Some iOS 13 users are running into performance issues after making the move to the latest version of iOS 13.
iPhone users who have moved to iOS 13.6.1 are reporting a variety of performance improvements. On the flip side, we’re also hearing and seeing reports about various performance problems including abnormal amounts of lag, freezes, lock ups, and random reboots.
These problems are common iOS issues, particularly after new iOS releases, and they can sometimes be a bit tricky to fix.
Some performance issues might require a chat with an Apple customer service representative or a visit to your local Apple Store. Others you should be able to fix on your own.
In this guide we’ll take you through some steps to take if you run into performance issues after upgrading your phone to the latest version of iOS 13.
- Fully unlocked and compatible with any carrier of choice (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US-Cellular, Cricket, Metro, etc.).
- The device does not come with headphones or a SIM card. It does include a charger and charging cable that may be generic, in which case it will be UL or Mfi (Made for iPhone) Certified.
- Inspected and guaranteed to have minimal cosmetic damage, which is not noticeable when the device is held at arms length.
- Successfully passed a full diagnostic test which ensures like-new functionality and removal of any prior-user personal information.
- Tested for battery health and guaranteed to have a minimum battery capacity of 80%.
Restart Your Phone
If you start noticing a performance issue on your phone be it UI lag or something else, the first thing you should do is restart it. Power it down, leave it off for a minute, and the turn it back on. This will often fix the issue.
Update Your iPhone
Apple will release new iOS 13 software throughout the year. Point updates (x.x.x) are usually focused on fixing bugs while milestone upgrades (x.x) usually deliver a mix of features and fixes. All of them have the potential to fix performance problems you’re experiencing.
Of course, new iOS updates always bring their own set of problems you’ll want to read reviews before you upgrade your phone.
For more on the latest version of iOS 13, take a look at our guide.
Update Your Apps
If your performance issues are related to one or more of your third-party apps, try updating the app(s) giving you trouble.
App developers are rolling out iOS 13 support updates and they could help stabilize performance.
Before you install the latest update make sure you go into the App Store and read reviews from iOS 13 users. If the reviews are mostly good, you’ll want to download the latest version.
Reset Your Settings
Next, try resetting your device’s settings. This will restore them to their factory defaults so make sure you have your Wi-Fi passwords handy.
Here’s how to reset your iPhone’s settings:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Reset.
- Tap Reset All Settings.
- Enter your passcode if you have one enabled.
Cleanup Your Storage
If you’ve owned your iPhone for awhile there’s a good chance you’ve got a bunch of clutter on your internal storage. Deleting this clutter could improve your iPhone’s overall speed.
First you’ll want to check exactly how much space is free on your device. Here’s how to do that:
- Head into Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Storage & iCloud Usage.
- Select Manage Storage.
If you’re nearing your storage threshold you’ll want to head back into General and scroll to where it says iPhone Storage. Here you’ll get a detailed rundown of what’s taking up the most space.
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 you no longer want.
Stop Automatic Downloads
The automatic update feature can be useful, but a constant stream of updates will make your device work in the background. You might notice a dip in performance when this happening.
If you’re fine with manually updating your apps on the App Store, try disabling Automatic Downloads on your device and see if your device’s performance improves.
First you’ll want to head into Settings. From there, Tap iTunes & App Store. Now you’ll want to toggle Updates, located in the Automatic Downloads section, off.
You might want to toggle the other options off as well.
If you don’t use widgets on your iPhone, try disabling them and see if that improves your phone’s performance.
First you’ll want to swipe to the right while you’re on your iPhone’s home screen. After that, scroll all the way to bottom of the screen and select Edit.
On the next screen you should see a list of various apps and services. These are your widgets and some of them might be active. To deactivate a widget you’ll want to tap the red circle with the white line and then tap Remove.
We recommend disabling widgets you don’t use. If you don’t use widgets, try disabling them all and see if that improves your performance. You can always turn them back on if you don’t notice a change.
Clear Browser Cookies & Data
Clearing your browser’s cookies and data will free up memory and that could have a positive impact on performance.
If you typically use Apple’s Safari browser go into your Settings, tap Safari, and scroll down to where it says Clear History and Website Data. Tap 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 that’s fine, tap Clear History and Data again.
If you’re using Google’s Chrome browser, 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 there, tap Settings, tap Privacy, and then tap Clear Browsing Data. You can now select what you wish to delete. If you’re noticing serious lag, you might want to start fresh.
To do that, select them all (you’ll notice a red check mark on the right of the names if you’ve done this correctly) and then tap Clear Browsing Data.
Stop Using Background Refresh
Background App Refresh refreshes apps in the background which in turn shows you the latest data when you open them up. It also makes your phone work in the background so you might try turning it off to see if your performance improves a bit:
Here’s how you disable it:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Background App Refresh.
- Turn it off for any applications you don’t use.
If you’re noticing choppy UI animations and transitions, you should try reducing your animations.
iOS gives you a sense a depth when you tilt your phone and open and close your apps. If you can do without it, minimizing this feature could improve performance.
Here’s how to reduce Motion Effects on your iPhone:
- Head into Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Accessibility.
- Toggle Reduce Motion on.
Note that reducing Motion Effects will disable some features like the bubble effect in the Messages app.
You might also try reducing the transparency and blur effects on your phone. Here’s how to do this:
- Head into Accessibility.
- Tap Increase Contrast.
- Tap the toggle to turn on the Reduce Transparency function.
If you were having a good experience on the previous version of iOS, you should try downgrading. If you don’t know how to downgrade an iPhone, have a look at our walkthrough.
Install the iOS 14 Beta
If you’re desperate, you could try moving your iPhone to Apple’s iOS 14 beta. For more on how to do that, take a look at our guide.
If you can’t find a fix for your issue, and you want to avoid taking your phone into a store, you consider restoring your device from a backup from your computer or iCloud.
Install iOS 14.4.2 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.4.2 right now.
iOS 14.4.2 has an important security patch on board and you can read more about the change over on Apple's website.
If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.4.2. You can read about that patch right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.4, you get the update's patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about iOS 14.4's security patches right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.3 you'll get its nine security updates with your upgrade. You can read more about them on its security site.
iOS 14.3 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you skipped iOS 14.2, your iOS 14.4.2 update includes 24 additional security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.4.2 includes iOS 14.0's security updates.
iOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari.
For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to iOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.
Last update on 2020-12-15. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API