iPhone users are reporting severe battery drain while running iOS 14.2

iPhone 11
(Image credit: Future)

A month ago Apple pushed out iOS 14.2 across handsets from the iPhone 12 to the iPhone 6S, but the upgrade may not have gone as smoothly as everyone would have liked – plenty of users are now reporting battery drain problems with the updated software.

As noted by MacRumors, posts on a Reddit thread and the Apple developer forum are detailing issues with big battery drops on iPhones running 14.2. Plenty of handsets seem to be losing battery charge much more quickly than before.

It doesn't seem to be a bug that's affecting every iPhone out there, but older models including the iPhone X and iPhone 11 seem to be more affected – although there is also a mention of an iPhone 12 Pro Max suffering from the problem too.

Apple hasn't yet said anything officially about the bug, although it's difficult to judge just how widespread the problem is. If a software fix is required, past history suggests that Apple won't be slow in pushing out an update to everyone affected.

Heavy drain

One iPhone 11 user reports having to recharge the handset during the middle of the afternoon, whereas previously it ended the day on a charge of around 40%, for example. Others say their iPhones get hot (a sign of an overworked processor) even when doing simple tasks like browsing the web.

In the online discussions, suggestions for what might be contributing to the problem range from everything from home screen widgets to Covid-19 tracing apps. However, it seems clear that the iOS 14.2 update is the common factor.

While most of the issues being mentioned involve iPhones, it seems that at least some iPads are affected too, with iPadOS 14.2: one message mentions a 2018 iPad Pro suffering from the same battery drain problem, even when it's switched to airplane mode.

This isn't the first time that an iOS 14 release has left iPhone owners complaining about battery life: when the software was first pushed out, some users with both an iPhone and an Apple Watch complained about battery life issues. The official fix on that occasion was to reset both devices.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.