On my first iphone the data usage was both reasonable and logical at the beginning, but a couple months in and I was seeing a ridiculous increase of >5x usage. I started off average 5-8 gb/month and by the time I stopped using the phone usage had gotten up to 20 gb HALF-WAY thru the month. I know modern sites average 1-2 mb insize and I was conscious of my streaming. My browsing habits didn't change that much and certainly not that much. I tried a few things like turning off vpn (although theoretically this shouldn't matter) but still had the crazy consumption. I figured I must have picked up a virus.

On 2nd iphone now and like the first usage was reasonable when new, then things started to ramp up. This time it's to a lower extent and in fact I could be imagining it (or maybe not). What I'm not imagining are the numbers in the cellular settings. Usage for anything that uses data is listed individually and they're always supposed to add up to total usage at the top. Just recently total usage has begun to doubled any app I've used, which is almost exclusively safari. So I would have 2 gb usage in safari for one day (this still seems high) but total usage is 4gb. There's no other listed app/process that makes up that remaining 2 gb and like I said I've been on safari exclusively.

The unaccounted for gigs clearly show there are processes going on out of the normal scope of the cellular settings (also my own knowledge that I've only used safari). Is this a virus or something else? Can I use an ios task manager equivalent (if there is one) to view all processes and help figure this out?

As an aside, another behavior I feel was not present originally on both phones but now is: the browser has to constantly refresh tabs as I switch between them, without ever closing safari. Could be related.

  • What iOS version are you on? Also, have you installed any ad blockers?
    – fsb
    Apr 4, 2016 at 12:02
  • Hey @fbara I'm on 9.2 and no ad blockers Apr 4, 2016 at 12:10
  • My recommendation is to update to the latest iOS, 9.3.1, and install an ad blocker (I use adblock fast and purify). It could be that some of the sites you visit often are downloading a lot of data in ads or tracking code, sending your data usage way up. For me, 4GB a day in usage is extraordinarily high, I often hit that in about a month's worth of usage.
    – fsb
    Apr 4, 2016 at 12:18
  • @fbara I used to use the same amount of data as you, hence the problem. Even if it were ads or tracking code that should still show up underneath safari usage in settings. Currently usage for the individual apps/processes aren't adding up to the total (total is over double). I've checked these numbers for over a year and total was never over the sum of individual usage. This extreme behaviour makes me think something is seriously off, like you said 4 gigs a day is insane. Apr 4, 2016 at 12:30
  • @fbara I should also iterate that something has to have changed because my usage was comparable to yours when device was new and now it's over 5x that without any change in my browsing behaviour. As question states I've tracked streaming and have accounted for the 1-2 mb size of the sites I visit. I'm incensed this is happening again to my new iphone Apr 4, 2016 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


I have this too. 100s on MB per Day. AT&T carrier. Started a few months ago. In 20-50mb chunks and lady week ramped up into the 100s.

In cellular usage Stats none of the apps were displayed. Cellular data was listed as zero. Not GBs!

Restored the phone from an image backup. Nothing changed. Bit the bullet and Restored as "new". Fixed. Had to reinstall everything

Something infiltrated my phone and wax using it. Apple won't talk about this at all

  • 2
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    – fsb
    Jun 18, 2017 at 22:25

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