Apple and the mobile 'phone companies claim to have no idea why this is happening and won't accept any responsibility, but I would assume that is because it is not in their interests to make us aware of how to avoid this serious and expensive issue.
We have our cellular data turned off at all times, unless we are away from wifi and need to use 3g, in which case we turn it on, do what we have to do, and ALWAYS TURN IT OFF AGAIN ONCE WE'VE FINISHED!
That way, your cellular data cannot be used by any app or system while it is off (as far as I know, but it's worked for us!).
We also have 'Limit Ad Tracking' turned to 'ON' (click Settings; General; About; Advertising), nothing at all syncing with iCloud but 'Find My iPhone' enabled in case of loss, and 'Diagnostics & Usage' set to 'Don't Send' (click Settings; General; About; Diagnostics & Usage).
Your 'phone could be sending and receiving data at any time without you knowing it is happening - this is totally above board and nothing untoward is happening, but for the fact it could well be eating up your data plan when you're not even aware of it. Even with wifi enabled, as far as I can tell your 'phone will default to using 3G when it is asleep for any data transmission.
Give it a try, you soon get used to turning your cellular data on and off as and when you need to use the internet through 3G and it only takes a few seconds.
Good luck to all of those who are having issues and please tell your friends they could have similar problems too if they're not careful - the more people are aware of how to avoid this, the less people will be stung with unexpected expensive 'phone bills.
thank you VonSox...
but I couldnt believe this sudden data feast!
It was an email at my outbox!!! I actually had emailed a watsapp conversation including pics and videos that couldnt be sent for unknown reasons. I would NEVER GUESS if the ATT technitian wouldnt check all options (the second time I called)
I couldnt even delete it unless I switched off cellular and wireless so it stopped trying to sent.
Now I'm all set... hoping the poor 600 remaining MB will be enough for the rest of the month...
I come with great news. I talked with my service provider and it turns out if your at a wifi hotspot but it still says 3g or 4g go to settings>wifi and look. if there is not a checkmark by the wifi and you have entered the password go to settings>general>reset>reset network prefrences and it will erase all the info on wifi's you have connected to. now just re enter the password to the wifi and you shoul see the bars in the top left of your screen to the right of your provider name.
So another update for anyone following my particular saga:
Since resetting my settings (NOT erasing contents and resetting settings) and turning off iCloud and fiddling around my data usage is as I would expect. My data usage goes up when I get some push notifications and when I have actively *chosen* to browse the internet etc over a data connection. Wonderful I thought.
I was not prepared to deal with the issue by turnign my data off all the time - this is a blinking iPhone for fracks sake! I want my push notiifications. I want to be able to look at the internet when I want. I do not want to have to keep turning my data on and off!
Everything was going so well i thought 'I know I shall try and turn on iCloud again' after all isn't it supposed to sync only when plugged in and on wifi?
So niaevely I turn it back on and then just watched my phone eat data again!!!! It ticked up in front of my very eyes and I was doing nothing and the *only* thing I had changed was turned iCloud back on. Horrified I hastily turn off and delete the iCloud accout again and go back to my data usage it was *still* being eaten!! IIn desperation I reboot and respring - it is still being eaten. I confirm that I have defintely deleted the iCloud account - i have -- but it is still being eaten!! So I had to do another reset all settings and phew, - back to normal again.
Now either I am misunderstanding how iCloud works (possible? - but in which case it's poorly indicated) or there is a bug in iCloud!?
The lesson - do NOT turn on iCloud once you get this sorted out - not even 'just to see what happens'..
So in the end what fixed all this for me was
1) Delete your iCloud account from your phone. (in settings - icloud )
2) Reset all settings ( found in general - reset) this will NOT erase your contents, game data/ saves and other things but will reset user customisations etc back to default.
3) Do NOT EVER enable iCloud on your phone again!
Thanks to all those who had mentioned the iCloud issue previously. I like to understand what is going on and with all the time I have spent troubleshooting this issue, I am now convinced that I have accurately identified the problem in my case. Hope it helps others out there...
Well there appears to be a bit more to my saga.
I work for local governemnet and a couple of months ago purchase 100 iPads for trial project. I also purchased 100 sim cards with a 1GB monthly data allowance. The idea was to see if some services in small villages and communities could be replaced by haivng internet access to some governemnet services .
You all know whats coming.. the 1GB data was being mysteriously eaten! Now these were all BRAND NEW iPad 2's set up from scratch. As a result the conclusions from the trial project has been seriousy skewed. We come to the comclusion that 1GB data a month was not enough. All the clients were doing were trying to access some webpages and do some emails! They were told not to use streaming / TV / Video service and it was expalined that large downloads would also eat their data.
But yet the reports kept coming back that the data allowance was being rapidly used up... and we had to issue replacement sim cards before the month was up.
Now I know I have had fun and games with my 4S but I didnt realise that the same issue affects iPads so, horrified I investigated further...
I have now got a few back and I do the following to test for excessive data usage:
I turn off wifi and bluetooth so that it is definitely mobile data only.
Then I go to settings - general - usage- mobile / cellular usage and
I Go back a level to 'usage' - go back into mobile usage and see if the data has gone up.
Repeat and see if number of bytes continue rising every time you go back in to the mobile data usage stat section.
So far the majority of iPads I am testing, display the data eating phenomena and those bytes merrily tick up whilst doign nothing. I also ensure that the 'Use 3G' for documents and data in iCloud is turned off --- still the bytes tick up.
Remedy - as per my previous post on my 4S - Delete the iCloud account and reset settings and don't go near icloud again! Then you have you 1GB data allowance to use when you want to use it!
This has to be a bug . I had a good old 3GS for three years and never had any issues with it and mysteriously consuming data so I certainly believe that I know how apple products *should* be working.
Apple - Steve jobs would be turning in his grave and you should be ashamed of yourself! All the money spent on this project and the results are totally skewed! What a total waste of money!
Hey All - I appreciate all of your insight. I had the same problem with data usage sky-rocketing, and found out that I had a movie clip that I had attempted to email that never was sent, but my phone would constantly be trying to send it...............I noticed data usage of 335 MB/day until yesterday, when I was able to delete that file that was in my email's Outbox folder showing the original email was still attempting to be sent. Since then, my usage has decreased to 300 KB/day. I hope this may help someone.
I have the same problem as all of you with high data usage. I think I have fixed it. First I called Verizon - told me to back everything up on iCloud, then reset network, then reset all settings. That did not work. I remember something happening about the time my problems started.....about 8 weeks ago iCloud "gave" me an iCloud email address. Ever since my phone started using data like crazy in the night. One night was 500mg alone.
Some folks here said to disable iCloud - that wasn't enough. Still used data. So I backed up to my computer and deleted my iCloud account altogether. It has been two days - no unusual data usage.
Update. Verizon called me back to tell me that my high data usage had "stopped." I told her that it was because I was on this forum and it was suggested to delete iCloud (which I did). She said "Oh, no it's because you reset your phone." I told her that there were a lot of us with the same problem. She said that she hadn't heard of it. So much for Verizon.
I am convinced that it was iCloud.
I solved high cellular data usage with the Onavo Count app to identify usage and any rogue apps - was uploading .5 G every couple of hours. (Onavo“extended version” saves data usage through compression, but you have to go through their VPN - both are currently free!!)
Issue was that my Dropbox account went rogue on me. I use it for photos/videos upload for sharing - Dropbox filled up and the phone kept on trying to upload some videos/photos every couple of hours. Have now Dropbox set only to upload in Wi-fi, not cellular mode
I found an email in the outbox with a large photo file attached from 06/05/2013, coincidentally, the same day that my phone started using 1GB a day of cellular usage. I have deleted it from my outbox and I am hopeful that this will fix my problem. Thank you Selene128 for sharing your answer. I really hope this fixes the problem!
For my wife's phone, finally solved the high data usage problem by turning off Find My iPhone. Not my favorite feature to disable, but it beats having to turn cell data on and off all the time or living w/o cell data.
Looking forward to getting the letter someday soon from a class action lawsuit about this. This one is just waiting to happen. Ridiculous that Apple, AT&T, and other carriers aren't livid about this horrible experience.
I was having the same problem, and I also found amessage stuck in my Outbox. I used up 600Mb in 4 days. The puzzle for me is a couple things:
a) I'm ususally either at home or at work, where the phone is on the wifi, so not sure why it would be using cellular data
b) if the message is never sent, why is it using data? Does data usage count regardless of the transmission being succesful? Or since it's sent in packets, it's like most of the packets make it across but not all so therefore it's unsuccesful?
I turned all the other stuff off that you'all recommended.
I also had noticed in those days that my phone was getting real hot, like it was doing something.
You need to make sure that you are using the latest software. Check your App store for any updates.
Also, make sure that your carrier settings are up to date. this link will talk you through how to do that. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1970?viewlocale=en_US
Delete any emails that you may have in your "Outbox" folder.
turn the following off:
Settings> iTunes & App Store> Use cellular data
Settings>Mail,Contacts&Calanders>Fetch New Data
Settings>General>Cellular> Use Cellular Data
SettingsiCloud>Documents &Data>Use Cellular Data
Settings>Podcass>Use Cellular Data
Settings>Safari>Use Cellular Data
Settings>Facetime>Use Cellular Data