"System Services" has eaten almost half my data

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by applefan289, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    I am on the 200 MB plan with AT&T. I last reset my cellular statistics on April 9. Since then, it says that for my current period, I have used 65.1 MB. I have turned off many apps for them not to use cellular data. The only apps that have used data since April 9 are Mail (13.7 MB), Safari (21.4 MB), Stocks (1.7 KB), and Weather (27.6 KB). "System Services" at the bottom of the list, however, has used 30 MB! When I tap System Services I see a long list of items that have used data such as "Messaging Services", "Software Updates, "iTunes Accounts", "DNS Services", etc. In the System Services settings in Privacy, all but 3 settings have been turned off.

    I would just like to know why "System Services" uses so much data. I do not want to upgrade my data plan as I really don't use that much data.

  2. Kyotoma macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2010
    Carnegie and Ontario
    For one, I commend you on your very frugal use of cellular data.

    In six weeks since I have reset my Data counter on my phone, I have used 190 MB of data in system services alone.

    The privacy settings only let you toggle when the system can access location services, not completely block the function of each system service entirely.

    As stated previously, system services will use cellular data when WiFi is not available for that particular time. This includes when the systems request an update for messaging, email, location, accesses iTunes or the AppStore, synchronizes the time to the Greenwich Meridian Time, accesses your voicemail, etc.
  3. applefan289 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    I'm surprised it would access iTunes/AppStore, considering I have those apps turned off in cellular data. It seems that even if I turn off all apps and settings that may use cellular data, just leaving the "cellular data" option on racks up an alarming amount of data in System Services.

    Do you think a future iOS update could change this?
  4. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    This is not an "alarming amount of data" to most.

    It will be very hard to use an iPhone with your kind of data restrictions.
  5. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2011
    So in reality, you're using about 2MB per day in data for System Services (15 days, 30MB)

    Each time someone sends you an iMessage, especially if there are photos/images involved, you'll eat data. I think voicemail eats data too. Likewise when you pull down the Notification Center - GPS kicks in, the weather updates, etc.

    2MB per day isn't a whole lot if the phone is turned on all day. I agree with the above posters - I don't even think carriers should offer 200MB plans - 500MB maybe. But your phone needs to communicate to operate. 2MB x 31 days a month would be 65MB used for the phone, leaving you only 135MB or so for your own use...
  6. barkomatic macrumors 601

    Aug 8, 2008
    You're going to need to upgrade your data plan OP. 30MB for system services is quite reasonable actually.
  7. eclipse01 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2011
    Eau Claire, WI
  8. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Just to add some numbers to the conversation for context, I did the math since my last reset. (45 days ago)

    It looks like my system services uses about 7 MB per day.

    (And I subtracted out hotspot usage before getting that number, since we're talking about automatic processes.)
  9. Jalopybox macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2012
    Come on, pony up and get some real data. 200mb is a joke and you are asking to go over this amount with a smartphone. Is turning off all of the data and stressing about going over worth a few bucks a month? :eek:
  10. hharzer macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2013
    I encountered that problem too.

    It's quite annoying, actually. Not everyone needs to send or receive huge amounts of data via phone. I, for one, use my tablets for data - mostly. So I do not need much data, my current plan only includes 300MB.

    It's enough for sporadic internet use, WhatsApp use, Mail use etc...

    I also use my phone as navigation system, for public transit informations, Filofax, MP3 client, Twitter etc. etc.

    And I hardly see the 300MB mark. Additionally, I have Wifi available at almost all places I frequently visit, e.g. uni, friends, etc.

    It's more than enough for most people, don't see your point as the only possible. Your opinion is not universal ;)

    Any android / windows / blackberry phone uses less data for services.

    I hope Apple fixes that, I don't see why Apple should even do that.

    Best regards.
  11. wesk702 macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2007
    The hood
    Not to be a jerk, but have you considered the possibility that you can't afford an iphone?
  12. oVerboost macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2013
    United Kingdom
    The minimum any data plan should be is 1GB with a smartphone, 200MB is no where near enough as system services will use data, it's the nature of the software. You could switch cellular data off, and just use wifi unless it's an emergency? Either way, as others have already said get a higher data plan or a less data hungry phone it has to be a compromise somewhere, pay a little more for some data plan that's actually semi worth having, or downgrade to a phone that doesn't need data.
  13. jsnuff1 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2003
  14. hharzer macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2013
    Did you ever consider that it's not about money?

    I don't see why I should be forced to use a bigger data plan simply because Apple isn't able to build software that doesn't consume tons of data.

    Why's there no switch? Or something similar ? I used a similar data plan when iOS 6 was around, and back then, data wasn't a problem. The system is single most important part of my data usage now. That's ridiculous.

    I don't want to change my habits due to a software update. Just because you're using more data than others and thus didn't notice this increase - be assured, others, like myself, did notice it.

    I do not like having things that I do not need, got example services, tools etc. Why should I want something that has absolute no use? And exactly that's why I'd never upgrade my plan. It's not about money, it's about what I need. And I certainly don't need an OS that eats my data.
  15. iOS7.1 macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2014
    In all honesty, I think 200 mb of data is quite adequate . It is mainly dependent on how often you can be on wifi.

    I have had my iPhone exactly one month to the day & I have used exactly 65.1 mb of data. Granted, I am on wifi where I work, the gym, my daily coffee place, friends' homes, my home, a few restaurants I frequent and even where I get my hair cut .

    It can be done, it's just a matter of where & how often that free wifi can be utilized.
  16. I7guy macrumors Core


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    It's the cost if today's technology environment. In the same way 56kb, which back in the day was fast, is not adequate today. 200mb is nothing, I blow through that in 10 minutes on my home computer. So far this period I've used 3 gig. I'm only on wifi at home data everywhere else. It doesn't help that carriers charge for data like oil companies for petrol.
  17. barjam macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2010
    Apple hardware is positioned as a premium product. It is like you are on the Ferrari boards complaining about the gas mileage of your Ferrari.

    Most people would not want apple wasting expensive development time to save a few mb here and there for the tiny fraction of folks who buy a smartphone but yet somehow do not intend to use it for its intended purpose.

    iPhone just isn't for you.
  18. I7guy macrumors Core


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    You need to break it down. Messaging services should be iMessage, you can disable in restrictions when on cellular usage.

    DNS you are stuck and it may be that apple needs that amount of usage to run your phone based on the internet protocol. My DNS service us at 60 Mb.

    iTunes can be disabled for cellular usage in the iTunes and App Store item.
  19. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Well you have a 200mb plan.
    What do you expect to really do with such low amount of data in a month besides paying for overages when you use it all up.
  20. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
    It's great to see all the fantastic and quality responses so far.
    In fact, OP posted this thread exactly to get people to tell him how he shouldn't be an iPhone owner, how poor he is, and how he should change his own data plan.
    These are the threads that display the vast attitude of Macrumors users to help one another, by sharing detailed information carefully aimed at the question at hand.

    Thank you all. And OP, you are lucky to have asked for help here. Remember about this next time.
  21. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    200mb is absolutely a pathetic amount of data for using a smartphone.

    You can either:
    - pay for a more expensive data plan
    - just turn cellular data off entirely and use Wifi
    - switch to Tmobile or something. They give out 1GB for $50 and don't have overages.

    If you can't afford an iPhone with a decent data package then you should consider other options.
  22. I7guy macrumors Core


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    It's not like a car, if you commute an insane number if miles there are alternatives, such as hybrids.

    As I said before, an internet connection requires some amount of bandwidth, can't squeeze water from a stone.

    Only option is never to turn on cellular connection.
  23. jr866gooner macrumors 65816


    Aug 24, 2013
    My sys services has used 50mb of data! I'm not too concerned because a) I'm on a 512mb plan and b) everywhere I go I get wifi wether it be home work in laws or parents so I only use data little when out (which isn't much lol)
  24. Retired Cat macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2013

    Agree completely. Many of the responses here have been very rude.

    I experienced the same issue last year, so I got myself into the habit of turning off mobile data whenever I didn't need it. For some reason my phantom data use has gone down though. I'm not sure if I turned off some hungry services or if updates to iOS helped.
  25. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2011
    200 mb is enough depending on usage. For example, in the 2-plus years I have had an iPhone I have only gone over that amount 3 times, and they were each under unusual circumstances. The first time was on vacation with no wifi. The second was in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy being without power. The third time was during the past Olympics, not realizing that streaming live content used so much data (600 mb in 30 minutes). Every other month I've been under 200 mb. It can be done, just depends on your usage.

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