back to article Users complain iOS 14.2 causes some older iPhones to overheat, rapidly lose charge

Apple released iOS 14.2 last month, with a laundry list of 24 security updates some of which were being exploited in the wild, leading The Reg to urge users to patch ASAP. Those sensible souls who heeded the call, however, were gifted with 100 new emoji, dark-mode wallpapers, and, according to users of certain older devices, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since Apple practically force their users to upgrade every year or it to be expected that this sort of thing will happen on devices older than that?

    Either Apple didn't test properly on the older devices....or they know but don't care since it'll force people to buy the new shiny if they want a working phone again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Since Apple practically force their users to upgrade every year or two...

      What makes you think that?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      iPhone 7 user here

      Not noticed any battery issues.

    3. Jurassic Hermit

      Erm, with all due respect, that’s bollox imo.

      I have the following on 14.2:

      SE 2016


      6s Plus

      No difference to 14.1

      In fact iOS is improving all the time. I have very few, if any, problems with these phones compared to the decade of suffering under Android and Windows Phone. And my very reliable iPhones are half the price of the problematic Androids.

      There, fixed it for you. You’re welcome.

      1. Jim Mitchell

        It is possibly only some of the given devices. Apple may have varied components are the production life of the iPhone SE (2016), for example, and only some have this issue with iOS 14.2.

      2. Stumpy

        My iPhone 7+ has been doing this rapid battery draining malarkey on and off now for months, so it's definitely not something to do with the latest iOS14 update.

        It's intermittent so hard to pin down. I've had it drop from 70%+ charge to 3% in a matter of 15 minutes or so (with the phone not being used) ... then managed to have it continue to function on that last 3% charge for two or more hours.

        So it leads me to wonder if it's actually draining the battery, or if there's some glitch that's causing the phone to misreport the actual charge level instead?

      3. doublelayer Silver badge

        "Erm, with all due respect, that’s bollox imo."

        Ah. Is this going to be one of those "I don't have the problem, so there can't be a problem anywhere" opinions? Three devices. A wonderful sample size.

        "I have very few, if any, problems with these phones compared to the decade of suffering under Android and Windows Phone. And my very reliable iPhones are half the price of the problematic Androids."

        I wonder when you stopped using Android, as it's only been around for eleven years and your iPhones are five years old. Somehow getting Windows Phone in there and having it last a decade sounds hard. IOS devices get the benefit of longer security update lifespans. I've repeatedly praised them for that, but I really wonder what widespread Android issues you have had. Also why you purchased the really expensive Androids if you hate the OS so much; they have cheap ones too, which don't get security updates any longer but still.

        "There, fixed it for you. You’re welcome."

        No, you slapped on some praise for iPhones and nonspecific criticism of Android, which wasn't even mentioned in the article, without in any way pointing out a problem with any part of the article or comments.

      4. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

        Are you an Apple employee?


    4. jtaylor

      Since Apple practically force their users to upgrade every year or two

      Where did you get that idea? I have an iPhone because Apple provides software patches for years longer than any Android device I've seen This lets me upgrade when I want new hardware rather than just to stay on the support treadmill.

    5. Totally not a Cylon

      Multiple iPhones here, no problems.

      I have an original SE and an 8plus, my mother has an 8.

      None of these devices have showed any change since upgrading to 14.2.

      What this seems to be is a variation of 'confirmation bias';

      'my phone is not holding charge', what's last change?, oh OS update, it must be that.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Multiple iPhones here, no problems.

        I have an 8. I have noticed that if I have an app in use, the last 20% can appear to drop to around 3% very quickly, but then stay on 3% for about the time it would take 20% to use up. Looks like a problem reporting the state of charge rather than the actual state of charge.

    6. ThomH

      Meanwhile, back in reality, the most-used iPhone in Q3 2020 according to user agent identification was the iPhone 7 — the 2016 model.

      Applying a weighted average to the iPhones that add up to a total of 99.5% of those currently in use I got the mean year of introduction of a currently-active iPhone as 2016.99. Let's call it 2017.

      So that's three years average.

      A solid 38% are from 2016 or earlier. You have to go back to 2014 to drop below 10% of the total.

      So, verdict on the statement that "Apple practically force their users to upgrade every year or two": a complete work of fiction.

      1. GlasshalfHull

        I was given a new 6S only a couple of years ago by my work. Just because the 7 was the 2016 model doesn't mean they all were in use from 2016!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And people wonder why I haven't upgraded since...

    ...iOS 11 !

  3. uro

    Either the iOS 14.2 update bricked my IPhone 6s+ or it killed the lightning port &/ battery

    Last week I decided to plonk the latest Cupertino$oft v14.2 onto my Iphone 6s+, so in preperation I fully charged the battery as I always have done.

    I then ran the built in software update, everything installed normally as is usual with previous Cupertino$oft updates, so far so good, I then updated any apps that required updating post-os update as per norm.

    It was nearing the midnight hour, so I plugged my iphone in to charge overnight and headed off to the land of zed.

    The next morning I awoke, alarmless - my iphones alarm never fired - funny as I never disabled it, so I grabbed my phone and tapped the home button, nothing, nada, not even a blip on the screen nor any audible unlock sounds. (My handset has never had any battery drain nor power issues up until I installed 14.2)

    Is it dead? I don't know, but I have tried every single trick in the book to get the thing to start up without any success, different chargers, cables, etc, you name it I have tried it.

    I sent a tweet to @AppleSupport about it and the person on the end of the account was very polite and helpful, in DM's they tried searching for any free repair schemes they might have available for my handset (using IMEI as I couldnt get to the serial# as you can only get that on Iphone6s+ from within the OS), they came up empty.

    Next, they offered to locate my nearest Apple store or repair specialist, I informed them that due to my remote location the nearest Apple anything was hundreds of miles away and would involved various methods of transport including ships/aircraft and overnight stopovers, they also offered for me to mail it in to them for repair - my phone has personal & business data onboard that I will not risk a third party gaining access to so that option is completely out.

    The iPhone will not charge at all & obviously due not charging it will not power on anymore, so I have ordered a replacement lightnight port and battery (both genuine apparently, time will tell) for the iphone 6s+ which should be arriving any day now, hopefully those will fix it at least long enough to slavage my data off the thing.

    If all goes well, post repair I shall plug it into my PC, grab a backup and then tranfer everything to a new handset I aquired meantime, however if after replacing these component it also sucks the battery dry in a short while and bricks it again I will let @AppleSupport know about it and the only thing that changed on my handset prior to it bricking was the OS.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Either the iOS 14.2 update bricked my IPhone 6s+ or it killed the lightning port &/ battery

      I'm reading your post and prior to the penultimate paragraph I'm nodding and thinking "Lightning port".

      Before you start disassembly, get into the lightning port with a non conductive thing like a toothpick and make sure there is no lint or pocket dust in there.

      1. uro

        Re: Either the iOS 14.2 update bricked my IPhone 6s+ or it killed the lightning port &/ battery

        I have already checked for lint/dirt in the port and its as clean as it can be, I even blew it out with compressed air just for good measure, prior to the 14.2 install everything was working and the handset was charging as I charged it prior to updating.

        The replacement lightning port and battery should be here by the end of the week, I'll know for sure if its bricked after that.

        1. X5-332960073452

          Re: Either the iOS 14.2 update bricked my IPhone 6s+ or it killed the lightning port &/ battery

          Correlation is not necessarily causation (as the saying goes).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To my surprise....

    my SE (old) and iPad Air 2 succesfully deployed the new roll-out. The other old SE however went from 54% battery to shutdown in a blink of an eye. Bad battery, I admit. Also, these are my vanity/fashion items, so don't hate on it. They Are Gold or Rose Gold, you know !!!!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To my surprise....

      Also, I skipped the clusterfuck of iOS 13.x.x

  5. bin

    SE 2016 rendered useless

    by iOS 14.x

    Running 13.5 it was fine - got good signal and data connections. OK it took 3 months to get iOS 13 to a workable level but after that it was fine.

    Upgraded to 14.x and all that went.

    Drops connection in exactly the same place where it previously worked perfectly

    Tried all recommended fixes including a DFU - which required me to actually install Windows 10 (yuuuuk) and then use a media playing application to backup and restore a mobile phone!!!!

    Still no good despite this only being 2 years old and very low mileage - it's now so unreliable that I have had to replace it.

    Guess what - I've gone back to Android.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: SE 2016 rendered useless

      I'm running i(Pad)OS 13.something on my iPad Gen 7 and will be sticking with that until I see green signals everywhere for a 14.x update, by which time, no doubt, 15.x will be out and the whole merry-go-round will start again!

  6. DRue2514

    There also seems to be another issue with this update relating to hotmail accounts on the Mail app needing constant reauthentication. There are hundreds/thousands of reports of this. Sometimes it happens several times a day for me and it always reports the same last updated message date. Re-adding the accounts does not work but the solution that I have found and appears to work is to download Edge browser and log in to the accounts just the once. It has not reoccured for a few days now.

  7. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

    Allow me ....

    Cracked screen: you're holding it wrong.

    Drained battery: same thing.

  8. D@v3

    similar issue

    my XS has been having a problem the last couple of weeks, gets down to around 30% then powers off. Plug it in, comes up at 11% then charges to 100% in about half an hour. Then stays at 100% for half a day or so, even with reasonable use. Annoying, but not unusable. Seems to be something to do with the power management software. What is more annoying is that the the 30% gradually became 40%, which is now around 55%. Still get a good day+ of use out of it, just means the battery icon is pointless.

    What is really annoying is that having sought out "expert advice" i did a full factory reset and set up 'as new' so not from backup. Which means i have lost a fair amount of stuff that (by my own admission I forgot about backing up (some notes, saved games, that sort of thing)). Thought it looked like that had saved the problem, worked fine for a few days, but this afternoon, bam, shut down around 50%, charged from 11-75% in 20 mins......

    so not only do I still have the issue, but i've lost a load of my junk into the bargain. For the record this is the first (even minor) issue that I have had since my iPhone 3G (not that i get a new one every year).

  9. GlasshalfHull

    Yes, my work 6S had been a dying duck since the latest update. At first i had thought it might be the covid app as we'd just come out of lockdown and entered tier 3, but removing it made no clear difference. On one occasion i checked and my 7minutes of screen on time to check emails had used 78% of the battery. I the checked under teh battery settings and found the Mail app was using most of the power, so i've stopped using it, removed all its notifications and moved to outlook again (i was using Mail on the instruction of my work IT team anyway), I've also changed other notification settings and found that having charged the phone fully 24 hours ago I now have 51% remaining. Only an hour or so of screen on time (working from home!), but its better than it was by far. I also allowed the phone to recalibrate the battery by using it to empty yesterday (torch on for half an hour) before charging. Today i'm leaving it off the charger overnight again and will allow it to fully discharge again. Hopefully it will be as good as new thereafter. The battery is still at 95% of its original capacity so it was definitely a product of the recent update screwing with existing apps and settings. i have a wireless charging case on teh ophone and it often sits fully charged for hours on end, maybe once in a while the gas guage just needs to reset itself properly.

  10. Torchy

    So that is why........

    So that is why my works phone keeps getting a flat battery.

    I am less than happy about this and my employer even less so.

    We upgrade our phones next year, I am recommending Samsung over Apple now.

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