Is iOS 11 murdering standby battery life?

iOS 11 battery life
iOS 11: a secret battery drinker?

Has your iPhone/iPad battery life significantly worsened since the upgrade to iOS 11? If so, it would appear you’re not alone.

After almost every major update to Apple’s operating system, people immediately report that device battery life has suffered.  This is normally because an upgrade to the next major version of the OS requires the device to rebuild its search index (in other words, relocate all the files on the device so you can find them with search). This process runs in the background, taking a chunk out of your battery life for a few days before things eventually settle down.

This time around, however, things don’t appear to be settling.

I went to bed on Saturday night with my iPad Air’s battery life teetering at around 15%. I forgot to put it on charge overnight, but would normally still expect it to be only a percentage point or two down in the morning. Instead, the device was stone dead, requiring defibrillation from the mains. That was more than a week after the upgrade to iOS 11, more than enough time for the iPad to rebuild the search index.

Others are reporting similar problems, such as Ewen Rankin from the British Tech Network podcasts:

iOS 11 battery life: stuck process?

One possible cause of this problem could be something going awry with the search re-indexing. As Ian Nock points out on Twitter, the process can become corrupted, leading to the indexer getting stuck on a process and bleeding away battery life in the background.

Interestingly, since my iPad Air died completely on Saturday night, effectively forcing a hard reboot of the iPad, the battery life problem appears to have gone away. I left it on 97% charged last night and it’s on 95% this morning.

If you’re still suffering from post iOS 11 battery blues, fully powering the device down (by holding down the power button and flicking the on-screen power switch) and back on again might sort it out. Or, in other words:

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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