How to lessen iOS5’s battery drain

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Be sure to make a full device backup before you begin.

1. turn off automatic Time Zone and all other unnecessary system location services

2. turn off icloud services you don’t actually need.

3. or if you need them, toggle them off, and then back on again.

Read on for more details.

Location services

Surely by now everyone is aware that one of the prime suspects is the automatic Time Zone setting (Settings>Location Services>System Services>Setting Time Zone). To me the setting had always made me feel conscious because I’d chosen to show the location icon on the status bar…and it stayed on at all times because of the setting. So I turned the setting off in no time since I don’t travel much anyway so its convenience was not justifiable at the cost of battery life, no matter how much. While I was at it I turned off Diagnostics & Usage and Location-based iAds. It just so happens that this is now being suspected as the cause of the battery drain and is being investigated by Apple themselves.

While i was not able to experience this battery drain myself (thankfully) because I turned it off waaay when I was still on ios5 beta, I have had some real improvements by optimising my iCloud settings.

I myself own an iPod Touch and an iPad2 so it would appear that it’d be in my interest to use all of iCloud’s offerings. Conversely if you only own one iDevice, then you should be switching off most of your iCloud services like in the screenshot above, leaving only the essentials.


In the beginning, I had all iCloud services switched on. And my battery life was draining at an all time high on idle. So what I did was to first do a full backup- this is important especially considering the quirks that plague iCloud1.0. Then, I went into iCloud settings and toggled each one from on to off and then back on again. Don’t do this too fast as some of them need a few seconds to deactivate and activate. From then on my severe battery drain was cured.

But battery life was still not lon par with iOS4 so I further disabled services that I didn’t need. In essence, I didn’t really need anything to be synched across my devices so I switched off everything until I was left with the bare minimum. In the end, I had Mail, Reminders, Find my iPod and iCloud backup. And I was back in battery life heaven… relatively speaking anyway.

Just a word on those ‘bare minimum’ iCloud services:

Mail: that depends on you actually. i wanted to keep my [username] running separately from my primary account. so if you don’t need this, switch it off.

Calendar, Contacts: I already sync with Google so synching them here might have caused some serious duplication. Otherwise if you just have a local calendar and contact list then it can be excluded.

Reminders: this is an important one, regardless of whether you want it across all your devices or not. This is compulsory if you simply want to be ABLE to use Reminders. If you disable it here, you will not be able to add new entries to Reminders! Strange I know..

Find my iPod: this one will help you locate your device if you happen to misplace it/have it stolen. You can also make the device bleep and send a message to your device remotely on This setting must stay on.

iCloud backup: supposedly takes an image of your device once a day and sends it to iCloud. Most useful if say your primary iTunes library PC suddenly dies one day and you just so happen to need to do a restore of your device. Doesn’t seem to drain battery so..

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