With iOS 4.x everything was super fast on my iPod Touch. Now with iOS 5, whenever there are a few apps open in the background, everything becomes slow.

It takes 20 seconds to switch between playlists. It's ridiculous.

The unfortunate thing is, thanks to Apple restrictions, I can't downgrade to iOS 4.x.

On Apple's official forum, other users report this problem too: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3376176?start=0&tstart=0

What is going on with iOS performance?

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    Older models tend to appear slower with newer iOS versions, that's one reason why Apple doesn't support all features on older models (or stops upgrading them altogether). – nohillside Dec 15 '11 at 19:07
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    What iPod Touch to do you have? – Bob Martens Dec 15 '11 at 19:43
  • I have ipod touch 3g. but even if the hardware of my ipod is slow (and it's not) it shouldn't gustify such a performance degrade from ios4 to ios5 for this kind of simple operation. – dynamic Dec 15 '11 at 20:36

Newer iOS devices have more system memory, which is separate from the flash memory. The OS itself has a specific memory footprint at boot time, and the rest of the system memory is used by applications. I don't have any data on this, but I can imagine that each major revision of iOS (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) has a larger system memory footprint than the previous release.

Keep in mind that the iPod Touch has a lower overall price than the iPhone released within the same year. An iPhone may cost $200 plus a two-year contract, but this is due to a subsidy paid by the wireless provider to Apple. So, the iPod Touch is expected to have a bit lower quality in terms of hardware specs (for example: system memory size, camera quality, CPU speed).

Taking the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4th generation as examples, Wikipedia states that the iPhone 4 has 512MB of system memory, and the iPod Touch 4th gen has 256MB of system memory. When the system runs out of memory for applications, it must make more memory available by terminating background processes or reducing their memory footprint. This may take time. You're more likely to experience this overhead on a device with less system memory, and on a likely slower CPU.


This provided answer is completely incorrect. I have a 4th gen touch and have notice MAJOR slowness after IOS5.

However, if you want to get your device back to speed, put it in airplane mode. Once I discovered this, it became apparent that the culprit is the background data services that Apple uses to amass tons of personal data on its users.

In airplane mode, switching between applications is quick. Loading play lists is still slow, so I wonder if it has to do with DRM? Either way, Apple is turning me off with every update.

Unless they add a projector to the next touch, I will not be upgrading.

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    You are aware that you can turn off most of these background data services in Settings, aren't you? – nohillside Jul 10 '12 at 20:21
  • @Larry, i have downgraded to ios 4.2.x. It is much faster. Hate apple – dynamic Jul 10 '12 at 22:47

I had the same experience with my 4th generation iPod touch. I think it may be because you have too many apps? I deleted a lot of my apps, and it's faster. You can also try upgrading or restoring it. I didn't do that as it's too much work. If you double-press the home button, press and hold the apps, and then minus them, it goes faster :)


You will have to reset your ipod touch, and turn some of the newer features that are really made for newer devices. If these don't help try to restore device as a new ipod. Go to this site and follow instructions, You will see much improvement. http://www.techhormone.com/ipod-touch-running-slow-after-ios-5-upgrade/

  • Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone. – nohillside Jul 9 '13 at 19:17

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