Don't suffer a slow iPad - speed up your iPad or iPhone with our simple tips for improving the performance of your device. Even after a few years of use, an iPad or iPhone can become a touch sluggish - there are plenty of ways to speed things up:
Shut down background iPad apps
Apple has stated that closing background apps doesn't affect speed and battery life - but any background apps that are running a process (rather than lying dormant) can take their toll. Give your iPad a speed boost by quitting apps that perform background tasks, such as checking email or your GPS location, when you’re not using them.
You can check which apps are running by double-tapping the iPad’s Home button. Open apps are shown as small windows with their associated icon. Touch the window of the app you want to close and swipe it towards the top of the screen to quit it.
Speed up Safari
Safari on the iPad can take up a lot of resources. Emptying the cache helps (tap Settings > Safari > Clear Cookies and Data), and you can tweak Safari speeds further by limiting the number of tabs you have open. Tap the tab icon in Safari, then tap the X in the upper-left of each tab to close it.
Restart your iPad more regularly
An easy way to speed up an iPad is to perform a weekly restart. This clears out its memory, resets any crashing apps and refreshes the device. Press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time until the iPad restarts and hold until the Apple logo appears. When it does, release both buttons again.
Stop automatic app updates
A lot of activity can happen behind the scenes – iOS may be downloading updates to all your apps while all you see is the iPad dragging its heels. To turn off automatic updates, tap Settings > iTunes and App Store and switch off the toggle next to Updates. This stops automatic updates installing, and instead lets you choose when to download and install them on your terms.
Free up iPad storage space
Your iPad needs spare storage space to work efficiently – if it’s stuffed with content and apps, its performance can suffer. Open Settings > General > Usage and look at how much free space your iPad has. If there’s less than 1GB of space free, remove unwanted apps and music as well as photos and videos that don’t need to be kept on the iPad until you have freed up enough space.
Turn off app notifications
Some apps are eager to get your attention with notifications – nagging reminders and updates such as new messages, special offers or news snippets. There’s little disadvantage to switching off notifications on non-essential apps, and it can boost speed.
Go to Settings > Notification Centre and look under Include to see all the apps using notifications. You can change the notification alert by tapping an app and choosing None as the alert style. Toggle off Show in Notification Centre, and do the same with Show on Lock Screen, Badge App Icon, and Sounds. You’ll need to do this for each individual app listed in the Notification Centre.
Disable Spotlight searching
You can boost your iPad’s speed by reducing the amount of indexing Apple’s Spotlight search does. iOS constantly indexes your iPad’s content, including messages and email, so that when you search for something it can provide quick results.
To see what’s being indexed by iOS, tap Settings > General > Spotlight Search. You may want to use it to search email and messages, but not Angry Birds. Swipe the slider to Off for any apps you don't want indexed for search. Spotlight will no longer index this content and your iPad should run faster.