How to Reduce Battery Drain on Your Samsung Galaxy S3 by Fixing Android System Usage

The Jelly Bean update brought a lot of cool features to the Samsung Galaxy S3, but one nasty bug remained. Something was causing "Android System" usage to be consistently high.

Of course, the percentage of this process that is used is dependent on what you're doing at any given time, but it shouldn't be anywhere near this level with "standard" use (calls, texts, emails, light browsing, etc.).

GS3 SoftModder forum mod Faisal knew how to take care of this, and here's how to do it. You will need to be rooted to do this (which is easy!).

Pinpointing the Problem

In most cases, our culprit is a file/process called "gsiff_daemon". It's a non-utilized but highly active GPS sensor daemon. Basically, it's an almost always on, but mainly useless process.

To confirm that this is in fact you're culprit, go to Settings, and scroll down to Developer Options. Scroll down and check Show CPU Usage. Now you'll see a small overlay on your screen. Look for "gsiff_daemon" to pop up.

Do you see it there? Let's fix that.

Step 1: Fire Up Your Favorite Root File Explorer

You'll need a file explorer that can browse and write to the root of your system. For this how-to, I'll be using a great free one called ES File Explorer (if you use this, make sure to hit Menu, Settings, Root Settings, and check "Root Explorer", "Up to Root", and "Mount File System".

Step 2: Navigate to System/Bin

In ES File Explorer, navigate to the "bin" folder in "system".

Step 3: Rename "gsiff____daemon"

Rename the "gsiff_daemon" file in the bin folder to "gsiff_daemon.bak".

Step 4: Reboot!

Let your phone settle for a bit, and then check out your "Android System" usage.

Turn on CPU Usage in Developer Options and notice that you won't see 'ol gsiff hanging out.

Enjoy your much better battery life.

Cover photo by Gizmorati

40 Comments

Great tutorial! Very helpful.

Don't have that one :( after getprop I have
gps.cer, gpsd, grep, groups, gunzip, gzip

Nico, do you have high "Android System" usage? Also, what carrier are you on?

Same with me dont have that file only simillar file is dbus-deamon, should i rename it ?

Same question to you Janis; do you have high "Android System" usage? Also, what carrier are you on?

You can always try renaming the file, but I'm not sure what dbus_daemon does. Make sure you have a current backup of your system.

I'm on UK's XXELLA firmware because mine is the international one
I usually don't go for custom roms and i only flashed perseus kernel with this one
You can also flash S Note to your s3! I found that out during Christmas but it takes up a lot of ram though

Also keep in mind, if you are running a custom rom, the developer may have renamed or removed the file for you.

what about media services ?! not android sys.

Media Services is something different altogether. Mine can get pretty high as well, but it's usually warranted because I'm listening to music or watching videos.

I'll look in to seeing if there's a way to reduce it.

same problem of nico. I don't have that process. I have a no brand italian S3. Any help?

Frances, your version (International) may not have this problem, and that's why you don't see the process there.

I don't have it and I have high "Android System" usage? on ATT with the ATT update....

my galaxy s3 from us cellular is dying all the time too, but mine says media is using most of my battery. help!

Hi Marlon,

My problem is that the messaging service drains more battery than android system, this has started happening from last few weeks kindly suggest on this

To fix the media battery drain, download Rescan Media Root from the play store and stop the service from there. This is a very known issue.

On my S3 Android OS is using 15 percent and Android system is using 13 percent. Screen is at 27 percent. Any ideas how we can take care of screen thing ?

The screen thing isn't really fixable, unless you have the screen on less. You can always lower brightness levels.

I tried to do this for my wife's new Galaxy S3. By going to /system/bin I found the gsiff_deamon. When I tried to rename it, it did not work. I hit menu, settings but there was no root settings. I went under ES File Explorer and under menu found Root Settings but when I selected that it said "does not run on your device". Sorry to sound so confused. Would really like to see if this can help my wife's phone battery life. Thanks for your help.

You mention that it's a new device, have you rooted your phone?

i dont have this service on my phone. stock rom, moded. i9300xxemc2 international version. i have SO Android in first place in my battery drain. please help

Do you have to root your phone to do this?

Hi, i have rooted my galaxy s3 I9305. However, there was no root setting after i hit menu, settings. I found root explorer on ES File explorer and i managed to turn it on. However, i wasn't able to rename gsiffdeamon. When i tried to rename that file, it appears that the taks is failed. Can u suggest any other ways to solve this problem?

In the setting fro ES, make sure you have enable System write and/or root access.

hi, i've managed to rename gsiff daemon to gsiff daemon.bak. However, i can't see big difference of battery live after doing that. so, i have unroot my phone and bak name has been removed from gsiff daemon. The problem is that android system isn't always be the number one battery draining causes. Sometimes, android system shows 30% of battery usage and sometimes it only shows 10% of battery usage. I notice that my phone's battery reduced dramatically when android system usage is at the top of the list but the battery consumption goes back to reasonable level when screen is on the top of the list and android system goes down to number 2 or number 3 on the list. This keeps happening from time to time even after i root and unroot my phone to use ES Explorer. Can u suggest any other ways to solve this high android system problem?

I'm having the same problem; it you figure out that fix, please let me know. Brent email yvettebrent@gmail.com tkxs

Does using pandora to much drain my battery?

Depends...if you are on wifi and using headphones, a little. If you're using a cell signal, especially a bad one, you'll drain your battery faster. Also, using the speaker will use more battery.

It should be noted too, that if your Developer Options are hidden, they're now hidden behind the Build Number in About. You have to tap Build Number seven times to unlock them; a countdown appears as you tap.

Faisal, I'm have a samsung galaxy 3; last week you helped me root my cell so I could rename the gisffdaemon.bak . However, my battery consumption is still showing ANDROID OS at 50%. Any suggestions?

It sounds like there may be an app that's constantly waking your device. You can try to pinpoint the app, the easiest way may be to get the app BetterBatteryStats.

If you go into SETTINGS>Battery, then click on "Android System" it will show you a list of "Included Packages"..

If you had a copy of titanium backup (or one of many other applications that can "freeze" apps) it could be used to freeze some of the software listed there.

There are plenty of active posts online that give you an idea of what is safe to freeze for your particular device. Freezing will prevent these things from running at all and can break certain functionality of your device.

Just freeze as many unnecessary items listed in the android system included packages as you can, thats the best you can do. Renaming things is effectively the same thing as freezing them, but if you wanted to stop a lot of things from running, freezing is easier.

Advanced users can even take a look at an app called 'tasker', and plugins for tasker such as 'secure settings' to automate and control their devices. There are many creative ways to control your battery life but some are inconvenient, for example..

You could use tasker to monitor your mobile signal, and, when your signal is low disable the radio temporarily.. adding an audible alert to notify you when your mobile radio is shut down.(when your signals are low, you consume a lot of power.)

You could also use tasker to disable radios entirely, enabling them periodically to receive data, and disable them again.

Realistically, shutting down anything you dont particularly use is a good idea, bluetooth, nfc, wifi, gps, etc.

Tasker can enable options you require based on applications being launched. So you could for example.. have it turn on data when you launch chrome, and disable it when you are not using chrome.. or.. any application you see fit.

I'm sure there are better solutions, just a simple quick thought.

No. I cannot teach you how to use tasker, sorry.. :) (and yes, everything here requires root)

cant delete posts?

You mean comments? No, comments can only be deleted by mods and admins.

hello i have the same problem with battery but at me the first on top is screen always. i've disabled some apps that came with the phone such as google+ . but i noticed that google + it's constantly open eating mmy battery with 10% and takes the 3rd place there in these order : screen , android os , google+, android system . the screen it's always over 34% sometimes i get to 70% at screen so i guess there's y phone problem but i have minimal settings : always display is at the lowest brightness , screen timeout is 15sec , animations are off at developer settings, so what should i do with it ? if i don't use it at all it's discharging 10% per hour , if i only check few things such as email or facebook it's discharging fast in 10 minutes i loose up to 20-30% battery .

It wouldn't let me rename the file, either. Were you able to figure it out?

My phone won't turn on. It's stuck on the boot loading screen.

every time I rename the file it says task failed

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