Apple iPhone X problems continue to popup and some users are reporting lag, freezes, and other performance issues. In this guide we’ll show you how to fix poor iPhone X performance should you encounter it on your device.
New iPhone X users are reporting a wide variety of issues with the new 5.8-inch flagship. We’ve heard about FaceID problems, setup issues, battery life problems, and various issues with the device’s performance.
The iPhone X utilizes powerful hardware, but some users are running into occasional lag, lockups, freezes, random reboots, and other common performance issues.
These issues typically popup immediately after Apple releases a new iOS update (the iPhone X runs iOS 11.0.1 out of the box and it’s upgradable to iOS 11.1), but they can emerge at anytime.
If your iPhone X starts to freeze, lag or randomly reboot, you don’t need to make an appointment at your local Apple Store right away. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to fix your problems from the comfort of your computer chair or couch.
This walkthrough will take you through the solutions that have worked for us, and many others, in the past and they’ll help you maintain a fast and efficient iPhone X down the road.
Restart Your iPhone X
If you start running into performance issues on your iPhone X the first thing to do is restart your phone. This works a little bit differently on the iPhone X.
To completely turn off the iPhone X, press and hold the Side button and either volume button (up or down) at the same time. Slide to power the phone down.
You can also try force restarting your iPhone X. To do that, press Volume Up and let go, press Volume Down and let go, and press and hold the side button until the Apple Logo appears. The device will reboot itself.
Watch Your Storage
If you restored from a backup, there’s a good chance you brought a ton of files over to your iPhone X’s internal storage. Clutter can slow down an iPhone so you might want to comb through your data and delete files, apps, songs, videos, and photos you no longer need.
Head into your iPhone X’s Settings > General > and tap on iPhone Storage. This will bring up a detailed look at the files taking up space on your device. Take a look around and delete what you can.
If you aren’t sure where to start, iOS gives you some recommendations. For instance, if you have a ton of apps you don’t use, the software will tell you to “Offload Unused Apps.”
It’ll also give you a list of apps taking up the most space on your iPhone X. Tap on an app and you’ll get a breakdown and personalized recommendations.
Update to the Latest Software
If you’re currently running an older version of iOS 11, it might be time to upgrade.
You can check for a new iPhone X update via your device’s Settings. Go to Settings > Software update. If you’re feeling nervous, read reviews before downloading new software to your device.
Update Your Apps
If your apps are acting up you’ll want to download the latest update provided the update isn’t causing problems.
iOS developers are rolling out iOS 11/iPhone X support updates and these could stabilize the app(s) giving you trouble. We’ll see a steady stream of app updates throughout the year (some developers update their apps every two weeks) so keep an eye on the App Store.
Before you download the latest update to your iPhone X make sure you go into the App Store and read reviews from iPhone X users and those using the latest software.
Stop Auto Downloads
If you aren’t good about keeping your applications up-to-date, you might want to flip on Automatic Downloads. That said, while auto downloads are useful, they can slow your iPhone X down.
If you don’t mind manually checking the App Store for new software updates, try disabling Automatic Downloads on your iPhone X to see if that helps improve your device’s speed.
Head into your Settings app > iTunes & App Store. Once you’re in there toggle Updates, located in the Automatic Downloads section, off.
You might want to toggle the other options off as well.
Clear Browser Cookies & Data
If you don’t do it already, make sure periodically clear your browser’s cookies and data. This will free up memory and it could speed up your iPhone X.
If you’re using Safari on your iPhone X, go into your Settings > Safari > and go down to where it says Clear History and Website Data. Tap that.
Once you tap this button your browsing history, cookies, and other data will be removed 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 Chrome on your iPhone X, head into the Chrome app and tap the three vertical circles in the top right corner.
On the next screen, tap Settings > Privacy > Clear Browsing Data. You can now select what you wish to delete.
If you’re experiencing a ton of lag on your device, you might consider starting over from scratch. To do that, tap Clear Browsing Data.
The animations on the iPhone X are a nice touch, but if you’re experiencing significant slowdown you might consider reducing their presence.
If you start noticing animations or abnormal lag on your iPhone X, go into the Settings app > General > Accessibility and toggle Reduce Motion to on.
You’ll might also want to reduce the your device’s transparency and blur effects. Head into Settings > General > Accessibility > tap Increase Contrast and then toggle Reduce Transparency function on.
Kill Background Refresh
Your iPhone X comes with a feature called Background Refresh. When Background Refresh is turned on, your device will continuously work to keep your apps updated with fresh data. It’s a nifty feature, but turning it off could help improve your device’s performance.
To turn Background Refresh off you’ll want to head into Settings > General > Background App Refresh and toggle Background Refresh off. This will kill the feature completely.
You can also go down your list of apps and flip the feature off on a case-by-case basis.
Disable Your Widgets
Widgets are all over the place on the iPhone X. While useful, they could be slowing your device down. If you don’t use widgets, consider disabling them.
While on the iPhone X home screen swipe to the right to see your list of Widgets. Scroll all the way to bottom of the list and tap on Edit.
On the next screen you’ll see a list of services and apps. These are your iPhone X’s 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 widgets as you want and you can always turn them back on if you don’t see a performance boost on your phone.
If none of these fixes work and you can’t or don’t want to take your iPhone X to an Apple Store, you can try wiping the device to see if that helps.
Factory resetting your iPhone X will wipe the device clean, but it could improve the device’s overall performance.
Before you reset your iPhone X to its factory defaults, make sure your data is properly backed up via iTunes or Apple’s iCloud service. That way, if you don’t see an improvement, you can easily restore from a backup.
Once you’ve got all of your files backed up, head into Settings > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings to get the reset 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.