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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 2020. Owners of Apple’s colorful 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.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, US Version, 256GB, Midnight - Unlocked (Renewed)
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Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, US Version, 256GB, Midnight - Unlocked (Renewed)
  • This phone is unlocked and compatible with any carrier of choice on GSM and CDMA networks (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US Cellular, Cricket, Metro, Tracfone, Mint Mobile, etc.).
  • Please check with your carrier to verify compatibility.
  • When you receive the phone, insert a SIM card from a compatible carrier. Then, turn it on, connect to Wi-Fi, and follow the on screen prompts to activate service.
  • The device does not come with headphones or a SIM card. It does include a generic (Mfi certified) charger and charging cable.
  • Tested for battery health and guaranteed to have a minimum battery capacity of 80%.

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 13 (right now that means iOS 13.2.3 or below), try upgrading to the latest version of iOS 13.

Apple’s fixed a ton of issues in 2019 and the latest version of iOS 13 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 13 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 13 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 13 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 13’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 14.6 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 14.6 for Better Security

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

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

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