Does switching off iCloud backup really help battery life?


himynameiscody

macrumors 6502a
Oct 9, 2011
764
0
who knows...apparently it only works while on charger....but i just keep it off...back up contacts every so often with it manually. i normally just back up with itunes
 

thatoneguy82

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,891
2
Beach Cities, CA
It's a theory I've been testing. And I think it's true, maybe. There are certain times where the phone and usage times are equivalent and I suspect this is because of the backup doing something in the background. Turning it off, slows down everything and actually shows the real standby time. Plus, I don't really plan on restoring from iCloud, so it remains off.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
19,397
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Tested it out today and so far at work

have only lost 15% over a 5 hour period where i have no 3G coverage so it is always searching for a connection.

had 9 e-mails
checked twitter a few times
had a few ESPN notifications
a few texts
5-10 minutes on real racing 2 which took about 5%

normally through as 12 hour shift at work i lose about 40% or around that...so so far i think turning off icloud back-up has helped my battery.
 

bp1000

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2011
1,334
47
I don't see how that is possible,

iCloud backup only runs when connected to wifi and connected to the charger.

Did you disable iCloud completely, as in all push for contacts, cal, email, bookmarks etc...
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
19,397
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I don't see how that is possible,

iCloud backup only runs when connected to wifi and connected to the charger.

Did you disable iCloud completely, as in all push for contacts, cal, email, bookmarks etc...
Well my usage time is alot better and normally my usage time is alot higher as it is always doing something even when not in use..that is no longer the case now.

only the back-up is off...everything else is kept on in icloud.

this is the only changes I have made and have seen a difference when at work with battery drain...so can't think of any other reason for the improvement.
 
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Bootleg2go

macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2011
25
0
I think you hit the nail on the head!
This seems to be the cause of huge cell data usage as well..,.. probably all that cell data usage is draining the battery.

Before getting my 4s AT&T data usage averaged between 350MB to 500MB per month. This was without any kind of push/fetch email content or other background stuff and wifi disabled 100% of the time.
Typical usage was web based email, surfing and about 300 mintues of phone time per month, no streaming or video (sometimes I would update or download an app if it were small enough for loading by cell.

When I got my 4s, I kept all the pushing /fetching shut off on evertything and enabled wifi, I did have the icloud enabled for the findmy iphone and for backing up contacts and calendar. oh, I also had disabled the ping and all the system services in the locations menu.
My billing cycle begins on the 2nd of the month, on the Nov 10 I checked my usage on AT&T and it was 995MB with only 7 days usage using wifi 100% of the time as I work from home and didn't surf or use data the few times the house. This is like an 8X increase in data at the same time I started using wifi. Data should have gone down from my monthly average as I went changed over to wifi.
In fact in a couple of 12 hour periods it reported nearly 100MB data.

During this time I didn't consider my battery usage as being too bad as it would drain at about a rate 16-20% before updating to 5.01 and then a little better at ~14-16% per hour after 5.01 (these percentages are while using the phone, not standby) in standby maybe a percent every 3 hours. At night the phone is plugged in charging.

After seeing this huge data use, I disabled all icloud backup as well as changed. Since I've done this the data usage (since I'm on wifi) has been less than 500k / day and battery lasted longer too.
The past 2 days I've also shut off all cellular data (since I'm home on wifi) and in this time cell data usage is zero as it should be, what surprised me was that for the past two days, the battery has averaged a 10% drop for every hour of usage (not standby).

I do think there is a bug in how icloud uses data and how often it backs up or some other bug that is allowing huge amounts of data to get sent somewhere.
Oh, in case anyone asks, I always delete the background tasks so none of them stay running or suspended.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
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^ Glad you noticed it too

For me the big issue was my usage time kept building up even though i wasn't using the phone..now it doesn't at all and that is what kills the battery along with searching for a 3G connection...thats the big thing for me at work where there is no 3G coverage at all. Now i still have 55% left so in over 6 hours thats just 20% lost which is very good considering where I am and what I have used the phone for while being on edge.

Something was making my iphone drain while in standby and icloud back-up seems to be the only logical reason.
 

Bootleg2go

macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2011
25
0
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

All my backups for iCloud are disabled, but the find my iPhone is still turned on.
It might not be a backup Perse that's causing all the data usage as my calender and contacts list was pretty small, it would need to be stuck insome of continous backup loop to use over 100mb per day
 

thatoneguy82

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,891
2
Beach Cities, CA
As I said earlier, turning off iCloud Back Up fixed the draining of my battery in the "standby=usage" mode. It wasn't a coincidence, I could do it back and forth to have the problem.

I know this is not by design. But, c'mon now guys really, isn't it POSSIBLE that there is some error that when the phone is in standby it's backing up data endlessly? As far as other iCloud services, those are negligible since they are used on as needed basis and plus Apple has got a handle on how to handle these kind of services already.

There's really no harm in turning it off. I don't ever plan on restoring from iCloud, just from iTunes. So, now I have a pretty good battery life because of that. And all of this was applicable on 5.0 and 5.0.1
 

Primejimbo

macrumors 68040
Aug 10, 2008
3,294
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Well my usage time is alot better and normally my usage time is alot higher as it is always doing something even when not in use..that is no longer the case now.

only the back-up is off...everything else is kept on in icloud.

this is the only changes I have made and have seen a difference when at work with battery drain...so can't think of any other reason for the improvement.
I think you have to take an average over a few days. You can't just go off of one day. I have days where I use my phone a lot less than others, get less less emails, texts and so on. I also have days where I get a lot more of everything. Also you have the cell network to consider. So I would test a week with iCloud on then a week with it off to get a actuate test.
The iCloud back up even time stamps when it was, and every time I look it was during the night when I have it plugged in.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
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I think you have to take an average over a few days. You can't just go off of one day. I have days where I use my phone a lot less than others, get less less emails, texts and so on. I also have days where I get a lot more of everything. Also you have the cell network to consider. So I would test a week with iCloud on then a week with it off to get a actuate test.
The iCloud back up even time stamps when it was, and every time I look it was during the night when I have it plugged in.
You can if you see a suddenly difference, I've used the phone far more tonight than i did last time. My usage time is about right while before it said i was using the phone alot when iclearly wasn't. Hense my battery drain while on edge.

under wifi my battery is great but when at work it drained badly...but right now since turning off icloud back-up my usage is fine, it only moved when i got an e-mail or used the phone...hell even my gaming didn't use as much battery as it did before.

i lost 13% in over 40 minutes due to FIFA, while last time lost 28% in an hour on the same game.

I think there is some kind of bug in the icloud back-up system..there has to be.

I refuse to believe this is just some fluke.
 

thatoneguy82

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,891
2
Beach Cities, CA
I agree that this isn't just some fluke. I've already restarted until the cows come home and restored, so no point there. Turning this off was the only thing worked. Maybe it's device specific, who knows?! But, so far several people have reported this incident and is just a "singular" occurrence.

I really don't know why some of you find so hard to believe that there may be an error on Apple's side, not the user.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
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My final stats before charging with 7% left

5 hours, 45 minutes usage
1 day, 8 hours standby

and that was with bring on edge alot at work with basically no where near the amount of drain with icloud back-up on. So basically it wasn't that far off my usage when on wifi and 3G..Which is a real breakthrough.

also when i went to sleep for 8 hours, I only lost about 4% but recently the last few days i lost about 6-7%. Says it all to me right now.
 

bp1000

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2011
1,334
47
Just a thought

In settings > store

Do you have these options enabled and mobile data set to on in there.

Also documents in the iCloud settings can also be configured to use your mobile data.

Both of which can skyrocket data usage and kill the battery in only a few hours.
 

solo118

macrumors 65816
May 16, 2011
1,217
114
I only keep it on for "find my iphone"

I have 6 hours usage so I am OK with that considering what some people have posted up.
 

violence

macrumors member
Jul 8, 2010
36
0
I have purposely turned everything on iCloud on, compared to not having it on, and my battery life is about the same. Traveled down California and used Pandora for a couple of hours alongside a few texts and online searches and got about 24 hours out of a charge. I make sure to keep most push notifications off though. It's on manual so everytime I open my Mail app it will retrieve the messages.
Sprint iPhone 4
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
19,397
9,528
UK
Really have been amazed at the increased battery life since switching off icloud back-up.

currently at

5 hours usage
1 day standby

32% left

which has mainly been at work on edge while searching for a connection e.t.c..and hardly any usage when i sleep for 8 hours. It no longer drains like mad when at work.

cant quite believe the improvement.
 

gatsider

macrumors newbie
Jul 25, 2012
1
1
Disagree

Correct. Only time iCloud runs on battery is a forced backup. iCloud's not draining your battery. Placebo. Look elsewhere.
I have to disagree with you here. I've been running my iPhone with iCloud disabled since purchasing it. The battery has been good with with 6 to 8 hours of actual use and great standby time. Today at work I decided to turn on iCloud (not connected to a wireless network) and used it simply for the calender, contacts and reminders. Over a course of 3 hours, my battery drainage was about 5-7% on standby. This is with no background tasks running. Normally when I go to bed at night (iCloud disabled) and leave my phone on standby I usually have maximum 1% battery drainage by morning.

As much as I love the idea of iCloud I think it is running background tasks while enabled and not while connected to a wireless network.
 
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CubusX

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2009
280
1
iCloud is a major contributor to battery life issues

iCloud backups only take place when the iPhone is plugged into a power source and connected to wi-fi. This will not affect battery life due to the phone being plugged into the oulet.

iCloud's constant need to sync with the server while the phone is off the charger and in use or in your pocket is the major contributing issue. I experienced severe battery life issues since upgrading to 5.1.1 due to iCloud. I would average 9 hours of standby and 3 hours of light usage and be at 40% by 3 PM. That is ridiculous. After I turned off iCloud I am currently at 20 hours and 30 minutes standby with 2 hours and 30 minutes of usage with 73% battery life left. This is what battery life should be on a $300 device.

32GB iPhone 4
 
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