We’re having an excellent experience on iOS 13, but iPhone SE users are complaining about a variety of performance problems including lockups, freezes, general, lag, and random reboots. These issues are extremely common and you’ll find them across Apple’s iPhone lineup.
If your iPhone SE starts to exhibit lag or frequently reboot itself, you don’t need to schedule an appointment to see a Genius at the Apple Store. There’s a very good chance you’ll be able to solve your performance issues from your house or office in a matter of minutes, seconds even.
In this guide we’ll show you a few ways to fix iPhone SE performance issues should they arise after an iOS 13 update or completely out of the blue.
Restart Your iPhone SE
If you start noticing performance issues like lag and lockups, try restarting your iPhone SE. Hold down the power button, slide to turn it off, leave it off for a minute or so, and then turn it back on to check performance.
You can also try hard resetting the phone which is done by holding down the power button and the home button at the same time until the Apple logo appears.
Update Your iPhone SE
If you’re running an outdated version of iOS, consider downloading the latest software to your iPhone SE.
To check what version of iOS 13 you’re currently running, go into Settings, then About, and check under Version. If you aren’t running the latest update, you’ll want to install the software.
To do that, head into Settings, then General, then Software update. If a new update is available, you’ll be prompted to download and install the software.
Make sure you read reviews before you make your move.
Delete What You Don’t Need
If you’ve owned your iPhone SE for awhile you’ve probably accumulated a ton of data on your device’s internal hard drive. Photos, videos, apps, things of that nature.
Some people are really good about keeping their device’s hard drive clean, others not so much. If you fall into the latter category, it might be time to examine the contents of your phone because clutter can slow down your iPhone.
To do this, head into your iPhone SE’s Settings and tap on iPhone Storage. There, you’ll get a detailed look at what’s taking up space on your device. Go down the list and decide what to keep and what to delete. You’d be surprised how much space Messages and Videos take up on your phone.
If you’re running a newer version of iOS on your iPhone SE, you will also get some personalized recommendations about how to free up space on your device.
Stop Your Auto Downloads
Automatic updates are extremely useful if you’re bad about keeping your apps and services updated with the latest features and fixes. Auto downloads are useful, but they can also slow down your phone.
If you don’t mind manually updating your applications on the App Store, try disabling Automatic Downloads on your iPhone SE and see if you get a boost.
Head into your Settings app, then iTunes & App Store. Once you’re in there, toggle Updates, located in the Automatic Downloads section, off.
You might toggle the other options off as well. You can always turn them back on later.
Clear Browser Cookies & Data
Clearing your browser’s cookies and data will free up memory which could help speed up your iPhone SE.
If you use Safari on your iPhone SE, head into your Settings, then Safari, and then go down to Clear History and Website Data. Give it a tap.
Tapping on this button will remove your browsing history, cookies, and other data from Safari. Your history will also be cleared from any other devices signed into your iCloud account. If that sounds good to you, tap Clear History and Data again.
If you use Google Chrome on your iPhone SE, you’ll want to head into Chrome and tap the three horizontal circles in the bottom right corner.
A popup will appear. From there, tap Settings, then Privacy, and then Clear Browsing Data. You can now select what you wish to delete from your device.
If you’re noticing serious lag on your iPhone SE, you might want to get rid of everything. To do that, select them all and then click Clear Browsing Data.
The iPhone SE’s animations are nifty, but toning them down could help improve your device’s performance.
If the animations on your iPhone SE suddenly get choppy or slow, head on into the Settings app, then General, then Accessibility, and then toggle Reduce Motion on.
We also recommend reducing the transparency and blur effects on your device. To get that done, head into Settings, then General, then Accessibility, and then tap Increase Contrast and then tap the toggle to turn on the Reduce Transparency function.
The software will feel a bit different, but it’s a small price to pay for improving performance.
Kill Background Refresh
If you have Background App Refresh enabled, your iPhone SE will work to keep your apps updated with fresh data. It’s a nice feature, but you probably don’t need it turned on for all of your apps.
If you don’t want or need apps working in the background, turn this feature off. You can shut it off completely or you can run down a list and toggle it off on a case-by-case basis.
To get this done head into Settings, then General, then Background App Refresh, and then toggle Background Refresh off. If you’d prefer to pick and choose, you’ll need to go down your list of apps and toggle them off or on one by one.
Reset All Settings
If none of those remedies work, try resetting your iPhone SE’s settings to their factory defaults. To do that, head into Settings, then General, then Reset, and then and select Reset All Settings at the top.
Before you do this, make sure you have your Wi-Fi passwords handy. This will cause your iPhone SE to forget known connections.
If the current version of iOS is treating your iPhone SE badly, you can try downgrading to an older version assuming one is available.
If you’re fine with dropping down, take a look at our guide to downgrading iOS. It will hold your hand through the entire process.
Wiping your iPhone SE and starting over is a tedious process, but it could have a dramatic effect on your device’s overall performance.
Once you’ve made a proper backup, head into your iPhone SE’s Settings, then General, then Reset, then Erase All Content and Settings and get the ball rolling.
Install iOS 13.5.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing the iOS 13.5.1 update.
iOS 13.5.1 brings one security to iOS 13-powered iPhone models which you can read about on Apple's website. The patch is for an exploit used by jailbreak developers.
If you skipped iOS 13.5, iOS 13.5.1 brings iOS 13.5's 41 new security patches with it. Apple's posted the details on its website and you can dig into the particulars if you're interested.
Among them, patches for the company's Mail app, Wi-Fi, AirDrop, Bluetooth, FaceTime, Messages, and Notifications.
If you skipped the iOS 13.4 update, you'll get iOS 13.4's 28 security patches with your upgrade. You can read about all of them on Apple's website right here.
iOS 13.4 also brought several improvements to Apple's Intelligent Tracking Prevention. Apple's John Wilander outlined them in a blog post and it's worth checking out.
Reports have outlined a vulnerability in Wi-Fi chips made by Broadcom and Cypress Semiconductor that left billions of devices susceptible to attack.
Dubbed Kr00k, the vulnerability allows nearby attackers to decrypt sensitive information that's relayed over-the-air.
Fortunately, it looks like the issue was patched up with the release of iOS 13.2, an update that arrived all the way back in October.
So if you're running a really old version of iOS 13, you'll really want to move your device up to the newest version of iOS 13.
If you skipped iOS 13.3.1, you get its patches with iOS 13.5.1.
The iOS 13.3.1 update included 21 new security patches that will help protect your device from harm. The company's outlined those patches in detail if you want to dig in.
If you skipped iOS 13.3, you get its patches with iOS 13.5.1. iOS 13.3 brought 12 new security patches to the iPhone and you can read about each one over on Apple's security page.
The iOS 13.3 update also added support for NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in the Safari browser.
If you missed iOS 13.2, it had 16 new security patches on board. You can read about all of them on Apple's website right here.
iOS 13.1.1 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 13.5.1 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 to iOS 13.5.1. 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 13.5.1 update.
iOS 12.4.1 only had one patch on board, but Apple's iOS 12.4 update 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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