Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are two of the fastest smartphones in the world. In fact, in real-world speed tests there’s no phone that can beat them. Last year’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are no slouches either, of course, and the iPhone SE and iPhone 5s are speedy little phones as well. But as quick as they are and as smooth as the iOS user experience is in general, things can always be faster.
In this post, we’ll show you five simple things you can do to give your iPhone a serious speed boost, and these tips will all work regardless of which iPhone model you own.
Speed up the UI
Apple’s iOS interface is certainly quick to navigate out of the box, but there’s something you can do in order to make it even faster.
Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and enable the “Reduce Motion” option. This is similar to the trick we shared for Android users that speeds up animations to make the UI faster, but in iOS’s case it removes the animations completely. While they certainly add a nice effect to the interface, transition animations serve no technical purpose and your iPhone will be much faster without them.
And while you’re there, toggle the “Increase Contrast” and “Reduce Transparency” options on as well.
Disable background refresh
There are some apps that you definitely want to be refreshed in the background. For example, email apps should be able to download new content and navigation apps should refresh when you minimize them as well. But the majority of the apps on your iPhone simply don’t need to refresh when they’re not on your screen — all they’re really doing is slowing things down and hurting your battery life.
Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and go through the list. Toggle as many apps as you can to the off position. Note that push notifications will still work just fine for all your apps, even if you disable background refresh.
Clear out apps and files you don’t need
Just like any other computing device, your iPhone can get bogged down if the storage is filled up with clutter. Looking for an easy way to speed things up? Just get rid of some of that clutter.
There are definitely at least a handful of third-party apps on your iPhone that you simply never use. Delete them. You can always download them again for free if you want to, but all those useless apps and their data take up space. You should also try to clear old photos and videos off your iPhone if you’ve already backed them up (Google Photos offers free and unlimited storage), and you can also delete old music that you never listen to.
Finally, believe it or not, the Messages app is almost always one of the biggest culprits when it comes to wasted space. By default, the app saves all of the photos, videos and messages you receive… forever. Go to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages and change the setting from “Forever” to “30 Days.” You’ll instantly free up gigabytes of space.
Clear the cache in Apple’s apps
Clearing the cache in Apple’s apps is a quick and easy way to speed them up and free up storage in the process, but some apps make it easier than others.
To clear the cache in Safari, for example, just go to Settings > Safari and scroll down to “Clear History and Website Data.” In most other apps though, clearing the cache is actually a hidden feature that most people don’t know about. You’ll find options in the main Settings app to clear out the cache in Apple’s Podcasts, Music, Game Center, iMessage and Phone apps
Then, check this out: open the App Store app and tap on any one of the icons at the very bottom of the screen 10 times in a row. After the tenth time, the screen will go blank for a moment and the cache will be cleared. The same trick also works in iTunes, iBooks and the Apple Watch app.
In case of emergency…
The tips above are things people can do to speed up their iPhones in general. Sometimes though, things go wrong and your phone gets bogged down as a result. You don’t have to spend 2 minutes powering your phone off and back on again to fix it — instead, just clear out the RAM with this trick.
Hold the power button until you see “slide to power off” appear at the top of the screen, then let go of the power button. Now just hold down the home button for 5 seconds until your home screen reappears. Voila!