iOS 14.2 Is Causing Severe Battery Drain on Older iPhones

By Bill Toulas / December 7, 2020

The iOS 14.2 was the second major bug-fixing release of Apple’s popular mobile operating system, but as many users of older iPhone models report, it has introduced some peculiar problems. More specifically, the batteries on these devices are draining for no apparent reason.

As frightening as this drain appears, it is usually not accompanied by heat, so the devices aren’t running anything that eats up all the energy. In fact, many users who restarted their devices during the drain saw the battery levels return to where their original levels.

This bizarre behavior has been reported by owners of the following iPhone and iPad models:

As these users report, the arrival of the iOS 14.2.1 hasn’t fixed the battery reporting issue on their devices, and indeed there wasn’t anything about this on the release notes. Users of the iPhone 12 series running the latest iOS version confirm that nothing odd is going on on their devices, so the issue seems to affect only older models.

Even though this problem was first reported on Apple forums as far back as three weeks ago, Apple has not clarified what’s going on yet, so anything goes. The first reporters noticed the issue during charging, saying that their iPhone took a very long time to charge and was overheating. Even users of last year's iPhone 11 suddenly saw a battery health rating decrease of 3% after updating to iOS 14.2. Users of older devices see even more dramatic drops in the health score.


Apple has received a lot of criticism for throttling older iPhone models to allegedly protect the aging batteries inside them, so this occurrence doesn’t look good for the consumer tech giant. Every newer iOS release promises better performance and greater stability, so anything that goes in the opposite direction could be used for class action lawsuits and penalties from consumer protection agencies.

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