iOS 8.1 Battery Life Problems Hit iPhone

Earlier this month, Apple released its brand new iOS 8.1 update. And while iOS 8.1 delivered both Apple Pay and bug fixes for iOS 8 problems, that’s not all it brought. iOS 8.1 problems remain a problem for iPhone and iPad users and iPhone users in particular have started complaining about bad iOS 8.1 battery life after the update.

In September, Apple released the iOS 8.1 update into the beta program. For several weeks it, and its developer partners, poked and prodded the update ahead of its unannounced public release. In mid-October, Apple took the stage to announce several new products and there, it confirmed an October release for the highly regarded iOS 8.1 upgrade for iPhone and iPad.

iPhone 6

iPhone and iPad users had been keeping their eyes peeled for an iOS 8.1 release due to the iOS 8 problems plaguing iPhone and iPad in the weeks after the iOS 8.0 update release. iOS 8 problems included the usual Wi-Fi complaints and battery life issues though they also included some frustrating iMessage issues and landscape mode issues. While Apple rolled out iOS 8.0.1 and iOS 8.0.2 to help with iOS 8 issues, iOS 8.1 was seen as the first major bug fix update.

iOS 8.1 rolled out a week ago and as we’ve noted in our reviews, the iOS 8.1 update for iPhone and iPad seems to have tackled some of the annoying problems that emerged last month in iOS 8.0. But as we’ve learned over the past week, it hasn’t tackled them all.

iOS 8.1 problems are a big issue with some iPhone and iPad users with problems ranging from bad Bluetooth to issues with apps to random reboots. In the past few days, a growing number of iPhone users have begun to complain about iOS 8.1 battery life problems with many noticing a considerable drop after installing Apple’s new software.

Apple threads are starting to fill up with complaints about bad iOS 8.1 battery life. iPhone users, and iPhone 5 users in particular, are seeing abnormal battery drain after replacing their previous update with iOS 8.1. One user told Gotta Be Mobile that his iPhone 5 battery life has jumped from “61% to 59%, 31% to 29% and 16% to 14% during charge and or discharge.” Other iPhone users are noticing odd movements with battery life so it doesn’t appear to be isolated.

iOS 8.1 on iPhone 6

iOS 8.1 battery drain is another issue for iPhone users. A long time iPhone users told us that his iPhone 5s was “fully charged iPhone at 11:30” but that it had dropped to 75% within minutes. He noted that he simply  “read a few articles and took a shower, then have been working at my own computer” meaning that there’s no good reason why his battery life dropped the way that it did. Many other iPhone users are noticing the same thing including owners of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

With no iOS 8.1.1 update in sight, and no guarantee that it will contain battery life fixes when and if it does arrive, iPhone users on iOS 8.1 must rely on unofficial fixes to cure battery life issues.

Speck CandyShell iPhone 6 Review - 3-X3

We’ve outlined several ways iPhone and iPad users can fix battery life problems including isolating apps causing battery drain, limiting background app refresh, limiting the use of auto brightness, resetting the iPhone, and more. These fixes don’t come from Apple but they’ve helped to improve iOS battery life on iPhones and iPads in the past. These fixes also have the potential to solve those odd battery jumping issues that iPhone users are reporting.

If nothing works, iPhone and iPad users should try restoring the iOS 8.1 update. Restoring from a backup often dislodges battery life problems and can help bring performance back to an acceptable level. If that doesn’t work, a trip to the Apple Store and a visit with a Genius might be in order.

20 Comments

  1. Jose Rodriguez

    10/28/2014 at 9:49 pm

    Yes… the 8.1 IOS upgrade has affected my battery life… Before the upgrade, I could last almost two days w/o battery drain… now I only last about 6 hours on my iPhone 5s…. What gives? I had less problems when I was on iOS 7 than now… seems obvious to me that the iOS 8 plus was a rush job for the iphone 6 rollout…

    Reply

  2. Robert

    10/29/2014 at 3:14 am

    My iphone 5s is having sever battery drain after ios 8.1 it goes from 100% to shut down in 9 hours in airplane mode while the the usage is only 3 hours before it shuts down. I thing ios 8.1 has caused a damage to the CPU making it drains the battery although we have done the those procedures to save battery life but with no help at all. There are so many users are have the same problem with the iphones draing theit battery like hell !!!

    Reply

  3. Peter

    10/29/2014 at 3:59 am

    iPhone 5s same battery drain issue after iOS 8.1 update I can see in real time my battery dropping in 2% eg 20 to 18 or 7 to 5%, even Thoe I’ve gon to Genius Bar and they restored my phone as new, it did not solve the issue, they just made me wipe all my apps for nothing and more time to install them back. I hope Apple will look into this issue, it has affected a lot of people that I know. Cos rebooting, restoring etc does not solve the problem

    Reply

  4. Dazza

    10/29/2014 at 6:53 am

    Has anyone not thought about that health app that tracks your every moment of the day as being a battery killer! And the worse part is that we can’t turn it off!

    Reply

  5. Nelson

    10/29/2014 at 7:08 am

    iPhone 6 Owner here: I have noticed battery problems too. For some reason the battery last at 100% for a goo amount of time but basically jumps from 99% to 95% in a matter of minutes even on Stand by. It kind of worries me.

    thanks!

    Reply

  6. Carlos

    10/29/2014 at 1:02 pm

    I have an iPhone 5, and I stayed on the last version of ios 7 , thank god, I enjoy awesome battery life.

    Reply

  7. sammy

    10/29/2014 at 3:52 pm

    Thank god I went with this Galaxy S5 PowerMonster!! Lasts a day and a half without disabling ANY features … unlike what the Apple Geniuses tell EVERY customer … “back up from new and install things 1 by 1. Also, pls disable every other wireless and connectivity feature on your iPhone and you should be good to go”. I truly feel so sad for the masses of lost iCrap users.

    Reply

  8. Serge

    10/29/2014 at 8:08 pm

    We all know that apple has no intention to solve battery drain as seen in ios 8.1 with many iphones.
    No wonder Android grabs a record of 85% shares of global Smartphones sales

    Reply

  9. Rob

    10/29/2014 at 9:15 pm

    The lack of battery life in my 5S after the 8.1 update is astonishing. It has rendered my phone unusable, since it has to be plugged in 3-4 times a day now. I have turned off background refreshes, disabled most location services, always shut off apps after use and keep brightness to a minimum and I still can’t make it last 6 hours. And that’s after I restored it. I never thought I would say this but this might be the end of the road for me and the iPhone.

    Reply

  10. Christina

    10/29/2014 at 9:49 pm

    Has anyone called and found out what should be done. Will they replace batterie for free?

    Reply

  11. George

    10/30/2014 at 5:13 am

    I really think that the ios 8 also and may be also the ios 7 have caused some damage to the CPU of the phone, and the result is we get this abnormal battery drain as what most iphone users are complaining about !!
    I have no idea weather Apple can fix this damaged CPU by a special update or we are going to live with problem till we throw our iphones in the Bin !!

    Reply

  12. Mark Santiago

    10/30/2014 at 9:36 am

    I’m also an iphone 6 owner and am having issues. Just a few weeks back I was saying how great my battery life is and now i’ve been forced to bring the charging cable to my office so it’s not dead when I drive home at night. This morning it went from full charge to 80-something percent before i even left the house for work! It was streaming npr for maybe half an hour. before that wouldn’t even budge the battery life!

    Reply

  13. Nick

    10/30/2014 at 11:12 am

    Apple should wake up from its sleep. There are so many iphone users are suffering from battery drain. It is not because of the applications they use, it is certainly because of Apple’s system software which is grinding inside the processor causing this drain. Hoping to see a solution soon and very soon !!

    Reply

  14. mike a

    10/30/2014 at 5:36 pm

    Updated my moms iPhone 4s to 8.1 this morning (10/30/14). She used to get two plus days on her battery. Her phone was completely drained within nine hours.

    Reply

  15. Stephen

    10/30/2014 at 10:05 pm

    I don’t know what you guys are complaining about, my battery life is great! After my phone starting, crashing then rebooting about 20 times per hour my battery life shows 100%. Looks like they finally got around to fixing any battery drain issues by rendering the firmware completely useless. Slow clap apple, slow clap.

    Reply

  16. William Stuhr

    11/02/2014 at 6:18 am

    My 4S now gets 4 to 5 hours of life on a full charge after upgrading to 8.1. Prior to the update, I would get 1.5 days of life. I use for business and it is totally embarassing to say the least. I tried total reset and restore from backup, and no help. I hope they fix this problem quickly or I will need to terminate my service.

    Reply

  17. Eric

    11/04/2014 at 7:35 am

    After installing the iOS 8.1 update on my iPhone 4S almost 2 weeks ago, I noticed a considerable improvement in performance over the prior iOS 8.x.x iterations, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Everything was smooth sailing. However, a few days ago, the phone began to run at high temps, & experiencing severe battery drain at a very observable rate…as in, I can watch the available battery charge tick away, at an average rate of 1% per 1-2 minutes. By way of a diagnostic monitor that I use, I can see the CPU & RAM usage consistently spiking through the roof, regardless of whether the phone was in use, or just sitting idle. I’m no stranger to this OS…I have tried everything to narrow down & rectify the culprit, & the only remaining direction to point the finger at is a bug/process at the CPU level, in the way that the OS is interacting with the hardware. The only thing that I have yet to try is wiping the entire phone clean as a “new” device…but based on other reports that I’ve read of individuals experiencing the same problem, restoring as “new” doesn’t fix it either. I’ve read many accounts across multiple forums, that over the past week or so, this has been a commonly surfacing issue, specifically on iPhones. Given everything that I (& others) have tried, I really don’t see a solution to this, short of Apple fixing their damn code.

    Reply

  18. Carlos

    11/04/2014 at 12:17 pm

    What version of ios 7 do u have ?

    Reply

  19. Kevin

    11/08/2014 at 2:38 am

    Apple just go from bad to worse. The crApple loyal gather round like a flock of sheep whilst incapables in Cupertino hype up their latest iOS bloatware release. Android is starting to look really tempting. At least I wont have software restrictions, and mobiles are cheaper with more flexible customisations. Apple’s got to go in this house. I cannot and will not ever forgive them for releasing 8.0/8.1 which both my iPhone and iPad struggle to cope with.

    Reply

  20. solo2soulo

    11/13/2014 at 11:35 am

    I have a hand me down iphone 5. In order to unlock it, I had to set it up as a new phone and install iOS 8.1. When the phone was locked it had iOS 7 and battery used to last for 2 days, now I have to charge it 3 times a day. And the worst part is there is no way of downgrading (or is there??). My battery health is perfectly fine, so it’s obviously a software issue.

    Reply

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