Like any piece of machinery, your iPhone will begin to run more slowly over time as it uses up memory and accumulates wear and tear. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive and make some minor changes to speed up its performance. If you’ve recently noticed your iPhone’s speed decreasing, check out our list of tips below on how to keep it running fast.
Delete Old iMessages
Deleting old iMessage threads is an oft-overlooked solution for speeding up your iPhone, since each individual message eats an infinitesimal amount of memory. But you’d be surprised the amount of memory you can free up by deleting old, seemingly endless text conversations (group convos are a good place to start). Getting rid of voice memos and photos in text threads will do even more to free up memory. Go to your text messages and swipe left on any thread you want to delete.
Delete Unused Apps
Apps are massive memory eaters; having unused ones chilling on your home screen will unnecessarily slow down your iPhone. Go through and delete any old, useless apps--like that Ruzzle game your mom made you download last year so you two could “stay connected online.” Press and hold any app on your home screen until they begin to shake; click the “X” in the top-right corner of any app you want to delete.
Turn Off Background App Refresh
Even when some apps aren’t in use, they’re gradually sucking processing power by auto-refreshing. All things being equal, it’s a useful feature because it keeps your dormant apps prepped and ready to roll by auto-downloading new data. In reality, however, it’s more trouble than it’s worth. You’ll be able to pull up the score of the Lakers game on the NBA app just as quickly as you were able to before. Go to Settings → General → Background App Refresh and toggle it off. (This will also help increase your battery life, a topic we’ve covered with more tips included.)
Turn On Reduced Motion And Increase Contrast
The parallax effects (app motion against your background) that were so fresh when iOS 7 first came out actually slow down your iPhone. If you don’t mind a motionless home screen, go to Settings → General → Accessibility → Reduce Motion On. While you’re in Accessibility you can also go to Increase Contrast → Reduce Transparency On to further increase the overall speed of your operating system.
Update Your Operating System
So long as your iPhone isn’t older than that Trader Joe’s microwavable pizza in your freezer, updating your operating system is usually a quick fix to improve the speed of your phone. You can check if you need an update by going to Settings → General → Software Update. Proceed accordingly.