iPhone 3GS battery running out very quickly

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by slymer721, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. slymer721 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2010
    I have had my iPhone 3GS for a few months without any problems. All the sudden yesterday I charged the phone but after a few hours the battery had run out. I charged it again today and the same has happened again. I have tried to reset the phone but it is still doing the same thing. It seems to be running something because the back of the phone is warm as well.
    Anyone got any ideas on what might be draining the battery or what I can do to stop it?
  2. 0wnage macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2010
    Do a hard reset: Hold sleep / wake and hold the home button until it shuts off, keep holding it until the Apple logo appears.

    Also, make sure you close out of applications that you are multitasking.
  3. slymer721 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2010
    I have tried the reset but it still keeps running down and the phone is getting very warm. Would it be anything to do with it being upgraded to a different software version? I di wonder if it was an application running constantly but I can't see if one is. Is there any way of checking what is running on the phone?
  4. stevenbkelly macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2010
    Try using System Lite to troubleshoot

    I have been having the same problem recently (3Gs running iOS4, Version 4.1). Battery last for about 5 or 6 hours without even using it. I've corrected it but the problem has returned. This ugly issue first reared it's head for me after updating to iOS 4.0.1, after almost a year of no issues. If the hard reset doesn't work for you (and it sounds like you've tried that already), try my "solution" below.

    Have you tried using System Lite?
    This free app can at least determine if you are having process-related issues. Install the app and then click on the "process" tab at the bottom of your screen. Look out for the ReportCrash process. This process is part of the SDK that developers use to determine if the app they're developing has issues. If this process is present within the System Lite app and the number on the left keeps rising (every 10 seconds or so), it suggests one of your apps (or possibly part of the OS?) is having issues and is constantly stop/starting and reporting to ReportCrash.
    One thing I noticed recently is that the Maps app keeps appearing within the Running Applications section of System Lite's Processes page and then switching intermittently between there and Other Running Processes section. Unfortunately it is not possible to remove the in-built Maps app, so I cannot check if this is the culprit!

    Unfortunately I don't have a complete fix for this. (I fixed it twice for a period of several weeks, but the issue has returned, probably after downloading/updating apps from the app store.) This is the best I can do to help:
    Connect your phone to iTunes and do a backup. (If you're running windows, I suggest you also backup your photos and other data separately. I use MacBook so havent documented the Windows process). Go into the Apps section of iTunes, near the top of the menu on the left hand side of iTunes; (NOT the apps tab within your iPhone section of iTunes). Remove any unnecessary apps or free apps that you can easily reinstall later at no expense to yourself. From the apps tab within the iPhone section of iTunes, you can de-select the paid-for apps you want to keep and reinstall later.
    Then do a complete restore. When you get to the option of "a new phone" or "restoring from a previous backup" choose restore from the previous backup you made earlier.
    Another option is - if you are still within your warranty period - take the phone back to the "geniuses" at your local Apple Store and smash it off their stupid skulls (sorry, I meant ask for a refund!).
    Good luck mate!
    Edit: Update: Just resolved my problem again by removing almost all apps except Apple's default ones. This fixed the battery issue. I am now slowly working through reinstalling my third party apps and checking the battery level after each installation (a few apps at a time).
  5. stevenbkelly macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2010
    Update: Toodledo

    Just a quick update.
    I found the offending app that was causing me problems; it was Toodledo. This may not be the case for you, there seem to be so many problematic apps and updates that are slipping by Apple unnoticed these days. However, if you have Toodledo, try deleting that app first.
    Anyway, the process of removing almost all apps, except for the default Apple in-built apps, and then adding them back in gradually seems to do the trick for me.
    Good luck
  6. slymer721 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2010
    Wow thanks for that.

    It sounds exactly the same as your problem. It did right itself and then has done the same thing again. I tseemed to happen after connecting to my laptop and synching it. I might try reverting back to the original software before it got upgraded to 4.1. If that doesn't work I will get the app you suggested and see about sorting my apps out.

    Thanks again.
  7. stevenbkelly macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2010
    Delete apps from iTunes

    Glad I've been of some help at least.
    One thing firstly, you cannot retro-downgrade iPhone software, at least not without jailbreaking it or trying some kind of dodgy "fix". Some are happy to try that, personally, I like to keep my data intact and to myself, so it's not for me and I wouldn't recommend it.

    I think you're right to pinpoint the sync as being an issue. It appears that dodgy apps can rear their ugly heads when synching with iTunes, even if they are not selected to sync with your iphone, which is why I suggested deleting unwanted apps from iTunes apps menu. This seems to clear up the problem, although it can take some time to determine which apps are causing you issues.

    I have only had one recurrence since my last post. That was just after adding another To Do app called Remember The Milk. It seems that using more than one To Do app causes horrendous battery issues, but that may just be a coincidence. It could be the way that iOS works with multiple to do apps trying to access resources, or it may be that my main To Do app, OmniFocus, just doesn't like sharing! Anyway, deleting "RTM" solved the battery problem again.
    Mainly conjecture really, but I'm happy that I now know how to deal with the problem.
    Good luck in keeping your battery running in future!
  8. mosesaro macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2009
    New York
    I feel your pain guys. I have the same problem. I wanted to change the battery actually because i thought the battery might not be able to hold a charge. I asked one of the websites that sells the batteries what could the problem be. they said it could be the system board.So ya im stuck with this issue too. If anybody else experienced this problem and swap batteries please post.

    Specs of iPhone if it matters
    Iphone 3Gs pwned 4.1 and unlocked.
  9. yac macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    I've had this issue myself, im on an iPhone 3G running 3.1.2.
    This used to happen frequently when i first got my phone, but since doing a procedure similar to that outlined above(reinstall) the problem was gone, until it happened today. The phone got warm and the battery dropped fast, almost ticking down as i looked. Tried cold reboot, didnt fix it. Problem went away by itself after a short while. Next time i will check running processes.

    Oddly, the iPod app likes to start itself up in the background, im not sure why. This happened even when there werent any songs on the device. It seems to happen more when running other apps which use audio such as ooTunes. Anyone else had this problem or have any ideas on the reason?

    I'd like to point out something regarding downgrades of iOS. On older hardware, such as the 3G, it's actually perfectly possible to downgrade the OS using just iTunes. This is because that particular model doesnt require the UDID-based firmware signatures that newer hardware requires for any upgrade/downgrade(called SHSH blobs by JB-aficionados).

    However, on a 3G, if you have at some point had a newer iOS on it, and through that upgraded your modem baseband, that part will not downgrade, and will give you an error at the end of the restore procedure in iTunes. At this point the device is actually successfully flashed with whatever version you chose to flash onto it(Hold option while pressing Restore) it's just the final procedure to kick the device out of recovery mode that doesnt get done when iTunes errors out. This is verified on iTunes 9.2 and 9.2.1, YMMV, especially on iTunes 10.

    So, you will need a 3rd party tool, but only to kick your device out of recovery(and no information is ever in jeopardy, provided you chose Restore in iTunes).

    On 3GS and newer hardware, its also possible to downgrade, but you will need a 3rd party tool which pretends to be Apple's servers, and you will need your signatures(easily obtainable whenever your iDevice was at the desired iOS version).

    Slightly OT, but at least i got a few on-topic bits in :D
  10. stevenbkelly macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2010

    No, it's very probably not a battery issue, so don't expect any joy there. The battery issue is intermittent but seems to depend on either synching with iTunes or downloading new apps or app updates directly from the Apple Store.

    Note: using the above methodology, I have corrected this issue 3 times now. It may recur in future, but I know how to deal with it.
    Currently, my iPhone battery is fine and after charging overnight, I come back from work and still have about 65% battery life remaining. When the issue was present, the phone would die at lunchtime!

    I bow to your superior knowledge/experience with the downgrade scenarios. Something I know nothing about. I'm sure you will be rewarded in a later life (if you happen to believe in kharma/reincarnation/transcendentalism, etc.).
    I don't, but good luck with that! :D

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