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14 Fixes for Why Is My iPhone So Slow

by Nitin Singh
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Apple decided to reimburse its customers for throttling the iPhone 6, 7, and SE models following a class-action lawsuit. That resulted in poor battery performance on those iPhone models. But if your iPhone, which is not one of those models, feels slow then it’s unlikely Apple has repeated the same mistake. Yet, you can still face slowdowns in the iPhones, specifically older models. Here are some fixes to help improve iPhone’s performance.

Basic Solutions

  • Restart your iPhone – Sometimes, you only need a simple restart to get things back on the road.
  • Update the iPhone – Your iPhone improves with every released update while also getting new features every year. Therefore, update the iPhone to the latest available version. You can also manually check for updates on the iPhone from the Settings app, choose General, and select Software Update.
  • Update the apps – App developers regularly update the apps and push out quality improvement updates. Hence, update all the apps from the App Store.
  • Charge your iPhone – We often forget about the battery of our phones while scrolling, and a low battery can impact on your iPhone’s performance, making it seem sluggish and slow. Make sure that the iPhone has a battery level of 20% or more.

1. Turn Off Location Services

Location Services are essential for the proper functioning of location-dependent apps like Google Maps, Uber, etc. But you only require these services sometimes. Most of the time, these services run in the background, leading to a faster depletion of resources, which in turn makes your iPhone slow. Turning these off is a good practice when not in use.

1. To turn off location services on your iPhone, open Settings and tap on Privacy & Security.

going to location services in iphone settings

2. Tap on Location Services and turn it off by swiping the flick switch.

turning off location services in the iPhone

2. Disable Low Power Mode

As the name suggests, Low Power mode is activated to save power on your iPhone. But saving the power comes at the cost of performance, and so you may feel that the iPhone is becoming slow. Ensure your iPhone has enough charge for longer hours. Swipe down from the top-right to access the control center and tap on the battery icon to disable the Low Power Mode.

turning off low power mode in the iPhone

Note: The yellow battery icon signifies Low Power Mode is on, while the white/transparent battery icon signifies Low Power Mode is off.

3. Clear Your Storage

Storage on the iPhone can run out fast when you’re on a photo-clicking spree or recording videos at your famous singer’s concert. This shortage of storage can make the iPhone’s performance sluggish. Ideally, 1 GB of storage should be available at all times for the iPhone to function optimally, as stated by Apple, but we recommend having at least 5 GB of storage free. You never know when you need that storage.

1. To review the used storage of your iPhone, open Settings and head over to General.

going to general settings in the iPhone

2. Tap on iPhone Storage, and you can see the used storage in their respective categories like Apps, Photos, etc. Tap on any unnecessary app to delete it.

reviewing iPhone storage in general settings of the iPhone

Tip: You can also offload the less-used apps, so you don’t lose any data. This will remove the app from the iPhone but won’t delete your data. So when you reinstall it, your data will be restored automatically.

offload less used apps in the iPhone

4. Remove Less Used Widgets

Widgets have come a long way since being introduced on the iOS 14. But with every new iteration of iOS and new widget-related features, it all comes with the need for more performance. While Apple’s Bionic chips are fairly powerful for everyday tasks, they still have an upper limit even more so if we consider an older iPhone, like the XS Max or X.

Therefore, the smart thing would be to remove the unnecessary or barely used widgets from the home screen. This is necessary to remove their load from the iPhone because they still keep refreshing and stressing the processor even if you don’t interact with them.

To remove widgets from your home screen on the iPhone, tap and hold on a widget and then tap on Remove Widget.

removing the weather widget from iphone home screen

5. Disable Automatic iCloud Backup

Taking a backup of your iCloud data is necessary, but it can slow down things at the most crucial moment. Alternatively, you can disable automatic iCloud backups and consider doing that manually at your convenience.

1. To disable automatic iCloud backup on the iPhone, open Settings and go to your Apple ID settings. Tap on iCloud.

iCloud settings in the iPhone

2. Navigate to iCloud Backup and turn it off. iCloud backups will not occur automatically, and your existing backup will stay saved on the drive until you manually do the iCloud backup. To back up your data on iCloud again, use the same method to access iCloud settings and turn it on.

turning off icloud backup on the iphone

6. Check Internet Connection

When you say that your iPhone is getting or feeling slow, do you mean the video playing on the iPhone is slow? Maybe YouTube loading slowly. If such is the case, these things depend on your internet connection – Wi-Fi or Mobile Data.

To get the best binge-watching experience with minimal interruptions due to the internet, you can refer to our detailed guide on the iPhone connected to Wi-Fi but no internet.

Alternatively, if you have a valid data plan and use mobile data, enable airplane mode for about 30 seconds and disable it. This will refresh your mobile networks, restoring the connection.

7. Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Have you observed the iPhone getting slow when you’re in extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold? Then the culprit might be the temperature around you. The iPhone is designed to work in ambient temperatures between 32° and 95° F, and exceeding that range on either side of the scale will lead to shortened battery life and damage to the iPhone.

You may also encounter temperature warnings on your iPhone’s screen which may render it useless until the internal temperature returns to normal operating range.

8. Clear Cache for Safari

Safari loads a lot of data while browsing and saves it on your phone as a cache. Generally, the cache is used to access frequently visited websites quickly by saving up the fragments of the websites on your phone in the form of cache data. Sometimes, this can also make your iPhone experience a bit slower since your phone loads up data from the background and processes it.

1. To get out of this pinch, you can manually clear Safari’s cache. Open Settings on your iPhone and head over to Safari. Scroll down and tap on Clear History and Website Data.

clearing cache for safari in iphone settings

2. Confirm to clear the history and app data. This will also remove any cache saved by Safari.

confirming clear history for safari

9. Reduce Transparency and Motion

Transparency and Motion effects are processor-intensive tasks requiring raw power from your iPhone’s processor. With every iOS update, the system becomes more power-hungry, which may lead to your iPhone slowing down over time. To tackle this, you can reduce the transparency and motion on the iPhone.

1. To reduce the transparency on your iPhone, open Settings and head over to Accessibility. Then tap on Display & Text Size.

display and text size options in iphone settings

2. Then tap on the Reduce Transparency switch to turn it on. When enabled, you will observe that many OS elements are now solid colored instead of transparent like the background of the control center, recent apps menu, and such.

reducing transparency in iphone

3. To reduce the Motion, tap on Motion in the Accessibility menu and tap on Reduce Motion. This will reduce the zooming effects in the UI and a lot of motion from here and there.

reducing motion in iphone accessibility settings

With reduced transparency and motion in your iPhone, it will perform much better than when these options were not tweaked.

10. Turn Off Predictive Text

While certainly a handy feature, it heavily relies on background tasks and constantly runs phrase checks on the text that you’re typing to replace it with your saved predictive text. Hence, you can turn it off and see if it helps in your general operation of the iPhone. It should certainly help you in making the iPhone not so slow.

1. To turn off predictive text, open Settings and head over to General. Then tap on Keyboard.

keyboard options in iphone settings

2. Turn off the toggle next to Predictive Text under All Keyboards section.

turning off predictive text in iphone settings

11. Reset the Dictionary

If you’ve noticed that the iPhone lags when you type after a major update, consider resetting the dictionary. This helped a lot of users on Apple Support forums and should help you out as well.

1. To reset the iPhone dictionary, open Settings and tap on General. Then tap on Dictionary.

dictionary settings in the iPhone

2. Tap on the select ones to de-select other dictionaries except your default language – English. Restart your iPhone.

de-selecting dictionaries in the iphone settings

3. Return to the Dictionary menu and add other language dictionaries. That will improve the typing experience on your iPhone.

12. Disable Background App Refresh

Almost all apps run in the background to fetch the latest data and inform about that with push notifications. However, you wouldn’t want all apps running in the background since they use your iPhone’s resources and slow it down. Luckily, you can disable the background app refresh for select apps that you don’t want to run in the background.

1. To disable background app refresh, open Settings and tap on General. Then tap on Background App Refresh.

background app refresh options in iphone settings

2. Turn off the toggle next to the apps that you don’t want to run in the background. After that, you will receive notifications from these deselected apps only when you open them.

turning off background app refresh for different apps

13. Replace the Battery

It’s a good idea to check iPhone’s battery health to ensure that it can efficiently run apps for a long time on a single charge. This also helps in maintaining peak performance and you can check the battery cycle count to know more about the battery’s health.

1. To check the battery health of your iPhone, open Settings and go to Battery. Then tap on Battery Health & Charging.

battery health and charging options in the iphone settings

2. If the battery health dips below 75-80%, your iPhone may face random slowdowns and you may have to charge it often.

checking maximum capacity for the iphone

If the battery’s Maximum Capacity falls below 70%, it’s a good idea to visit an Apple-authorized store to replace the iPhone’s battery. Keeping an eye on the iPhone’s battery cycle count can also help you know more about its battery health.

14. Hard Reset the iPhone

Many times people have reported that hard resetting iPhone or setting it as a new one helped regain from the staggering slow downs. This is what happens when you reset your iPhone. Of course, you can restore your data from the iCloud backup when the iPhone boots.

Slow to Steady

While we support sustainability, an old iPhone trying to run the latest featuers may become slow. That is more evident after updating to iOS 17 for several users. Fortunately, you can fix the battery drain in iOS 17 to some extent. Still, it’s a good practice to upgrade your iPhone every 3-4 generations. The newer hardware coupled with software tweaks can do wonders.

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