iPhones have become much more than just phones; they are portable computers that we carry around with us. They help us plan our trips, buy concert tickets, monitor our children, communicate with our boss and doctor via video chat, manage our routes, measure our steps and calories, and much more. The list goes on and on.
There are other ways we can keep our iPhones at peak performance. Check out these techniques to boost its performance if yours is feeling a bit slow.
The reason why this is the most basic and important step is because it helps in securing your device. Your iPhone will function optimally if the software is up to date. Not everyone is diligent about installing the latest updates, but you can make it easier for yourself by toggling “On” for “Automatic Updates” in Settings > General > Software Update.
After a new version is released, you may hesitate to update and wait a few weeks for any bugs to be fixed. However, Forbes advises against waiting too long to update to avoid “update fatigue”. The December 16.2 update that was made available fixed 35 security vulnerabilities.
Check disk space
The latest iPhones seem to have endless storage compared to the previous 16GB storage versions, but that’s not true. iPhones tend to get clogged with unnecessary apps, pictures, and other information over time. According to Apple, their phones need a certain amount of free space to function effectively.
The manufacturer recommends keeping at least 1GB of free disk space for optimal performance. Your smartphone may slow down if your available storage space is consistently less than 1 GB.
You can go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to get your device’s recommendation.
Disable unnecessary features
Your iPhone’s performance improves when you use Wi-Fi instead of cellular data, whether you’re at home or at work and have a strong Wi-Fi connection. When you’re on the go, you can still make your iPhone more efficient by turning off unused features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and location services.
Make a habit of turning WiFi back on when it’s available by going to the Settings menu and selecting the features you want to turn off.
Disable background app refresh
Even if you don’t use your phone much, you may occasionally find that the battery is draining faster than usual. There may be programs running in the background, which is one possible explanation. These apps drain your battery and slow down your phone when they map or geolocate you.
You can manually swipe up and close apps you’re not using, or you can go to Settings > General > Background app refresh and turn them off for any apps you don’t need to be running in the background.
Adjust visual effects and animations
On older devices, reducing the motion of visual effects and animations can free up a lot of processing power. If you need more speed from your phone, go to Settings > General > Accessibility, then scroll down to Reduce Motion. Disabling this setting should result in an immediate reduction in processor usage.
Keep your apps up to date
You might think you download an app once and that’s it, but outdated apps can contribute to slow performance on your iPhone (in addition to security risks). It is important to regularly check for iOS system updates as well as updates from individual apps. Apple makes it easy to update apps. Go to the App Store on your phone and you will see updates in the sidebar. From there you can select individual apps to update or update all.
Delete or unload unused apps
There’s no need to keep apps you don’t really use, and deleting unused apps can help your phone run efficiently. You can search your phone and remove any app you don’t access regularly by pressing and holding the icon until it wiggles.
To get a deeper insight into your usage, you can go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to see a list that shows you when you last used each app and how much storage each one is using, giving you helps in deciding what to outsource or delete.
Choose the manual backup option in the iCloud settings menu
This one is tricky because you have to remember to backup your phone. But having your phone automatically backed up to iCloud consumes resources from your device, and for many of us it’s not always necessary. Go to “Settings” > “iCloud” > “Backup” and switch the backup mode from “Automatic” to “Manual”. This gives you more control over when and how often your phone creates backups, and improves performance over the long term. Just don’t forget to back up your data!
Activate the energy saving mode only when necessary
You may have noticed that your iPhone goes into sleep mode when your battery drops below 20%. This is a good feature for extending battery life, but it’s not good for performance. “Sleep mode disables some important features and slows down your iPhone,” says Tech Detective’s iOS expert Monserrat Cancino. “Use only when your battery is below 20%.”
Avoid extreme temperatures
Taking your iPhone on outdoor adventures in extreme temperatures will affect your device’s performance and permanently decrease battery life. “This happens because your device has to work a lot harder to regulate its internal temperature,” Cancino said. “Try to only use your iPhone when the temperature is between 32 degrees and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and don’t leave it outside when it’s below freezing or very hot.”
If you plan on taking your phone to the ski slopes, it’s probably best to get a locker and leave it at the lodge. If you take your iPhone to the beach, keep it in the shade and as cool as possible.
Check location services
Whenever you download a new app, you’ve probably noticed that it asks if it can have permission to track your location. While this has some convenience benefits, it can also decrease battery life and affect your iPhone’s performance. Also, for security reasons, you don’t need an app constantly tracking you.
Reboot your iPhone
Sometimes the best solution is the simplest and most obvious. If all else fails, a simple restart can help improve your device’s performance.
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