I'm running into issues with my battery draining quickly (iPhone 6s with iOS 11) and it appears that Photos is the culprit (based on % battery use) presumably from uploading photos to iCloud Photo Library (with ~150k items).

I can manually 'Pause Updates' by going into Photos. Updates are also paused when in Low Power Mode — both of these are helpful. However, when I plug in the phone to charge and it gets back to 80%, Low Power Mode turns off and iCloud Photo Library updates resume, and my battery quickly drains again.

It could be that the battery just needs to be replaced. The capacity is above 80% and the iPhone reports that the batter is ok.

Is there a way to to configure Photos to only update iCloud Photo Library when it is plugged in and not to update when it is on battery power?



Previous versions of iOS would only sync photos when the device was plugged-in and on wifi.

iOS 11 changed that. Now photos will also sync when on cellular and when not plugged-in. This means if you have a lot of photos, the first-time sync could kill your battery.

There's no fix for this however there is a workaround according to this Apple discussion. This user had both an iPhone and iPad and used the iPad to do an upload of several images first. After that they turned iCloud for their iPhone back on. I can't vouch for this method because I never tried it but it worked for several people on that discussion thread.

Use iTunes to sync a minimal number of photos which automatically turned off iCloud Photo > Library. After that finished on the iPad I turned on iCloud Photo Library and agreed to delete the photos I'd just synced and then it worked.

  • 1
    I thought it would only sync when plugged in and on WiFi; good to know it was iOS 11 that changed it. I could see why some people would want to sync, but I was happy with the previous approach. Too bad there isn’t an option.
    – g .
    Jun 9 '18 at 12:23

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