How I Sped Up My iPhone

On July 22, 2010

I’ve got a 3G iPhone—I know it isn’t the latest, greatest or fastest, but what it does it seems to do well. Until I installed iOS 4.0. Let me back up a little here…over the past several months, the performance was getting worse and worse. Blame it on bad apps, or AT&T or the moon lining up with Jupiter, it doesn’t matter. The phone was running slow. 

So I did what every geeky person would do, I installed iOS 4.0 on it.   Sure the footprint for the OS is larger, and it was designed for a phone that had over 2 times the RAM and 2 times the processor speed, but hey, it COULD run on my 3G, so why not? How bad could it be?

Well, I found out.  After the over 2 hours to get all the software downloaded and installed and running, the phone was pretty darn slow. Sending a text message took over 30 seconds from the time I tapped on the icon to when I could actually TYPE something. It was that bad.

I was told that just powering it off and on would fix it, so I tried that—and it worked for a little bit but not long enough. The last straw came when the performance was so bad that I could be having a phone conversation and the screen that displays who is calling and the ‘Slide To Answer’ prompt would still be up. I never knew if and when I was even on the phone! That was the last straw—the phone was officially unusable.

Power cycling didn’t seem to help any more, I needed to do something else.   After searching, and reading, and investigating I found a series of steps that claim to fix the problem.  Your results may vary, and use at your own risk, but this helped me fix my problem.  If you try this, please post your comments and let us know!  

  1. First, do a ‘hard’ reboot. To do this, hold down the 2 buttons (like you are powering it down) and keep holding. The phone will go black, then the apple logo will show, and then it will go black again. The phone is now completely off. Then, turn it back on.
  1. Clean up your settings and optimize them as much as possible. The simple rule is that if you don’t need it, turn it off. For myself I disabled Bluetooth, push notifications, an old email account that was disabled, and changed my ‘fetching’ from every 15 minutes to manual. Remember, you’re trying to squeeze out every CPU cycle you can.
  1. While still in ‘Settings’, Clear your History and your Cache—this seems to save RAM which (with a 3G) is VERY important.
  1. Remove old apps that you don’t use. For example, Skype–which currently doesn’t support 4.0–was on my phone. Removing it freed up several resources and less clutter on my spring board.
  1. Do another ‘hard’ reboot.

After doing this, my iPhone seems MUCH faster, and much more responsive. Answering phone calls works like it should; sending a text message (from tapping on the icon to typing) is now 9 seconds, definitely an improvement.

Hopefully these tips will help you too.  Let us know!