If your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch starts freezing, lagging, or randomly rebooting after the latest iOS 11 software update, we have a few solutions to try before taking your device into an Apple Store for a checkup.
Apple’s newest iOS 11 update comes with fixes and patches, but problems are plaguing iOS 11.3.1 users.
The current list of iOS 11 performance problems includes various bugs and performance issues including stuttering, app lockups, random reboots, user interface lag, freezes, and more.
iOS performance issues are extremely frustrating but there are some things to try before you give up and get in contact with Apple’s customer support. Some of you might even be able to fix your iOS 11 performance issues in seconds.
This guide to fixing poor iOS 11.0, iOS 11.0.1, iOS 11.0.2, iOS 11.0.3, iOS 11.1, iOS 11.1.1, iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, iOS 11.2.2, iOS 11.2.5, iOS 11.2.6, iOS 11.3, and iOS 11.3.1 performance issues will provide you with some tips that’ve worked to improve performance on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in the past.
There’s no guarantee they’ll work for you and your device but they’re worth a shot if you can’t stand iOS 11’s performance on your iPhone or iPad.
Restart Your Device
The first thing you’ll want to do is restart your phone or tablet.
This might seem ridiculous but a simple restart could get you back on track. Power down your device by holding the power button, swipe to turn it off, and then power it back on.
Install the Latest iOS 11 Update
If you’re running an older version of iOS 11 and you’re noticing performance issues, try installing the iOS 11.3.1 update and see if that helps.
Reset Your Network Settings
If you’re noticing slow download speeds after installing the latest iOS 11 update, try resetting your device’s network settings.
Go into your Settings app > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will cause your device to forget your Wi-Fi passwords so make sure you have those handy before you make your move.
You can also try resetting all of your device’s settings from the same menu. Simply tap Reset All Settings. This will restore your device’s settings to their factory defaults so, again, make sure you write down those Wi-Fi passwords.
Do Some Cleanup
If you’ve owned your device for awhile you’ve probably accumulated all sorts of apps, photos, and videos you no longer need. Getting rid of this clutter could improve your device’s overall speed.
In order to check how much space you’re using, head into your Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage and select Manage Storage.
If you’re running out of space on your iPad or iPhone, head back into General and then scroll down to where it says iPhone Storage or iPad Storage if you’re on a tablet.
Apple’s iOS 11 update gives you an extremely detailed look the stuff you’re storing on your device. It also makes some recommendations based on your utilization of your device’s hard drive. You might want to take Apple’s advice.
Update Your Apps
If your applications are starting to act up make sure they’re updated.
Developers are going to be rolling out iOS 11 support updates with bug fixes and improvements. If you start experiencing issues with an app, you’ll want to look into these updates.
Head into the new App Store and read reviews from iOS 11.3.1 users. If they’re mostly good, you should install the latest version of the app on your device.
Stop Automatic Downloads
If you have trouble keeping pace with app updates, iOS’ automatic feature can be useful. That said, the constant stream of updates can make your device work in the background which can potentially lead to poor performance.
If you don’t have a problem with manually updating your apps, at least temporarily, try disabling Automatic Downloads on your device.
Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store. Once you’re there, you’ll want to toggle the switch to turn off Updates located in the Automatic Downloads section. You might toggle the other options off as well.
Widgets can be useful but they also make your device’s hardware work. Disabling widgets you no longer need could help improve iOS 11’s performance on your iPhone or iPad.
While you’re on the home screen, swipe to the right. Scroll all the way to bottom of the list and tap on Edit. It’s that little circular icon.
On the next screen you should see a long list of services and apps. These are your active and inactive widgets. To disable a widget on your device, tap the red circle with the white line and tap Remove.
You can remove as many as you want and you can always flip them back on if you don’t notice an improvement to your device’s performance.
Clear Browser Cookies & Data
Clearing your browser’s cookies and data will free up memory and help speed up your device.
If you use Apple’s Safari browser go into your Settings > 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 you’re fine with that, tap Clear History and Data again.
If you’re using Google’s Chrome browser on your device, you’ll want to head into the app itself and tap the three vertical circles in the top right corner.
Once you’re in there, tap Settings > Privacy > Clear Browsing Data. You can now select what you wish to delete. If you’re noticing serious lag, you might want to start fresh.
If that’s the case, select them all (you’ll notice a check mark on the right once you’ve done this) and then click Clear Browsing Data.
Stop Background Refresh
Background App Refresh works in the background to keep your apps updated with fresh data. For instance your Facebook feed will constantly be updated without having to actually open up the app.
If you don’t need your apps working in the background try Turning Background App Refresh off. It could help improve performance.
Head into Settings > General > Background App Refresh and toggle Background Refresh off. This will shut it down completely.
You can also go down your list of apps one-by-one and make your selections on a case-by-case basis. This is tedious but it’s the route to take if you want to keep this feature live for your core applications.
Reduce Your Animations
If you start noticing choppy animations, try toning them down.
iOS 11 provides a sense a depth when you tilt your device and open and close your apps. If you minimize this feature it could improve performance.
To reduce Motion Effects on your device, head into Settings > General > Accessibility and toggle Reduce Motion on. Before you do, note that reducing Motion Effects will disable some features like the bubble effect in the Messages app.
You’ll also want to reduce transparency and blur effects. To reduce transparency, head into Accessibility > tap Increase Contrast and then tap the toggle to turn on the Reduce Transparency function.
If none of those tips help, and you can’t find a fix anywhere else, you might want to downgrade or start fresh and factory reset your phone or tablet.
If Apple is currently signing off on an older iOS update you can downgrade. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, take a look at our guide.
If you can’t take your device into an Apple Store, a factory reset is the nuclear option. It will take some time but it could fix your performance issues.
If everything is backed up and good to go and you’re ready for a clean slate, head into Settings > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings to get the process started.
Install iOS 11.3.1 for Better Security
Apple's iOS 11.3.1 update comes with four known security patches for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models capable of running iOS 11.
If you skipped iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.3.1 update comes with 27 additional patches for potential exploits. Those of you lingering on iOS 11.2.6 would be wise to make the move sooner rather than later.
If you missed iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.3.1 update also includes a new privacy feature. When an Apple feature wants to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.
If you're running iOS 11.2.5 or older, you're exposed to an issue that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iOS-powered device and block access to the Messages app. It can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.
The iOS 11.2.6 update's main purpose was to patch up this issue. If you skipped iOS 11.2.6, you'll get these enhancements with iOS 11.3.1.
If you're running iOS 11.2.2 or below and receive a certain GitHub link through your Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable.
If you're on iOS 11.2.1, your iOS 11.3.1 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. If you're running an older version of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with a lot more.
Apple's iOS 11.2 update fixed several problems, but it also brought problems of its own including a potentially nasty zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability.
The vulnerability, discovered by Tian Zhang, allowed for unauthorized control of HomeKit accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.
Apple quickly rolled out a server-side fix, but the company restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1. If you skipped iOS 11.2.1 and use HomeKit, you should download iOS 11.3.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update. Apple's iOS 11.2 update delivered 11 patches including one for Mail and one for Wi-Fi.
The iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 updates also patched up a widespread security issue called "Meltdown." Apple says its analysis suggests it "has the most potential to be exploited."
Meltdown affects all iOS 11 powered devices so we highly recommend downloading iOS 11.3.1 if you skipped iOS 11.2.
If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1, you'll get additional patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update.
The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.
If you're just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you're on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with even more security features.
In iOS 11 you can't establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You'll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.
If you skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called "Broadpwn."
If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you'll get 23 additional patches with iOS 11.3.1. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.3.1 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.