GPS Battery Life: Your Definitive Guide

Maximizing GPS battery life is a must-have for any driver. Making small adjustments can significantly increase your device’s lifespan and get more out of every trip!

In this article, we’ll discuss how to effectively save power on car navigation systems so that you never have to worry about running low while away from home.

Table of Contents

Perform A Battery Range Test

To ascertain a device’s battery life, put it through its paces with a wide-range battery test. Activate all GPS functions and use them until exhaustion – recording your start and end times.

It is known as the heavy-use test, which typically yields lower results than expected. Running tests to evaluate how different factors affect battery life is also useful for scrutinizing dissimilar batteries side by side.

Hand-held outdoor GPS with a compact design

Hand-held outdoor GPS with a compact design

GPS Battery Life Extending Tips

Tips relating to batteries

1- Highest-mAh lithium-ion rechargeable lithium

Lithium batteries are the way to go if you’re looking for a longer lifespan, especially in cooler conditions.

To ensure you get the maximum length of life out of your power source, check the mAh rating. Generally, 25000 is ideal and will last up to 56 hours when used on a Garmin Montana.

2- Replace batteries

To prevent any issues, use fresh batteries and ensure they are properly set up. The battery type chosen should be by your device’s specifications. A mismatch may result in diminished battery life. Verify that the settings coincide with the particular type of battery used.

New lithium-ion battery GPS

New lithium-ion battery GPS

Deactivating features

1- Switch off the electronic compass

The old GPS could only calculate direction when you were already on the move. However, the electronic compass in new models can always figure out your destination – but at a price. The device will suck up more battery power if left constantly running, so switch off this feature whenever possible!

2- Deactivate the track recorder

Disabling your GPS can save battery life and track where you’ve gone. Additionally, it’s easy to either transfer the records to a computer or share them with others.

3- Turn off the GLONASS

GLONASS, which Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces run, is an alternative to the GPS. GLONASS performs better and faster regarding location accuracy in areas with high terrain.

Even though it comes with one caveat – battery life will deplete more quickly than usual.

4- Turn off WAAS

WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) significantly enhances GPS systems’ accuracy, although it requires more battery power.

Unfortunately, its energy-saving features are currently disabled.

5- Deactivate ANT+ Sensor

Garmin GPS may be outfitted with an ANT+ sensor. It enables them to communicate and sync up with pedometers, heart rate monitors, or other Garmin products.


1- Navigate using the compass or trip computer rather than the map

Maximize your device’s battery life by utilizing the trip computer or compass to bypass redrawing of maps. Additionally, keeping the GPS in a bag or pocket instead of relying solely on a map screen can

extend its longevity and help conserve energy.

2- Change the map orientation to “North Up” rather than “Track Up.”

Make sure your GPS map is set to North Up to ensure a longer battery life since it won’t spin and orient according to the direction you point. Not only will this save energy, but it also makes navigation easier as you don’t need to figure out which way is north or adjust mentally.

3- Change the map’s speed to normal.

If you’re looking for an efficient way to conserve energy while keeping up with your GPS maps, try adjusting the frequency at which they are redrawn. If set to “Fast,” it will draw the map more often and use more electricity.

However, if you switch over to “Normal” mode, you’ll be able to save on power without sacrificing a smooth map-viewing experience.

GPS Map on screen

GPS Map on screen

1- Brightness level

Dim the backlight to conserve battery usage and extend your device’s life.

2- Shorten the timeout period

To maximize battery life, turn off the GPS lights and adjust your timeout time. The less electricity used, the quicker it will drain – so keep those settings low!

3- Close the Camera app when not taking pictures

Don’t forget to exit the photo app when you finish using it. Rather than that, it may still be draining battery life while running on your device’s GPS.

4- Change the touch sensitivity to normal

For maximum battery life, keep your touch sensitivity level at the Normal setting. It is because the High setting requires more power to function properly.

5- Turn on the Power-Saving mode

GPS Battery Conservation Mode shuts down the display and may discontinue WAAS to sustain battery power.

Longest Battery Life GPS Tracker

Family1st Portable GPS

Family1st Portable GPS

Key Features:

  • You can buy this GPS device confidently because it has a lifetime warranty.
  • With a low price and a low-cost subscription plan, this GPS device provides excellent value for money.
  • There is no activation fee or contract, so you can use the device immediately without worrying about hidden costs. Deactivation is also complimentary.
  • This GPS device provides coverage in the United States, Canada, and Mexico giving you peace of mind when traveling within these countries.

This single-use device offers 4G connectivity, Alexa integration, indoor Wi-Fi capability, and robust and weatherproof portability.

Additionally, you can access various features, including real-time alerts, through the companion app. Family1st tracker monitors kids or elderly family members and beloved pets.


Does utilizing a GPS Tracker Impact Battery Life?

If you frequently work outdoors, you may worry about the power usage of GPS and geofencing draining your battery.

While it is true that sending signals to satellites consumes a lot of energy, deactivating background activity can help conserve battery life significantly.

By doing this, not only will you be able to save precious electricity but also extend your device’s duration!

Satellite navigation system

Satellite navigation system

How much power does Location Services use?

Battery life can differ significantly depending on various factors, such as applications, Wi-Fi usage, mobility, and GPS signal.

If the signal is strong, it will deplete battery power by 13%, but if weak, it could reduce your battery up to 38%. To minimize this drain, we must consider other solutions down the road.

How do GPS apps affect a cell phone’s battery life?

If the GPS’s signal is weak, it can cause your battery to deplete quickly. The reason is that the app has to work extra hard by constantly searching for your current location.

Another factor contributing to a powerful decrease in power is running other apps simultaneously or having an old, worn-out battery.

To help conserve energy, you can turn off some of its features or switch to another low-power-consuming application.


Don’t be left in the dark about GPS battery life – follow this guide to ensure your device performs optimally. It shows you how to disable needless features and use suitable batteries to keep it running for longer! 

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