12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 2, 2014 6:35 AM by walsin
KathyG999 Level 1 (0 points)

We recently upgraded my daughter's phone from a Samsung to an iPhone 5, originally running iOS 6, now running iOS 7.  The Samsung (Android) phone used less than .5 MB per month, whereas the iPhone 5 will consume that much data in one day.  About 80% of the phone's usage is on WiFi, and is only actively used on the cellular network less than an hour a day.  However, the phone and the Verizon data usage log show data being consumed even when connected continously to wifi. 


With help from a Verizon representative, we turned off location services, closed all background apps and stopped automatic updates and refreshes, shut off icloud, email, and anything else that could possibly be running in the background or consuming data.  The changes didn't do anything to slow the usage, and the Verizon reps suggested that my daughter was secretly using her phone in the middle of the night to play games and watch movies. At Verizon's recommendation, we signed up for parental controls, and set them to prevent the phone from being used during the school day, and at night.  However, the phone and Verizon continue to show data use in tiny increments 24 hours per day.  These post in the Verizon data usage logs about every 10 minutes, and are typically 10-20KB. 


Using the parental controls, I set a hard data stop each week so that we could meter her data out over a month's time and prevent overages.  It is supposed to stop all data usage on the phone once she reaches a preset limit.  She would usually hit the 1GB limit in a day or two, but the phone and Verizon's data usage log show that the phone continues to bleed data 24 hours per day even after the limit is reached and she is unable to use her phone.  Verizon can offer no explanation.


In addition to the data bleed, the actual data usage for virtually any activity that required data is substantially higher than what I would see for the same use on my iPhone 4s.  For example, a couple of youtube videos played on her iPhone 5 resulted in 0.8GB being used in just a few minutes, vs about 50MB on my 4s for the same videos.  Verizon seems to suggest that this is due to the higher resolution and speed, but it seems excessive.


Here's a Youtube video I found that seems to show our exact issue.  We've done similar tests on our phone, with the same results.




Although it is frequently suggested that the "fix" for this problem is to turn off cellular, that hardly addresses the problem.  It would also mean we have purchased a very expensive iPod.


Is there anyone who can help us address this issue?  Verizon has been no help, and does not acknowledge this as an ongoing problem, despite the fact that there are countless articles, blogs, and videos online about the very same issue.  We have tried a number of the "fix" recommendations we've found online, but thus far have had no success.

iPhone 5, iOS 7.0.3, Verizon Wireless
  • ckuan Level 7 (29,573 points)

    For one thing, when iPhone in sleep mode, Wi-Fi is automatically switches off.

    So all kinds of updates will be using cellular data.

    Connect to a wall power supply with the adapter that came with the iPhone will keep Wi-Fi alive even in sleep mode.

    Also swiching Airplane mode ON then swich Wi-Fi back on will stop all cellular radio.

  • KathyG999 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your reply, ckuan.  The phone is always plugged in overnight, so that should be taking care of the problem, but it still shows cellular usage all night, every night, even though it shows that it is connected to WiFi.  I appreciate the airplane mode suggestion.  We have used that, as well as turning off cellular, but seems like a workaround rather than a true fix for the defect, which is really what I am after. It frustrates me that the only way to keep the phone from bleeding data is to essentially render it useless as a phone.  Also, the phone is not actually performing any functions, background or otherwise, that would cause it to use data, because we have turned them all off.  A true fix would address whatever is causing the phone to erroneously report that data is being used, or would correct whatever software glitch is causing the phone to use background data that can't be shut off by the user.

  • ckuan Level 7 (29,573 points)

    There's something wrong. Have you tried the 4 Rs basic troubleshooting steps?


    1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the red "slide to power off" slider appears, and then slide the slider.

    2. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears.


    Reset: Hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time for at least ten seconds, until the Apple logo appears. Note: You will not lose any data


    Restore from backup

    Restore as new



    This article is about battery life, there are a few tips about data usage as well.



    Data settings & usage



    If all failed, make an appointment with the Apple genius at your local Apple Store and have them evaluate.

  • natalka19 Level 1 (0 points)

    This happened to me on two occassions and my data usage tripled and so did my phone bill. We tracked the usage and the data went nuts typically 2am MST and neither Telus or Apple could figure it out. Since no one can explain it I faithfully shut off my data each night and turn it on in the morning and  it hasn't happened again. 

  • JimFerguson Level 1 (110 points)

    I'm having a similar problem. I've written about it in this thread.



    This is frustrating that we still have no solution or even an acknowledgment that there is a problem.

  • aparanoidbw Level 1 (0 points)

    Top hit on a google search, must be big issue...


    anyway, I'm having the exact same issue with an iPhone 5 on AT&T, the only difference in previous posts is that AT&T acknowledges that iPhones are data hogs.  They were not able to really offer any solutions other than buying more data cheaper or paying for a data restriction/monitoring package.


    my friends droid barely uses 500mb, while her kids iPhone uses 6-7 GB a month.


    Besides turning the phones off or in airplane mode, I assume this is still an on-going issue?

  • JayZhu Level 1 (0 points)

    My wife and I have exactly problem of our iPhone 5s. In March 2014, we just switched from Samsung Androi phones (2 years contract) to iPone 5s. With Samsung, we typically use about less than 200 MB data per month. But with iPhone 5s, data usage can easily reach 1 GB. Many data usage happens in evening when we are at home with wifi.

  • keirfromnsw Level 1 (0 points)

    I am the CTO of a Pacific Island Telco beset with excessive usage complaints from iphone 5 and ipad customers that commenced in May 2014 and seems limited to iOS7.1.1.  With icloud supposedly off, use cellular data for updates unchecked these devices can burn through 600MB of data in a day without any concious use by the customer.  Does anyone have similar experience or suggestions? 


    We are looking through the CDR data and attempting to identify the source of the download and it appears to be Akamai CDN related to iTunes/ Application Update or iCloud.


    Is there any known vulnerability which would allow the hijacking of the service?

  • mellorosa Level 1 (0 points)

    We have been having the same problem out of the blue; all of a sudden in May/June.  I have spoken to several people at AT&T with no solution. I really don't think he is waking up during the night, turning off the wifi and using his phone instead of his computers.......since he is 25 .  We have had the 200mb plan since we got our Iphones years ago; have upped it twice in the past several weeks and now have used 600mb in <10 days.  His phone is using 20-25,000mb almost every night during the middle of the night all at once. It sometimes happens when he is at work and does not have access to his phone. The suggestion that every night our Wifi is going off causing the data to be used by the cellular (which is turned off) I don't get either.  It is driving me nuts!!

  • Lawrence Finch Level 8 (35,063 points)

    There are a couple of artifacts to consider. The first is that WiFi is turned off when the phone is asleep and not connected to power. This is to prevent the battery from going flat, as WiFi uses power continuously and cellular only uses power when actually transferring data.


    The other is a quirk of many cellular billing systems (including both AT&T's and Verizon's). The time shown on your bill or online account management is NOT the time the data transfer occurred; it is the time cumulative data transfers throughout some time period are posted to the billing system. So the timestamp on the data transfer number provides no information on when the transfers actually happened, beyond the fact that they have happened sometime in the previous 24 hours. You also can't count on it being the accumulated data since the previous timestamped data transfer, because each network switch reports at different times. So if you were connected to different towers each one will post its own usage to the billing system and to your bill.

  • Mrz.Brett Level 1 (0 points)

    Did you find a solution for this problem I am having the same thing happening and I already did what Ckaun suggested. This problem is driving me nuts and I'm getting paranoid about my data and I'm always checking it. I SHOULDN'T have to do this!!!!!!! And I am really displeased with apple and may switch because of this issue.

  • walsin Level 1 (0 points)

    Do you really think that either Apple or Verizon care about your "data bleed" problem.

    I verizon's case its all data charge money in the bank, and with apple you're up against selling the next "hot box", not figuring out what the tech issue may be.