How To Speed Up A Slow, Ageing iPhone Or iPad

How To Speed Up A Slow, Ageing iPhone Or iPad

Apple is widely rumoured to announce a new iPhone next week, and some of you may be tempted to shell out for the newest model — especially if your old beater is acting slow, crashing and generally misbehaving. Here are a few ways to speed it up so you can avoid spending money on the upgrade.

Sure, you may not get the newest features of iOS, and running through these steps won’t make your device feel totally new; it will just keep it running for a little while longer. But if you’re trying to save some money or just keep your apps from crashing, these tips can be a godsend.

Don’t Update iOS (Or Your Apps)

How To Speed Up A Slow, Ageing iPhone Or iPad

This may seem counter-intuitive, but when your device starts nearing the end of its life, updating to the latest version of iOS can actually slow it down a lot. This was a major problem with the iPhone 3G and iOS 4, it was a problem with the original iPad and iOS 5, and will probably continue to be a problem as newer devices age. All those new features require more processing resources, and when your device reaches a certain age, it doesn’t always have the resources to give up. So, if your device is around two years old and has one last update coming in, it may be best to ignore it.

The same thing goes for your apps — if you have an app that does everything you want it to do, it may be best to avoid future updates (especially major ones). As apps grow more mature and feature-filled, they become harder and harder for your old device to run.

Unfortunately, none of this helps those whose devices are already slow because of those updates. Sadly, you can’t downgrade to an older version of iOS (at least not without a lot of hack-y work before you upgrade). So, if you’ve already upgraded, go ahead and skip on to the next steps — but next time around, be aware that this could be a problem.

Use Apple’s Built-In Apps

How To Speed Up A Slow, Ageing iPhone Or iPad

You may prefer Chrome to Safari, but chances are Safari is going to run faster on your device. Not only do third-party apps update and slow down over time, but a lot of Apple apps have access to system resources that third-party apps do not. So if your device is starting to feel a little sluggish, it may be best to bite the bullet and use the stock apps.

Free Up Some Storage

How To Speed Up A Slow, Ageing iPhone Or iPad

If your device is full of data, it’s going to move a bit sluggishly and crash from time to time. We’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating: Head over to Settings > General > Usage and see how much space your device has. If you have less than 500MB or 1GB of space left, you may want to uninstall apps you don’t use, remove music you don’t listen to, or otherwise free up some of that space. You should also delete old text messages if you’ve let them build up, since an excess of messages can slow down the Messaging app quite a bit.

Remove Any Jailbreak Tweaks

How To Speed Up A Slow, Ageing iPhone Or iPad

This is a biggie: If you’re jailbroken, some of your tweaks are probably the #1 cause of your slowdowns. Whether you’re customising your home screen or just installing handy new features, it may be time to give them up. It sucks, but it’s a small price to pay for a device that actually runs smoothly.

Don’t Fall For The Myths

Here’s the last step, and it’s important: There are a lot of articles on the net about speeding up your old iPhone, and many of them are rife with misinformation. Don’t fall for these myths. For example, closing every open app probably doesn’t help as much as you think it does. Closing music, VoIP or location apps may speed up your device a bit, but closing every single app in your multitasking tray isn’t necessary. Similarly, calibrating the home button is a bunch of hogwash. Chances are, your home button’s simply worn down or broken.

There are other tips out there that may be worthwhile, but are very difficult to test since they probably won’t net you huge increases in speed (such as disabling Spotlight). Try them out if you wish, but bear in mind that the above four tips will boost your speed more than just about anything else. Yes, they offer reduced functionality, but that’s better than no functionality at all — it’s worth it to keep your device running. Of course, you could just buy a new iPhone or iPad — and eventually, you may have to — but if you’re a little strapped for cash or are waiting for the next iteration, these “fixes” should keep you going a little bit longer.


  • Going from ios5 to 6 on 4th gen ipod touch actualy helps performance, safari doesn’t crash, no menu lag etc.

  • I pretty much only use the Gmail app now when I have to search my archives as it takes about 30 seconds to get started on an iPhone 4,

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