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Apple Music killing your iPhone battery? You're not alone.

How to manage your Apple Music subscription
How to manage your Apple Music subscription (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Users are complaining of wild battery drain on iOS.
  • Specifically, caused by the Music app.
  • One user said that the app had used 95% of their battery running in the background.

Hundreds of iOS users are complaining of severe battery drainage, reportedly caused by the Music app on iOS.

According to MacRumors:

A significant minority of iPhone users have taken to Apple's Support Communities to report battery drain issues related to the Music app and high levels of background activity.Hundreds of users, many running iOS 13.5.1 on devices both new and old, are experiencing rapid battery drain when the Music app is not in use. In some cases, the background activity occurs over several hours each day, even if the app has not been used for weeks or even at all.

A thread on Apple's Communities support forum has gained significant traction over the last few weeks. (opens in new tab) The initial complaint showed that Apple Music had used up 53% of that user's battery, all thanks to background activity.

However, this is actually one of the more tame experiences, with some users suggesting that Music had used 95% of their battery in the background.

Pending downloads

Apple support told one user to delete their playlists, which update all the time, in case this was a potential cause. However, other users seem to have nailed down a fix...

The solution for me was turn off automatic Downloads under music an app settings. Then I went into Apple music/library/Downloaded Music And saw that they were pending downloads just sitting there spinning so I canceled all 19 of them. Problem seems to be solved

Another user noted that their wife had over 200 songs just "sitting and spinning to be downloaded", and that by canceling them all, they were able to solve the problem.

You can manually cancel pending downloads in the Music app by selecting individual songs, but can also switch off the feature within the Music app in the Settings app.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.

2 Comments
  • Isn’t the bigger question WHY are downloads just spinning? I lost all of my downloaded music last week (don’t know why, plenty of space on my iPhone) and as I have been re-downloading songs, some will simply not download and just spin and spin and spin. No rhyme or reason, hard reset resolves the issue for a few songs and then it’s back again.
  • I have automatic downloads turned off and still have these battery issues.