How to Speed Up Your iPhone If It Starts Slowing Down

Is your iPhone starting to bog down? Is it running slower and slower. Is this an Apple conspiracy to get you to buy their next phone?

A Stethascope on an iPhone - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/MacXever, Image #19604763

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/MacXever

Probably not.

This morning, my wife Gail complained to me that her iPhone seemed to be getting slow. She asked if I was experiencing the same thing.

“Now that you mention it,” I said, “yes!”

Both of us then did what we do when we want to solve a problem—we crowd-sourced it. We asked our Twitter followers for their advice.

We combined a few answers and then tried it on our own phones. We noticed an immediate improvement. We also asked our followers to validate our solution. Most reported similar results. Your mileage may vary.

Here’s what you can do to speed up your iPhone when it gets bogged down:

  1. Delete all your text messages. Go to the Messages application. Display the screen that lists all of the people with whom you have exchanged messages. Press the “Edit” button and then delete every conversation. Or, alternatively, you can swipe your finger to the left on each name and then press the “Delete” button.
  2. Shut down all open applications. Double-click your Home button to display your open applications. Now press on one—it doesn’t matter which—until it begins to shake and a red minus button appears in the upper left-hand corner. Press that button to close the app. Repeat this with every open app. (One person told me this step was unnecessary, but two Apple Geniuses advised it.)
  3. Reset your iPhone. Now hold the Home button down with your left thumb while simultaneously pressing the Power button with your right index finger. Keep pressing for 12–15 seconds, until the Apple logo appears.

That’s it!

Questions: Did this speed up your iPhone? Have you found anything else that was helpful? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Stephen Distasi

    Does having a lot of saved pictures and videos slow things down as well? Seems like those would take more space then text messages

  • OlykinsT

    Since installing iOS 6 my iphone 4 has become sluggish with apps taking ages etc and really getting on my nerves. I’ve been trawling the forums to see if anyone else had the same problem and trying to get an instant ‘fix’ to get back to the way it was. No luck – then I found this one. I did as suggested – except for the text messages bit as I don’t keep any old text messages at all and, so far so good. It does all seem to be working properly again. Maybe it just needs a little ‘kick’ now and then to keep it running happily. Thank you.

  • Uranidiot

    U r an idiot…

  • Sarge62436

    Thanks for the tip! I would never have guessed that all my saved iMessages would slow the works down!

  • JoJo

    I completed all three of your suggestions to speed up my partner’s old iphone – now it is much faster.  Thanks for these simple tips – saved us from visiting Apple shop!

  • Iqracut

    if this works ur amazing 
    #

  • Jasba

    ur a miracle worker thnx a lot lve u man my fones better now ####

  • Baller8737

    does reseting it delete content?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Nope.

  • Vibhu Pandey

    Go To general settings and reset your settings (not data ;)) from time to time.
    This will surely speed it up.

  • Vibhu Pandey

    Going to general and resetting all settings (not data!!) will make a hell of a difference.
    Also, if you have a jailbroken iphone, just go to cydia and download the ‘speed intensifier’ application. Really works if your iphone has turned into a one with slow animations.

  • Daniel

    Instead of always closing all those little icons, I use this wonderful yet obscure little app called ‘system for your device’. If the phone seems slow you open the app and you can stop all apps running, I.e. a ram refresh and your on your merry way.

  • Ronaldh720

    Found this resource by Goggling  the fact that my iPhone would “lock up”  when someone was leaving a message as I talked to a client.  It would freeze for 1-3 minutes.  Just did  1&3 and much improved!
    My kids have loaded my iPhone 4 with many game apps and I am going to ask them to  selectively delete…So many are programmed with the annoying popups. Found that if I took the time to go to notifications for each; turn off alert style to none, turn off other options as you choose…the phone resources usage would decidedly drop.
    I hope my two cents helps some other frustrated user.

  • Tpeery

    I am an iPhone4 user and have too many photos on my phone. I need to take them off because I am about exceeding my storage limit. I have deleted most of my kids games and apps because of it. Do I have to delete each photo individually? After I sync my phone is there another option for saving my photos?
    Thanks
    T. Peery

  • Patrick Doherty

    Hi,
    This worked a treat. Took ages to delete the messages though (5 years worth). Thanks.

    Patrick

  • Elcee22

    Excellent list of the fixes to speed up your phone.  I followed the list exactly and now have the I 4 running as fast as the day it came out of the box.  Thanks. 

  • B Freckles

    Nope dd all of this and didn’t help at all.
    I also noted that even though I closed all aps as you mentioned, they were still active according to my SYS-activityapp.

  • Y.Yamamoto

    Great it worked, Amazing! Thanks a lot.

    Moto

  • Jesus

    Didn’t work for me mate

  • Frederloosxoxo

    Fabulous! Worked wonders on my phone! Thanks so much!

  • Sundaro

    Thank you for helping me speed up my iphone.

  • Alankrummy

    This so far seems to have helped a lot…thank you so much!!! I was surprised to see how many open apps there were!

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  • Cheryl

    Thanks for the advice – absolutely helped !  My iPhone 4 had definately slowed down to the point of almost freezing – which makes sense since every single app was running in the background & I hadn’t deleted a text message in 2 years.  I guess I treated them like baking soda in the fridge (your supposed to change it ?) And here I sort of considered myself tech savy – embarrassing.  :o)

    So my phone is better &  I learned a couple of things I didn’t know – always a good day when that happens.

    Thanks again !

    Cheryl

  • M0rd3ca1

    As a response to all of the stuff stated on this post, I can say that while I worked as an Apple Genius we would often debate as to whether manually force-quitting apps was necessary or not. The Apple article referenced above doesn’t make sense as it shows how to force quit a single app, yet I can tell you that the “Apple Internal” information shown in that article says to never advise a customer to delete them all, which is counter-intuitive. You don’t always know which app is causing the problem.
    Pretty much everything that has been stated here is true, however the problem is solely relying on iOS to clear up memory as needed. Yes, iOS is designed to quit suspended apps in order to free up memory for newly opened apps as needed, and thus should be able to “juggle” memory without any input from the user. However, iOS isn’t perfect. Actually far from it. I am jailbroken on my iPhone and am constantly monitoring available memory in the status bar. Yes, clearing out the multitasking bar and restarting the phone BOTH clear up memory exactly the same way, so it’s your preference as to which one you’d rather do. But when iOS clears memory, it is usually in the form of a crash. Go check your logs at Settings>General>About>Diagnostics and Usage>Diagnostics and Usage Data and see if you have any “Low Memory” logs. If you see reoccurring low memory logs, then an app is crashing because there is not enough free memory (because iOS was not able to make enough in time). I see it happen with facebook all of the time. My available memory will read something small like 25 MB. I will open Facebook, see my memory go down to 3-4 MB, then my screen will flash and return to the homescreen, and all of the sudden, I have 150 MB of free memory. From there Facebook will open normally because it has enough memory. Facebook crashed during launch, and suspended processes were cleared as needed.The way to combat against this: clear your multitasking bar or shut off your phone regularly (once a day). I would usually tell customers to shut off their phones once a day or so if they were randomly crashing/running slow. Most people don’t want to have to clear out apps but are fine with shutting the phone off once at night. I am jailbroken so I set my phone to respring with a triple-click of the homebutton, which refreshes my available memory.

  • Jack

    You can also go to settings then general then spotlight search and uncheckmark all of them

  • Julz999

    MY IPHONE WORKS LIKE NEW NOW

  • Donna

    Thank you so much! I had tons of apps open and a lot of messages. So far it seems to be running better!

  • Audtree

    I totally believed in that Apple conspiracy. These tricks totally worked though and now I’m not forced into buying up. Thanks!

  • Rripslin

    This completely worked! My phone is so much faster than it was before. I also deleted over 700 photos as texts before I did the reset.

  • Anonymou

    Wow thanks for the tips! My phone is working so much faster. Simple and yet very effective.

  • Kayla Williams

    I have an iPhone 4S and my power button on the top is broken. how else can I reset it without deleting all my info, etc?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I am not sure. I recommend checking with Apple. If you live near one of their stores, go in and speak with a Genius.

  • Xavier

    Dunno about some of you but it sped up my iPhone 4. Thank you!!

  • Stacey

    Thank you Michael! I followed your steps and my iPhone 4 is much faster now!

  • S

    My phone isn’t necessarily running slowly, it’s just that when I try to view a picture or video that my friends send me, I can’t. It starts “loading…” and then doesn’t stop.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I would take it to the Apple Store if you have one available. The Geniuses there seem to be able to fix almost anything. Thanks.

  • luvbunnies

    Thank you! All it took was closing the open applications and now it’s back to normal:) It does work!!

    • Adam

      Michael, thanks so much. Sorry Bruce, but I have to report that I tried
      step 2 only and my phone is like new. The difference is unbelievable. My
      phone was on it’s knees for weeks despite the fact I have shut it down
      several times recently. Shutting it down didn’t make any difference at
      all. Step 2 about worked like magic. All those geniuses must have been
      right after all.

  • Louis245

    We all know that iPhone’s screen is not made of Gorilla glass like its competitors. And once iPhone 5 is released, we can safely assume that it will give us the same or maybe just a little better quality, type of screen. A cracked iPhone screen is a usual problem that makes it a real pain for the owners. It is not covered in the warranty of either Apple or the service provider and the cost can really reach the high heavens. It usually costs around $200 to repair a broken one and with this amount of money, you can actually buy a new iPhone. So what should you do when you have an iPhone that has a cracked screen?

    • mcnairwilson

      My iPhone was knocked out of my hand by a kid running out of the market and crashing into me. I took it to the Apple Store, they checked my timeline and handed me a new phone for one of the same model and memory size…no charge. I sync my iPhone 5 days a week so loading up my “Stuff” to the new phone was easy. Not sure about warranty, Apple Care, etc. Just sharing my experience.

  • K8gold

    Brilliant! It worked well but still have a problem with the keyboard catching up as I type. Any ideas on why that stayed slow? Thanks

  • Geraldine

    My IPhone 5 is sending me the text messages at the time it is supposed to, but the alert is coming in much later, what can I do to change that?

  • fix iphone screen

    The iMessage feature really isn’t that big of a deal to me as my network provider already gives me unlimited

    texts in my price plan, but if you haven’t got unlimited texts and you have a lot of friends using an iPhone

    then this feature will save you a ton of money. iIMessage also allows you to send images to your friends free of

    charge.

  • JD

    Text clearing always seems to work for me. Thanks for the reminder

  • Darrien

    I’m surprised how much quicker my iphone 3gs responded IMMEDIATELY after deleting texts spanning the last year. Apps which are in memory such as mail, have been taking 5-10 seconds to display even when actively toggling between apps. Mail was the first app I tried after deleting the texts and, having been active in memory, it displayed in less than a second. My camera also loaded noticeably quicker than it has been in the last few months.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m so glad it worked. Awesome!

  • http://www.esourceparts.ca/ fix iphone screen

    Fortunately though, you can purchase a used iPhone 3g motherboard for a surprisingly low price online. That’s

    because there are plenty of other iPhone users out there like you, and when they no longer want their phone,

    they sell it to a reliable person who will either refurbish it or sell it for parts. So you can buy one of

    those parts and then easily repair your phone.

  • http://www.esourceparts.ca/ fix iphone screen

    You’re reading this and thinking, “this guy just doesn’t want people saving money doing their own repairs.” That’s not true. This is true: There is no such thing as Apple Certification for iPhone, iPod or iPad repair.

  • Jennah

    I tried the tips it sorta Worked when U reset Your Iphone what Does It Do what does It Delete ?

  • http://www.stifada.com/ You Need

    You Can Do Better Using some program To Clear Temporary files And caches of any application then Fix the Crashes And Reboot And You’ll See the difference