Pin Me

Troubleshooting: Why is my iPhone Slow?

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 9/21/2010

Here are a few of the most successful methods to troubleshoot a slow iPhone. There are also a few circumstances when there may be good reasons for a slow iPhone.

  • slide 1 of 5

    Slow Down

    The days of the simple cell phone are over as our new smartphones operate in much the same way that a computer does, minus the keyboard and mouse. We get an increasing number of features because of this development, but at the same time we are plagued with more and more of the same problems that we encounter on our home computers. One of these is the slowing down of our phone's operation, and a slow iPhone is a more common complaint then you might think. Here are a few places to turn if you find yourself asking, "Why is my iPhone slow?"

  • slide 2 of 5

    Too Much

    The first thing you should do if you have a slow iPhone is to check what you have on it. There are only eleven standard pages of iPhone apps that can be shown, but you can get way more than this if you access them through Spotlight. If you get too far beyond the eleven pages of iPhone apps you may find that this may leave you with a slow iPhone. This is going to cause a slow iPhone more often when it is coupled with an almost full storage space, which could really only come from a large amount of music, photos, or video media on there. Just as with your home computer, if there is too much content in your iPhone it is likely to run slow. The same is going to be true of the new iOS 4's multitasking system where multiple programs will stay open technically until you actually close them. Every so often you should hold the Home button down, see what is still running, and close up what is not necessary.

  • slide 3 of 5

    Other Content

    Beyond just the media and software content you will need to attend to your iPhone's communication content. This does not mean that you need to start getting rid of contacts, but the iPhone text message system allows for a growing number of text messages to fill up your iPhone without much initiative to delete them. In older phones you were only allowed a specific number, but that limitation is not set on the iPhone 4. Now that you can delete specific messages and do not just have to erase the entire conversation this should be one of the places you go to free up a slow iPhone.

    You are also going to want to clear out a few things that you have acquired by browsing online. You will want to delete both the cache and history, especially if Safari is one of the primary ways that your iPhone is running slow. Go into the iPhone's Settings and then go down to Safari, which is under Phone and above Messages. At the bottom you will be able to hit the Clear History, Clear Cookies, and Clear Cache buttons and you should choose all three.

    It may also be beneficial to look into deleting your iPhone's themes, excess iPhone wallpaper, and other extra items that are not pertinent to your iPhone use.

  • slide 4 of 5

    Update Your iPhone

    Each iOS update, whether a major one like iOS 4 or a small one like iOS 4.0.1, is going to fix problems and add features. If there are bugs in the system this is going to usually be addressed by a firmware update, which means that you need to keep up on them. If you find that you have a slow iPhone and have not updated your iPhone's firmware to iOS 4.1 then this should be the top priority, until iOS 4.2 comes out.

  • slide 5 of 5

    A False Slow

    Many situations will not indicate that your iPhone is actually running slow, but will still feel like it. The internet functionality is a great example of this as it will likely run slow if your 3G network is not getting a great signal or the Wi-Fi network you are connected to is not particularly strong. If your iPhone freezes, or has similar behavior it may be easy enough to just sync it to your computer, charge it, or reset some of your standard settings.