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ryan

Bad battery life in iOS 5?

Since installing the public iOS 5 release on my iPhone 4 and iPad 2 earlier this week I've had my battery completely drain out on both devices overnight (which rarely ever happens -- usually only if I leave on a location app or something), and tonight I noticed it was sucking down juice quickly as well.

I ran a stats app which showed me that my phone was operating steadily at 90%+ CPU utilization, which seemed really odd to me. I rebooted and after it came back up I explicitly started no other apps than my stats app again -- within a few minutes, it was back to steady 90-99% CPU utilization, and my battery percentage was dropping almost by the minute.

Maybe the utilization percentage is to be expected, but this suddenly poor battery life isn't -- it's the worst I've seen on my iPhone 4 since the first two or three iOS 5 beta releases (which, as you may or may not have heard, were pretty harsh on the battery).

Any thoughts on what might be causing it? Has anyone else even seen this precipitous decline in battery performance from late iOS 5 betas to the public release?

Update (November 2011): Well, looks like I'm not crazy, Apple is soon releasing a fix for these issues. Keep an eye out for 5.0.1!

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74 replies
alanfotherg

I had the same issue - 100% CPU Utilization, and battery being killed.

I did the whole restore, disable things, etc.

Finally found in my case that it was due to caldav calendar sync. I disabled caldav, and CPU usage went to <10%, turned on caldav, and it went to 100%

See if that works for you.
2 like dislike
barkerja

I had an issue with some of the location system services, specifically the timezone setting. Disabling it did wonders for me.

Settings > Location Services > System Services
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dave

Interesting! Going to try this.
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RohitK

If you do, post results!

Someone else also posted a suggestion about recreating Exchange accounts. Could be worth a shot. I find the best way to test these things is to check the battery percentage at night before sleeping and checking in the morning.
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jstanley

Are you syncing anything with iCloud, like bookmarks? Throughout the betas (and still) Safari would constantly download my bookmarks infinitely, duplicating them over and over and over. It would kill my battery until I turned of bookmark syncing. My guess is that it's one of those processes, if you have iCloud running.

I have contacted support about the issue and they are aware of it.
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Kteto

Let's try disabling bookmarks sync then.
Thanks for the tip.
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ryan

Almost everything I have is disabled in iCloud (excepting photo streams and docs + data), so I'm thinking that's not it. But something good to look out for all the same.
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JustinLuey

You're right that is not the issue. It seems to be a problem that happens during the initial iOS 5 install. My iPad 2 has everything enabled and the battery is perfect.

My iPhone 4 is fine.

My iPhone 4S started draining like crazy after I restored it. I restored the software with DFU and then restored from backup and now it's fine.

Don McAllister said this solution worked for him too.
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starbuckmw

Thanks for suggestion. I will try this for my iPhone 4 has it had taken major battery hit with iO5. I do have a couple questions.

1. Is restoring from DFU then from back up different from directly restoring from a backup or restoring to factory settings (and treating it as a new phone- manually adding back apps). I have done both of the latter which have not helped much that I can tell, but I am currently going the DFU route with hope.

2. When I restore from itunes, is it using the iOS 5 that I originally downloaded before my first new i0s5 or is it getting iOS5 from internet directly. I ask as I am concerned problem is perhaps iOs5 I downloaded originally from itunes might be corrupted and this could perhaps explain why I an many others have problem, yet I have asked many others who have noticed no issues at all. If the restore is using a file on my computer in itunes, is there a way to bipass this and get new uncorrupt version (just a theory, but I have read may had issues with download on day of ios5 launch, and many had not).

3. How many processes normally run in iOs4.x vs iOs5 when only one app is running (free system analyser app)? I don't remember what it was in iOs4, but in iOs5 it is about 34.

I have tried everything but the DFU thing (turnd all but 3 g off, including notifications, pushes, location etc) and the only thing that helped some but not completely is there appears to be a yahoo mail bug so that if you don't exit mail and turn app off in multitask, it was still trying to download new mail and couldn't and was burning up power trying. Yes I did the delete mail, contacts, etc and reset network and reinstalled accounts and this didn't help.
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JustinLuey

I did a restore from backup, but you're right that the backup could have a file causing the problem.

Macworld has a great article on troubleshooting battery issues.

www.macworld.com­/article­/163200­/2011­/10­/troublesho...

iCloud could also be the problem, some people have had issues with Contacts or Calendar constantly syncing because of a corrupt entry.

I had a problem with bookmark syncing where iCloud was adding hundreds of the same bookmark.
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caboose221

I have noticed a drop but nothing spectacular like you have been having (on my iPhone 3GS). The same issue as you're having occurred to me when I updated to iOS 4, the way I fixed it was to do a restore then a restore from back up (this was on my iPod Touch 2nd Gen).

Of course, the solution mentioned above is time consuming but if you have the time I'd attempt it. This is how I installed iOS 5 in the first place (restore to iOS 5 then restore from backup), which may be why I am not seeing the same problems.

Its slightly off topic but I also noticed that iPhone turns itself off when you reach 4% charge instead of 1%. I believe this is to solve the issue of people complaining about not being able to use your iPhone immediately after you plug it in to a power source; thought it was worth sharing.

Hope my suggested solution works!

Stats
Usage: 3 Hours, 35 Minutes
Standby: 6 Hours, 53 Minutes
Percentage: 58%
1 like dislike
starbuckmw

I too have noted significant problem and thus, search of problem brought me to this thread. After updating last night to io 5, noted large drop overnight when usually only goes down by 1 % as I always keep power draining services off overnight (wifi, blue tooth, any notifications, and usually all background apps turned off in multitasking mode). Last night it went down over 5 %. After charging to 100 % this afternoon, down to 94 % after a couple hours and minimal use (a call, some background apps on, bluetooth..) but location services off, no internet surfing, no notifications other than phone, messages.

I will try restore to back up prior to update (if possible). I predict that eventually this issue will be isolated and fixed with update and I will await such update before before going back to ios 5.
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dpuglia

I used CPU Monitor and System Status to monitor CPU usage and played with turning services on and off. iOS5 is with all services keeps the CPU pegged at 90-100%. When I turn off WIFI it operates in the range from 30-50%. Its brain dead without WIFI so Scott's iOS team better get busy and fix this pig.
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arras

I had very similar issues throughout the beta, including some rather alarming heat issues. Generally, the battery draining would correct itself after a few days of use and the occasional reboot. This worked for both my Verizon iPhone 4 and iPad 2 WiFi

Btw, what stats app did you use?
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dpuglia

"CPU monitor" and "system status". Search for those strings in the app store

I did notice that my battery is really hot - similar to your experience
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ryan

I use a couple, including System Status and iStat.
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ryangould

The battery drain on my iPhone 4 with iOS 5 has been pretty bad since I installed the public release. I usually charge my phone overnight anyway so I don't notice any different with battery drain during the nighttime. It feels the same as when I had beta 1 installed, but that fixed by beta 3. I've turned off Ping (Settings - Restrictions) as I've heard that will also suck your battery away. I feel like I don't really want to turn off the widgets in Notification Center however as I'm sure most will agree their nice to have.

On my iPad 2 I keep my brightness set to half way with auto-brightness turned off. This is also the same for my iPhone 4. I'm not really sure what else I could try to help preserve battery.

Let's just hope iOS 5.1 gives a little more luck!
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Ghostalmedia

Looks like a lot of you guys have Apple developer accounts and have been running iOS 5 before release. I'm going to go out on a limb here and asume you've also been test driving iTunes Match. As I'm sure many of you have discovered, iOS 5 has been pretty stable for a while, but iTunes Match has been hit or miss at best.

Over the past few days I've noticed that my Mac has been trying to sync its Match account for hours without beening able to pull or push anything from Apple's severs. It just spins and spins and spins all day long. It dawned on me that my poor little phone is probably doing the same damn thing.

Today I disabled iTunes match on my phone... coincidentally, my phone no longer heats up like a microwaved burrito then dies after 6 hours of standby.
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jstanley

That's strange. I encountered that maybe once in beta 7. If you want to stick with the (awesome) benefits of iTunes match, I'd kill the music app via the multitasking bar when not playing music.
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popkick

I am having the same problem. I cannot find where to switch off iTunes Match though.
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ryan

I did not test Match, no. Could be a culprit, but not for me.
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Onedar

I tried many of the suggestions on this post on my 3GS without success. Even after shutting down all the cloud-related services, the battery level dropped from 77% to 33% in just over 2 hrs. In desperation, I tried a hard boot (holding power and home buttons at same time). It seemed to help - after 7 hrs on standby, it went from 100% to 96%.
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rubinator

turning off the Stocks widget in Notifications seems to have fixed it for me
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rubinator

So this was a temporary fix. Deleting Exchange account, reenabling it then turning off Push seems to have helped.
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user6ef9e553ab2

I've noticed it too, just overall much worse battery life. The phone also seems to be running hot more often as well. I was hoping that it was some initial syncing or backing up. My Rdio app had to re-sync it's offline collection for example. Very annoying.
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dave

I've having absolutely horrendous battery life in iOS 5 myself. Rebooting hasn't seem to fix the issue either. For example, my commute into SF in the morning is roughly 25 minutes. Prior to iOS 5 final, I would usually drain the battery from 100% →~92% between leaving the apartment and arriving in the office.

This last week, it's been especially bad. Today, it went from 100% →85% in the course of 25 minutes. I was reading something from iBooks (which is usually what I'm doing). I'm not sure if there's a rogue process going on or what, but it definitely seems to be draining much faster than it ever did.

At the suggestion of a friend, I reset all settings on my phone. Unfortunately for me, it didn't really change anything.
twitter.com­/grahamhancock­/status­/12532104597562982...

I'm wondering what's going on myself. Even the late iOS 5 betas didn't seem to be this bad.
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veronica

Unbelievably bad on my iPad. iPhone seems to be holding up ok, much better than the dev builds. Maybe it is iCloud?
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dave

I'm wondering if the "Find My Friends" app has anything to do with it. Installed it on both the iPhone and iPad the other day. I might try removing it and seeing if that works!
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ryangould

My iPad is now worse than my iPhone. Hunted through the Location settings to see if anything could have been on without me knowing and nothing.
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MacKevinNYC

I'm sure you've heard that Apple is aware and working on a fix.
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magtimmag

noticed the exact same thing, this morning. with IOS4, I could go two days on a charge, but yesterday and today, so far, it's been dropping like a rock... Hopefully there will be an update in a week or so, to remedy this... Oh- I'm not a power user. podcasts, some texts, and a couple calls durning the day, are my usage...
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timmyo

I started to feel the same way as I noticed I needed to plug my phone in nearing the end of the work day. Normally my phone charges overnight and lasts me 13-14 hours with moderate to 'power' use before I feel like I need to charge. Since updating, I've been at ~40% battery just over halfway through my day.

Originally I figured it was just because I'd be toying with the device a little more after the update, but now I'm starting to wonder if it's going to be an issue. On a similar note, I noticed background apps are now able to continue pulling live location services--a la Foursquare's RADAR feature. Bad for batteries. Hopefully this becomes addressed quickly.
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Kteto

Did you restore your backup or just configure it clean like a new iphone?
Sometimes in the past, it has to do with some battery problems.
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vdenial

One thing I've noticed is that battery reporting is very inaccurate on the iPT4. It continually jumps up and down, which is quite obnoxious when you get around the 20% mark, as it will repeatedly popup "You should start charging" notifications.
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Dreys

I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary yet, battery-wise, on my iPhone 4.
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magtimmag

I've turned off several things that sync or upload, so I'll see today what's happening...
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walera

My battery on my iphone 4 has completely drained overnight twice in a row after installing the publicly released version of ios5. That has never happened before. I did not have anything unusual open and running. I'd like to know how to resolve this. Any suggestions?
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dpuglia

i've got the same issue - I'm going back to a factory refresh
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Dawagner1

Hmmm no issue here
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cjtylr

I don't have this issue. I had charged my phone fully before I went to sleep last night and it was at 96% when I woke up.

However, so far I've noticed that geofencing from Reminders (as well as other location services in general) suck up a huge amount of battery. Head to Location Services in the settings to make sure nothing it constantly demanding your iPhone's location.

If you have been upgrading steadily since iOS 5 beta 1, you might consider getting and iOS 4.3 IPSW and restoring your iPhone (after a backup of course) and then doing a standard update over iTunes. If that doesn't fix the problem, then try restoring again and setting up your phone as a new phone, instead of restoring from backup. I've had issues with my iPhone 4 in the past (updating from 4.2 to 4.3) wherein something would become corrupted after a backup restore and totally screw my battery. Doing a clean install and resync of everything always fixed the problem. It's tedious, but it should work.

Hope this helps!
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connorg

Well setting up a location-based reminder forces the Reminders app to regularly poll your location, so it's no surprise that it chews through your battery. In general I've found that those reminders aren't useful enough to be worth the battery hit.

Is it possible to do a clean install and still retain saved settings and app data? Without manually downloading everything through iPhone Explorer or a similar program, that is.
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roberto

During the Keynote, it was mentioned that battery life was improved in the 4S. Could it be that the hardware changes to the 4S make managing iOS 5 more efficiently, whereas older models aren't as optimized for it?
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sup909

I noticed on occasion that some apps seem to be hanging onto GPS or location services after I "close" them. Omnifocus is doing this and I see the GPS indicator still on the top right of my phone almost all of the time. If you go into the location services option in the settings a purple arrow will indicate what apps are currently using location services.

Could be that these apps aren't optimized for iOS 5 and are not releasing the location services?
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raybryant

I've been having same issue since installing iOS 5 Thursday morning. Phone battery is going from 100% to 40% in less than 4 hours. I have location services, Outlook Exchange and iCloud (no photo, backup or iTunes) running. Starting to kill off items to see if I can figure out why. Looking online does not appear to be a widespread issue so not seeing much help
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raybryant

I have mine happy again. Turned off a lot of the iCloud items. I'm thinking it may have to do with reminders syncing with iCloud and Exchange. I just have them syncing with Exchange right now. I also turned off bookmarks, will try adding them back in later.
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Onedar

I've had the same problem as outlined by many since upgrading to the public version of 5 last week - that's what drew me to this post. I like much about it, but hate the power drain. It's like suddenly having the gas mileage on your car reduced by 75%. Hoping someone finds a solution!
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jimmylove26

I updated three devices...my iphone 4, my gf's iphone 4 and my ipad 2. I only had this issue with my phone. I had to restore as a new phone to resolve the problem.
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dbreuning

Well, I'm seeing a decline in battery performance at the moment. I just noticed it an hour ago actually. Maybe it's because of iCloud? I also installed Find my Friends which uses the GPS all the time I guess. I'll keep an eye on it this week to see if it gets worse or not.
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barkerja

Find my Friends only uses the location services when a friend requests your location.
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