iOS 6: iPhone 4 & 4S Users Report Excessive Battery Drain

| Editorial

iOS 6 leaves some iPhone 4 and 4S users hotFor many iPhone 4 and 4S owners, iOS 6 has been a mixed blessing. The features are terrific, but many users are reporting huge amounts of battery drainage that never was the case before the system upgrade.

As an iPhone 4S owner, I can tell you from first hand knowledge that my iPhone loses about ten percent of its charge per hour without doing anything but sitting in my pocket. I noticed that with the lock screen set to two minutes, and the screen turned off, the iPhone feels quite warm, as if it's doing something.

Many have blamed this on the Maps app, but I haven't even run the Maps app, so for me, that isn't the problem.

An Apple Discussion board thread has more than 200 entries discussing this problem and some solutions that may provide a fix in rare cases, but it is no panacea for the great majority of users.

Here are a few comments from the Apple Support Boards:

Only1jb: "Used my 4S the same as every other work day. Usually come home with about 60 percent. Came home today with 17 percent."

John Smith 1882: "100 percent at 8am this morning when I took it off the charger. 0 percent within four hours. No calls. No GPS, no Internet use, but battery was dropping one percent every few minutes. I turned off location services, no change."

LocalBus: "Thinking of switching back to 5.1.1 now!! 9am to 10:30am the battery drain is 100 percent to 52 percent!!!!! Something is very wrong."

There are scores of other  complaints.

Suggestions have been offered, such as turning off location services, Maps, Passbook etc. Nothing seems to work for more than one person.

The problem is not limited to those on the Support Discussion. This problem is not just being reported on the Support Site. On MacRumors forums, a user with the handle of DArsenault reported that "Battery life on the 4 is terrible. Since I've upgraded my phone drains rapidly when it's not even in use. My phone dropped from 63 percent to 30 percent in about an hour of just sitting on my desk unused."

Others have reported no excessive battery drain, but enough have to make this a salient issue that needs to be addressed and quickly. I've gotten used to carrying my two battery back-up cases to just get through the day.

We'll keep you posted as more information becomes available, but it seems like a software fix is in order.

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Didn’t we hear this before with the 3GS & iOS 4 ?

Seems like the motto should be: Have the last gen model then don’t upgrade to the new iOS until at least the first dot release

Takawa Chris

Not really, it seems like mine lost 10% overnight and the connections have indeed improved a lot.

Paul Goodwin

So far I haven’t noticed any excessive drain on my iPhone 4 after the upgrade, but I haven’t really been paying that much attention either. If it’s worse than it used to be it’s not bad enough to get noticed right away.,I don’t have very many Notifications set ON and I keep Bluetooth OFF. I pretty much use it only as a phone, as I have an iPad.

Paul Goodwin

It drained down about 25% in 6 hours just sitting there. That seems about normal to me.

jose Skef

It is driving me crazy…my battery won’t even last 6hours…(8am 100% and at 12pm my battery es down to 20%)They need to do something ASAP.


iOS 6 on my two-year old iPhone 4:  No difference in battery life.


Keep location service off. It will save battery.


I agree with shadab… On my phone it has been diagnosed as an issue with location services… Specifically in my case it appeared to be the geo fencing feature used by the reminders app.

Donald Henderson

I have an Phone 4 and don’t have excessive battery drain, so not every user has it.  My guess is there is a specific cause, perhaps the power demands of geolocation are different in the new phone or some of the default settings have been changed in the upgrade without being realising?


Well, my iphone 4s’s battery drain before ios 6 so I thought i was normal, but look at this. I arrived at NY at 5:30, took a several shots and used maps a little bit, my battery went down 99% to 78 at 6:20.

What is going on? i have no idea.. Is it possible to downgrade to 5.x ?



My situation may have been atypical, but shortly after upgrading to iOS6, I too noticed a precipitous drop in battery life on my 4S. I implemented many of the suggestions above, but, as I am about to travel, visited my local Apple Store to make sure that the battery was okay. It was. The Genius Bar made the usual recommendations, including disabling Bluetooth, which I need for my phone to interface with my car’s hands free system.

The one thing that worked for me was to kill all of my open apps that were not in active use. Perhaps the management of opened apps is managed differently between iOS5 and 6, but after closing all but my apps in active use, my 4S’s battery life returned to normal.

Many of those apps use Location Services, so there could have been substantial background activity, again, managed somewhat differently in iOS6 than its predecessors.


Think I’ll wait until iOS6 Service Pack 1 comes out to upgrade my 4S.

It works perfectly fine as it is and the current maps are excellent. My 4S is about 4 month sold now and it’s the best phone I’ve ever owned.
Skype works flawlessly and I would hate to give that up- not that I’ve heard of issues with Skype and iOS6… yet.

I can always count on a full day of battery and even a few days- so long as it’s WiFi connected and not 3G only. That’s when I see heavy battery draining is with 3G use (iOS5), then I don’t even get a full day. To be expected. That’s pretty much the same as “talk time” on a regular cellphone.


Perhaps my experience on my 4S is atypical, but I have been getting _better_ battery life than I did with iOS5. After an 8 hour day (multiple calls, email, web browsing, etc.) I still have about 55-70% battery life left, whereas before I would have about 40-60%.


is it possible to reinstall 5.1.1 until they get this issue fixed? if so, how do i do it?


I haven’t upgraded to ios 6 and mine loses all charge within 3 hours, and then takes 3 hours on the charger to even come back on.  I’m fed up.


My own data point is actually very favorable. Unplugged 4S at 8am this morning. At 9pm, 13 hours later (and with General > Usage showing 6 hours of use from habitual checking of Reeder, Tweetbot, Mail and more), I still had 37%. And this is with Square running with two neighborhood stores set to automatically open a tab when I approach, meaning that geofencing is on (the hollow arrow in the status bar confirms this).

Satish Singhal

DeJa Vu:
Why am I not surprised that current edition of ios6 will be a battery killer for iphone 4 and 4s? I actually expected this and that is the reason I have no plans to upgrade my 4S to ios6. Not until Apple fixes this battery disaster. And that may be months in coming.



I think ‘disaster’ might be a bit over the top.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been showing colleagues and family how to shut down open apps on their iPhones, and many of these are using location services.

Wile I don’t know this to be a fact, I suspect that some of these apps may be chewing up battery life while running in the background.

Again, I suggest users try opening up the multitask bar at the bottom of the screen, hold on one app until all being to vibrate with the minus (negative) sign, and shut down all unnecessary apps by hitting those negative signs.

Not only is my iPhone’s battery life back to its iOS5 levels, others have reported improvement after shutting down unneeded apps.


It is a smart phone so I use it continuously so battery life is a concern.  I purchased a Mophie battery pack….problem solved.  Mophie looks great and really helps protect your $700 computer.

Bharath N.T

No it’s true. On 5.1.1 my iPhone 4 would go through an entire day. Now I barely get 8-9 hours. And i’m not talking excessive usage. Just the usual 4 or 5 phone calls, nothing over a total of 1 hour combined talktime, plus another hour of Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp. If this wasn’t bad enough, the horrible maps application and removal of youtube make iOS 6 feel like an unpolished beta. The battery issues better get an immediate software fix if Apple still plans on selling the 4/4S for another year.


iPhone 4S running current iOS. Lousy battery life. Down to 50% within 2 hours. Battery wont even survive an 8 hour shift, even with the help of a mophie juice pack.


It seems like everyone is concerned about battery and no one is talking about another huge issue with iOS6!

That is post iOS6, iPhone4/4s/iPod touch and even some iPad/iPad2 are not able to get to “Purchased Apps” under iTunes!

How come no one is talking about that ? Apple is not acknowledging it, even though a TON of people are (including myself) are experiencing this issue!

I’ve emailed both BGR & Engadget multiple times with a link to apple forum but doesn’t seem like they want to cover it!


I experienced a similar issue 100%->25% battery in 5 hours. Turned off push email for non-iCloud email accounts and battery usage back to normal. YMMV.


Have you looked at the CARAT app.  It shows ‘power hogs’ and makes recommendations to improve battery life.


I haven’t noticed any excessive battery drain so far on my 4S but phone does got heated up when i used google maps app 2 days back.
Does anyone know if iOS6 upgrade is supposed to support google maps app?


I was experiencing the extreme battery juicing (avg -20%/hr) on my 4S since installing iOS6. I saw a “Genius” at Apple. They advised to do a factory reset (which I had already done) & they recalibrated my battery. I was given the following instructions:

Let the battery drain completely
Charge to 100%
Leave plugged in at full charge for at least 2 hrs
Let the battery drain completely again

It seems to have had some effect as my battery is lasting noticeably longer. Currently at 54% after 10.5 hrs of various use (calls,text,standby,games,misc apps).

Hope this helps!


I haven’t even updated to IOS6 and have still noticed a battery drain in the last week. Would updating aps have cause this? I don’t seem to have anything under Location Services that would drain it so I’m confused too.


Got IPhone4, the battery life has gone worese, battry % drops 1%/1minutet. have to charge the phone every 2 hours. as well the phone gets v hot… turned off location services but no changes…


Too bad for all iPhone 4 and 4S.

Apple’s main plan is to force you guys to buy or upgrade to iPhone 5.
That is how they earn your money ! ! !

Don’t be a slave to Apple’s STINKING business policies and products.
It is dishonest and not honorable !

It is indeed a joke as Apple is willing to cut off her nose to spite her competitors like what they are doing now to use Apple Maps instead of Google Maps.

LOL ! ! !

A Lynch

Overnight drainage for me. 100% charged at midnight. 0% at 8am so I missed the alarm and slept in.  Had upgraded to iOS about a couple of weeks but drainage only in last 2 days.


I had read on another site to turn off push email (See Sheridan’s comments above “I experienced a similar issue 100%->25% battery in 5 hours. Turned off push email for non-iCloud email accounts and battery usage back to normal.”) and that has helped tremendously with my iPhone 4S although I haven’t updated to IOS6 and do not plan too anytime soon.


My battery life with ios6 is so bad I went back to my blackberry until the issue is resolved!  8am-100% by noon-around 25% with no apps running. An I just use my phone for a phone…...

Kenneth Atchinson

And the answer is….

Turn off Push Email.

I’ve done every suggestion, including
  - turning off iCloud, including “Find My Phone” and “backup”
  - limiting number of apps running
  - performed the “reset/backup/restore” of my phone
  - Turning off WiFi and Cell
Nothing worked.

I turned off Push Email - worked like a charm.  Now I get “normal” battery usage.  Starting at a full charge 100% at 9am, I’m down to 60% at 6:00 with phone calls, surfing, texting…in otherwords, NORMAL usage.  This is what I got before upgrading my iPhone 4S to iOS6.

I think the Push Email to Exchange is the culprit.  It worked really nicely in iOS 5, but there must be some coding bug in iOS 6 that causes it to run (not sleep, which would use less battery) more often.

I think that the problem hasn’t been identified/quantified up to now because people who say “I have no problem"in comparison with other people who say “I don’t have any problems” don’t realize what the difference between the users.  For instance, I have 4 Email accounts (including iCloud, which I don’t use), but only the Google Mail doesn’t use Push Email.  That is, my 2 Exchange accounts use Push Email. 

I was able to enable Fetch every 15 minutes (had it manual since I was using Push), re-enabled Notifications, Backups, iCloud stuff, etc and now running like I _should_ be. 

I’m now a Happy Camper!


please help// im going crazy.. my iphone 4s when i check it this afternoon it still has 60% battery and went i went home its already empty and i never used it even text.. now i cant open it.. what should i do.. HELP PLEASE ASAP.. thanks


Since no fix seems apparent, does anyone have an easy and surefire way to downgrade from iOS6 to iOS5 ?


I have iphone 4s and its the same problem with the battery . The batery turn super hot when i used for 10 minutes


The know-it-alls seem to always want to tell people that they aren’t really having the troubles they claim to be having. My wife and I bought the same phone, share an itubes account and have the same apps. She has the white model and I have the black. After the upgrade to 6 she started having problems and I didn’t. She researched it, shut off all location services, Bluetooth, adjusted screen brightness etc, and still had the same issue. This is a legitimate problem, why do people keep disregarding it as user error and bad apps?  Probably in part because apple branding has driven everyone to believe they can’t have problems. Lets be realistic here - forums of people all seeing the same thing, and because yours works fine you want to tell others to turn off their apps?

phanindra kumar

Dont know wat the hell is wrong with my mobile…......
my mobile is getting switched off afta 50% battery usage got vexed up…... can any one sort out a sol for ill be very grateful


My iphone 4S has recently starting getting very hot and is draining the battery approx 1% every minute. I have turned off all the apps, restored the settings etc and still nothing. My phone is less than 6 months old. How do I fix this problem? It’s a work phone which is essential for my day to day running. Need help urgently. Is there a quick fix or do I need to take it to apple?


I have an iPhone 4 and I am having huge battery drain and at times my phone just gets hot sitting there.  It seems that many are having the issues.  I agree that we need an update from Apple soon.


I would like to also report a very similar situation.
I upgraded the iOS to 6 on my iPhone 4s and all was good for awhile.
Then I started to get similar symtoms.
Hot phone, 20-25% per hour drainage.
The Apple Genius Bar (love that name….wink did a diag on my phone and saw that there was something wrong, but would not say and they gave me a replacement.  The replacement was fine for about a month or so and the other day the symtoms arised on this phone.
So that is two phones with the exact same issue.  So I decided to restore it to factory settings and not use my backup of the phone and see where we stand on this.
I will post back later with my results.


The 4S battery life is simply intolerable under iOS 6. I took my phone to the local Apple Store and was told that all is fine with it. I suppose, then, that it is operating normally.

The solution? Always be near a charger. Anyone waiting for Apple to fix this—or even admit there’s a problem with the phone—is living in a fool’s paradise.


Before I wrote this piece I brought it into my Apple store and was told that the phone was performing within specs.

I wasn’t happy.

A few weeks ago, I had to go back for another reason and told them about it again. They said it was in specs but offered to replace the battery. It only took 15 minutes while I got my jollies at the Microsoft store where a confused guy tried to sell me a surface.

When I picked up the phone, I was told to put the phone on never lock and run it down until it stops by itself, then charge it to 100%, and then do it all over again.

I did and now my phone has keeps a decent charge. I’d recommend everyone with this problem run down and re-charge your phone twice, and if the problem persists get the battery swapped out.

David Winograd

Before I wrote this piece I brought it into my Apple store and was told that the phone was performing within specs.

I wasn’t happy.

A few weeks ago, I had to go back for another reason and told them about it again. They said it was in specs but offered to replace the battery. It only took 15 minutes while I got my jollies at the Microsoft store where a confused guy tried to sell me a surface.

When I picked up the phone, I was told to put the phone on never lock and run it down until it stops by itself, then charge it to 100%, and then do it all over again.

I did and now my phone has keeps a decent charge. I’d recommend everyone with this problem run down and re-charge your phone twice, and if the problem persists get the battery swapped out.


I hate apple. The battery performance is the worst in the world. My Iphone 4 is making me cry. 1% battery drop for 1 min. Is this a sick joke?

Ada Miao

I think this is a bothering problem and when meeting with such a problem, we can try to use Battery Doctor. This is a free app and it is easy and stable. Many tips are included and with it, you can better manager and optimize your battery. Here it is:

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