My HTC One V (on 4.0 ICS) seems to be continuously downloading something even when it's inactive, and it's using the battery abnormally fast.

My data usage graph:
data usage graph
(click to enlarge)

On the first picture, the brown line is for the "Android OS" element, which as you can see is responsible for at least 60% of the data consumption. I don't know what Android is downloading, but it does it continuously and it has a big effect on my battery's life. When I disable mobile data, the battery usage line becomes flat (see second picture). How can I check what exactly "Android OS" is doing? And how can I disable this activity?

Here is the battery usage graph. As you can see, the line became flat when I've disabled mobile data.
battery usage graph
(click to enlarge)

4 Answers 4


I've found the culprit! I went to Settings > Call > Internet call settings and deleted the SIP account I had once created and forgot. The phone kept reaching the SIP server (probably to check for incoming calls).

I had to install a packet sniffer on the phone (tPacketCapture) to see where the requests where going and realize I had configured a SIP account.


Depending on what apps you have installed, apps like facebook, twitter, google+ and others will download data in the background to keep current when you open the app.

With ICS, you can disable background data usage for specific apps:
data usage
(click to enlarge)

this is visible in the system settings -> data usage. you should then see a list of apps that are using data. it will also show the highest usage app. Clicking on the app brings you to a details screen that allows you to disable data usage or background usage.

  • 1
    Thanks Ryan, but unfortunately this checkbox isn't available for the Android OS element.
    – Cutter
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 17:01
  • interesting, i missed the part that it is actually Android OS. if you restart the device, does that continue to be the case? Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 17:48
  • @Cutter It's not available when you press the settings button while you're on that page?
    – ott--
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 17:59
  • @ott--I don't have a settings button, but holding the "recent apps" button (which is equivalent to pressing the settings button) has no effect (I don't have a menu popping up).
    – Cutter
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 20:23
  • 1
    Look at 1qaz.de/Screenshot_2012-08-23-00-16-23.png and 1qaz.de/Screenshot_2012-08-23-00-16-34.png - this is from a Nexus S with 4.1.1
    – ott--
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 22:31

Have you looked at something like Onavo Count to monitor data usage?

  • I've just installed it. I hope it will give me the details about what Android OS is doing.
    – Cutter
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 17:02
  • 2
    It turns out Onavo Count doesn't tell more than "Android OS + others"; that's the name of the app consuming most of the data.
    – Cutter
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 17:39

In Apps & notifications -> Advanced -> Special app access -> Unrestricted data, click on the overflow menu (3 dots stacked vertically) and select "Show system". Then turn off background data for all of them.

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