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 actively 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 History 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 > 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.
Be aware, though, that it's good security practice to allow automatic updates as it reduces the risk that you'll be using an app that hasn't got the latest vital security patches.
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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 > iPad Storage 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 > Notifications, and in the right-hand pane you'll be able to see what settings each app currently has. Tap on the app you want to adjust and either turn the top Allow Notifications toggle off to completely silence the app, or adjust the settings underneath to your preference.
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 > Siri & Search. You might want to use it to search email and messages, but not Angry Birds: tap on the app you want to adjust, and on the next screen toggle off the functions you want to exclude from Search.
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