Quick Fix for iOS 5.1.1 Battery Life Problems

May 17, 2012 - 32 Comments

iOS battery life

iOS updates can come with some unexpected surprises regarding battery life and iOS 5.1.1 isn’t much different. While there are a fair amount of reports of positive battery improvements not all of us were so lucky, the battery life on my iPad 3 absolutely tanked after updating to iOS 5.1.1.

After rebooting several times and trying a handful of troubleshooting solutions, I discovered this to be a fairly common issue with users who updated iOS through on-device OTA updates, though there doesn’t seem to be much explanation as to the cause. Fortunately the fix is simple, so if you have experienced a drop in device longevity after the 5.1.1 update try the solution below.

Before proceeding you should perform a quick manual back up through iCloud or iTunes just in case something goes wrong. This process resets all iOS device settings, meaning you will have to re-enter Wi-Fi passwords, auto-fill info, Apple ID, etc.

  1. Open “Settings” and tap on “General” then “Reset”, tap on “Reset All Settings”
  2. Enter the passcode if you have one set, then tap “Reset” to confirm the settings adjustment
  3. Reboot the device and set it up as new, reentering personalization data as necessary

Battery life should be immediately improved, though a comment left on Apple Discussion Boards suggests letting the iPhone/iPad/iPod touch drain down to 0% and then recharging for an hour or so past 100% before disconnecting from a power source is a good follow-up.

This worked wonders for my 3rd gen iPad and battery life is now back to the 10+ hours I had before the update. If you’re still having problems you can try some of our past tips on improving and maximizing battery life for iDevices.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. ThiefJobs says:

    I’ve been searching for a battery solution for quite some time. The size of complaints I have read is OUTRAGOUS & EXTREME. The solution I suggest is a RECALL for all iPhones with iOS 5.0 – 5.1.

  2. Shahi says:

    I’m using i4 with iOS custom 5.1.1 on 2.10.04 with Gevey Sim, Jailbroken untethered with redsn0w. I was having serious battery issue after restoring to custom 5.1.1. I did some searching for solution and the following helped –

    Settings>General>Date & Time>Turn ‘Set Automatically’ to OFF.

    Hope this helps, I now have usage 6hrs and standby 23 hrs. Ciao…. :)

    • dariuszman86 says:

      works just fine without any resets, backups or sth. @5.1.1 vanilla

      • Shahi says:

        Update: further to my previous post, I managed to get an original AT&T sim and cut it to micro size for my i4. Used redsn0w to deactivate the phone followed by activating with the micro sim via iTunes and charging for an hour past 100%.

        That’s all, and now I have even better battery life !! a full day mileage with moderate+ use. and 36-48 hrs mileage with normal/regular use.

        I have 24 hr data, 3G, location service and exchange email with iCloud push always ‘ON’, I have managed my notifications but basics are enabled though like weather, sbsettings, phone, messages, reminder, calender and mail ….. :D …. I’m happy now. Hope this helps. Ciao.

  3. Bogdan says:


  4. Andres says:

    Can reset all settings if I’m jailbroken ?

  5. Jeremy says:

    Ive had the 3GS for a few years and I haven’t noticed any difference in the battery until I updated it to 5.1.1. The update isn’t worth having.

  6. SlimSingh says:

    My battery life was terrible since i bought my 4s in March 2012. Since then, there has been 2 updates – 5.1 & 5.1.1. When I first had my phone, the battery would drop by 2% every minute, in STANDBY! When the 5.1 update arrived, there was no difference in battery life whatsoever. I’d only get about 4hrs 30mins usage time until my battery died! However, since 5.1.1 arrived, I’m averaging 7hrs 30mins usage time! That’s a significant increase even though I’m using my iPhone in the same way as I was before this update!

  7. Markus says:

    Very quick and simple fix ! Worked great thanks!:)

  8. RBG says:

    i just did a reset on my iphone 4s last night. nothing has changed for me.I have only had the phone about 2 months and it’s worse than my 3g. with the 3g i could have left my house for 24 hours on a full charge and my battery would still be above 20%. with this i can’t leave my house without a charger. I’m wondering if i can take it back to the apple store.

  9. Jeroen S says:

    Same here, ever since my phone is upgraded to 5.1.1, battery life has decreased dramatically (!).
    I used to charge it once every 3 days, but have to charge twice a day now…

    Resetting didn’t help. I even tried the full reset, cleared the entire phone. The worst part is, I can’t even find an article in which Apple confirms it… but maybe I looked in the wrong place…

  10. Psychic.Surgeon says:

    I tried resetting my iphone 4.

    Doesnt work for me. Everything’s still the same.

  11. boro_boy_80 says:

    The update turned my friends bluetooth on and it didn’t show up on the status only in the settings menu. This is what was draining his battery

  12. Michel says:

    This did the trick to my iPhone 4. Reset the settings, but keeping everything else in place works well. It took me minutes to reset a few settings (like sounds and other minor things). You do it on the go.

    But battery life improved a lot.

    I do wonder what has changed. Location services or exchange settings? Who knows. But it works well, with no sweat.

  13. DEM says:

    If it’s not one thing, it’s another it seems with doing something as simple as applying a minor update. Can’t Apple get anything right?

    I came to the Promised Land after 20+ years with Windows, and after having worked with Macs, Mac servers, i-devices, etc., I’m not experiencing the “It Just Works” philosophy thats been shoved down everyones throat.

    Sure, Apple stuff sounds cool, until you have to actually use and maintain it!

    Using my iPad1 the other night, I was surprised how bright and clear and white the LCD is compared to my “new iPad”. A billion pixels are better, I suppose, except I can’t seem to get the darn thing bright enough!

    • Uh Huh says:

      You are right…it all went downhill after the intel chips and the ability to dual boot with Windows. See, Windows screws EVERYTHING.

  14. Darrel says:

    So after reset we should not restore backup? how about the music and video? it will be deleted after reset? so if no need to restore backup and videos photos deleted. how can it be restored without restoring

  15. Dave says:

    I have found that deleting the Exchange connector and re-adding it is a possible quick fix.

    If users notice additional warmth and a battery life of less than 5 hours

    I had this here twice after updates and both time seemed to cure the ailment.

    • John says:

      I am sorry for the question that I am about to make but what do you mean when you refer to deleting the Exchange Connector? What is that and where is that option? Thanks a lot friend.

  16. crsmejia says:

    Phew good thing I didn’t install this update. I didin’t see a reason to install at all since I don’t have an iPad, which seems to be what the this update is targeted for.

  17. NotTellinYou says:


    You need to explain to people EXACTLY what reset all does. Wht they can expect. This is a poorly written article.

  18. Randy says:

    Hey unrelated but I think this was just added to OS 5.1.1 or 5.1 but you can now reset your Home Screen icon layout! It’s under the Reset screen. Keyboard Dictionary and Location Warnings are also new in there too, don’t remember seeing those before!

  19. jesschg says:

    I also got the same problem for my iPhone 4s, however, I figured it out that the location service always locating me, so the battery keeping on draining so fast.

    My solution is just turn off the location service, reboot it and turn it on again. But not sure this is the real fix or not.

  20. Michael says:

    The comments here are silly. Resetting all settings and setting up your device only takes about 3 minutes, and setting up as new doesn’t do anything different, just makes sure you don’t restore from a backup.

  21. John says:

    Simple and quick? Why even bother with the “quick manual backup” if you have to setup the device as new? This is only simple and quick if you haven’t customized iOS and app settings, synced a large music and video library, arranged screen and folder layouts, etc.

    • BT says:

      It only resets the settings, it doesn’t delete video or music. But yes nothing quick about backups.

  22. Phil says:

    I know I will speak for many when I say that there’s nothing “quick” about setting-up an iPhone as new.


  23. Fredrik says:

    Not so sure I would consider a reset “quick” but it is easy enough. I will try it when I get home on my iPhone 4.

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