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invenio Level 1 (10 points)

I have since November changed from an iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4S and recently noticed a triple increase in data usage (with additional costs incurred). While I used below 250 MB before I'm now using 470+ MB. A Genius at the Bar recommended to switch off Location Services and Cellular Data, but that doesn't really make sense. Is anyone aware what services might consume exorbitant amounts of data (maybe in background processes)?


Is there an app, that monitors data transfers and could give me some clue as to what app or services use most data?


I've asked my operator to tell me if they would be able to let me know which services might have consumed so much data, but due to privacy regulations they are not allowed to access my data usage history.


I have also read somewhere that Siri uses a fair bit of data, but I haven't used that too much either.

iPhone 4S, iOS 5.0.1
  • ChuckTommervik Level 2 (275 points)

    When the Genius recommended turning off location services, he was right. Location services runs quite a bit in the background and turning that off will save some data. Now, turning off Cellular Data in the settings is a very effective step, if a little cumbersum. Basically that will cut off the iphone's ability to connect to the internet when not connected to WiFi. Obviously any time you wanted to connect, you could go into settings and turn cellular data back on, then turn it back off when you're done to prevent the background usage.

  • invenio Level 1 (10 points)

    But isn't there any other way to solve that? Turning off Location Services basically renders the map app useless and as you say turning off Cellular Data isn't really gonna make a cell phone mobile... Constant turning off and on seems awkward and cumbersome.

  • invenio Level 1 (10 points)

    Could it have something to do with iOS 5? And if so, what or who is the culprit here?

  • emj1958* Level 1 (0 points)

    I just incurred 200 MB of data received in a 2-day period.  Nothing else changed during that time frame. No new Apps installed.  I don't download music or videos and generally use few Apps on the 3G network, but rather on wireless at home.  Was it coincidental that a new software notice came out the day I received the overage notice?

  • guguii Level 1 (5 points)

    same here

    i'm pretty sure this is an Apple bug.


    I'm a happy iphone 4s user from 5 months, and i¡m experiencing this from he same time.


    Normal use of mail and safari, few apps, like bloomberg, El Pais, accuweather and a couple of games, "heavy daily use" that drains around 400mb at month.

    My Data Manager allow me to monitor the cellular data hour precisely, and I can confirm that the my use its the use my data manger says. I also maintain the multitasking bar empty.


    but suddently, and the most of the times after mignight (Spain time), the iphone drains lots of MB of cellular data. the screen stays off, but My Data Managaer and the data usage of "settings" says that almost 200MB have been used over 3G!!!!! (the most of them SENT!!!)


    how it can be???

    no push are activate, no app store sync, no itunes macth, no podcast, no icloud, no photo streaming, no radio apps, etc...


    no explain.


    this is a very rare bug, I can't find anything about this on google.


    VERY ANNOyING!!!!!

  • invenio Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks, guguii for letting me know. While it's good to see in a way that I'm not the  only one with this issue, it's still disappointing that there's no solution to this. I managed to get the downloads a little bit under control, but it's still not satisfactory for me, because it meant that I had to restrict myself from using my phone as before and still using more than my allocated quota.


    I wonder if the sudden usage you see after midnight is some sort of syncing going on. Have you tried to switch to Airplane mode or "Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data off" after midnight?


    Is "Settings > General > About (top of list) > Diagnostics & Usage (towards bottom of list)" set to "Don't Send"?


    Is Siri on or off?


    Is your Data Manager provided to you by your carrier, or is that an app?

  • guguii Level 1 (5 points)

    some updates;

    (sorry about my english!)


    - short post:

    it seems fixed... (10 days after the fix)


    - long post:

    after posting here, I tried to do a DFU restoring from latest backup (the good one), and I found some usefull apps in the App store. I tried My Data Manager, Onavo, and Dataman Pro.

    OK, the 3 have unique features, so , the 3 combined helped me to now data usage per app, cellular or wifi, upload and download, hour precise data (Onavo let you know how much cellular data safe for you from specifics Apps). After I found that this could be done just with Onavo an Mya Data Manager, Dataman Pro was SO useless...

    BUT, a day after it started drain huge cellular data again.

    So I did a DFU restore again, this time as new iPhone, so I backuped manually all my pictures and so, then tried my new iphone 2 days, all was fine, no extrange things...

    A bit tired of my lost (I had iPhone apps from 4 years ago with important data, as games, banks, etc..)

    I decided to try again a DFU restore, restoring from my first backup (the good one), and My Data Manager was also updated, and the new version was filled with a new bunch of awesome features. So I've been tracking the data 8 days with no extrange things.



    I dont know why the first DFU+backup restore didn't fixed it, and after the the second DFU+new device, DFU+backup, fixed, and most important, I'm not 100% sure that the iPhone it's really fixed, just 8 days without irregular data usage.

    The counterside of precise report of MyDataManager is the location active all time and draining my battery alll the day


    Keep watching!

  • invenio Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks guguii for letting us know. I downloaded My Data Manager and Onavo. Since my last post I have also switched off Siri. It meant that I lost what I had trained Siri, but I wasn't using it very much anyway. Surprisingly my data usage has also gone down. I wonder if Siri sends data in the background.


    The apps you mentioned will hopefully shed some light.


    Why did you go for DFU (Device Firmware Update) instead of a normal restore?


    Did you notice any particular data usage on specific locations?

  • guguii Level 1 (5 points)

    Bad news...


    My Data Manager display an alert saying that at 9 pm I pased the 30 MB WIFI limit I set, in "My Data Apps", I can see 190 MB of data over wifi (thanks god because I was over wifi, and not over cellular data) used by "Untracked Apps"

    This is anoying, because I have "Detailed Mode" active, so the App should be able to tell me what Apps are using the data, instead, it shows that the data has been used by "Untracked Apps", so this is very extrange.


    So I'll doo a DFU restore again, but no backup. So set up the iphone as new one, losing all my data apps usage like maps favorites, games scores, contents, etc...


    (I did the DFU restore because the genius at Genius Bar at the Apple Store recomend me to do that)


    very anoying

  • guguii Level 1 (5 points)

    invenio wrote:


    Thanks guguii for letting us know. I downloaded My Data Manager and Onavo. Since my last post I have also switched off Siri. It meant that I lost what I had trained Siri, but I wasn't using it very much anyway. Surprisingly my data usage has also gone down. I wonder if Siri sends data in the background.


    The apps you mentioned will hopefully shed some light.


    Why did you go for DFU (Device Firmware Update) instead of a normal restore?


    Did you notice any particular data usage on specific locations?

    I didn't notice any particular data usage on specific locations, it occurs over wifi at my house, over 3G in the road, etc... not same hour, not same location.


    I have all the data setting off (no siri, no backup...) (no, except location services and some notification center alerts (can't be desactivated)

  • hhe1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My wife was retrieving my google calendar on the iphone, added to the phone as an internet calendar. The data usage was 3-5 Mbyte per day even when the phone was not used. I forced it over to WLAN and used Wireshark to capture the packets. Every hour, 127 Kbyte was transferred from Google when checking the my calendar. I deleted the internet calendar and added the calendar as a Gmail account and turned off mail and notes syncing. Now the data usage is only a few Kbyte per day when not used.

  • guguii Level 1 (5 points)

    more sad news...


    after a DFU restore (again) and set as new iPhone, and download just some apps directly from the iPhone, MDM shows 498 MB downloaded this night (3 AM).


    sad news beacuse now I have to spent a few hours in go to the apple store (in madrid they are 28 km far form the center), and change it by another refurbished (mine is in superb condition!)


    so there is a hardaware problem, and not a software problem!!!



  • DiveBunnie Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having similar problems... except the data transfers are not appearing on my data tracking at all... I have the basic Data man, as well as the phone's own cellular and 3g data tracking.. that seems to think I have only transferred a grand total of 450MB since December 2011! Yet on my Vodafone bill I am seeing regular massive data transfers to or from my phone via the cellular network and am being charged for overshooting my 20MB a day limit!


    I have switched off all but one push notification (drawsomething is my one vice.. but surely that cannot add up 350MB in one night.. whilst I was asleep). I have all my location services switched off or on manual, except the "find my iphone" app which I am loth to turn off as that would defeat the purpose.


    I have also taken to switching off all data transfers at night, and ensuring that if I have access to wifi, my cellular data and 3g is off. But this is a real faff... and I still noticed that yesterday because I had the cellular setting on during the day, another 88MB of data mysteriously transferred between my phone and the internet.


    Unfortunately I live in Egypt, so have no access to a nearby apple store. Vodafone out of courtesy did give me a one off credit on my account, but don't seem to be able to pursue the issue any further. And I tried to find out from Apple what I could do but was informed that because it has been over 90 days since I bought my phone, I have to pay for any advice that they give. Hmmmm frustrating.


    Any further tips would be most appreciated.


    Is it possible that someone is using our networks for their own purposes? Or am I just being too paranoid?

  • VonSox Level 1 (0 points)

    I have exactly the same problem with my son's iPhone, but the excessive data usage only occurred once he downloaded iOS 5.1.1.  He has gone from using an average of 30mb per month to exceeding his 250mb monthly allowance in just a few days!  The only thing that has changed on his iPhone is the new software, which is too much of a coincidence.


    I've spent a long time on the 'phone to both Vodafone, who say it's Apple's issue, and Apple, then an hour yesterday evening in an appointment at the Genius Bar in Bluewater, and we have got nowhere, even the Apple expert was flummoxed!


    I immediately turned off 'cellular data usage' once I realised there was an issue and will ensure it isn't turned back on again until the contract month renews. I have also downloaded 'My Data Manager', which helps to see what is going on a little.  My son's phone shows it used 53mb between 7-8am today over wifi, which is just ridiculous! My Data Manager showed that the vast majority of this was 'OS Services'. The only feature of the phone I had left turned on was Siri, so I have now disabled that and we will see if this overnight activity continues.


    Bafflingly, as mentioned by DiveBunnie, the cellular data usage in the iPhone's settings hasn't changed from yesterday, so if 53mb was sent or received, it has not been registered by the 'phone itself.


    Another interesting point is that my son's iPhone spends the vast majority of it's time in his bedroom, which is also where our home hub is, so the 'phone is always connected to wifi.  Upon checking all the excessive data usage over 3G, the majority of the time the 'phone was, as usual, actually connected to wifi in the bedroom.


    It will be interesting to see if disabling Siri makes a difference - I'll endeavour to update this page tomorrow with the outcome.

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