I recently recovered my lost iPad 2. I cannot afford a new tablet at the moment and I will use my iPad 2 as a daily driver (to browse the web, read books, college lectures, play games and other light applications). My biggest concern is that the iPad might become unusably slow with iOS 9. It runs smoothly with iOS 5 at the moment but most of the applications are not compatible and many features are not functioning (mail etc.).

  • If you are happy with the performance now, why would you change something you cannot revert? Also - what subjectively is "performance" to you? Apple clearly don't release updates to devices that become "unusably slow" due to testing and QA before release.
    – bmike
    Mar 27, 2016 at 15:24
  • This is largely opinion-based, but if it were me, I wouldn't hesitate to update to iOS 9. Mar 27, 2016 at 20:49
  • Right now there are problems with iOS9.3 on some older devices. Long-term I'd say yes, update... but give it a couple of weeks until 9.3.1 is out - ref: 9to5mac.com/2016/03/24/bricked-iphone-5s-5-ipad-2-ios-9-3-fix
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 28, 2016 at 6:12
  • iPad 2 iOS 9.3 is stable supposedly. But you should update only because basically all new apps aren't going to be usable on iOS 5. Mar 28, 2016 at 16:56

3 Answers 3


This Wikipedia Page states that "Although the A5-based iPad 2 is relatively archaic, showing signs of its age in iOS 8, iOS 9 is said to feature performance improvements that may help the aging device function more smoothly, and initial tests suggest that it did not significantly impact available space."

I upgraded three iPad2s last week, and did not notice any degradation in the short time I had for testing. I was making sure that they could be managed by our MDM and that a small set of common apps we use worked.


Do NOT upgrade. 9.3 is a brick on an IPad 2. Stay with version 5 if performance or reliability is an issues. Compatibility with newer apps would be the only reason. I updated and have regretted it ever since. Apple do not give you,the owner of the device the opportunity to backdate should you change your mind AFTER you have updated and are not happy. Not cool Apple.

  • Brick is misleading, it may cause slowdowns, but it won't brick your device for sure. There's some valid reasons to not allow downgrades though, as unfortunate as it is for the end user.
    – JMY1000
    Jul 10, 2016 at 5:59

Do not install iOS 8 or 9 on your iPad 2 !!! I was very happy for my iPad 2 with iOS 6, but after upgrading, it is slow as f... Apple makes sure, we cannot install older software, so now my tablet is almost useless. That policy makes me an Android user. I will never buy an iOS device again.

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