5 Reasons Why Your iPhone is Slow (And How to Fix it!)

Tech Tips
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Does your iPhone seem slow or laggy, taking longer than usual to open or close apps? One or more of these 5 things could be contributing to your problem! Find out which one of these common issues is plaguing your phone, and how to fix it.

1. Not Enough Space

Arguably the most common culprit behind a slow iPhone is the lack of free storage space. So how did we get here? Well, remember those 500 pictures of the ground you accidentally took at camp? They all take up storage space, which is limited to a certain amount on every iPhone. Each iPhone’s storage capacity is measured by gigabytes, or GB, and ranges from 16 GB to 512 GB. Any kind of media – like photos, videos, and music – use storage space, and once your iPhone starts to get low, things start to get slow (yes, we’re songwriters by night). This is because your iPhone requires a little bit of free storage space to function. 

How to Fix it: 

The good news about storage space dilemmas is that they’re relatively easy to fix, and your iPhone can get back to regularly scheduled programming pretty quickly. Your first course of action should be finding exactly what is taking up all that space. To access your storage usage data, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Usage’ > and finally ‘Manage Storage’. This should give you a list of all your storage stealers, going from most storage used to least. From here, you have two options: Either start deleting photos (admit it, some of them probably shouldn’t be there anyway), or you can flaunt what your half eaten apple gave you and use that iCloud storage! Apple’s iCloud lets you store and backup files so you can free some space from your phone. Wondering how much space you need? A good rule of them is to leave around 10% of your device’s total storage capacity free. For example, if you have a 16 gigabyte storage capacity, try to leave around 1.5 gigabytes of storage unused for optimal performance.

2. Outdated Software

Like pretty much everything in life, your iPhone’s performance can change drastically as it ages. While some speculate this is Apple’s way of gently nudging us into a purchase of a newer model, Apple claims they sometimes slow older versions to preserve the phone, keeping the phone from shutting down due to an aged battery (how sweet, amirite?). If your iPhone is old enough, it may be suffering the wrath of Apple’s strange preservation methods, but it doesn’t mean your case is hopeless.

How to Fix it:

Before you run out to buy the newest iPhone as a replacement, check to see if your model has any software updates available. You can check for any applicable software updates by going to ‘Settings’ then ‘General’ and ‘Software Update’. If there’s nothing there, you’re screwed. We’re kidding, we’re kidding! If there is an update available, go ahead and install it. If there’s no applicable update for your iPhone, you can keep troubleshooting, or contact Apple to check if there could be an underlying software issue.

3. Too Many Apps Running

Ask yourself this question: Do I really need to have my recipe app, Temple Run, Capital One and Whatsapp open right now? If you answered yes, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for being the most efficient multitasker we know. In the more likely event of you answering no, it may be possible that your multiple apps (and unused apps) open at the same time are slowing down the otherwise swift performance of your iPhone.

How to Fix it:

To prevent your iPhone from overheating (and being over you in general), take the time to clear your cache and memory once in a while. If you’re not using an app, go ahead and delete it- not only will this free up space for your phone, but if it was an app that continuously ran in the background, you should see the smooth speed of your iPhone return. While we’re talking about deleting unwanted apps, turning off automatic app updates can tremendously increase your phone’s performance speed by lessening those pesky background processes.

4. High Performance Settings

iPhones have earned their crown as ruler of high-performance phones. But some of these high-performance settings can prove too much, and actually slow your phone down. Some of the settings behind these severe iPhone slowdowns can actually be an annoyance for some people, so messing around with these settings may actually improve how you enjoy your iPhone as a whole.

How to Fix it:

There are some graphic settings on certain models that can be altered to increase performance speed – but don’t worry, your iPhone will still have the amazing display you’re used to. One of the most useful settings you can change is the Motion setting. By going to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Accessibility’, you can see whether your phone has the ‘Reduce Motion’ option set to on or off. If it’s off, try turning it on to speed up your phone. This setting alters that cute little animation your iPhone does when swiping screens or opening apps, which helps speed up the phone by using less resources. For some, it’s also a lot easier on the eyes.

5. A Simple Reset

Sometimes, our phones have a mind of their own. We’re not talking about the motherboard, but the metaphorical mind we seem to especially notice when our devices are going haywire. Sometimes processes are just too much, your iPhone just gets too hot, or an accumulation of your everyday wear and tear has your iPhone slowed down to a screeching halt. What do you do when your iPhone is suddenly slow for no apparent reason?

How to Fix it:

Simply reset it. Yes, it’s that easy. Just restart your phone! Turn it off, give it a second (or 10), and turn it back on. Make sure it’s unplugged during this whole process, too. While we can’t always explain the reason behind our iPhone’s moodiness, we can tell you that restarting your device is a fast and simple way to clear your device’s memory and straighten out those wonky, mishap-filled apps.

If none of these tried and true methods worked for your slow or laggy iPhone, it may be time to contact an Apple expert – or succumb to that shiny new model that was just released. Whether you decide to bring your phone to trained repair professionals, or go straight for the check-out counter, make sure you run through our list one more time to make sure you’re not missing out on an easier, faster fix.

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