Google Play Services is an integral part of the Android ecosystem. It contains a lot of features that work at the core of Android. For example you cannot use Google Play Store or Google Maps if Google Play Services are not installed. It has a lot of other useful features that make Android what it is right now. These are not installed as a part of the operating system. This is pretty important as many users do not want to use Google services in Android at all. In that case, they may install custom ROMs with no Google apps at all. This is all fun but in practical cases, Android is no fun without it. It is installed in form of APK and it can be found in Google Play Store. These are installed as the package name com.google.android.gms. This is same for every single Android device.
Unfortunately, this useful app can malfunction sometimes. To be honest, this happens more than often. And this issue can happen in any version of Android. This is a persistent issue and has been there since the beginning if these services. The issue is that it will start consuming huge chunk of battery on daily basis. This is not a one time thing. It starts happening and then does not stop. In normal days, the battery usage by com.google.android.gms should not be more than 8-10%. This is the safe and actual battery usage limit. If the battery usage is exceeding huge numbers, then there is a problem and it is probably why you are here.
To detect this issue, head over to the Android’s Battery monitoring app. This will show the battery usage per app. This is the most basic way. For more advances battery stats, use a battery monitor from the Play Store. This will help you identify not only the battery usage but also the time when it is using it. More than likely, Google Play Services will be using battery when screen is off. It means that some services of Google Play Services of are not letting phone enter the deep sleep mode. The main reason for this can be the incompatibility issue after an OTA update. I cannot stress enough how better a fresh install is over OTA update. With a fresh install, you almost do not get any error of this sort.
There are two steps to fix this issue. First we have to identify if the version of current Google Play Services is causing this error or some specific this error. In the first case, we can uninstall the updates and then install the latest version from Play Store. This will most likely fix battery issue with Google Play Services. If this does not work, then the problem is with some service. Some services is causing the wakelock. It means that phone does not enter sleep mode. The sleep mode is when the screen is turned off, no service is using CPU. It saves the battery for hours. The main battery usage in this case is screen on time. And in healthy phones, the screen time is around 5 hours. If it is something like 2 hours or 3 hours everyday, then this is an issue.
We will go through all the possible solutions and start with the most basic ones. You should start with the most basic solution as well. There might not be a need for advanced stuff after all.
How to uninstall and re-install Google Play Services latest version
- Head over to Settings > Applications > Applications Manager.
- Application Manager might be located in slightly different location in some phones.
- Now search for Google Play Services in the list.
- Open it and search for uninstall updates option.
- In most of the devices now, there is not option to disable or uninstall Google Play Services.
- Tap on Uninstall Updates.
- Once done, restart the device.
- Now download the latest Google Play Services either from Google Play Store or some third-party store of choice.
- Install it and then give the required permissions when prompted.
- If the issue has been fixed, battery usage should be back to normal now.
- You can test run the phone for next 2-3 days.
How to disable some of the services in Google Play Services
If the above mentioned method did not work for you, then you have to try this. This is focused on disabling only those services ran by Google that are causing the wakelock. Services like location, lockscreen and sync (Backup transport) are always working in the background. In normal cases they do not affect the battery at all. If they do so, it means that their some incompatibility issue. To fix this, you can disable only these services. However there is a catch. To achieve this, the phone or tablet must be rooted. We are going to use Disable Service app for this. This only works on phone with root access. If your phone has no root access and you do not plan to root it ever, then try flashing the stock firmware. It will fix the Google Play Services battery drain issue.
- Make sure that phone is rooted and you have downloaded Disable Service app from Play Store.
- Run this app and disable any service that you are not going to use.
- This is the list of some services that you can disable and still use apps like GMail, Google App and Virtual Assistant.
- However you can find more services for yourself and disable them to save battery.
Note that this is not advised to turn off all services. The phone might stop working properly. Also many of Google’s apps may stop working. Therefore the best solution would be to either change the Google Play Services app version or flash a stock firmware for your specific phone.
If you have any question, let me know in the comments below. Worked for you? Let us know!