How to Get Better iPhone 4s Performance on iOS 8

iOS 8 was released earlier this month, and while many users have been having issues with the update on their iPhone 6 units, performance has been a whole other issues for iPhone 4s users.

Many owners of older iPhones have been reporting slowdowns ever since updating to iOS 8, mostly because the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system is aimed at newer devices. The iPhone 4s is the oldest iPhone that iOS 8 supports, so it’s no surprise that users who have this phone are complaining about performance, as it was just like this last year when iOS 7 was released for the iPhone 4.


However, iPhone 4s users don’t necessarily need to suffer that much. There are actually things you can do and settings that you can adjust to increase the performance of your iPhone 4s running iOS 8, most of which are fairly easy to change. And if you follow this guide, your iPhone 4s will most likely see a boost in performance.

Of course, the difference may be negligible, as it’s simply an older phone that’s reaching the end of its life cycle. However, squeezing as much performance out of it as you can will at least give the device another year or so before you will absolutely need to upgrade to a newer device.

Read: iOS 8 on iPhone 4s: First Impressions and Performance


Here are a few things you can try in order to boost the performance of your iPhone 4s running iOS 8.


Reduce Animations & Pretty Effects

Usually the biggest culprits for sluggish performance on older iPhones are the animations and pretty effects that make iOS 8 look really good. However, if you have an older iPhone, they’re only making things worse. Your iPhone 4s’s processor probably can’t keep up with everything that’s going on, so it’s usually a good idea to turn off animations and get rid of those pretty effects.

To do this, there are a couple of settings you can change.

Navigate to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. Tapping on Reduce Motion will open up another screen with a toggle switch. By default, the circle will be placed on the left side of the oval. Just tap on the circle to switch it over to the right side, thus turning the oval green and reducing motion. This turns off the parallax effect.

iPhone 4s on iOS 8


The parallax effect is turned on by default and was a new feature introduced on iOS 7 that gives the home screen a neat 3D look, so when you move your phone around in your hand while keeping your head still, it looks like you’re looking “around” the app icons onto the wallpaper, almost like you’re looking through a windows out into the iOS 7 world. But it’s really nothing more than the OS and the gyroscope/accelerometer working together to create such an illusion.

While it isn’t that impressive, I liked it at first, but I’ve since gotten over the wow factor and just find it annoying now. Plus, it’s even more annoying knowing that it hogs up processing resources, thus decreasing battery life.

Another setting you can change is getting rid of transparency across iOS 8. This gets rid of the glass look that appears when Control Center pops up or when the iOS keyboard appears. It’s really not integral with how you interact with iOS 8 and is really only for looks. Thus, it’s best to just disable it.

To do this, open up the Settings app and navigate to General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast > Reduce Transparency and turn this feature on.



Reset Settings

If your iPhone 4s still seems sluggish on iOS 8, you can try resetting your device’s settings. An iPhone can go a little crazy after updating to a new version of iOS 8, so this is something that you can try to bring it back down to Earth.

Open up the Settings app and navigate to General > Reset > Reset All Settings. This won’t delete any of your data, but be aware that there is an iOS 8 bug that supposedly deletes your iCloud Drive data when using this feature, so reset your iPhone’s settings at your own risk.


Restore Back to Factory Settings

If you updated your iPhone 4s to iOS 8 without starting with a clean slate (in other words, you kept all of your apps and settings intact), it might be a good idea to reset your iPhone to factory settings on iOS 8 and start from scratch. Most likely if your iPhone 4s is suffering in performance after you updated, it’s possible the operating system caught some bugs during the update process, especially when you leave all of your apps and settings intact.


It might be a good idea to completely reset your iPhone and go back to factory settings, as this could increase performance. To do this, navigate to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings and Content.

The iPhone will reset and you’ll end up with an iPhone that looks like you just picked it up right out of the box. From there, you can slowly add apps back and re-configure the settings. However, make sure you back up your iPhone before you reset the entire device.