I recently got a Motorola Moto G (4.3 upgraded to 4.4.2), and I wasn't getting the battery life that my vendor claimed I would get (Through mixed usage: 2-3 hours of music, some web browsing, a lot of Whatsapp, a little bit of gaming, and Wifi/mobile network completely turned off in the night (for some 8-9 hours), I barely touch 20 hours of battery life)

I was wondering whether this has got to do with the 3 google accounts that I've kept in sync for GMail and some other Google services.

I may be a bit paranoid because my previous Android phone suffered from woeful battery near the end of its life, but still I would like to know if syncing more accounts drains the battery more or not.

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    I would say yes, because it is constantly trying to update and using the battery and yes it depends on multiple accounts
    – samnaction
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


Short answer: yes and no.

Using three accounts won't run the battery down in itself: by far the bigger factor is how much activity there is. To take an example, Gmail uses push messages (via Google Cloud Messaging, GCM) to notify your phone of new mail, so the phone doesn't have to repeatedly poll the server for new messages for each account.

Because of this, adding a new account that never gets any email will have hardly any effect on battery use. OTOH, doubling the amount of email you get will have a much bigger effect, because GCM is waking up your phone twice as often. While adding a new account makes little difference on its own, you're probably adding the account because it's going to get mail, so you will end up using the battery more.

The same applies to other services too. Even for anything that does poll instead of using GCM, Android is clever enough to do all the polling tasks at the same time, to avoid repeatedly waking up your phone. This means that checking two accounts uses a little more battery than checking one, but less than twice as much: again, the amount of work it's doing each update (how much data it's fetching) is a bigger factor.

To address your particular situation, I'd guess that the background updates on your phone aren't using nearly as much battery as the foreground things you're doing. Don't forget you check the battery use of each app in the device settings.

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    Thanks. There's one account that I synced which I only use for registrations on sites and stuff, and so keep getting mails on that - but don't use it for personal use. Unsyncing that would enhance my phone's battery life, I guess.
    – wrahool
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 12:21
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    If you don't need the notifications immediately for that account, I would just disable sync for the services you don't need (Gmail, calendar, etc). Then when you go into the account in say Gmail, it will tell you that it is not syncing and you can manually sync it. This will prevent the device from waking up from the notifications. You can still access the account, but it just won't get push notifications for the services you disable sync on. This should reduce the battery impact it may have.
    – abqnm
    Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 0:19

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