If you’re an iPhone user, you’ve probably heard about the performance slowdown that some users experienced after upgrading to recent versions of iOS on certain devices. Recent iOS versions since 10.2.1 contain a power conservation feature that throttles performance on older iPhones that have low-capacity batteries. For instance, iPhone 6 users experienced a 50 percent slowdown after upgrading to iOS 11.2.2 in January.
Battery problems are only one potential cause of iPhone performance problems. If your iPhone is running slow, here are four strategies you can pursue to improve your device’s performance.
Check the Battery
While batteries aren’t the only possible cause of a slow phone, hardware is always a good place to start troubleshooting. The easiest way to check your battery is to install the Apple Support app. Start a chat session with a technician, and you will be guided through the process of checking your battery, which involves going under your settings for privacy into the analytics option to generate a report.
If an old battery is the problem, Apple now offers new batteries for $29. Alternately, if the new iOS power management feature is causing unwanted throttling, you can disable this feature. The iOS 11.3 upgrade, currently available in beta, includes a new Battery Health option that allows you to turn off throttling for iPhones up to 7 Plus. The iPhone 8 through X have hardware updates which make this adjustment unnecessary.
Update and Declutter Your Software
When hardware isn’t the problem, you may have a software issue. While older iPhones may experience throttling problems when upgrading to newer versions of iOS, for newer phones, making sure you’re running the current version of iOS will generally speed up performance. You can check that your software is up-to-date by going into your general settings under Software Update.
Once you’re sure you have the current iOS, you can take some steps to declutter your software. Shut down all non-essential applications that you’re not using. Restart your phone, which will clear out memory that’s being used unnecessarily. Delete any apps you don’t need.
To further conserve software usage, clear your Safari cookies and data. Turn off automatic background processes by going under Settings, selecting iTunes and App Store and turning off Automatic Downloads. Conserve graphics usage by going to Settings -> General -> Accessibility and setting Reduce Motion and Increase Contrast -> Reduce Transparency to On.
Use Smart Storage Strategies
Messages, photos, and music can add up over time and hog your phone’s storage space. Periodically delete data you don’t need.
You can move photos you want to save to your computer or to a cloud storage service. Deleting screenshots and Burst photos will also help save space. If you receive a lot of audio messages, you can adjust your settings under Messages to change their expiration time from never to two minutes after you listen to them.
Do a Factory Reset on Your Phone
If you’ve tried some of these strategies and you’re still experiencing slow performance, there are more drastic options you can try. A factory reset will restore your phone to its original settings, which can improve performance. However, this will delete your settings and data, so make sure you back up anything you want saved before doing a reset and follow the instructions for how to properly reset your phone.
Manage Your Phone’s Settings for Better Performance
Checking your battery, updating and decluttering your software, consolidating your storage, and doing a factory reset are four strategies you can use to improve your iPhone’s performance. Try out the first three strategies first before doing a factory reset as a last resort.