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Why Is Your iPhone Running Slow & How To Fix It

Like any technology, iPhones can encounter problems after a while. One issue many users report is that their phones might start to run slow and might even crash when opening apps and programs. Fortunately, there are common causes and ways to fix them.

Reasons your iPhone might be running slow include age, too much memory being used up, and outdated software. Solutions include rebooting your phone, clearing out some apps and files you don’t need, and ensuring your phone is running the latest software. Or upgrading!

Let’s take a closer look at why your iPhone is running slow, including a solution to each potential cause so that you can fix it.

Why is Your iPhone Suddenly Slow?

iOS 14 on an iPhone 11 Max Pro

An iPhone (or iPad) running slow is not an uncommon issue, and there are many possible reasons it might be doing this. Let’s take a look at them.

Outdated Software

One reason your phone might be slow is that the software is outdated. Apple pushes out updates for its devices so you can stay up to date and ahead of bugs.

Still, many people turn off these automatic updates as they can be inconvenient—and then forget about them, leaving them behind in terms of technology.

Too Much Storage in Use

Although iPhones have a set amount of storage, it’s rarely a good idea to use all of it. The more apps and files you have on your phone, the more weighed down it will be by them. You can check your storage in your settings.

Hasn’t Been Switched off in a While

Most of us leave our smartphones on 24/7, but it’s actually a good idea to give them a break and let them reset once in a while. Leaving them on means they’re constantly burning through energy and will inevitably slow down after a while.

Too Many Apps Running in the Background

If you don’t close your apps properly, they’ll stay running—just in the phone’s background where you can’t see them. So if you’ve opened a lot of apps, over time, the iPhone will struggle to keep up with them all.


Apple has such great security that it’s hard to get malware, but it is possible—especially if your phone is jailbroken. Unfamiliar apps, files, and links all have the potential to load a virus onto your phone that can go on to affect its performance (and, worse, steal your information).

The Weather

Cold weather can actually affect how an iPhone runs! If you’re in a frigid place, you may notice your phone’s performance is lower.

How Do You Fix a Slow iPhone? 

Now that you know the potential causes of your slow phone, it’s time to take a look at how to fix it. Work through these steps to get your phone running well again.

1. Update Your Phone

The iPhone will download the update

The first thing you should do is update your phone by following these steps:

  1. Head into Settings.
  1. Click General.
  1. Click Software Update.

Here, you’ll be able to see if there’s an available update for your phone. If you don’t see one, your phone is updated.

It’s also a good idea to turn on automatic updates so you know everything is taken care of—you can even set your phone to update between 2-4 am while you’re asleep, so it doesn’t affect your day.

2. Check Your Storage

The next thing you should do is check your storage, which you can do in almost the same place:

  1. Click Settings.
  1. Click General.
  1. Click Storage.

Here, you’ll be able to see how much storage you’re using and if it’s close to the limit. It’ll also tell you what’s taking up the most storage, so look through apps you can offload.

You can also back up photos and videos to your iCloud account so that they’re no longer stored on the device, which should help take some of the weight off your phone.

Apple also has some apps available where they will automatically go through your phone and remove files you aren’t using. You can find these in the App Store, and they can do a lot of the work for you.

3. Close Apps

If you’ve left a lot of apps open on your phone, try closing them all to see if it runs any more quickly. You can do this by swiping up slowly from the bottom of the screen, where all your open apps will be listed. Then, swipe them up and off the screen to get rid of them.

4. Restart Your Phone

This is especially true if your phone hasn’t been turned off in a while, but turning off your phone and leaving it for a couple of moments can help to fix all issues. Try to get into the habit of doing this once a week to allow your phone time to rest.

5. Check for Malware

Although it’s unlikely that your phone has malware, it’s never a bad idea to check. A good place to start is by searching the phone for Files and then opening that folder to see if you can spot anything unfamiliar.

Any downloads from your internet browser should be in here, which is the most common place malware comes from. Delete anything unfamiliar.

You should also be careful when opening files from people you don’t know. Report unfamiliar texts to Apple as junk and never open links contained in them.

6. Protect it from Low Temperatures

If you’re in a freezing place, try to protect the iPhone from cold temperatures. Leave it cozy in your pocket or, better yet, leave it at home. If you don’t need it when outdoors, turn it off so you aren’t tempted to take it out and check it, and it’s not trying to run in the cold temperatures.

7. Get Help from Apple

If you’ve tried all this and nothing is fixing the issue, it’s time to get help from Apple. Apple provides many options on their website, from a live chat to a discussion forum, where they can attempt to help you diagnose and find fixes for the problem.

If this doesn’t help, you can make an appointment at an Apple store, and they can try in person. Unfortunately, phones sometimes get old, and their performance degrades. So if you’ve had your phone for a few years and can’t get it to speed up, it might be time to replace it with a newer model.

An Apple representative will be able to confirm for sure, though if your phone is under a couple of years old, one of these fixes should work.