Disable Spotlight Searches To Improve iPhone 3G Performance On iOS 4

Disable Spotlight Searches To Improve iPhone 3G Performance On iOS 4

If you’re still a loyal iPhone 3G owner and upgraded to iOS 4, you’ve probably noticed one major new thing: slowness. You can downgrade to 3.1.3, but more than one Gizmodo commenter suggests a fix that’s worked for them.

Commenter acidrain69 (oh, youth) notes in a post about Apple officially investigating the iPhone 3G/iOS 4 slowdown that Spotlight search, the omni-search box to the left of your main home screen, is a major culprit of app-switching lag. Here’s the fix:

Go to Settings- General -Home – Search Results, and shut off everything you don’t need (I disabled Music, Podcasts, Video and Audiobooks; leaving Contacts, apps, Notes, Mail and Calendar checked). Made my phone a lot quicker, more like it was with v2 (I’m still running v3.1.2, jailbroken).

Before, there was a good 2-4 second lag when exiting or loading an app. Now it’s back to it’s old speediness.

Someone on the WSJ forum mentioned a bug in spotlight, but didn’t say how to disable spotlight search. I don’t see an option to disable it entirely.

We don’t have an iPhone 3G running iOS 4 to test this solution on at the moment, but given the consensus of 3G owners and the seemingly slim trade-off of giving up some Spotlight functionality, it seems like a worthy workaround.


  • I just tried this, and it seems to have worked for my 3G pretty well. The response times are still not awesome, but any improvement is valued at this stage.

    Any other suggestions to improve speed would be excellent. Although… you’re probably going to post those anyway.

    So thanks… in advance.

  • Try restoring and set it up as a new phone rather than by a back up . I know it’d remove all your contacts etc… but it certainly removed most of the lag for me . With spotlight disabled, it took me like 2-3 seconds to go into settings .

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