Daily Tip: More ways to speed up a laggy iPhone and iPad

While iOS may have one of the smoothest user experiences, that certainly doesn't mean it isn't immune to some of the same issues other phones and electronic devices suffer from. I've definitely experienced slowdowns on my iPhone or iPad from time to time. There are a few things you can do to help speed up a sad iOS device. Hit the jump for a few common and more advanced suggestions. Here are some more tips on speeding up your iPhone or iPad.

Clear out your multitasking tray

Apple swears up and down that multitasking will not slow down your iPhone or iPad since iOS uses a type of "caching" or saved state process instead of true multitasking. Under normal circumstances, you don't need to kill tasks in iOS multitasking, but I'm still convinced that some apps can have memory leaks. App store apps are not as immune as jailbreak apps. So if you're jailbroken, you may definitely notice a difference doing this. I can check my memory usage via SBSettings and have less than 100MB free (the iPhone 4 has 512MB, for example). After clearing out my multitasking tray, that number magically jumps to over 300MB free.

Delete your text messages

I know this sounds like an odd one but believe me, having thousands of text messages can make not only your texting app run slower but it can slow down spotlight search if you have it set to search texts as well. I am definitely a constant culprit when it comes to leaving thousands of texts lingering around. My text app starts lagging and when I search for items in spotlight, I notice a definite lag. Deleting them typically makes my device a lot more snappy. This would obviously not apply to iPad users.

If you're jailbroken, limit what you install

Jailbroken users have to be even more careful about installing and running applications from Cydia. It's always important to make sure that the apps you are installing don't conflict with each other (which sometimes is not an easy task). You also want to be sure that applications you have installed are compatible with the version of iOS you are running. The App Store won't let you install anything that isn't compatible with your device but Cydia will. So make sure you're looking for those things. If you have a problem jailbreak app, uninstall it and see if your device speeds up.

If you guys have any other suggestions or helpful hints for how you speed up your iOS devices, let us know in the comments!

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you'd like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to news@tipb.com. (If it's especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we'll even give ya a reward...)

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Daily Tip: More ways to speed up a laggy iPhone and iPad


The at least 10% free disk space thing we all follow on our Macs seems to apply to iOS too.
I you find you've taken too many videos, downloaded some big apps and the iPhone slows right down check in Settings > General > About and see how much free space you have - if it's less than 10% just remove some films or apps to speed the phone up again.

FYI best and quickest way ( if your jailbroken) is to install RemoveBG toggle in Sbsettings . On touch and it closes everything and cleans out your multitasking tray !

Killing apps is the best tip. Despite what Apple would like you to believe, multitasking does affect performance. It is a chore to manually kill apps, but if you want top performance that's the only solution. Otherwise, iOS will manage memory for you, just not very well.

Just because an Icon is in the multitasking tray does not mean that App is running.
If you do a hard reboot it will clear the memory of all not essential running Apps, even though all the icons will still be in the multitasking tray.
I just did a hard reboot and went from 15mb to 314mb on my iPhone4 all in one step.
All you have to do is hold down both the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button together until you get the Apple logo on the screen, then wait for the reboot to complete, memory is cleared.
(don't release to soon, for example don't release for the slide to turn off icon, keep holding both buttons down until you get the Apple logo)

I've always had really good luck with apps like Memory dr. That app really clears ALOT of memory and i always notice a big difference.

I guess it's good news then: if "that certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t immune to some of the same issues other phones and electronic devices suffer from" then it means it is in fact immune to them!

Try FakeClockUp from Cydia, it does fasten the animation speed. It makes my iPhone and iPad oh so quick.

"App store apps are not as immune as jailbreak apps."
i think you meant the opposite:
"App store apps are not as susceptible as jailbreak apps."
"Jailbreak apps are not as immune as app-store apps."

I jailbroke my iPhone because it was so laggy when not jailbroken.
Now I have control over the background processes and have not got frozen white screen in a long time.
PS: Tip for SBSettings users. SBSettings is faster if you have 8 or less toggles. The extra row for the ninth toggle slows it down a bit. Of course, you will notice a bigger difference depending on how old your device is. ie: in iphone 3G, the difference is HUGE!

Hold down both the Home button and the Sleep/Wake Button together until you get the Apple Logo on the screen then release.
Don't release to soon, ignore all the other stuff happening, wait for the apple logo to release the buttons.
This will clear all memory and close all Apps and reboot with just essential Apple apps running.
The icons will still be in the multitasking tray but they will all be closed. You don't have to remove the icons from the tray for them to be closed, that tray is just a list of shortcuts to the most recent apps used whether they are running or not.
When the Apple memory manager closes an app to free up memory it does not remove the icon from the tray. So just because an icon is in the multitasking tray does not mean that the app is still in RAM memory or running.

I use System Activity Monitor app to show me exactly which apps have memory/speed-clogging processes running in the background and exactly how much memory each is using. With that open, I double click the Home button to open the multitasking tray. When I close the apps listed above in Sys Act Mon, I can immediately see my memory increase.

I use "System Status". I also see the memory increase on the fly. I notice that the biggest culprit on my 4s is the AppStore app. If you have a lot of apps installed, as I do, it's esp. worthwhile to close the AppStore when you're not using it, apparently.

Great post and thread.

Also disabling a few indexes in spotlight. My phone was a lottt faster , it was unbelieviable how I went from staring at a text message notification I closed for almost a minute to feeling like it did right after the 4.0 upgrade. Idk if you guys already covered that.

When I was having problems with my home button last month, the genius told me that I had to keep my multitasking apps down to a minimum especially ones like Facebook and Skype. He said they eat into memory an can cause lag. I actually agree with him but I don't think Steve does. Those two should have a sitdown.

About the background apps, always depends on the app. There are some apps that are designed to run even in background (facebook, skype, some gps apps). So it is not just an icon showing up.
The best practises are to locate which apps are affecting memory with a memory management app or just kill them all.
And yes a jb iPhone is always slower.

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Try using Backgrounder in Cydia,
You can freely arrange every app to running in multitasking/Background, example :
1. OFF => apps will be closes when you hit the home button
2. Native => apps will be in native state, only save the last position in that apps
3. Backgrounder => apps still running in backgroung
4. Auto-detect => apps will do background instead if not native default
Try this on my iPhone 3G still run smoothly, i only running native Phone, iPod, Message & Setting Lol

wanna ask, i've download Street Fighter game on iTunes. when i sync-ed to my iphone, it doesnt appear. why? can u guys help...

My last comment makes no since because the scenario would never happen if you are playing correct basic strategy but what I want to know pertains to the same concept if the Player has A2 an the Dealer shows up card of 2 you hit. Then if you recieve a 5 do you follw the basic for A7 and STAND since you are not able to Double?