Cellular Data Burn - 1GB per hour - another "bug"?

CrashX

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Apr 13, 2012
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I turned on my new iPhone SE today - I turned off the "boost WiFi" obvious scam option - checked the forums here and found out about the hidden automatic on for "Use cellular data for iCloud backups" - who knows what else Apple has hidden in the latest updates? Seriously, does anyone know?

Anyway, I'm not a happy camper.

I thought I was upgrading from an iPhone 4 - where I rarely used ANY data on my 300MB plan. Luckily I got off the phone with AT&T after Apple burned through 500MB in 2 minutes the FIRST time. I thought it was a fluke - but then my SE has burned through yet another 500MB out of nowhere. And it's all secretly stowed away under the "General" usage.

But hey, at least I could tell Siri to set an alarm for an hour from now so I can check once again to see if there's been additional burn.

My WiFi reaches throughout my house. I haven't left my house. I'm extremely PO'd with this asinine, bogus cellular data abuse.

I wish to use my smartphone as a smartphone. If this continues, I'll be returning the SE. And I previously had a 6S for 2 weeks that NEVER burned cellular data like this phone. I have no idea what's causing it, but I'm obviously highly irritated. And, no matter how much you love Apple (I've been running them exclusively since the Apple ///), you can't possibly defend them burying cellular data usage automatic opt-ins all over the place. General>Cellular should provide immediate access to ALL possible cellular data usage. Apple has NO reason to be hiding it so you have to scroll all the way down through multiple menus to deactivate it.

And lumping 1GB burned through in an HOUR under some non-specific "General" tab that doesn't even provide any breakdown on this mystery cellular usage seems pretty much criminal.

Thanks for letting me vent - and greatly appreciate any advice. I don't wish to be forced to turn cellular data off every time I get home. This cellular burn is just absolutely ridiculous.
 
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Armen

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Apr 30, 2013
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I'm not certain this can be classified as anything OTHER than a direct scam.

I turned on my new iPhone SE today - I turned off the "boost WiFi" obvious scam option - checked the forums here and found out about the hidden automatic on for "Use cellular data for iCloud backups" - who knows what else Apple has hidden in the latest updates? Seriously, does anyone know?

Anyway, I'm not a happy camper. I hope Apple ends up on the very wrong end of a class action for activating these "features".

I thought I was upgrading from an iPhone 4 - where I rarely used ANY data on my 300MB plan. Luckily I got off the phone with AT&T after Apple burned through 500MB in 2 minutes the FIRST time. I thought it was a fluke - but then my SE has burned through yet another 500MB out of nowhere. And it's all secretly stowed away under the "General" usage.

But hey, at least I could tell Siri to set an alarm for an hour from now so I can check once again to see if there's been additional burn.

My WiFi reaches throughout my house. I haven't left my house. I'm extremely PO'd with this asinine, bogus cellular data abuse.

I wish to use my smartphone as a smartphone. If this continues, I'll be returning the SE. And I previously had a 6S for 2 weeks that NEVER burned cellular data like this phone. I have no idea what's causing it, but I'm obviously highly irritated. And, no matter how much you love Apple (I've been running them exclusively since the Apple ///), you can't possibly defend them burying cellular data usage automatic opt-ins all over the place. General>Cellular should provide immediate access to ALL possible cellular data usage. Apple has NO reason to be hiding it so you have to scroll all the way down through multiple menus to deactivate it.

And lumping 1GB burned through in an HOUR under some unknown "General" tab that doesn't even provide any breakdown on this mystery cellular usage seems pretty much criminal.

Thanks for letting me vent - and greatly appreciate any advice. I don't wish to be forced to turn cellular data off every time I get home. This cellular burn is just absolutely ridiculous.
I understand you are upset but consider a few things:

  • Apple gains nothing by you using your cellular data so to claim its bogus, a scam or "hidden" by Apple deep in settings is uncalled for.
  • WiFi assist is a feature that allows iOS to use cellular data if your WiFi signal is very poor but hasn't disconnected. It uses cellular data until the signal improves. This is by design and not a bug.
  • WiFi assist is a feature of iOS 9 and is turned on by default. You can't escape this feature regardless of what iPhone you have as long as it is on iOS 9.
Turn off WiFi assist and that will solve your data consumption issue.

Out of curiosity what were you doing to consume that much data? streaming a movie?
 

rigormortis

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Jun 11, 2009
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the newest versions of iOS will tell you exactly how much wifi assist has used. I've been resetting the cellular stats every month so i can compare my how much data I'm actually using compared to how much t-mobile is counting.

this month so far , my iPhone reports i have used 8 gigs of cellular data. and wifi assist is only 23 mb

the big drain that i was having was iCloud drive, but i am not sure. "documents and data" was the one that was being used the most.

you can't do an iCloud backup or upload photos to iCloud over cellular.

i turned off documents and data over cellular ( its in iCloud drive settings ) and its much better now

of the 8 gigs, the only data t-mobile has counted is 1.088 gb


consider finding out when your month starts, and remind yourself to reset cellular usage on that day and make a habit of it
 

I7guy

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Nov 30, 2013
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I understand you are upset but consider a few things:

  • Apple gains nothing by you using your cellular data so to claim its bogus, a scam or "hidden" by Apple deep in settings is uncalled for.
  • WiFi assist is a feature that allows iOS to use cellular data if your WiFi signal is very poor but hasn't disconnected. It uses cellular data until the signal improves. This is by design and not a bug.
  • WiFi assist is a feature of iOS 9 and is turned on by default. You can't escape this feature regardless of what iPhone you have as long as it is on iOS 9.
Turn off WiFi assist and that will solve your data consumption issue.

Out of curiosity what were you doing to consume that much data? streaming a movie?
Wifi assist only moves the bar for when cellular kicks in. It used to be in iOS 8 and earlier this was done automatically if you had a bad wifi signal. Now you get a modicum of control.
 

CrashX

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Apr 13, 2012
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Thanks for the replies. I wasn't doing anything - the phone was resting beside my bed. I'll be watching it today to see what happens - but I believe I turned on iCloud backup for the first time. And whether Apple has any ill intent, it's not helpful that the option to disable cellular data is at the very bottom, scrolling all the way down to turn it off. I've turned iCloud cellular backup off now and we'll see what she does today.

But in my lowly opinion, ALL cellular data usage should be accessible via the (duh...) Cellular options setting - not interspersed throughout other settings. Particularly when LTE is so fast and can just consume massive amounts of data.

Anyway, my phone was resting next to my bed. I received a message from AT&T, then another, then another - I was like "WTF?" In less than THIRTY SECONDS, my iPhone had consumed 450MB of data. My plan was for 300MB, so the text alerts were warnings for 90%, 100%, and the data overage charge. Thankfully the rep at AT&T just bumped me up to a 2GB plan for the month to cover that. But then later, before I turned off iCloud, it just bum-rushed through another 500MBs.

Thanks for everyone's advice and again allowing me to vent. If at the end of the day my phone has chewed through a terabyte of cellular data, both Apple and AT&T can shove this SE where the sun don't shine. I'm not paying for whatever glitch or hidden "feature" might be eating data like that.

If you run across this thread having experienced the same issue - make certain you turn off all of Apple's fun little hidden special features. I'll report back here to see if turning off WiFi assist and iCloud backup over cellular has fixed the issue. Obviously App Store, iTunes, Youtube, Netflix, Amazon, music apps, etc. were already restricted from using cellular on my phone.

Thanks again. And whether they get kickback or not, it was very naughty of Apple to hide these stupid cellular-eating "features" and they should stop. I don't own a jacked up Android - my iPhone should have ALL cellular data usage options under the CELLULAR setting. Geezus...
 

t0mat0

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Settings, General, Background App Refresh - is it turned on, and if so what apps?
Settings, iTunes & App Store - Use Mobile Data switch on for automatic downloads?
If you just got it, maybe syncing Mail also could use data.
 
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CrashX

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Settings, General, Background App Refresh - is it turned on, and if so what apps?
It's on -
Battery
Dark Sky
DataMan
Day One
Docs
Google Maps
News
Weather

Thanks for the advice. What should or should not be turned on? I thought that just used the battery - it eats cellular data also?

The vast majority of us are on limited data plans. It's really unconscionable that Apple just turns on stuff that eats cellular data and appears to be "hiding it" all over the place. I can't believe the iCloud bit - I had to scroll all the way to the bottom and only found it thanks to a thread here at MacRumors about these issues.

Thanks again.

Oh - to try to find the culprit, I scrolled ALL THE WAY DOWN (again) under CELLULAR to System Services which had burned through 939MB in an hour last night. Clicking into that showed me that General used 928MB.

I apparently need to find this General and ask him to stop using my cellular data. But he's a General, so... okay, not funny, but trying to be light about this madness. Thanks again.
 
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t0mat0

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Background App Refresh:
Allow apps to refresh their content when on Wi-Fi or a mobile network in the background"
I'm not too sure as to if there's a switch that stop the phone not using mobile at all for Background App Refresh -
You might have to use the mobile data setting per app?

If you look at your figures in
Settings , Mobile Data, and the Use Mobile Data for list (if you've got it turned on) this will show any usage for all apps including system apps. At least then you can see how your list above is using mobile data. What should be turned on form that list? Well if you use dark sky for the 5 min rain warnings etc, it'd need the background refresh for that.
 

CrashX

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Thanks again. Sorry, I just updated my post - none of my normal apps are using any large amount of data. Here's what I found:

...I scrolled ALL THE WAY DOWN (again) under CELLULAR to System Services which had burned through 939MB in an hour last night. Clicking into that showed me that General used 928MB.

Which basically told me nothing at all about what's actually going on. Thanks again.

Background App Refresh:
Allow apps to refresh their content when on Wi-Fi or a mobile network in the background"
I'm not too sure as to if there's a switch that stop the phone not using mobile at all for Background App Refresh -
You might have to use the mobile data setting per app?

If you look at your figures in
Settings , Mobile Data, and the Use Mobile Data for list (if you've got it turned on) this will show any usage for all apps including system apps. At least then you can see how your list above is using mobile data. What should be turned on form that list? Well if you use dark sky for the 5 min rain warnings etc, it'd need the background refresh for that.
[doublepost=1460049634][/doublepost]
Did you do a restore from iCloud by any chance?
No, restored from my old phone directly from my Mac. Thanks. Using the cable.
 
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oMc

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but I believe I turned on iCloud backup for the first time. And whether Apple has any ill intent, it's not helpful that the option to disable cellular data is at the very bottom, scrolling all the way down to turn it off. I've turned iCloud cellular backup off now and we'll see what she does today.
Screenshot please?

Because, as said above by rigormortis,

you can't do an iCloud backup or upload photos to iCloud over cellular.
A with a quick search under my settings I found nothing under cellular data related to iCloud except iCloud Drive which is not related to backups.
 
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t0mat0

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Aug 29, 2006
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You using WhatsApp?
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7245223?tstart=0
What app on this thread using iCloud drive backup, but would show under Services General

Things like that, spotify, might be the culprit, but not showing data usage under their app name in the data usage list.
Each indie app can have background refresh and mobile data turned off - maybe resetting your data usage figures, then turning pretty much everything off background app refresh and mobile data, then going from there?
 

CrashX

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Screenshot please?

Because, as said above by rigormortis,



A with a quick search under my settings I found nothing under cellular data related to iCloud except iCloud Drive which is not related to backups.
That's because it's hidden at the bottom of iCloud settings, not under Cellular - "use Cellular data for backup" or whatnot. Sorry, about to eat lunch real quick. Just wanted to get back to everyone before that.

I believe possibly my WiFi modem reset itself (no clue - I don't think so really) -

But I believe the culprit was iCloud cellular data backup because the numbers match most closely. Why it used cellular rather than WiFi I don't know. But it's definitely a "feature", hidden at the very bottom, scrolling all the way down.

Also Tomato, I read the bit about WhatsApp and turned it off also. Thanks again to everyone. It might be 20 minutes or so before I can respond again. Thanks so much!

Also, so far so good today - keeping my fingers crossed.
 

oMc

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That's because it's hidden at the bottom of iCloud settings, not under Cellular - "use Cellular data for backup" or whatnot. Sorry, about to eat lunch real quick. Just wanted to get back to everyone before that.
I don't have this option. Which version of iOS are you using?



 

CrashX

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iOS 9.3.1 - It's under iCloud > iCloud Drive. Scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll see the option that's on by default to "Use Cellular Data". I can't get MR to post the screenshot within the post - here's a link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8ud5rh4b5u5xl9s/IMG_1109.PNG?dl=0

I believe that's what ate up my cellular data, but not sure. Again, so far so good today.

I don't have this option. Which version of iOS are you using?
 

Armen

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Apr 30, 2013
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But I believe the culprit was iCloud cellular data backup because the numbers match most closely. Why it used cellular rather than WiFi I don't know. But it's definitely a "feature", hidden at the very bottom, scrolling all the way down..
It used cellular for backup because you had WiFi Assist enabled and your home WiFi at the time sucked. It's not a mystery.
 
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oMc

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iOS 9.3.1 - It's under iCloud > iCloud Drive. Scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll see the option that's on by default to "Use Cellular Data". I can't get MR to post the screenshot within the post - here's a link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8ud5rh4b5u5xl9s/IMG_1109.PNG?dl=0

I believe that's what ate up my cellular data, but not sure. Again, so far so good today.
Ok, yes I have it. But it's not for iCloud Backup, it's for iCloud Drive. Not the same thing at all. And btw it's alo under settings > cellular data (screenshot, and you can see how much data was used), but it seems like you can precisely select which app you want under iCloud settings. Mine is always ON, I don't care, unlimited data here.



You simply can't use cellular for backups as it usually eat large amount of data, ~1Go for an iPhone backup for example.

But it doesn't solve your issue.
 

CrashX

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It used cellular for backup because you had WiFi Assist enabled and your home WiFi at the time sucked. It's not a mystery.
Hey Armen - nope, it's still a mystery - I already tried out a 6S, which I returned because I thought it was too big - so I turned off WiFi Assist immediately on the SE. I was aware of that "feature".

I believe that the new option to use Cellular data for iCloud is possibly the latest twist on Apple's helpful new "features" to burn through cellular data. It seems to have been the culprit, as no cellular burn since I found it and turned it off. [But not sure now - see below.]

I truly don't even get the point of "WiFi Assist" being automatically enabled. Who has such a horrible WiFi connection that Cellular is better? Something seems naughty here because, prior to the LTE burn (500MB in less than a minute), there was no such option. Seems nefarious to me. Anyway, there's a class action - hopefully Apple will get burned for it and stop with that nonsense.
[doublepost=1460053669][/doublepost]
Ok, yes I have it. But it's not for iCloud Backup, it's for iCloud Drive. Not the same thing at all. And btw it's alo under settings > cellular data (screenshot, and you can see how much data was used), but it seems like you can precisely select which app you want under iCloud settings. Mine is always ON, I don't care, unlimited data here.

You simply can't use cellular for backups as it usually eat large amount of data, ~1Go for an iPhone backup for example.

But it doesn't solve your issue.
Thanks oMc - I checked that out on mine and iCloud has only use 7.9kb - so the mystery remains.

What did General do in a minute with 500MB, then repeat again with another 500MB?

I have Cellular turned back on today and still no signs of mass usage like that. The only change I made was to turn off the bit about using WiFi for iCloud backup, hidden at the bottom of iCloud drive.

Anyway, hopefully it'll just remain chilled out. I don't have unlimited data, so hopefully whatever madness happened is over with now.
 
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oMc

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Oct 17, 2010
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Who has such a horrible WiFi connection that Cellular is better?
Well, me :p Look at my screenshots, wifi is always at 2 bars, sometimes one. Wifi is really bad in my current flat. So, sometimes, wifi assist is useful, especially with LTE/4G which is way faster than most wifi connections.

Sadly, cellular data is also bad in my flat, from one to four dots (again, screenshots) totally randomly. And of course, the battery of my iPhone is suffering because of this. Fortunately, I am moving away from this flat soon.
 

CrashX

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Original poster
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Well, me :p Look at my screenshots, wifi is always at 2 bars, sometimes one. Wifi is really bad in my current flat. So, sometimes, wifi assist is useful, especially with LTE/4G which is way faster than most wifi connections.

Sadly, cellular data is also bad in my flat, from one to four dots (again, screenshots) totally randomly. And of course, the battery of my iPhone is suffering because of this. Fortunately, I am moving away from this flat soon.
Well that sucks. I'm in rural America where all we can get is 5Mbps. I'm really not into iPhones and cellular - didn't realize LTE was so fast. Well not until it ripped through 500MBs in a minute.

But I think Apple will lose the lawsuit over automatically enabling it - either that or just pay off the lawyers running the suit. America - Land of the Free Gullible Slaves for the Corporations... Sorry, not meaning to get political.

I still have two weeks to return this SE - so I'll have some time away from my WiFi here to see what the phone does. But if it goes back to ripping through data like mad, I'll just return it and find a refurb 4.

But hopefully it was just me turning on iCloud for the first time, having iCloud enabled to use WiFi - and that's how the phone went ballistic. Still a mystery...
 

Armen

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Apr 30, 2013
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I believe that the new option to use Cellular data for iCloud is possibly the latest twist on Apple's helpful new "features" to burn through cellular data
If you disable Cellular access to iCloud drive you will NOT be able to save any documents to iCloud drive unless you are on WiFi. It would make zero sense for Apple to disable this by default.
[doublepost=1460055437][/doublepost]
America - Land of the Free Gullible Slaves for the Corporations...
I didn't want to say it but I'm going to now. If you CAN'T afford a proper data plan maybe you shouldn't own an smart phone?

You sound like one of those guys who complains that a BMW's oil change costs $140.00 and how it's highway robbery.

I pay $132.00/month for 3 iPhones and 11GB data plan. I will never have your problem.
 
First off Wi-Fi Assist is not a scam it is a tool handy when you are on business and you need to send an email while moving in an elevator and leave the bounds of a wireless signal.

Second
All of your cellular data records are found under Settings > Cellular You just have to go to the bottom and you'll see System Services, this includes your backups and such and will help you figure out what is eating your data plan.
 
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Mlrollin91

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Nov 20, 2008
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Anyway, my phone was resting next to my bed. I received a message from AT&T, then another, then another - I was like "WTF?" In less than THIRTY SECONDS, my iPhone had consumed 450MB of data. My plan was for 300MB, so the text alerts were warnings for 90%, 100%, and the data overage charge. Thankfully the rep at AT&T just bumped me up to a 2GB plan for the month to cover that. But then later, before I turned off iCloud, it just bum-rushed through another 500MBs.
Your phone used 450MB in 30 seconds? That is not possible, especially on AT&T network. That means you are receiving 120mbps.