What things can you do to increase the speed of your iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch?

It appears that over time, the iPhone gets slower and slower over time, and I have picked up a couple of tricks here and there, and I am sure there are more tips out there.

Speed in this context is being less sluggish switching between apps, not data-speed.

Please add only one solution per answer to make it easier to vote.

closed as not constructive by Philip Regan Oct 5 '11 at 17:50

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I want to make this a community wiki, if a moderator sees this, please make it so. :) – Kjensen Oct 5 '11 at 15:43
  • Just flag it and explain in the box that you want it made CW. – Loïc Wolff Oct 5 '11 at 15:51
  • So you'd rather have one solution per answer? – Loïc Wolff Oct 5 '11 at 15:52
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    I have gotten a flag on this that I think raises a good point. What evidence, by that I mean anything more than casual observation, do you have that these devices get slower over time? I made this community wiki, but I have to agree that this is subjective even for community wiki, so I am closing it. If you can provide evidence and require answers to provide evidence, then I will re-open it. – Philip Regan Oct 5 '11 at 17:50
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    @Kjensen: Per your flag, the question is not constructive because per the explanation "we expect answers to generally involve facts, references, or specific expertise; this question will likely solicit opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion." Unless there is emperical evidence that (a) iOS devices slow down over time and (b) the answers given improve said performance issues in a way that is verifiable, everything here is subjective, and therefore not a good fit. – Philip Regan Oct 5 '11 at 21:45

Cold, hard reboots

You perform the reboot by holding down home and power button for about ten seconds, even longer than for the red shutdown slider thingy to appear.

I have seen it reported in several places, that doing two consecutive reboots like this seems to work better that one. I don't know if that is true, but worth checking out.


Turn off Spotlight Search

Settings > General > Spotlight Search > Disable features you do not use

This seems to have a noticeable effect on how fast you switch between programs

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    Can you define a "noticeable effect"? I'd be interested in knowing exactly what effect this has on performance. – Brant Bobby Oct 5 '11 at 15:58
  • In my case it was like maybe 1sec down to 0.2 sec to close mail for instance. People have reported pretty solid success with this. – Kjensen Oct 5 '11 at 16:01
  • Can you make your answer community wiki? – Loïc Wolff Oct 5 '11 at 16:08
  • @brant the less iOS have to monitor to index, the faster he will be. And if you have a big iPod library, a lot of mails or messages, it will take longer for iOS to index everything. – Loïc Wolff Oct 5 '11 at 16:09

Start fresh

Use iTunes to reinstall iOS from factory settings. To make it even fresher, don't migrate your old data (you'll probably lose games high scores)

Having to rethink every settings, pondering whether you really need that GPS localization or this push notification can help limit the number of running processes.

  • I think this and rebooting occasionally are about the only things worthy of note here. Nothing beats a reboot or a reinstall of an OS. – Philip Regan Oct 5 '11 at 17:52
  • @philip The "Reset Settings" works amazingly well for me. – Loïc Wolff Oct 5 '11 at 17:53

Reset settings

Using Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings.

You wont' lose any app data, only WiFi password and homescreen icon layout, but I found it to give my iPhone a new life.


Manage the number of open apps using the task switcher

You can double-tap the Home button to bring up the task switcher, then tap and hold an app's icon to terminate its process. Obvious targets to terminate are open sessions of most games (Angry Birds, Madden, NBA Jam, FIFA Soccer), Safari, etcetera.

The key point to remember is that iOS terminates apps in the background for you if it requires more resources such as memory. The rules that iOS uses are not clearly stated by Apple. However, from anecdotal experience and multiple posts online it is commonly believed that the apps that will be terminated first are the ones found at the far right of the task switcher, since those are the ones you have not been using recently.

What that in mind, terminating tasks in the first 1 to 8 icons from the left will most likely make a huge difference, since they will probably still be residing in memory. I see a noticeable difference whenever I terminate any of the first 1 to 8 apps in the task switcher--especially if they are games. Hope this helps.

  • Killing applications may help to speed up the device (more RAM for other apps) but in the end you lose in battery life. Since when an app is in background, it's not using CPU time, it's just sitting there, waiting to be awoken. But killing it means the OS has to removed it from RAM and clean everything, hence CPU time and less battery life. – Loïc Wolff Oct 5 '11 at 16:19

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