iOS 7.1 Battery Drain: Troubleshooting Battery Issues After the Update

With every new iOS update pushed to iPhone users, there are bound to be issues with performance and battery. iOS 7.1 is no exception. As a lot of people upgrade to iOS 7.1, we see a lot of posts on forums talking about battery issues on the iPhone post-upgrade.

As with every new update, the troubleshooting follows a pattern. From quitting apps in the background to turning off background app refresh and performing a hard-reset (to the extreme case of a fresh install/restore), one has to try a bunch of things to sort out battery drain issues in iOS 7.1.

Apps in the Background
In iOS 7.0.6 (or prior), you run X apps in the background. The same happens in iOS 7.1 but you find that the battery drops rapidly. As astounding as it sounds, it’s very common that after an update, the same performance drains more battery. Rapidly.

One of the first things you do when you run into battery drain issues is try to quit apps often. In fact, every time you lock your phone, make sure you go to the task-switcher and quit all apps. Unless jailbroken, you can use the three-finger-swipe to remove three app cards at once.

Recalibrate Settings: Brightness, Wireless, App Refresh
There’s very little chance that your brightness settings or other preferences got changed when you upgraded to iOS 7.1. But it makes sense to check these once after the update.

Do you use Dynamic wallpapers? Have you enabled Parallax? What about the brightness setting? How about apps that are running in the background and using cellular/Wi-fi (like Music accessing iTunes Match, Mail app configured to push notifications etc.)? These are things that affect battery usage patterns.

  • Make sure you have disabled background app refresh unless it is absolutely necessary. In most cases, it’s not.
  • Turn off auto-brightness and slide the brightness level to an optimal level.
  • Use static wallpapers instead of dynamic ones.

In the Cloud
If many services are using the cloud to store, access and retrieve data, this could be eating up battery pretty fast. Again, this is not uncommon either.

If there’s an app like Whatsapp trying to backup all data to iCloud, that involves battery drain. If iCloud is backing up your iPhone data (including all apps, photos, videos, music and other documents and data), this uses up a lot of battery power too. May be you noted the battery drain right when this was happening.

There’s nothing much you can do about this but the good thing is this is not a permanent pattern. May be it was just during the backup that the battery drained faster.

Using Cellular/Wi-fi
If you’re not using Wi-fi – that is, you are definitely out of range and are relying on 3G/LTE – it is better to turn off Wi-Fi. The main reason is that the iPhone constantly checks for Wi-fi in the neighborhood when you have it turned on. Till it connects to a Wi-fi network and fixes on it, the iPhone will keep pinging for a wireless connection.

The Last Resort
There was a user-query about iPhone heating up and battery draining rapidly after iOS 7.1 update. The fix for this was doing a hard-reset (press and hold the power and home button simultaneously till your iPhone screen goes black; then, switch on the iPhone normally).

If everything fails and the battery problem plagues you, your last resort is to do a fresh restore through iTunes. In most cases, you did an OTA for the iOS 7.1 update. For a fresh restore, backup your iPhone via iTunes/iCloud, connect it to iTunes and click on Restore.

When you restore, all data is lost but it can be had back from the backup.