What is going on with my battery?

iOS & iPadOS
Hi guys, I was on holiday the other day and noticed something with my iPhone 5. I had it in the hotel room all day and literally didn't touch it. It was connected to wifi so will have been doing the regular stuff like checking emails every hour and stuff like that, but when I came back to it 9 hours after unplugging it at 100 percent, the battery had gone right down to 25 percent. I don't have a clue how it could have done this. Location services hadn't been used or no apps had been updated. Bluetooth was also turned off. It didn't seem to have done anything but gone right down to 25 percent. Since then it has been going down really quick and don't know how. Any suggestions? Thanks



Submitted by Michael Hansen on Sunday, April 20, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Hi Callum, It sounds to me like you're experiencing the iOS 7.1 battery life bug. What I've found to work is to press the sleep/wake button 6 times quickly. This will reboot the phone. After doing this, all of my apps still stay running in the multitasking area but the battery usage decreases. So I think there's a system process that is causing irregular usage. I've done everything from resetting all settings without deleting content, to restoring the device from a backup, to setting it up as new with a DFU restore of iOS 7.1, to having my phone swopped out at the Apple Store--again not restoring from a backup. After receiving the new device from Apple, I loaded my apps onto it and configured the recommended settings for battery efficiency. In all cases, the irregular battery drain persisted. So, after all of this, I have concluded that the underlying cause of the excessive battery drain in iOS 7.1 is most likely a software-level bug that only Apple can correct completely. Below is a link to a very informative guide, written by a former Apple Genius Bar Genius, detailing some tips for troubleshooting iOS battery life issues: http://www.overthought.org/blog/2014/the-ultimate-guide-to-solving-ios-battery-drain.

Hi Michael and thanks for your quick reply. I've just rebooted it with the sleep/wake button and will use a few tips from the guide. I'll give it a bit of time and let you know how it goes.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Monday, April 21, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Hi Callum, One thing I forgot to mention in the original post: you may need to do the sleep/wake button reboot a couple times each day, as this is not a permanent fix.

Submitted by Callum on Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I've done the usage times test mentioned in the guide, and something was using it. I've followed the steps, I've disabled background app refresh for Facebook and other apps I don't need, disabled location services for Facebook, already disabled push notifications I don't need.
Its not going down quite as quick as it was, but when I did the usage test today, I locked it and didn't touch it for 10 minutes, and when I came back standby time had increased by 6 minutes and usage by 4. Any idea what could be still using it?

Also, a couple of questions regarding background app refresh. There were some apps which I didn't know if I could turn off or not. If I turn background app refresh off for Facebook messenger, BBM and whatsapp, does that mean I'll miss messages?

Sorry for all the questions.


Submitted by Justin on Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hi Callum,
When I had iOs 7.1, I experienced a lot of your battery issues. Now, they weren't as baad as how you said in your post, but sometimes, it would drain the battery and other times there wouldn't be a significant battery drain. But, when I upgraded to iOs 7.1, it seems like my battery issues were fixed. I had the phone locked in my pocket last night for a couple of hours, and there was not a bit of drain. Then when I started using it for a few minutes doing whatever, it acted normal. Could it be dependent on the phone or is it software related? I have an iPhone 5S running 7.1.1, and haven't seen the issues lately.

Submitted by MarkSARCH on Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hi guys and all to this thread, sorry to joy late.
Still are you facing issues of battery drains fast even with the new update?
personally and to be honest, since iOS7.1 I saw a notable battery drain to my 5S, but just after doing some changes under settings the battery life is longer on my device,
I ask because few days ago readed some news on famous web side and they talked about the new update iOS7.1.1 before apple launch to the publish and supost was developed specially to fix battery drain issue to all apple devices,
thanks Michael for the tip and what have seen?
does the update fix the battery drain bug?

Submitted by Callum on Thursday, April 24, 2014

After updating to iOS 7.1.1 I have noticed a difference. I only updated earlier today, but its lasted very well today. That could be the update and the settings I changed, or a combination of both.

Submitted by George on Sunday, April 27, 2014

After installing 7.1.1 I still have the problem on my iPhone 5. In my case the battery charge holds well in the upper ranges, but drops like a stone once below 50%. I've followed every suggestion I could find short of a complete reset, but that hardly seems worthwhile in light of Michael's experience.

Submitted by Justin on Sunday, April 27, 2014

I know that when my phone gets below 20% the battery rapidly depletes. Normally, I don't have much drain when the screen is locked. I guess I'm one of the random people that doesn't have the drain issue on my 5S.

Submitted by Alana on Monday, April 28, 2014

In my opinion, we should not have to turn off every service just to last a reasonable amount of time between charges. One thing to keep in mind though, is the life of the phone and battery, for instance, if you have had your phone for 3 years, and never changed your battery, that could explain the drop in performance. I believe clearing the apps is a good idea, especially at the end of the day. It is true the more services we use, the faster the battery will drain, but location services should not have to be turned off all day to make the phone last the whole day. One solution is to have another cable for the phone that can be plugged into the computer. I carry this in my laptop case in case I need it.

Submitted by George on Thursday, May 1, 2014

First of all, I have turned off unnecessary notifications and location requests.
After a full charge, I immediately turn off Wi-Fi and cellular data. Then I reboot the phone. I turn on Wi-Fi again, wait 5-10 minutes for the OS to stabilize and then turn on cellular data.

With this procedure I have gone 48 hours between charges.

A word of caution though, as soon as I do a new charge, the equilibrium is destroyed and I have to reboot and go through the Wi-Fi and cellular resets again. Its a bit of a bother, but my iPhone 5 is dependable again! I hope this works for others.

Submitted by George on Thursday, May 1, 2014

re comment above. I'm running IOS7.1.1

If you've read David's comment above, the usage monitoring suggested by his Guru's blog is really helpful in monitoring your problem solving efforts.

Submitted by Andy B. on Friday, May 2, 2014

In reply to by Alana

The problem is that a battery is a battery. It is going to drain no matter what happens. Also keep in mind that a phone is no different than a laptop. You often times have to manage its services, what is running, and what location services uses. This is the same with a Windows-based laptop. Basically, the more services/apps used, the faster the battery will die. On another note, the only way to change the battery in the Idevice is to have the entire device replaced. Apple generally doesn't support iPhone/Ipad/Ipod devices longer than 2 years, and Mac desktops and laptops past 3 years.