7 Little-Known Tricks to Make Your iPhone Faster

You may notice your older iPhone running slow after a while, but tips for making your slow iPhone 5 of iPhone 6 faster aren’t as well known as the ones for the equally frustrating problem of creating more storage space on your phone. This is a good post to bookmark and reference whenever your iPhone slows down too much. These tricks should work for every model of iPhone running any version of iOS. So the next time you need to speed up your iPhone, we’ve got you covered. Here’s seven little-known tricks to make your iPhone faster.

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There’s a lot of general debate across articles of the web as to whether or not memory-boosting tips and tricks actually work to make the iPhone faster. I’ve read varying opinions and heard plenty of people say, “oh that doesn’t do much; it’s mostly a waste of time. Here do this instead.” But I’m going to let you decide for yourself. I’ll also be monitoring my memory usage (as stated below) during the testing of each trick to see if it makes a verifiable difference. The more free memory you have, the faster your iPhone is likely to run, so using the app to monitor memory is a one visible way to track whether or not the trick worked for you. A tip I see often that I will not include in my list is to stop updating your iOS (and apps.) Now if you have an iPhone 4, it may very well be true that updating could slow down your iPhone further. But for most people, the update will actually improve the overall speed, especially since Apple switched to a new file system that takes up less space on the iPhone with iOS 10.3. It’s far too case-by-case to make updating to the latest iOS a good tip across the board. Now that I’ve made my spiel, check out these tricks to make your iPhone faster.

1. Know Your Memory; Boost Your Memory

On my Mac, I have a software that quickly clears memory and speeds up my computer. It’s become the best forty dollars I’ve ever spent. But! You can get a similar program for free from the App Store on your iPhone. Meet Battery Saver. The app shows you how much memory you’ve used and how much free memory is left. There’s a big green button that says, Boost Memory. Simply tap that and the app will get your iPhone into “optimal shape.” I had about 60 MB of memory before using the app; now I have close to 400 MB of free memory, all in the span of two minutes. The app is also a great way to monitor how well the rest of the tricks work for you to speed up phone performance, which is why it’s tip number one.

2. Close All Nonessential Apps

This is most popular and debatable memory tip in our roundup. In my battery saving tips roundup, I told everyone to forget closing apps all the dang time, because it uses up your battery. But those background apps (whether refreshing or not) do take up iPhone memory. The middle ground viewpoint to both save on battery and memory is to close all nonessential apps but leave open the ones you consistently return to throughout the day. That way your iPhone will use less battery opening up those essential apps and save on memory when you close out a game you’re finished playing, or a social media feed you don’t need to check again for awhile. To do this, double click your Home button to activate the app switcher. Swipe up to close out any nonessential apps. This is a good time to check back at the Battery Saver app to see how much memory you freed up.

3. Fix a Slow Phone with This Clear RAM with iPhone Restart Trick

This isn’t the same as simply restarting your iPhone or powering it down. For whatever reason, this is the specific method for clearing your iPhone’s RAM. To do this, simultaneously hold down your Sleep/Wake button and your volume down button (on iPhone 6s and older hold the Home button instead of the volume) until your screen goes black and then pops back up. I checked the Battery Saver app afterwards; I freed-up about 120 MB of extra memory with this trick.

4. Make Your iPhone Faster by Clearing Safari Cookies & Data

It’s good to note that doing this will mean Safari won’t suggest URLs when typing unless they’re bookmarked. Some websites may also forget certain preferences, but it’s generally good practice to clear your cookies and data every now and again regardless. To do this, open Settings and tap Safari. Select History and Website Data, then confirm. I only got about 50 MB more of memory doing this, but I also do it pretty regularly.

how to make your iphone faster

5. Turn off Automatic Downloads and Background App Refresh

This is a trick that can speed up phone performance and improve battery life. Since both these features run in the background, turning them off means there’s less happening out of sight that could be slowing down your device. To turn them off, open Settings and select General. Tap Background App Refresh, and toggle it off. Then go back to Settings and tap iTunes & App Store, then toggle off Apps and Updates under Automatic Downloads.

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6. Delete Image-Heavy Messages and Remove Unneeded Music, Pictures, and Apps

This is another trick that’s good for memory and speed. Open your Messages app and delete any you don’t need hanging around. Particularly focus on messages with lots of images, gifs, or videos as they take up the most space and memory. To do this, open your Messages app then go down the list and swipe left, tap delete on any you can discard. I didn’t personally see much of a difference in memory doing this, but it needed to be done anyway.

To automatically take care of this step in the future, you can choose how long Message are saved: open Settings, tap Messages. Scroll down until you find Message History. Tap on Keep Messages and select either 30 days or 1 year instead of Forever.

I’ve also consistently read that deleting music, pictures, and apps will help as well. You can easily manage this by open Settings and selecting General. Then choose Storage & iCloud Usage. Under Storage, choose Manage Storage. You’ll see how much space you have available on your iPhone and how much space your apps are taking up. If an app uses a large amount of space, it’s probably using a lot of memory too. So delete any apps you don’t need. I’ve also read that deleting apps such as Spotify and Twitter then re-downloading them helps clear their caches and instantly take up less memory. If it’s Music that takes up lots of space on your iPhone (like it clearly is on mine), you can also tap Music to manage and delete what’s taking up too much memory and storage or simply isn’t needed anymore. If it’s Photos & Camera taking up too much, then use this article to get those photos from your iPhone to a computer and delete them afterward.

how to make your iphone faster

7. Reduce Motion

I saved this one for last because, in my mind at least, it’s the most extreme. The iPhone does a beautiful job of seamlessly transition between apps with animations and they're even faster now with iOS 10.3. But these animations take up battery life and can contribute to a slow iPhone. If you don’t mind the difference, you can easily choose to Reduce Motion in Settings. Open the Settings app, tap General, and select Accessibility. Select Reduce Motion, and toggle it on. This didn’t create any extra memory according to the Battery Saver app, but I wouldn’t expect it to. Instead, the iPhone feels faster because no time is being spent on the animation of zooming in and out of apps. The screen just changes.

how to make your iphone faster


You can find a couple additional tips for speeding up a sluggish iPhone as suggested by our web editor Sarah in a recent Insider question.

 

 

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Conner Carey is a writer (creative & SEO), online business consultant, and vision planner. You can schedule a free consultation or join her email list at connercarey.com (coming soon; you can email her at connercarey@gmail.com in the meantime). She’s currently garage-selling all of her stuff to hit the road in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi. Follow their adventures on instagram @georgiatheRV.