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How to Fix iOS 12 Performance



Some iOS 12 users are running into performance issues after installing the company’s latest version of iOS 12.

iOS 12.5.2 users are dealing with a variety of issues including lockups, freezes, lag, app lockups, and random reboots. These are common problems and we see them popup after every single iOS release.

While some of these issues might require a chat with Apple customer support or a visit to the Apple Store, others can be fixed in a matter of minutes from the comfort of your computer chair or couch.

Our guide to fixing bad iOS 12 performance will take you through some steps to take if you encounter one or more of these issues on your iPhone, iPad, or iPad touch.

Restart Your Device

If you start noticing bad performance on your device the first thing to try is a simple restart. If you haven’t restarted or turned off your device in awhile, this could work wonders. Power it down, wait a minute, and then turn it back on.

Update Your Device

Apple will periodically release new iOS 12 software. The change logs will vary (point updates are mainly focused on fixing bugs while milestone upgrades like deliver a mix of fixes and features), but all of them have the potential to fix performance problems.

Of course, new updates always bring their own collection of issues you’ll want to read reviews before you upgrade to the latest version of iOS 12.

For more on Apple’s latest iOS 12 update, take a look at our guide.

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Reset Network Settings

If you’re starting to notice slower than normal download speeds on your device you’ll want to try resetting your network settings. Here’s how to do this:

  • Head into your Settings app.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap Reset.
  • Tap Reset Network Settings.

This will cause your device to forget your Wi-Fi passwords so make you’ve got those handy.

If this doesn’t work, try resetting all of your settings from the same menu. Tap Reset All Settings. This will restore your device’s settings to their factory defaults so you’ll need your Wi-Fi passwords handy and a little bit of time to get your settings back to the way you like them.

Cleanup Your Storage

If you’ve owned your device for awhile there’s a good chance you’ve got a ton of clutter taking up space on your internal storage. Getting rid of this clutter could help speed up your device.

iOS 12 makes it easy to see exactly how much space is free on your device. Here’s how to check:

  • Head into your Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap Storage & iCloud Usage.
  • Select Manage Storage.

If you’re nearing the threshold you’ll want to head back into General and scroll down to where it says iPhone Storage or iPad Storage.

Here you’ll get a detailed rundown of what’s taking up the most space on your internal storage. Apple will make some recommendations based on your utilization of your storage, but you can also just go through each section manually and delete files and data you no longer need.

Update Your Apps

If your applications start giving you issues on iOS 12 you’ll want to update them.

App developers are rolling out support updates for their apps and these updates should help to stabilize performance.

Before you install an update, go into the App Store and read reviews from iOS 12 users. If the reviews are mostly good, install the latest version of the app.

Stop Automatic Downloads

iOS 12’s automatic update feature is extremely useful, but the constant stream of updates can make your device work in the background. If your device is working hard, you might notice a dip in performance.

If you’re alright with manually updating your apps on the App Store, at least temporarily, try disabling Automatic Downloads on your device and see if you get a bump in performance. To do that:

  • Head into Settings.
  • Tap iTunes & App Store.

Once in there, you’ll want to toggle Updates, located in the Automatic Downloads section, off. You might want to toggle the other options off as well.

Disable Widgets

Widgets can be extremely useful, but if you have a ton of them enabled they can be extremely taxing on your device’s hardware. Try disabling some or all of them and see if it improves your device’s performance.

While you’re on your device’s home screen, swipe to the right. From here, scroll all the way to the bottom of the list and tap on Edit.

On the next screen you should see a long list of services and apps. These are your widgets. To disable a widget, tap the red circle with the white line and tap Remove.

Clear Browser Cookies & Data

Clearing your browser’s cookies and data will free up memory which could have a positive impact on your phone’s performance.

If you primarily use Apple’s Safari browser go into the Settings app, tap Safari, and scroll down to where it says Clear History and Website Data. Tap on it.

Tapping this will remove your browsing history, cookies, and other data from Safari. History will also be cleared from any devices signed into your iCloud account. If you’re fine with that, tap Clear History and Data again.

If you use Google Chrome, you’ll want to head into the app and tap the three horizontal circles in the bottom right corner. They’re in the top right corner if you haven’t updated to Chrome’s new design.

Once you’re in there, tap Settings, tap Privacy, and now tap Clear Browsing Data. You can now select what you wish to delete. If you’re noticing heavy lag, you might want to clear everything.

Stop Background Refresh

iOS 12’s Background App Refresh feature works in the background to keep your apps updated with fresh data. It’s a nifty feature, but shutting it off could potentially improve your device’s performance.

If you don’t need your apps pulling in data in the background, head into Settings, tap General, tap Background App Refresh and toggle Background Refresh off. This will shut the feature off for all apps.

You can also go down your list of apps one-by-one and make selections on a case-by-case basis. It’s tedious, but this is the route to take if you want to keep this feature active for your core applications.

Reduce Your Animations

If you’re noticing choppy UI animations and transitions, try toning them down.

Apple’s software provides a sense a depth when you tilt your device and open and close your apps. It’s a nice touch, but minimizing this feature could improve your device’s performance.

In order to reduce Motion Effects on your device you’ll want to:

  • Head into Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap Accessibility.
  • Toggle Reduce Motion on.

Before you do this, note that reducing Motion Effects will disable some features like the bubble effect in your Messages app.

We also recommend reducing transparency and blur effects on your device. To reduce transparency:

  • Head into Accessibility.
  • Tap Increase Contrast.
  • Tap the toggle to turn on the Reduce Transparency function.

Start Over

If nothing here helps, and you can’t find a fix from Apple or another source, you might want to downgrade to an older version of iOS 12 (if available) or start fresh and factory reset your phone or tablet.

Before you reset your device to its factory defaults, make sure your important data is properly backed up via iTunes, Finder (if you’re running a newer version of macOS on your computer), or Apple’s iCloud service.

If everything is backed up and good to go, you’re ready to start the process. Head into Settings, tap Reset, tap Erase All Content and Settings. This could take a few minutes so you’ll need to be patient.

If this doesn’t work for you then you’ll really want to take your phone into a Genius Bar for service.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 12.5.6 & 10 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 12.5.6 for Better Security

Install iOS 12.5.6 for Better Security

If you're on the fence, here's one of the best reasons to install iOS 12.5.6 right away.

iOS 12.5.6 has a vital security patch on board and it will protect your device(s) from harm. If you want the details, head over to Apple's website.

If you missed the iOS 12.5.5 update, it brought three security patches to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. You can learn more about the trio on Apple's security site

If you missed iOS 12.5.4, you'll get that update's important security upgrades with your iOS 12.5.6 update. If you're interested in the particulars, head on over to Apple's website for more.

If you skipped iOS 12.5.3, you'll get its security patches with your upgrade. Both of its patches were related to WebKit. If you want to learn more about them, head on over to Apple's security site

If you skipped iOS 12.5.2, you'll also get its security patch with your upgrade. You can read more about it over on Apple's website

If you also skipped iOS 12.5, you'll also get its patch with your upgrade. Apple's outlined the update's patch in detail on its security site

If you missed iOS 12.4.9, you'll also get its four security patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those right here

If you skipped iOS 12.4.7, you also get the update's three security patches (two for the Mail app and one for Wi-Fi) with your upgrade to iOS 12.5.6.

If you're running software that's older than Apple's iOS 12.4.4 update, you'll want to download iOS 12.5.6 in the near future because it brings iOS 12.4.4's security patch to your device. You can read about it right here.

If you're running software older than iOS 12.4.2, you'll get an its patch with your upgrade. You can read about the security contents of iOS 12.4.2 right here

If you're on software that's older than iOS 12.4.1, you'll get iOS 12.4.1's security patch with your iOS 12.5.6 update. You can read about that patch right here

If you're on software that's older than iOS 12.4, you get iOS 12.4's patches with your iOS 12.5.6 update. 

iOS 12.4 brought 19 security patches to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. If you're interested in the specifics, you can read about them on Apple's security site

If you're running software older than iOS 12.3, your iOS 12.5.6 update carries iOS 12.3's security patches on board. The iOS 12.3 update brought 23 patches and you can read about all of them right here on Apple's site. 

If you're on software that's older than iOS 12.2, you'll get iOS 12.2's security patches with your version of iOS 12.5.6.

iOS 12.2 brought a whopping 41 security patches to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You can read more about the iOS 12.2's patches over on the company's website

It's important to note that Apple's iOS 12.2 update patched up an exploit that allowed websites to use motion sensors to "fingerprint" devices.

The exploit, discovered by researchers in Europe, uses JavaScript to snag data from a device's accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer when the user visits an infected website. If the attack is successful, a device can be tracked around the internet. 

Fortunately, Apple's patched up the issue. If you skipped it, you'll probably want to move to iOS 12.5.6 soon.

If you're on software older than iOS 12.1.4, you get four important security patches including fixes for a widespread FaceTime eavesdropping bug that lets you call someone via FaceTime and hear the audio coming from their phone before they pick up the phone.

If you're on software older than iOS 12.1.3, you get some additional patches with your version of iOS 12.5.6. Again, they're baked into your upgrade.

Apple lists a grand total of 23 patches on board iOS 12.1.3 and you can read about all of them over on Apple's website. 

If you're on software older than iOS 12.1.1, you should install the iOS 12.5.6 update on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch today. 

The iOS 12.1.1 update brought 17 patches for potential security exploits. They'll will help protect your phone. You can read about them here.

If you're running software older than iOS 12.1, you'll get 24 patches from that update with your version of iOS 12.5.5.

If you're on software that's older than iOS 12.0.1, your iOS 12.5.6 update brings two additional patches. Both patches are for potential lock screen exploits.

Long story long, if you store sensitive data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you have some really good reasons to upgrade to iOS 12.5.6 today.

Last update on 2024-02-12. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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