If your iPhone seems sluggish and sluggish, try these simple tricks.
More than ever before, iPhones are much more than phones: they are little computers that we put 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 also an investment. It makes sense to protect them with cases and screen protectors, and to avoid 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 is starting to seem a little sluggish, check out this list of 12 ways to boost performance.
1. Update to the latest iOS version
This is the most basic step and the most important, in part because it helps protect your device from security breaches. If your iPhone’s software is up-to-date, the device will perform optimally. Not all of us are scrupulous about installing the latest updates, but you can be sure gdoing Settings > General > Software Update and select ”On” for automatic updates.
You may be hesitant to update and want to wait a few weeks after a new iteration is introduced so that any bugs can be fixed. According to Forbes, though arebest to fight “update fatigue” and update right away. Update 16.2, released in December, fixed 35 security vulnerabilities.
2. Check your storage space
Compared to the older models with 16 GB of storage, the newer iPhones may feel like they have unlimited storage, but that’s not true. Over time, iPhones can become cluttered with unused apps, photos, and other files. Apple says its phones need a certain amount of available storage space to work properly.
“For best performance, try to keep at least 1 GB of free space,” the company says. “If your available storage space is consistently less than 1 GB, your device may be slowing down.”
You can go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage for your device’s recommendation.
3. Disable unnecessary features
If you’re at home or work and have a strong Wi-Fi signal, you can make your iPhone perform better by using Wi-Fi instead of cellular data. That said, if you’re on the go, you can boost your iPhone’s performance by running out unnecessary features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and location services.
Go to the Institutions menu and select the features you want to disable – but also get in the habit of turning Wi-Fi back on when it’s available.
4. Disable background app refresh
Sometimes you notice that your battery is draining faster than usual, even if you don’t do much with your phone. One likely reason is apps running in the background. When these apps map or geolocate you, they drain your battery and slow down your phone.
You can manually swipe up and close apps you’re not using, or you can go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and turn it off for any apps you don’t need to run in the background.
5. Customize 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 scroll down to Reduce Motion. Disabling this setting should result in an immediate reduction in 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 (in addition to security risks). It is essential to regularly check for iOS system updates, as well as individual app updates. Apple makes it easy for you 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 choose to update all.
7. Uninstall or unload any unused apps
There’s no need to hold on to apps you don’t actually use, and by removing unused apps, you can keep your phone running efficiently. You can go through your phone and uninstall any app you don’t open regularly by pressing and holding the icon until it wiggles.
For a deeper look at your usage, you can go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to see a list that shows you when you last used each app and how much storage each app consumes so you can decide what you want to unload or remove.
Offloading means that you keep the documents and data related to the app while freeing up storage space by uninstalling the app itself. It’s a good option if you don’t use an app much right now, but might want to get it in the future. Just select the app from the list and choose the “Offload” button.
If you don’t plan to visit the app again, you can uninstall it completely to delete associated data as well.
8. Select the manual backup option in your iCloud settings menu
This one is tricky, because it’s your responsibility to remember to back up your phone. But having your phone set up to back up to iCloud automatically takes resources from your device, and for many of us, that’s not always necessary. Go to Settings > iCloud > Backup and switch the backup mode from “Automatic” to “Manual”. This will help you gain more control over when and how often your phone backs up, improving performance in the long run. Don’t forget to back up your data!
9. Enable power saving 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 it’s not great for performance. “Low Power Mode disables some important features and slows down your iPhone,” says Tech Detective iOS expert Monserrat Cancino. “Use only if your battery is less than 20%.”
10. Avoid extreme temperatures
Taking your iPhone on outdoor adventures where temperatures are extreme will affect the performance of your device and permanently reduce battery life. “This happens because your device has to work much harder to regulate its internal temperature,” Cancino said. “Try to use your iPhone only when the temperature is between 32 degrees and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and don’t leave it outside when it’s below freezing or very hot.”
If you want to take your phone to the ski slope, it’s probably best to grab 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 location services
When you download a new app, you’ve probably noticed that it asks if it can have permission to track your location. While this has some advantages in terms of convenience, it can also shorten your battery life and affect the performance of your iPhone. Besides, for security reasons, you don’t need an app to track you all the time.
“If you find your battery draining faster than usual, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services and change your apps’ permission to track you,” suggested Cancino. Select “While Using” as often as possible so that your apps don’t track your location all the time, and see if that improves your iPhone’s performance.
12. Reboot your iPhone
Sometimes the best solution is the simplest, most obvious. If all else fails, a simple restart can help boost your device’s performance.