Some iOS 13 users are running into performance issues after making the move from iOS 12.
iPhone users who have moved from iOS 12 to iOS 13 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 major releases like iOS 13, 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.
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.
Keep Your Phone Updated
Apple will release new iOS 13 software in 2019 throughout 2020. 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 on your current version of iOS 13.
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.
As of right now you can downgrade your phone back to iOS 12.4.1. Unfortunately, we expect Apple to close up the iOS 12 downgrade path in the near future. Once that happens, you won’t be able to move your device off iOS 13.
If your were having a good experience on iOS 12, downgrading could certainly help smooth out your phone’s performance. If you don’t know how to downgrade an iPhone, have a look at our walkthrough.
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 13.1.2 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing the iOS 13.1.2 update right away.
iOS 13.1.2 itself doesn't have any new security patches on board, but if you skipped a previous version of iOS 13, it'll bring the patches from the updates you skipped.
If you missed iOS 13.1.1, it brought a security patch for a third-party keyboard issue to your iPhone. If you're interested in the particulars, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
If you passed on installing iOS 13.1, you get an additional patch with your iOS 13.1.2 update. You can learn more right here.
If you're moving up from iOS 12, you'll get iOS 13.0's nine security patches with your upgrade. Read about those here.
If you skipped iOS 12.4.1 or any older versions of iOS 12, you'll get their security patches with your iOS 13.1.2 update.
iOS 12.4.1 only had one patch on board, but Apple's iOS 12.4 brought 19 security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the specifics, you can read about them on right here.
In addition to those patches, iOS 13 itself comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improved anti-tracking features in Safari and the ability to get rid of location metadata in your photos.
You also now have the ability to block apps from using Bluetooth and the ability to allow apps to access your location just once.
iOS 13 will also send you reminders about applications that track your data.
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