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Question: iOS 11 Battery Life

Ever since the upgrade to iOS 11, my battery life on my iPad Pro 12.9 late 2015 model has been horrible. With iOS 10, I always got 10 or more hours with the device, but these days I'm lucky to see 4-5 hours of light use before its back on the charger. My iPhone 7 is similarly afflicted though to a lesser extent. My iPad also sputters and lags on the home screen for several minutes when you first unlock it as though it's an 8 or 9 year old device. Both devices are running the latest version of iOS 11.


I've been exclusively an Apple customer for almost 10 years now because of the past reliability of their devices (which you expect when paying such a high premium), but Apple MUST fix iOS 11. If anybody has a magic solution to the above issues, I would be eternally grateful, but I'm assuming all of this is related to poor support for devices that predate the newest iOS release.


Apple has lost me as a customer if they think I'm shelling out $1000+ for a new iPad Pro with every major iOS release.

iPad Pro Wi-Fi, iOS 11.2.6

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Mar 18, 2018 7:47 PM in response to ttaayylloorr1 In response to ttaayylloorr1

I have the same iPad as you and I never got 10 hours on this iPad.

I use mine pretty heavy everyday and average around 8 hours on a charge.


Have any of you tried a hard reset of your iPad by holding down both the Home and sleep/wake buttons until your iPad goes to black and restarts with Apple logo, then release the buttons?


How much free data storage space is left on your iPad?

iDevices need to maintain, at least, 3 GBs, OR GREATER, of free data storage space.


In Settings app, General settings panel, turn OFF Background App Refresh for any apps you feel do not need constant data updating/Internet updating in the background when not using the an app OR turn OFF Background App Refresh entirely/globally for the entire device.

In Settings app, under General settings, Reset panel, at the right bottom of the list, Reset All Settings.

In Settings app (NOT from the iOS Control Panel) turn OFF Bluetooth when not using any Bluetooth devices.


Also, in general, if you want a faster IDevice, on all of my iDevices, I turn off most of the iOS motion graphics eye candy, by simply turning ON Reduce Motion in Settings app, General, Accessibilty settings.


Make sure you aren't running scads and scads of background apps in the iOS 11 Control Panel/App Switcher.

If you are, you need to quit the bulk of these background running apps by tap and hold a finger on an app window in the switcher and slide your finger upwards to quit an app. You should be able to use more than one finger to quit more than one app window simultaneously.


Also, make sure you don’t have scads and scads of active website tabs running in the web browser.

If you do, greatly reduce the amount of active website tabs your web browser.


Good Luck to You!

Question marked as Helpful

Mar 18, 2018 7:47 PM in response to ttaayylloorr1 In response to ttaayylloorr1

Another thing I need to start asking.

Do you have iCloud backups enabled while you are using the iPad?

If you do, turn off iCloud backups and only perform a daily back up when you ars not using your iPad for prolonged periods of time (like while you are sleeping).

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 18, 2018 7:47 PM in response to ttaayylloorr1 In response to ttaayylloorr1

I have the same iPad as you and I never got 10 hours on this iPad.

I use mine pretty heavy everyday and average around 8 hours on a charge.


Have any of you tried a hard reset of your iPad by holding down both the Home and sleep/wake buttons until your iPad goes to black and restarts with Apple logo, then release the buttons?


How much free data storage space is left on your iPad?

iDevices need to maintain, at least, 3 GBs, OR GREATER, of free data storage space.


In Settings app, General settings panel, turn OFF Background App Refresh for any apps you feel do not need constant data updating/Internet updating in the background when not using the an app OR turn OFF Background App Refresh entirely/globally for the entire device.

In Settings app, under General settings, Reset panel, at the right bottom of the list, Reset All Settings.

In Settings app (NOT from the iOS Control Panel) turn OFF Bluetooth when not using any Bluetooth devices.


Also, in general, if you want a faster IDevice, on all of my iDevices, I turn off most of the iOS motion graphics eye candy, by simply turning ON Reduce Motion in Settings app, General, Accessibilty settings.


Make sure you aren't running scads and scads of background apps in the iOS 11 Control Panel/App Switcher.

If you are, you need to quit the bulk of these background running apps by tap and hold a finger on an app window in the switcher and slide your finger upwards to quit an app. You should be able to use more than one finger to quit more than one app window simultaneously.


Also, make sure you don’t have scads and scads of active website tabs running in the web browser.

If you do, greatly reduce the amount of active website tabs your web browser.


Good Luck to You!

Mar 18, 2018 7:47 PM

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 18, 2018 7:47 PM in response to ttaayylloorr1 In response to ttaayylloorr1

Another thing I need to start asking.

Do you have iCloud backups enabled while you are using the iPad?

If you do, turn off iCloud backups and only perform a daily back up when you ars not using your iPad for prolonged periods of time (like while you are sleeping).

Mar 18, 2018 7:47 PM

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Mar 18, 2018 5:06 PM in response to MichelPM In response to MichelPM

Thanks for the reply MichelPM!


Interesting -- I don't run a lot of processor intensive tasks or watch tons of video which may be part of why I'm used to longer battery life.


Let's see.

I have restarted it the way you described numerous times due to other iOS 11 bugs without any difference in its battery life/performance.


Mine is the 128GB model instead of the 32, so I've got nearly 100GB free still.


I have many apps set to not refresh in the background, but I will try to find others to add to that list.


I will give a reset of settings a shot as well.


Unfortunately I do use my Apple Pencil with great regularity (note taking, reading, etc.), so I'm not sure bluetooth off will be a good option for me.


I keep the motion turned off under accessibility because it 1) is unsettling and 2) drains battery as you've mentioned


I've read from various sources that manually closing apps in that manner will hog more battery life rather than saving it since reopening the apps is energy intensive but having them suspended in the background is not.


I generally keep maybe 3-4 browser tabs open in most cases.


I think what's frustrating is that I feel as though this really only happened with the update to iOS11. I've also tried reinstalling iOS fresh and then restoring my backup to the iPad. I feel as though this helped for a time, but that things went back to how they were rather quickly.

Mar 18, 2018 5:06 PM

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Apr 4, 2018 5:37 PM in response to ttaayylloorr1 In response to ttaayylloorr1

Hi all


Quick post but if there's interest I'll go into more detail. I've experienced severe battery drain since iOS11 was first installed and lost count of the amount of troubleshooting, factory resets etc I've been through, even replacing the battery with a new one from Apple recently. None of the iOS updates have helped, neither did turning off background refresh or location services etc. My iPhone lived permanently in Low Power mode.


I eventually hooked my phone up to Xcode Intruments to get some visibility of the running processes and immediately found a process called 'Bird' running at 98%+ cpu constantly. Forums suggest the process relates to iCloud Drive sync (although most posts relate to the process also killing the cpu on OSX and Windows platforms with iCloud installed).


While I don't think all cases of the dreaded battery drain are the same issue, if you're experiencing something similar then this could be worth a try. The suggestion is to simply turn off iCloud Drive in Settings > iCloud > iCloud Drive. Caution should be used when doing so as it'll remove any files and folders / app data from your device (but importantly not from iCloud) when it's toggled off. This WILL implicate apps on your device that use iCloud to store data (game data, docs etc).


I use iCloud Drive moderately for my own files but it seemed worth the trade off to disable it for a phone that didn't burn my hand and need charging 3 times a day... It even reportedly worked for those who don't use iCloud Drive but just have it turned on by default. As for the long term and whether it's a sustainable workaround is another question.


Turning off iCloud Drive for me resolved the issue immediately. Xcode instruments instantly showed a huge drop in cpu use (back to normal levels) and finally the phone is allowed to cool down. Toggling iCloud Drive back on immediately starts the process and the high cpu. I don't believe this is due to normal conditions such as data syncing as it remains high persistently, like since September 2017 in my case.


Since doing this my iPhone 7 (iOS11.3) has been cool to the touch for days now and battery life has returned to the blissful time before iOS11 made me feel like I was relying on something that needed constant life support.

Apr 4, 2018 5:37 PM

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Apr 4, 2018 6:03 PM in response to boredmonkey In response to boredmonkey

Thanks for the detailed reply boredmonkey!


I’m going to give this a try to see if it can also fix the issue I’m having. It seems to get better immediately following a fresh install of iOS or reset of settings, but the problem returns within a few days invariably. I notice that the iPad is reporting abnormal amounts of “Usage” under the battery menu when the device should mostly be in standby mode. I’ve turned off nearly all background app functions at this time. It’ll be really frustrating if iCloud drive is the culprit as this is a service I pay for monthly and enjoy using across my iOS devices, so leaving iCloud Drive off won’t be a great long-term solution.


I like the features that were introduced in iOS11, but it’s a disaster under the hood and I’m ready to have my devices performing as they should once again. >$1000 “Pro” devices should definitely have a life cycle greater than 2 years. My iPad feels like it needs to be replaced as is, and that’s just not happening.

Apr 4, 2018 6:03 PM

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Apr 4, 2018 7:13 PM in response to ttaayylloorr1 In response to ttaayylloorr1

After trying to fix my issue for so long and giving up a few times resigning myself to it being an obscure problem not capable of being fixed, I had to share it, even if it's just another option for someone to look into for their device. I searched forums for months and found nothing that helped!


It's not all my finding but I haven't seen any posts mention this process running amok on anything other than a Mac or Windows machine. Incidentally, I had the same problem with my Macbook so disabled it there too with the same result.


If you are seeing any particular apps listed under usage with a high percentage it's worth taking note but it might not offer enough real info if it's a harder to find problem.


I couldn't tell if my iPhone battery was better after factory reset etc as it was always being hammered just by the iCloud restore process.


If you have the option to run Intruments on a mac I would recommend it, the problem I saw was obvious and anyone would have noticed it so it's hard to imagine it not being picked up before if it was the major cause of iOS battery drain issues.


I think I'm still confused as to whether we pay for iCloud Drive or iCloud Storage with Drive being a service offered in 'iCloud'. I'm too lazy to understand! I don't miss using it for my files as Dropbox always seemed more reliably realtime and my photos are still fine in iCloud so the only concern is app data that's shared across devices. I can see where not having that would be a problem at some point.


iOS 11 while lovely in many ways, is also appalling and done nothing for my trust in Apple's ability to keep up with what they make. Feel free to share how it goes!

Apr 4, 2018 7:13 PM

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Apr 4, 2018 7:26 PM in response to boredmonkey In response to boredmonkey

Yeah, I also searched around and saw lots of complaints about MacOS having a similar problem.


Unfortunately whatever specific process is causing the excess usage isn't listed which makes me think it's probably some issue within iOS11 itself rather than a 3rd party app going haywire.


I think iCloud is kind of both of those things to some extent. I think about it as a synchronization service between devices for more than just files but can also (obviously) store files depending on your payment plan. Not sure how true the first part is hah.


I'll try to work through some of the troubleshooting you mentioned including Instruments when I get some time this weekend. I'll also update if turning iCloud off has a significant effect on my iPad once I've had a day or two to cycle the battery. Thanks again for your input!

Apr 4, 2018 7:26 PM

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Apr 4, 2018 7:37 PM in response to ttaayylloorr1 In response to ttaayylloorr1

I already knew about issues with iCloud as this has always been a performance issue for iDevices, even with iOS 10.

This is why I mentioned turning off iCloud for backups as you do NOT need to have iCloud constantly backing up the data in your iPad, or ANY iDevice, 24/7. This is not neccssary.

My performance tip about iCloud is even in my long term posted performance tips link for iOS here.


Slow iPad on iOS 9, 10 or 11!

Apr 4, 2018 7:37 PM

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Apr 4, 2018 8:01 PM in response to MichelPM In response to MichelPM

When I scanned the thread I didn't notice anything specific mentioned about iCloud Drive so thought I'd add what I'd learned.


Is it wise to be telling people to turn off their iCloud backups, I think they only backup user data incrementally so don't run for long. Doesn't it also only run when connected to power, locked and on WiFi? Having it turned on is kinda necessary if the device you're using is your main device and not an iPad sitting on a coffee table. Who doesn't want to have their latest data restored when the device breaks?

Apr 4, 2018 8:01 PM

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Apr 4, 2018 8:32 PM in response to boredmonkey In response to boredmonkey

You do not need to have iCloud access your iDevices 24/7 for data backups.

Just like Background App Refresh, constant incremental iCloud backups access CAN and DOES slow down your iDevice and drain your battery faster, too.

You can turn on iCloud backup at the end of your day and let iCloud backup your data while you are sleeping.

And incremental is a relative term.

If you have an iDevice that is a 128/256/512 GBs of storage and have a significant amount of data on these higher storage devices, it can take iCloud some time to backup all of this!

Better to run iCloud backups when you are not using your iDevice.

The same advice I give Mac users.

Never try backing up your Mac when you are actually trying to use and doing actual work on your Mac, because this is one of the many things that can slow down the performance speed of a Mac, as the backup program is constantly accessing your Mac's hard drive or SSD.

Backups on a Mac should be done during prolonged periods of inactivity or during times when the Mac isn’t being used or minmally used.

Apr 4, 2018 8:32 PM

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Question: iOS 11 Battery Life