If your iPhone seems slow and sluggish, try these easy tricks.
More than ever, iPhones are much more than phones – they’re little computers we keep in our pockets. We use them to book flights, buy concert tickets, keep track of our kids, Zoom with our boss, video chat with our doctor, navigate our routes, calculate our calories and steps, and so on. The list is endless.
These phones do a lot for us, and based on the price tags on the latest models, they’re an investment too. It makes sense to protect them with cases and screen protectors, and to be careful about exposing them to heat and water, but there are other things we can do to keep our iPhones performing at their best, too. If yours seems a bit slow, check out this list of 12 ways to improve its performance.
1. Update to the latest version of iOS
This is the most basic step, and the most important step, in part because it helps protect your device from security breaches. If your iPhone’s software is up-to-date, the device will perform at its best. Not all of us are conscientious about installing the latest updates, but you can make it less of a hassle with gthank you Settings > General > Software Update and choosing”in progress” for Automatic Updates.
Maybe you’re hesitant to update, and want to wait a few weeks after introducing a new iteration so any bugs can be worked out. According to Forbes, however, he isit’s best to fight “update fatigue” and update immediately. Update 16.2, released in December, fixed 35 security vulnerabilities.
2. Check your storage space
Compared to the older models with 16GB of storage, the newer iPhones may feel like they have unlimited storage space, but that’s not true. Over time, iPhones can become cluttered with unused apps, photos and other files. Apple which says its phones need a certain amount of storage to work properly.
“For best performance, try to maintain at least 1GB of free space,” says the company. “If your available storage is consistently less than 1GB, your device may be lagging.”
You can go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage for a recommendation for your device.
3. Turn off unnecessary features
If you’re at home or at work and have a strong Wi-Fi signal, using Wi-Fi instead of cellular data will help your iPhone perform better. That said, when you’re out and about, you can improve your iPhone’s performance by turning it on off unnecessary features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Location Services.
Go to the Arrangements menu and select the features you want to turn off – but also, get in the habit of turning the Wi-Fi back on when it’s available.
4. Disable background app refresh
Sometimes you may find that your battery drains faster than usual, even if you are not doing much with your phone. One reason is probably because you have apps running in the background. If these apps map or geo-locate you, they must drain your battery and make your phone run slower.
You can swipe up and close apps you’re not using or you can go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and turn it off for all the apps you don’t need to run in the background.
5. Adjust visual effects and animations
On older devices, reducing the motion of visual effects and animations can free up a lot of processing power. If you need more speed from your phone, go to Settings > General > Accessibility and then scroll down to Motion Reduction. Turning this setting off should immediately reduce processor demand.
6. Keep your apps up to date
You might think you download an app once and that’s it, but outdated apps can contribute to slow performance on your iPhone (as well as pose security risks). It is essential to regularly check for iOS system updates, as well as updates from individual apps. Apple makes it easy to update apps. Go to the App Store on your phone and you will see Updates in the sidebar. From there, you can select individual apps to update or you can select Update All.
7. Delete or unload any unused apps
There’s no need to keep apps you don’t really use, and deleting apps you don’t use can help keep your phone running efficiently. You can go through your phone and remove any app you don’t regularly access by holding down the icon until it disappears.
For a deeper look at your usage, you can go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to review a list that shows you the last time you used each app and how much storage each one consumes, which will help you decide what you want to unload or delete.
Offloading means you keep the documents and data associated with the app while freeing up storage space by removing the app itself. It’s a good choice if you don’t use an app much but may need it in the future. Just select the app from the list and select the “Download” button.
If you don’t plan to visit the app again, you can delete it completely to remove the data associated with it as well.
8. Select the manual backup option in your iCloud settings menu
This one is tricky, because it puts the onus on you to remember to back up your phone. But having your phone set to automatically back up to iCloud takes resources from your device, and for many of us, it’s not always necessary. Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup, and change the backup method from “Automatic” to “Manual.” This will help you take better control of when and how often your phone backs up, improving performance in the long run. Don’t forget to back up your information!
9. Enable Low Power Mode only when necessary
You may have noticed that your iPhone switches to Low Power Mode when your battery drops below 20%. This is a good feature for extending your battery life, but not great for performance. “Low Power Mode disables some important features and slows down your iPhone,” said iOS expert Monserrat Cancino of Tech Detective. “Only use if your battery is below 20%.”
10. Avoid extreme temperatures
Taking your iPhone on outdoor adventures in extreme temperatures affects your device’s performance and permanently shortens battery life. “This happens because your device has to work much harder to regulate its internal temperature,” Cancino said. “Try using your iPhone only when the temperature is between 32 degrees and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and don’t leave it outside if it’s freezing or very hot.”
If you want to take your phone to the ski slopes, it’s probably best to get a locker and leave it at the lodge. If you take your iPhone to the beach, keep it in the shade and as cool as possible.
11. Check Site Services
When you download a new app, you’ve probably noticed that it asks if it can be allowed to track your location. While this has some convenience benefits, it can also reduce your battery life and affect your iPhone’s performance. Moreover, for security reasons, you do not need any app to track you all the time.
“If you notice your battery draining faster than usual, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services and change permission for apps to track you,” Cancino suggested. Select “While Using” as often as possible so your apps aren’t tracking your location all the time, and see if that helps your iPhone’s performance.
12. Restart your iPhone
Sometimes, the best arrangement is the simplest and most obvious. If all else fails, a simple restart may help improve your device’s performance.