How to Get Better iOS 8 Performance on iPad 2 & iPad 3

If your old iPad 2 or iPad 3 isn’t fast after installing iOS 8 or iOS 8.0.2 this guide will help you change several settings to speed up your old iPad.

Old iPads like the iPad 2 and iPad 3 can run the new iOS 8 update, but the performance is not as smooth or fast as on older versions like iOS 7 or even iOS 6. Assuming you want some of the new iOS 8 features, you can make a few changes to speed up your iPad 2.

After changing these settings on the iPad 3 the device is slightly faster in some areas where animations are no longer present. Multitasking loads faster and some apps load faster.

Learn how to speed up your old iPad 2 or iPad 3 running iOS 8.
Learn how to speed up your old iPad 2 or iPad 3 running iOS 8.

You’ll notice that instead of smooth transitions between the home screen and multitasking there is a jump straight to multi-tasking. Although this is not as pleasant to look at things do seem to load faster which is a tradeoff we’re willing to make.

All of these options will help you speed up the iPad 2 or iPad 3 running iOS 8. We’ll also cover some things you don’t need to do to speed up the iPad 2 or iPad 3.

Speed Up an Old iPad on iOS 8

Here are four tips that can help you speed up iOS 8 on the iPad 2 and iPad 3. This won’t deliver a completely new experience and you may not even want to call the old iPad fast on iOS 8, but it does help.

Reduce Motion

Reduce Motion on the iPad 2 or iPad 3 for better performance on iOS 8.
Reduce Motion on the iPad 2 or iPad 3 for better performance on iOS 8.

 

You can turn off Parallax on the iPad 2 and iPad 3 to see some speed enhancements. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. Tap to turn Reduce Motion On.

This turns off the motion when you are on the home screen and in some other places where motion might look nice, but can slow down the iPad.

Transparency

Turn off transparency to speed up an old iPad on iOS 8.
Turn off transparency to speed up an old iPad on iOS 8.

The next setting to change is to turn off transparency, which replaces the frosted glass look in various areas with a solid gray color. This doesn’t look as nice but with this and the other setting turned on the better iOS 8 performance is worth the trade-off.

Go to Settings -> General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast > Reduce Transparency -> On.

Storage

If you are almost out of storage it can lead to some app crashes and general odd behavior. Make sure you have more than a few MB of storage. To do this go to Settings -> General -> Usage -> Look at Available Storage.

Free up storage.
Free up storage.

If You have less than 100MB of storage you may want to remove an app, delete an old movie or move some of your photos and videos to a computer.

Reset All Settings

If the iPad 2 and iPad 3 feel slow and buggy you may see some improvements by Resetting All Settings. This will not delete your files, but you will need to rejoin WiFi networks and reconnect to Bluetooth devices.

If all else fails you can try resetting all settings.
If all else fails you can try resetting all settings.

This essentially puts all of the iPhone settings back to a fresh start. Don’t expect miracles, but there is always a chance it can fix some lingering issues.

Go to General > Reset > Reset All Settings. If you have a pass code enter it to proceed. You should not lose any data. 

What Not to Do

You don’t need to close apps after you finish using them. This doesn’t save battery life and it doesn’t make your iPad faster. If an app is not working right then you can close it, but other than that the apps are smart enough to stay in the background without slowing down your iPad. You may see some small improvements if you close maps apps or music apps, but overall this is not something that will help.

22 Comments

  1. Lee

    10/10/2014 at 2:29 pm

    Improved it somewhat thanks however typing is still so slow it makes me not want to use my iPad anymore.

    Reply

  2. Denis

    10/12/2014 at 6:51 pm

    Your solutions…a loss of time. It doesn’t work.

    Reply

  3. Benn B

    10/14/2014 at 2:18 am

    Best advice for these devices?

    Stay on ios7! I wish if stayed on ios6 with my iPad 3 but have managed to get some of the performance back with time and 7.1.2 and the pangu jailbreak.

    I prefer performance over a couple of insignificant tweaks to the OS that my older device couldn’t exploit anyhow

    Reply

    • James

      06/25/2015 at 3:30 am

      can you go back to the ISO 7 if you have upgraded to the one of the 8’s

      Reply

      • Lee (@Tommy_Robb0)

        06/25/2015 at 11:23 am

        Not without jailbreaking no.

        Reply

      • Benn

        06/25/2015 at 11:59 am

        Not as far as I’m aware, iTunes will try to sign the firmware and the window for downgrading to a previous ios version only remains open for a couple of weeks post release. The window for downgrading to 7 has long gone.

        Reply

  4. Pat

    10/14/2014 at 11:29 am

    ios8 is horrible for iPad2. I recently purchased an app called Smart memory Pro. Only $1.00 (at App store) and it has definitely helped. If not for this app, I would be buying a new ipad. Why couldn’t they put this same technology in the upgrade?

    Reply

  5. Jon Madden

    10/16/2014 at 7:03 am

    My 5S 64GB has started deleting music after the 8.0.2 update. I have to un-sync and re-sync the music to get it back. Typically not a big problem, but for me it is since I have 5,900 songs which is over 44 GB of music.

    Reply

  6. B J Dave

    11/09/2014 at 7:23 am

    New IPad mini upgraded to IOS8.1.
    1.No Bluetooth connectivity.
    2.Too Much Data Consumption..1 GB /Hour..even not downloading anything.
    3 Too Slow for every task..
    4 Frequently freezes.
    Rgds.

    Reply

  7. Susan H.

    11/09/2014 at 12:01 pm

    Anyone lose reliable copy/paste function with IOS 8 on iPad 2?

    Reply

  8. David Lee King

    11/16/2014 at 9:11 pm

    Nice suggestions – they just fixed my iPad!

    Reply

  9. Sherri F

    11/22/2014 at 11:56 am

    Thanks this helped my iPad mini. Not totally fixed. But helped. I don’t want to uninstall iOS 8:(

    Reply

  10. Dregride

    11/29/2014 at 8:50 am

    Thank you. Ipad 2 running faster and smoother

    Reply

  11. Bob DiPietro

    12/18/2014 at 8:51 am

    Thanks for the tips. It really did improve performance

    Reply

  12. ben

    01/20/2015 at 6:17 am

    Good thinking nice advice this Ipad 2 works good now but now seems to feel like ios7 was quite good i like that theme and all of that wooden graphics and all ios 8 is totally waste just because of new apps and they dong get update many apps require ios 8 is there any solution from which i can get back to ios 7 and make may i pad fast plus any way to get updated with important apps without having ios 8

    Reply

  13. pete

    01/29/2015 at 4:41 pm

    Helped to speed up my ipad2 – running 8.1.3 – thanks/p

    Reply

  14. Paul

    04/03/2015 at 3:52 pm

    Usefull for older Ipads such as my Ipad 2, also longer battery life!

    Reply

  15. Anne-Marie

    08/06/2015 at 6:29 am

    Much better!! Thanks!

    Reply

  16. Garry

    10/16/2015 at 12:53 pm

    My advice… Jump straight to the end of this article. If you waste your time doing all the other adjustments listed, they will be reset when you ‘Reset All Settings’. But doing the reset made a BIG difference on my iPad 3.

    Reply

  17. craig Tweed

    11/22/2015 at 9:02 am

    This helped somewhat. Thanks for putting this up.

    Reply

  18. Michał

    12/22/2015 at 1:33 am

    My iPad3 started working faster, thanks Guys!

    Reply

  19. Yanoff

    03/11/2017 at 10:45 am

    There are a lot of techniques out there for speeding up an iPad. I don’t go into a lot of detail about each technique for an iPad (and these would also work on an iPhone); rather, this is a checklist of things to try based on my collection of information from articles and experience: http://yanoff.org/links/speedUpIpad.shtml

    Reply

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