7 LITTLE KNOWN TRICKS TO MAKE YOUR IPHONE FASTER
f you keep an iPhone for more than a year or two, you may notice it running slower over time. If that's the case, this is a good article to save and reference whenever your device slows down too much. These tricks should work for every model of iPhone running any version of iOS. The next time you need to speed up your iPhone, we've got you covered. Here are seven little-known tricks to make your iPhone faster. One thing to note is that depending on your iPhone model, updating your iOS (and apps) can either slow down or speed up your device. If you have an iPhone 5S or 6, it may very well be true that updating could slow down your iPhone further. But for most people, the update will actually improve your overall speed, especially since Apple switched to a new file system ever since iOS 10.3 that takes up less space on the iPhone. Since Apple has focused on performance with iOS 12, chances are updating your software on all compatible devices will make your device run faster.
1 Know Your RAM; Boost Your Memory
The more free RAM (working memory) you have, the faster your iPhone is likely to run. 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 (free). The is an older app but it still works great. It shows you how much memory you've used and how much free memory is available. There's a big green Boost Memory button that you can tap to get your iPhone into optimal shape. I had about 60 MB of memory before using the app; afterward I had close to 400 MB of free memory. The app is also a great way to monitor how well the rest of these tricks work for you, which is why I made this tip number one.
2 Delete Unneeded Music, Pictures & Apps
Your Messages app often harbors tons of images, GIFs, and videos that are slowing down your device. To address this, open your Messages app and delete anything you don't need hanging around. To do this, you can open your Messages app and either swipe left on a message thread and tap Delete, or you can open individual threads, tap the info icon, and view and delete media from there. To automatically take care of this step in the future, you can choose how long texts 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.
Deleting music, photos, and apps can help as well. Open Settings and select General. Choose iPhone Storage. Here you will see how much space your apps, music, photos, etc. are taking up. Under Recommendations you may see options such as Optimize Photos, which if enabled will save low-res versions of your photos on your iPhone and preserve the hi-res originals in iCloud. Below that you'll see a list of how much storage each app is using. If an app uses a large amount of space, it's probably using a lot of RAM too. Tap on any app in the list in order to offload it or delete it, or manage its data. Deleting the app will permanently delete it. Offloading the app will delete the app but preserve the data in case you want to re-download it later. For Music, you can delete songs right here or go back to the main Settings, tap Music, select Optimize Storage so you can limit the number of songs you have stored on your iPhone (this will not limit the number of songs in your Music Library.)
3 Close All Nonessential Apps
This is the most popular yet debatable tip in this roundup. In the past, I've told everyone to stop closing apps all the time, because it uses up battery. But according to our tests, those background apps do take up iPhone memory. So if you're interested in clearing memory, try closing all nonessential apps but leaving open the ones you consistently use throughout the day. That way your iPhone will use less battery opening up those essential apps and will still 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 a while. To do this, swipe up halfway on your screen and release (on older phones 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.
4 Try Our RAM-Clearing 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, press the volume up, then the volume down button, and then hold the Side button (on iPhone 6S and older hold the Home and Side buttom simultaneously instead) until your screen goes black and then pops back up. I checked the Battery Saver app afterward; I freed up about 120 MB of memory with this trick.
5 Clear Safari Cookies & Data
It's good to note that clearing Safari data will mean the browser won't suggest URLs when you're 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 Clear History and Website Data, then confirm. I only got about 50 MB more memory doing this, but I also do it pretty regularly.
6 Turn off Automatic Downloads & 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 select Off. Then go back to Settings and tap iTunes & App Store, then toggle off Apps and Updates under Automatic Downloads.
7 Enable 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 transitioning between apps with animations. 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 turn off these animations 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 used on the animation of zooming in and out of apps. The screen just changes. 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. 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.