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How to Fix Bad iPhone XR Performance

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Apple’s fixed many issues, but iPhone XR users continue to run into performance issues including lag, freezes, lockups, and random reboots.

The list of iPhone XR problems continues to grow as we push into 2019. Owners of Apple’s colorful 2018 device are complaining about an assortment of issues. The list includes abnormal battery drain, app problems, connectivity issues, and a wide variety of performance problems.

If you start noticing performance problems you don’t need to make an appointment to see an Apple Genius right away. Many of you should be able to fix the issue from the comfort of you favorite chair.

In this guide we’ll show you how to fix the most common iPhone XR performance issues. These fixes have worked for us many times in the past and there’s a good chance they’ll work for you.

Restart Your Device

If you start noticing intense lag, lockups, or just general sluggishness, you’ll want to restart your phone. To do that you need to hold down the side button on the right side of the phone and either volume button.

When the Slide to power off screen appears, release the buttons and slide to turn the phone off. To power it back on, hold down the side button until you see the Apple logo on your screen.

Update Your iPhone XR

If you’re running an older version of iOS 12 (right now that means iOS 12.1.3 or below), try upgrading to the latest version of iOS 12.

Apple’s fixed a ton of issues since the device’s launch last year and the latest version of iOS 12 could have a tremendous impact on your iPhone XR’s performance.

Monitor Your Storage

If you owned an iPhone before you bought the iPhone XR you might’ve restored from a backup. If you did, you likely brought over a ton of data over from your old phone.

If you aren’t in the habit of deleting files you no longer need, there’s a good chance your iPhone XR’s internal storage is littered with clutter.

This clutter can slow your phone down so you’ll want to go through your storage and delete photos, videos, game saves, and whatever else you find.

Fortunately, Apple makes it extremely easy to view the data on your internal storage:

  • Head into Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap iPhone Storage.

This screen gives you a detailed look at the data stored on your device. Take a few minutes and see if you can find files you no longer need.

If you’re having trouble pinpointing files, note that iOS 12 provides you with some recommendations. For instance, if you have a ton of apps you don’t use, your device will tell you to “Offload Unused Apps.”

The software also gives you a list of the applications taking up the most space on your phone. If you tap on an app you’ll get a storage breakdown and some personalized recommendations.

Update Your Apps

If you are having issues with your applications, you’ll want to head into the App Store and check for updates. These updates could improve performance.

App developers have rolled out iOS 12 support updates and most roll out weekly or bi-weekly updates focused on fixing bugs and improving performance. Updating to the latest version of an app could stabilize performance.

If you’re feeling leery, read reviews from fellow iPhone XR/iOS 12 users before you move to a new version.

Stop Auto Downloads

The iPhone XR’s auto download feature is handy if you’re horrible about keeping your apps updated. That said, it can occasionally hinder your device’s performance if it’s constantly updating a bunch of apps in the background.

If you’re ok with updating your apps manually, try disabling automatic downloads and see if that improves your device’s performance. To do this:

  • Head into the Settings app.
  • Go to iTunes & App Store.
  • Once you’re in there, toggle Updates, located in the Automatic Downloads section, off.

You also might want to toggle Music, Apps, and Books & Audiobooks off as well.

Clear Browser Cookies & Data

If you haven’t done it in awhile, try clearing your browser’s cookies and data. This will free up memory and that could have a significant impact on your device’s performance.

If you Safari:

  • Go into your Settings.
  • Go to Safari.
  • Scroll down to where it says Clear History and Website Data and tap it.
  • Tap Clear History and Data again.

Tapping this will remove your browsing history, cookies, and other data from Safari. Your history will also be wiped from any devices signed into your iCloud account.

If you use Chrome:

  • Launch Chrome.
  • Tap the three horizontal circles in the bottom right corner. (They’re in the top right corner if you haven’t updated to the new design.)
  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap Privacy.
  • Tap Clear Browsing Data.
  • Select what you wish to delete, or if you want to start fresh, select them all.
  • Tap Clear Browsing Data.

Reduce Your Animations

If you’re seeing occasionally choppiness, you might want to reduce the device’s animations and see if that helps speed things up a bit.

To reduce the animations on your iPhone XR:

  • Go into Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap Accessibility.
  • Toggle Reduce Motion to on.

You might also want to reduce the transparency and blur effects on your phone. Here’s how to do that:

  • Head into Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap Accessibility.
  • Tap Increase Contrast.
  • Toggle Reduce Transparency to on.

Stop Background Refresh

If you’ve got Background Refresh enabled on your device, your iPhone XR will work in the background to keep your app’s up-to-date with the latest data. It’s useful, but it can be a resource hog. If you don’t need this, try turning it off and see if things improve.

To turn Background Refresh off:

  • Head into Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap Background App Refresh.
  • Toggle Background Refresh off.

If you don’t want to turn the feature off completely, go down your list of applications and whitelist the apps you want to refresh in the background.

Disable Widgets

iOS 12’s widgets can be useful, but if you don’t rely on them you should try turning some or all of them off and see if that helps.

From your device’s home screen, swipe to the right. Here you’ll your list of widgets active on your iPhone XR.

While you’re on this screen, scroll all the way down until you see a circular Edit button. Tap that button and you’ll see a list of services and apps.

On this screen you’ll see the widgets that are both active and inactive. To disable a widget on your phone, tap the red circle with the white line and tap Remove.

You can remove as many as you want and you can always enable them again if you don’t see any improvements.

Reset All Settings

If none of those work, you should try resetting all of your device’s settings. Here’s how to do that.

  • Head into Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap Reset.
  • Tap Reset All Settings and then enter your passcode if you have one enabled.

This process will likely take just a few seconds to finish up. Once it’s done, your settings will be restored to their factory defaults.

Your device will have forgotten all known Wi-Fi networks so make sure you have those passwords handy before taking this step.

Start Fresh

If things get really bad, and you have no idea how to proceed, you can try restoring the device from a backup. You can do this via iTunes or iCloud.

If starting fresh doesn’t improve your device’s performance, it’s probably time to schedule an appointment at your local store.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 12.4.2 & 9 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 12.4.2 for Better Security

Install iOS 12.4.2 for Better Security

If you're on the fence, this is one of the best reasons to install iOS 12.4.2.

If you value your device's security, you'll want to download iOS 12.4.2 in the near future because it brings an important security patch for your device. You can read about it right here

If you skipped iOS 12.4.1, you'll get its security patch with your update. You can read about that patch right here

If you skipped iOS 12.4, you get its patches with your iOS 12.4.2 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 skipped iOS 12.3, your iOS 12.4.2 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 skipped iOS 12.2, you'll get its security patches with your version of iOS 12.4.2.

iOS 12.2 brought a whopping 41 security patches to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in March. 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 12.4.2 soon.

If you skipped 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 skipped iOS 12.1.3, you get some additional patches with your version of iOS 12.4.2. 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 skipped iOS 12.1.1, you'll want to install the iOS 12.4.2 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 skipped iOS 12.1, you'll get the 24 patches from that update with your version of iOS 12.4.2. If you skipped iOS 12.0.1, your iOS 12.4.2 update brings two additional patches. Both patches are for potential lock screen exploits.

If you skipped iOS 12.0, and you're still running iOS 11.4.1 or below, your iOS 12.4.2 update comes with a longer list of security updates. 

The iOS 12.0 update delivered 16 patches for security issues. You can read about all of them over on Apple's security page.

In addition to those patches, iOS 12 delivers new security features aimed at protecting you and the data you store on your device. These include:

  • Enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari prevents embedded content and social media buttons from tracking cross-site browsing without your permission
  • Suppresses ad retargeting by reducing advertisers’ ability to identify iOS devices uniquely
  • Strong and unique passwords are suggested automatically when creating an account or changing a password in most apps and in Safari
  • Reused passwords are flagged in Settings > Passwords & Accounts
  • Security code AutoFill presents one-time security codes sent over SMS as suggestions in the QuickType bar
  • Sharing passwords with contacts is easier than ever using AirDrop from Passwords & Accounts in Settings
  • Siri supports quickly navigating to a password on an authenticated device 

Long story short, if you store sensitive data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you have some really good reasons to upgrade to iOS 12.4.2 today.

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