Facebook’s iOS app is a notorious background battery eater and, despite some attention and updates aimed at solving this problem, it remains so to this day. While it’s simple enough to just remove the Facebook app and access the site in Safari, this leads to missing out on Notifications, Live Photos and other features. Good news: it’s possible to have your cake and eat it, too, with a little bit of understanding and effort.
The first important thing to understand is iOS’s Background App Refresh setting. On the surface this sounds like an easy fix: disable this for any given app (like Facebook) and no longer will the app be able to run in the background. Problem is that we do this … and it still shows gobs of background battery usage. That’s because the Background App Refresh setting only serves to limit (or allow) the app’s ability to launch in the background. If it’s already launched, well, it can continue to run using a different set of rules that we users have no ability to control.
You can probably see where this is going: limiting Facebook’s background usage is a two-pronged approach. Step number one is to disable the Facebook app's aforementioned Background App Refresh setting.
The second step is to simply quit Facebook after you use it by double-tapping the home button and swiping the app up. Thankfully iOS 9’s app switcher allows you to do this even while you’re in the app, so instead of just hitting the home button once to leave Facebook and do something else, hit it twice and swipe up. That’s it!
- Disable Settings > General > Background App Refresh > Facebook
- Double-tap the home button and swipe Facebook up to quit the app after you’ve used it.
I’ve been following these steps for over a week with current releases of Facebook’s app and its background battery usage is nonexistent!