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How to speed up your iPhone after iOS 11 slows it down

Published Sep 19th, 2017 11:44AM EDT

This coming Friday, Apple is set to release a number of hotly anticipated new products including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K. Then, in early November, the iPhone hardcore Apple fans are waiting for will finally be released: the iPhone X. But before all those releases roll around, Apple has another big release that takes place today. That’s right, iOS 11 will be released to the public on Tuesday, and hundreds of millions of iOS devices around the world will instantly have access to it. Thankfully, iOS isn’t like Android where people have to wait months before they can actually install new updates.

iOS 11 is packed full of new features, enhancements, and behind-the-scenes tweaks that combine to dramatically improve the iPhone and iPad experience. Of course, iOS 11 also has some changes that people won’t appreciate, and a potential slowdown on your iPhone is likely at the top of the list. Don’t worry though, because in this post we’ll give you a few different ways to speed things back up.

First things first: after you update your iPhone to iOS 11, don’t panic. Your phone is going to slow down and your battery life will take a hit for at least a day or two as your phone re-indexes. After that, you’ll see a marked improvement in speed and battery life… probably.

Where speed is concerned, some older iPhone models will never run as fast on iOS 11 as they did with iOS 10 installed. Efficiency improvements in upcoming iOS 11 updates could help things down the road, but right now you’re stuck. That said, there are a few things you can do to speed your phone back up if the slowdown starts to get to you.

First, clear up space. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Under Storage, tap Manage Storage. You’ll see several ways in there to clear up space, including an easy way to delete large attachments in Messages, which is often a big culprit when it comes to wasted space. You’ll also be able to see which apps are taking up all your storage in this section, and you can enable a feature that automatically uninstalls apps you never use when you’re running low on space. App data will be retained, so you’ll still have everything if you ever decide to reinstall the app.

Freeing up space could have a big impact on your phone’s performance. Once you’ve done the legwork above, try to keep as much unutilized storage as possible. One way to do that is to offload your photos and videos to a backup service like Google Photos as often as you can. And in between backups, you can save some space by enabling Apple’s new photo encoding. Go to Settings > Camera > Formats and switch to “High Efficiency.”

In some cases, you can also speed up your iPhone a bit by cutting back on the number of apps that can refresh in the background (Settings > General > Background App Refresh) and access location services (Settings > Privacy > Location Services), but neither will have a big impact unless you have apps that aren’t performing as they should. One other thing that will help, however, is to cut back on the transition animations in iOS 11. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and toggle it to off.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.

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