AVG Signal Blog Performance Speed How to Speed Up Your iPhone
How-to-speed-up-your-iPhone-Hero

Why is my iPhone so slow?

Your iPhone is slow because, like any electronic device, iPhones slow down over time. But a lagging phone can also be caused by performance issues you can fix. The most common factors behind slow iPhones include bloatware, unused apps, outdated software, and overloaded storage space.

This article contains:

    Here are some of the most common reasons why your iPhone is slow:

    1. Bloatware and other junk files are clogging up storage space.

    2. You're not running the latest version of iOS.

    3. You have a poor network connection (weak Wi-Fi signal).

    4. Your iPhone has been exposed to extreme weather.

    5. Your iPhone settings aren’t optimized, such as motion and brightness displays.

    6. Your iPhone’s battery is deteriorating.

    7. Your iPhone model is impacted by Apple's "performance management."

    Apple admitted to intentionally slowing down older iPhone models, including the iPhone 6, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and any iPhone X running iOS 12.1 or higher, supposedly to preserve battery life and optimize performance. In other words, an iPhone running slow, especially a slow iPhone 6, is a known issue.

    And it’s not just iPhones that suddenly slow down. Macs can also get clogged up with junk files and bloatware. AVG TuneUp offers a fully automated Mac cleaner that will get your computer running like new.

    How to speed up your iPhone

    So, is your iPhone running slow? If your iPhone is overloaded with data, runs automatic downloads, or needs software updates, there are a few quick wins for better performance no matter which model you have. Speed up your iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPhone 7, or even the latest iPhone with the following steps. Is your Mac running slow, too? Check out our guide to learn how to speed up a Mac.

    Here’s how to make your iPhone faster.

    Restart your device

    Did you try turning it off and on again? Restarting your phone can help with iPhone speed and make your iPhone faster.

    To restart your iPhone:

    1. Press and hold the side button on the right side of your phone.

    2. Gently swipe right on slide to power off.

      To power off your iPhone gently swipe left to right on option "slide to power off."

    Check for iOS updates

    A simple iOS update can help speed up a slow iPhone. Install the latest software on your sluggish iPhone to give your device the boost it needs. When new iOS updates are launched, people commonly report speed issues on their existing version. Some even ask "why is my iPhone overheating?" Not only can updating your phone make your iPhone faster and cooler (literally), it strengthens your built-in security.

    Here’s how to check for iOS software updates:

    1. Open the Settings app.

      Open your iPhone's Settings app to check for iOS updates
    2. Scroll down to General.

      Screenshot of the General tab within the Settings app on an iPhone.
    3. Then tap Software Update, which will instantly prompt the “Checking for Update …” message.

      Within the General tab of the Settings app, tap Software Update to get the newest version of iOS.
    4. The newest iOS version will be displayed with an option to learn more or install. Tap Download and Install to continue, then follow the password prompts to complete installation.

    The final step of installing new iOS software is to review the software update and then tap Download and Install.

    Turn off location services

    Many apps need location services. Google Maps can't take you home if the app can't locate you. Ride-sharing apps can't track a ride in real time without GPS coordinates. But these location services don’t need to run 24/7

    If your iPhone is really slow, conduct a location permissions audit. You should quickly check which apps use location services, which apps can be switched off completely, and which apps can be switched to “While Using the App.”

    Here’s how to turn off or edit location services:

    1. Open the Settings app, then tap Privacy and Location Services.

      To turn off Location Services on iPhone, go to the Settings > Privacy > Location Services and edit access accordingly.
    2. Decide if you want to turn Location Services off entirely or only for some apps.

      1. To turn off Location Services for all apps, toggle the Location Services option from green to grey.

      2. To turn off Location Services for individual apps, find the app in question and tap its name to set permissions. Choose between Never, Ask Next Time, and While Using the App.

        Navigate to Location Services within the Privacy tab to set permissions for the entire iPhone, or for individual apps.

    Scan iPhone for malware

    A worrisome reason for a slow iPhone is malware. Although not as susceptible to malicious apps as Android devices, iPhones can still get infected with malware, although it's very rare. Jailbroken iPhones are at a much greater risk of malware infection.

    AVG Mobile Security for iPhone & iPad is a strong and lightweight cybersecurity tool custom built for iOS, and it’ll help to get your iPhone running fast and smooth.

    Check your internet connection

    "My iPhone is running slow," often means, "the internet on my iPhone is running slow." So how to make your iPhone’s internet faster? In most cases, slow internet isn’t a problem with your iPhone so much as with your Wi-Fi network or mobile data connection.

    Here are a few ways to diagnose the cause of your iPhone’s slow internet connection:

    Get a stable connection

    If your Wi-Fi connection isn’t strong, you’ll see an immediate drop in internet speed. Make sure your Wi-Fi icon indicates a full-strength connection. If not, try toggling your Wi-Fi off and then on again. If that doesn’t help, move closer to your router or switch to mobile data.

    Perform an internet speed test

    A free online speed test will quickly assess your internet connection’s download and upload speeds. It’s a good way to confirm that you’re getting the speeds you’re paying for from your internet service provider (though Wi-Fi will always be slower than a direct Ethernet connection). Some speed test providers even have standalone apps for iOS and other devices.

    An internet speed test at http://www.speedtest.netPerforming an internet speed test at speedtest.net.

    Reset your network settings

    Resetting your iPhone’s network settings can give it a fresh start with a faster internet connection. You’ll need to re-enter your Wi-Fi password when you’re done.

    1. Open your Settings app and go to General > Reset.

      Accessing the Reset options in the Settings app for iOS
    2. Tap Reset Network Settings and enter your PIN when prompted.

      Resetting network settings in iOS
    3. Tap Reset Network Settings to confirm.

      Confirming a network settings reset in iOS

    And while you’re fixing your internet connection, you can also clear your search and browser history from your iPhone and delete cookies to preserve your privacy.

    Fix Wi-Fi network issues

    If your iPhone is running slow at home, but is speedy elsewhere, the issue might be a network connection with your router. Learn how to boost your Wi-Fi signal strength with a few quick wins, like relocating your router and changing the Wi-Fi channel. If your iPhone is still slow even when connected to an optimized Wi-Fi network, the problem might be background data.

    Reduce motion settings and screen brightness

    A brighter screen takes up more energy and may be the cause of why your iPhone is slowing down. You don't have to go full-on night mode, but a slight adjustment may help speed up a super sluggish iPhone. Also consider turning off motion effects in iPhone settings to speed up your device. Just note that reducing motion settings will affect autoplay videos and the user interface experience on some apps. 

    Here’s how to reduce motion settings on iPhone:

    1. Tap the Settings app.

    2. Go to Accessibility.

      Navigate to the Accessibility tab with the Settings app of an iPhone to adjust motion settings.
    3. Select Motion to customize settings.

      To adjust the way your iPhone displays motions (mostly within apps), select the Motion option within the Accessibility tab.
    4. Choose which of the four types of motions you want to adjust by toggling its corresponding tab from green to grey.

      Choose from 4 motion types: Reduce Motion, Prefer Cross-Fade Transitions, Auto-Play Message Effects, and Auto-Play Video Previews.

    Here’s how to reduce screen brightness on iPhone: 

    1. Tap the Settings app.

    2. Navigate to Display & Brightness.

    3. Reduce screen brightness using the scroll bar and consider turning on Night Shift to automatically reduce brightness when natural light is dimmer.

      Reduce screen brightness on iPhone by navigating to the Settings app and adjusting brightness in Display & Brightness tab.

    Free up space on your device

    Did you take a million photos today? Do you have massive video files from a WhatsApp group chat you don't even know about? Or worse, is your iPhone too slow because you need to remove bloatware or junk files? It's time to learn how to clean up your iPhone.

    Start by removing unwanted images and videos, then move on to deleting unused apps and bloatware. Dropping this extra weight can make your iPhone considerably faster. 

    Remember, hiding an app on an iPhone does not free up storage space.

    Restore to factory settings

    Is your iPhone so slow that none of these tips have made a difference? If the above strategies can’t help your iPhone speed up, you’ve got one more option: restoring your iPhone to its factory settings.

    This is a last resort, because performing a full factory reset deletes all the data on your iPhone. Back up any data you wish to keep to your iCloud account or on a computer or external hard drive before performing a factory reset. 

    Here’s how to perform a factory reset on your iPhone:

    1. Go to Settings > General.

    2. Select Reset at the bottom.

      To perform a factory reset, open the General tab within the Settings app and tap Reset.
    3. Choose Erase All Content and Settings, which will do exactly that — erase everything.

      Finalize your option to restore iPhone factory settings by selecting Erase All Content and Settings within the Reset tab.

    How to speed up your Mac, too

    Now that you know how to improve iPhone performance, it's time to speed up your Mac, too. For many Apple lovers, owning an iPhone and Macbook or iMac go hand in hand. Because your iPhone and Mac computer are intrinsically connected, a clean and optimized Mac is the next obvious step after getting a clean and fast running iPhone.

    Start fresh with AVG TuneUp for Mac. Rediscover a clean and buttery smooth Mac by getting rid of junk files and bad-quality or duplicate photos. Then, you’ll have all the space you really need.

    Get more speed, space, and battery life for your phone with AVG Cleaner

    Free install

    Protect your iPhone against a variety of threats with AVG Mobile Security

    Free install