After my iPhone 5 was stolen a year ago, I thought it wise to avoid taking out a second mortgage to afford a non-subsidized new one. So, I’m among the eager Apple minions awaiting the iPhone 6. Not because I love new and shiny toys (well, that too), but because the phone I reverted to, an old iPhone 4 – yes, 4, not 4S – is hanging on by a thread.
The phone itself has become increasingly unreliable, but that’s not a huge problem since people now hate talking on the telephone almost as much as they hate public speaking. And I’ve accepted that today’s smartphones are computers with a phone, not the other way around.
It’s the slow down in speed that’s been most irksome. So, I fiddled around a bit and was rewarded with a zippier phone. Here are a few tips. Actually, two tips: get rid of stuff to free up storage, and if that doesn’t work, restore to factory settings. Most of the other tips out there offer little or no improvement.
Free up space
Go to Settings > General > Usage, and see how many GB you have available. If you don’t regularly delete stuff, this number will be very low and it’s time to unclutter. Start with deleting old text messages. Some go on for years and contain photos, videos, and other media files that take up lots of space. Then go to the media apps and folders – photos, videos, music – and clean them up.
Next, delete apps you no longer use. Consider going with native Apple apps instead of your favorites: like Maps over Google Maps, Safari over Chrome, and the Weather app over the Weather Channel app.
A greedy space hog is Apple’s Podcast app. I unsubscribed to all podcasts and that alone made a significant difference in freeing up the space I needed for a noticeable improvement in speed and performance. You can still listen to your favorite podcasts and talk radio by streaming (not downloading) them on the Stitcher app.
Restore to factory settings
If your phone is still sluggish, sync your contacts, backup your files and restore your phone to factory settings (Instructions from Apple). Here’s what a former Apple employee who now works with us at Rocket Matter has to say about this:
Sometimes glitches and slowness can be rectified by restoring your iPhone to factory settings. WARNING: THIS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. Sometimes, the software gets funky, and wiping it clean tends to help. Even though you may have a backup via iTunes or iCloud, it’s always helpful to make sure that you have PHYSICAL copies of important info. Make sure your contacts are accessible on your computer, copy your photos to your computer, etc. Sometimes, restoring from a backup can put corruption back on the phone. Starting fresh prevents this.
I went on a deleting rampage and it worked for me, but if my iPhone slows down again, I’d have no problem resetting it. Heck, it’s only a few months until the new one arrives.