As we push away from the latest iOS 14 release we’re hearing about a variety of performance problems impacting iPhone users.
While a lot of the feedback about the newest iOS 14 update has been great, we’ve been having a good experience across most of our devices, we’re seeing complaints about bugs and performance issues.
The current list includes UI lag, freezes, lock ups, and random reboots. These are extremely common, particularly on older iPhone models. Newer iPhones like the iPhone 12 series aren’t immune to them though.
Unfortunately, performance issues such as these can be tricky to fix. While you might be able to fix them on your own, some might require a fix from Apple in a new software update.
If you can’t wait and/or you don’t have time to get in touch with Apple support, we have some fixes that could help alleviate the performance issue(s) you’re seeing on your device.
Restart Your iPhone
If you start noticing UI lag or another performance issue on your iPhone, try restarting it. Power it down, leave it off for a minute, and the turn it back on.
Update Your iPhone
Apple will periodically release new iOS 14 software. Point updates (x.x.x) are usually focused on fixing bugs while milestone upgrades (x.x) usually deliver a mix of features and fixes.
While Apple might not call out performance fixes in an update’s change log, new software always has the potential to help (or hurt) your iPhone’s overall performance.
For more on the latest version of iOS 14, take a look at our guide.
Update Your Apps
If you haven’t done so already, try updating your applications to the latest version.
App developers are currently rolling out iOS 14 support updates and they could help stabilize iOS 14’s performance on your device.
Before you install the latest version be sure to go into the App Store and read reviews from other iOS 14 users. If the reviews are mostly good, you’ll want to download the latest version.
Reset Your Settings
If you’re still not getting the kind of performance you would like, try resetting your iPhone’s settings. Here’s how to do that on iOS 14:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Reset.
- Tap Reset All Settings.
- Enter your passcode if you have one enabled.
This will restore your iPhone’s settings to their factory defaults so be sure you have your Wi-Fi passwords handy. You’ll need to re-enter them.
Cleanup Your Storage
If you’ve had your iPhone for several years there’s a very chance you’ve got a lot of clutter taking up space on its internal storage. Deleting this clutter could help speed up your iPhone.
To start, you’ll want to check and see 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 getting close to the 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 your data.
Apple will make some recommendations based on your utilization of your storage, but you can also just go through each section manually delete files you don’t need.
Stop Automatic Downloads
iOS’ automatic update feature can be useful, but a constant stream of updates will make your iPhone work in the background.
If you’re alright with manually updating your applications on the App Store, try disabling Automatic Downloads on your iPhone and see if performance improves a bit.
To do this you’ll head into Settings. From there, Tap iTunes & App Store. From 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.
iOS 14 brought some big time upgrades to Widgets. That being said, if you don’t use Widgets on your iPhone, try disabling some or all of them to see if that helps.
To do that you’ll want to swipe to the right while you’re on your iPhone’s home screen. After that, you have two options. You can:
- Hard press on an individual Widget
- Scroll all the way to bottom of the screen and select Edit. This will cause them to start wiggling.
If you hard press on a Widget, a small menu will popup. To remove a widget you’ll want to tap on Remove Widget at the top.
If you selected Edit at the bottom, you can tap the minus sign on a wiggling Widget to remove it. You can also scroll down to the bottom and select Customize. This will allow you to quickly add or subtract Widgets.
We recommend disabling Widgets you don’t use. Remember, you can always turn them back on if you don’t notice a bump in performance.
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 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 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 Using Background Refresh
iOS 14’s Background App Refresh refreshes apps in the background to show you the latest data when you open them up. It also makes your phone work in the background so if you don’t need this, you might want to shut it off.
Here’s how you disable it:
- Go into the Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap Background App Refresh.
- At the top tap Background App Refresh and toggle it off.
If you want to keep it on for some apps, leave it on and then go down your list of apps and manually turn it off for apps you don’t use.
If you were having a good experience on the previous version of iOS, you could try downgrading your iPhone’s software. If you don’t know how to downgrade, have a look at our walkthrough. It’ll guide you through the steps you need to take.
If you can’t find a fix for your issue, and you want to avoid taking your phone into a store, you might want to restore your device. This should only be used as a last resort.
You can do this via Finder, iTunes, or iCloud.
Install iOS 14.6 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.6 right away.
iOS 14.6 brings 38 important security patches to the iPhone. If you're curious about the particulars, you can read about them right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.5.1, you get the update's two security patches on board. You can read about them over on Apple's website. Both are related to WebKit.
If you missed iOS 14.5 you'll get its patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those changes over on Apple's website.
iOS 14.5 also brought Apple's new App Tracking Transparency which lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers.
If you skipped iOS 14.4.2, you get its security patch with iOS 14.6. You can learn more about that patch over on Apple's website as well.
If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.6. 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 14.6 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 14.6 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.
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