Tips & Tricks

How to speed up a slow iPhone

Story Highlights

  • Restart your device
  • Shut down your open applications
  • Delete the apps you don't use
  • Check if your iPhone's OS  is up to date 
  • Reduce motion
  • Reduce Transparency
  • Reset your iPhone
  • Turn off Automatic Downloads and Background App Refresh
  • Reset to Factory Settings and set up your iPhone from the beginning  or restore from your backup

Are you unsatisfied with your iPhone performance and think it’s too slow? Furthermore, you don’t have the money or do not want to buy a new one? You came to the right place, we will explain to you how you can make your iPhone faster and how can you get that feeling like you bought the new device.

Your device may be slowed because of the newer software or just because your free space is shrinking. Also, apps are getting bigger in size with almost every update so that most certainly have an effect on your device. Developers add new, more complex, features that are made for the newer devices. Older phones struggle as the time passes because of that, but also because of the app’s cache and documents are getting bigger and bigger. But do not worry, we will explain most of these problems later in this article and how to solve it.

Restart your device

This is one of the most widely known solutions for speeding up your iPhone, but also all devices in general. Restarting the device will shut down all the current applications and process, so when you boot back up again you can expect your device to be faster. To do this, hold down your power/lock button and slide to turn off.  Apple logo will show and when it disappears, hold down power/sleep button again to turn it back on. Apple logo will show and your phone will boot.

This advice will have more effect on speeding your iPhone if you didn’t restart it for a long time. Also, you do not need to this very often, it is advised to try this when your device slows down or if you have any other problems with your device.

Shut down your open applications

Double click your Home button to see what apps are currently open your iPhone. To speed up your device, close all the apps you do not use currently, in other words, ones that you do not need to run in the background. The more apps you have open, the slower the device will be. To close the app, simply swipe up with your finger. To speed up that process, you can use up to three fingers to close three apps at once.

If you are thinking you will need some apps later (e.g. waiting for a reply from a friend in Messenger) you do not need to keep it open, simply make sure your app is allowed to notify you to get the notification.

Delete the apps you don’t use

This is very common advice and it tells you to simply delete everything you do not use. You will notice the speed definitely if you uninstall a lot of old apps you just don’t use anymore. As we mentioned earlier, if you are lacking free storage space, your iPhone will be slower. It is advised you have at least 1GB left of free space for your iPhone to run normally. It’s very simple to delete apps, press and hold on any app shortcut on your home screen until your icons start shaking. Now you will see a little X at the top of the app’s icon which you can press to uninstall an app.

Another way of deleting your apps is through Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. From there you can see how much free space is left on your device and how much space is each app using.

Check if your iPhone’s OS  is up to date


Even though some say installing new software will slow your device, you can actually expect some performance boost on your older iPhone when you update. To check if you can update your iPhone,  go to Settings > General > Software Update. From there you can see if the new iOS is available. Currently, iOS 10 is the newest version of the iOS, but iOS 11 is expected to come out really soon.

Reduce motion

To reduce motion, tap on Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and set Reduce Motion to On. This will turn off that parallax effect you experience with your icons and alerts. Some report that turning this effect off feels better for daily usage.

You can turn reduce motion only on iOS 7 or later since iOS 6 and older versions did not support that effect.

Reduce Transparency

With turning this option on, you will remove see-through background effects which may speed up your iPhone. To turn this on, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast and set Reduce Transparency to On.

This is most noticed in Control Centre, which is expected to run faster after turning this option on.

Reset your iPhone

This is similar to the normal restart of your device but it’s more complex and may lead to better results. To do this hold down the Home button and Lock/Power button until the screen goes black (ignore that previously mentioned slider for turning off the device) and Apple Logo shows.

Turn off Automatic Downloads and Background App Refresh

Firstly, to turn off Automatic Downloads, go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > and turn all the Automatic Downloads off. This will disable auto app updating in the background.

To turn off Background App Refresh, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and turn Background App Refresh off. From now on, your apps won’t refresh in the background and you will notice a slight increase in your device’s speed and its battery life.

Reset to Factory Settings and set up your iPhone from the beginning  or restore from your backup

If you simply do not know what to do and if not a single one of those previously mentioned things did not help in speeding your device, you should restore to Factory Settings. This will delete everything you have on your iPhone so it’s IMPORTANT to back up your data. To do this, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. You will be asked now to enter your passcode (if you have one) and the process should begin after you tap on delete everything.

You now have two options, you can set up your iPhone as a new device or back up from your older backups. Connect your iPhone to your iTunes and follow the instructions on the screen to backup or set up a new iPhone.

We hope some of these instructions helped you in speeding your iPhone, but if not a single one helped, we think it’s time for you to buy a new device. To see more tutorials like this, check our Tips & Tricks section.



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