Massive "System Services" downloads over cellular data

Since installing the iOS 10 beta, it keeps downloading System Services over cellular - things like DNS Services, Documents & Sync, and iTunes Accounts. I'm talking 1gb +. One time it did 3gb! I've got a 6gb data plan and twice now I've had to buy more data. This is the most expensive beta I've ever tested! What is going on? I've noticed other people complain about this as well on the forums so it's not an isolated incident. I wanted to flag this. I have to completely turn off my data to stop it downloading and that's not a solution. Any one have any luck fixing this?

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I'd noticed the same thing over the last couple weeks (though not to the extreme it affected you). What was even stranger is that when looking at my carrier's usage reports, it was showing 300-600+ MB transfers at 4am - when I am quite sure I was fast asleep and my device was connected to wifi. I think I found the solution though - I'll know for sure over the next couple days. First - go to Settings -> Cellular -> System Services (all the way at the bottom). In there it shows a breakdown - for me the killer was Documents and Sync. Per instructions found on Apple's website via Google, I turned off Use Cellular Data for iDrive (Settings -> iCloud -> iCloud Drive -> toggle Use Cellular Data (all the way at the bottom). To be honest, I hadn't noticed this the first few days of having the beta (I was on the public beta at the time), but after I installed macOS Sierra, I turned on iCloud Drive for Desktop and Documents, and that's when I noticed the cellular data usage blowing up. Could just be a coincidence though.

I have the same problem though for me it is iTunes account activity!? Again early in the morning 1.1GB of activity, this is with all cellular data for the music app already turned off. It's also heating my iphone up till its borderline dangerous to hold even with the case on. I agree that this has so far been the most expensive beta for iOS. I have already logged with the bug reporter another related problem where the music app tries to download everything I own till it runs out of space or drains the battery.

That makes sense to me! Documents and Sync is definitely the current culprit. The first time was iTunes Accounts which seemed to fix that issue. I didn't even realize iCloud Drive had a Cellular Data toggle and hopefully this fixes it! They really should list it also under the Cellular section. And also the iTunes downloads Cellular toggles. What is the point of having them spread out? One of the few things I prefer from Android is their granular control over Data Usage at a system level.

Anyway, thanks for that suggestion and hopefully they fix this in the final release or we'll have a new -gate!

Same problem here as well 6gb in 5 days with documents & sync.

I have raised a feedback ticket.

How did you see it was your Itunes account as looking under settings>cellular>use cellular data for I only see an itunes store but thats not used anything.

Yet at the bottom of that page the documents and sync has used 5.9gb

My data usage has not been quite as extensive as what you have described but I only have a 2 GB plan and with in a matter of days I have used 1.9 GB. I turned off most of my cellular functions but I have not been able to test out the iCloud cellular switch because I don't want to go over my data plan. My data plan just started a week ago. From what I understand is that iCloud on your Mac and the iCloud are obviously synced but I am not doing that much stuff that requires that much data. As an example, if I have a PDF that is 50 MB and every time I annotate it it will re-save to the iCloud drive 50 MB. If I make over a dozen annotations, well then that adds up really quickly. The thing is is that I have not been doing that and that example is the only plausible reason I can think of

Happy to report that turning off the Cellular settings for iCloud Drive, Apple Music, and the App Store has helped immensely. Pity it's not in the same place that the rest of the Cellular toggles are.

Sorry, just saw this. If you look in the Cellular section and scroll all the way to the bottom, under System Services you'll all the stuff the System uses cellular for. Now, if you've clicked Reset Statistics, you might not see some of the system services. Unfortunately you can't turn the System Services off for Cellular so for Documents and Sync there's a setting under main menu - iCloud - iCloud Drive where you can turn off Cellular Data.

Just reseaching extradinary data usage after my iPhone used 8.2GB during a 3 hour period when connected to Wi-Fi. AT&T was very helpful in researching whether this was a problem on their end. It wasn't. Under Cellular usage, iTunes Accounts under System Services was the culprit with over that amount of data being used even though Wi-Fi assist was off and automatic updates and downloads are disable for cellular usage. This overage cost me about $120 as my account normally uses 99% of the base data in my plan.

try this. go to settings - mobile - scroll to the bottom - turn off icloud drive. i had my phone use 8 gb in two hours and it was just before we were flying to japan and i needed mobile data. good luck

- jj

it is in the same place now ^-^

To all in this string I have all of the above suggestions done, meaning turned of cellular usage everywhere anyone mentioned and suddenly got hit with 1G iTunes services??? "Here to help", I had cellular turned off, but not the whole service of ITunes Drive, is that what you think must be done? REALLY ANNOYING ! Help really appreciated

To anyone sill having this problem, I had this issue for a while and think I may have found the culprit. I just went into the 'Podcast' section under 'Settings' and realised that whilst 'sync podcasts' was switched on, 'only download on Wi-Fi' was NOT. So I went into my podcasts and sure enough the ere are 6 new podcasts which appear to account for the HUGE data usage lately. Anyway, hope this helps! :)

I'm getting data charges when ALL my cellular data options are turned off. My ISP says it's the Settings/Mobile Data/Mobile Data Options/Voice/4G option which is causing/making random, unwanted internet connections. They suggest switching to 3G to prevent the unwanted internet connections, which they say can happen even with all Cellular Data options turned off.

And I can see that with both WiFi and all Cellular Data options off, ie, with the iPhone unable to connect to the internet via any app, under Settings/Privacy/Location Services/System Services, the arrowheads there continually update themselves switching between purple and grey, indicating that data is still being exchanged, and All of those options off, the phone will continue to use data even when cell data is explicitly switched off.

But even if I do as the ISP says and switch to Settings/Mobile Data/Mobile Data Options/Voice/3G, these items still seem to be updating, so I can't see why data my ISP claims to be reading data usage via 4G, but not via 3G.

I read the following on an Android site. Can this be true? "You may have mobile data disabled and restricted and yet this switching back and forth from 4G to 3G uses small amounts of data each time." Ie, they are saying that after a voice call, your phone makes a data connection to the service provider, which looks to them like an internet connection, even though Mobile Data is turned off.

I noticed a big jump in iTunes Account using cellular data last week too. I can't tell if iTunes Account was doing anything over WiFi or not, but it seemed to only be down/uploading over the cellular connection. I use a pay-as-you-go plan in Germany that allows me 100MB a month. I can buy additional data when needed, and can pay extra for data roaming when I'm outside my home network ( 27.2). I allow cellular data for a select few apps on the phone — Chrome, Google Maps, Mail, Maps, Messenger, Settings, Google Translate, and Wunderground — but generally keep data roaming turned off because where we live is close to a couple of international borders, and we don't have to go very far in a couple directions to get outside my home network.

Last week we travelled to The Netherlands, and I needed to use Google Maps for navigation, so I turned data roaming on so that I could set up a route to our destination. It hooked up to a 3G network, and I got a message telling me that I'd need to pay for the roaming data; I clicked through and paid €10 for 100MB that could be used through the next week. A few minutes later, I got another message telling me that I'd already burned through the 100MB and I'd need to buy more. ??? I quickly glanced at the data usage in Settings, and didn't see right away where it went, but still needed the navigation so clicked through again and bought another 100MB. This time I clicked Reset Statistics so I could see where it was going if it happened again. Sure enough, in a few minutes I got another message saying my second 100MB was gone. Scanning through the list of apps, I found that most of the apps that I allowed cellular data to be used on had either used nothing or only a few kilobytes. At the bottom of the list was the culprit; System Services. I clicked through to that, and the item labeled iTunes Accounts was the big data user with just under 200MB. By the time I turned off roaming it was up to 212MB; I didn't really need to use cellular data after that as I had a good WiFi connection where we were staying.

Not long after we returned home last night and we were back in my home network, I got another message telling me that my normal 100MB monthly allotment was gone, and I'd be on reduced data speed for the rest of the month. Again, ???? I looked at the cellular usage again, and found that System Services was now up to 313MB, with iTunes Accounts having used 310MB. So it apparently waited until I was back in a place where cellular data was allowed again to continue downloading or uploading whatever it needed to do.

I already had Cellular Data turned off for Apple Music and App Store, but did not for iCloud; that is turned off now, so I'll monitor & see what happens.

I can't help but think how stupid it is for the settings for cellular data to be scattered around like that, making it this difficult to keep a lid on things. Why not just put everything under the Cellular settings? Come on, Apple; you can do better.

I’m getting similarly large data use, even with zero phone or app use, after iOS 11 Beta 2 install. I just turned off cellular for background app refresh to see if that helps.