy S6 started showing signs of what I assumed was a faulty battery. About an hour into the day, her notification bar would indicate roughly 60% remaining on her battery, even though she'd charged it overnight and she had not been using the device. So I ran the usual checks, and I did not find a single thing amiss.
And yet...still the battery drained. By 5:00 p.m., her device was warning that the battery was about to die. How '90s of that battery.
After much experimentation, I found the problem, and it turns out to be pretty common with a recent update to this device. The great news is the issue is easily fixed by doing two things.
Replace the home screen
A recent update to the Galaxy launcher TouchWiz has caused a significant drain on the device battery. After replacing said home screen with Nova Launcher, the battery immediately shot up from from 10% to 64%. That's significant.
To install Nova Launcher, follow these steps.
- Open the Google Play Store on your S6.
- Search for nova launcher.
- Locate and tap the entry by TeslaCoil Software.
- Tap Install.
- Read the permissions listing.
- If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept.
After the installation has completed, tap the home screen button and, when prompted, select Nova Launcher and tap Always (Figure A).
Setting Nova Launcher as the default home screen.
Change the wallpaper
The next thing I noticed was that the high-res wallpaper my wife had downloaded and set as the home screen background caused the battery to drain somewhat faster than it should. To fix this problem, I selected one of the built-in wallpapers, and the percentage shot up another 10%. If you really want to give that battery a boost, download a solid black wallpaper or a darker-themed image.
A simple solution
Although the solution for regaining your battery life back is simple, it shouldn't be necessary. Hopefully Samsung will fix whatever ails its TouchWiz home screen so those that prefer using the built-in default can do so.
Until then, Nova Launcher will help you get through an entire day on a single charge. Couple that with the fact that Nova Launcher is actually far superior to TouchWiz, and you can see how this solution is a complete no-brainer.
- Five Android home screen launchers worth checking out (TechRepublic)
- How to back up and restore your Nova Launcher home screen (TechRepublic)
- Hide apps in the Android app drawer with Nova Launcher (TechRepublic)
- Manage Android app drawer groups with Nova Launcher (TechRepublic)
- Mobile Device Computing Policy (Tech Pro Research)
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.