iPhone Slow? What’s Up with iOS 11 Performance

Is Apple making my iPhone slow with iOS 11 to force me to upgrade to the iPhone 8? It’s a common question and perhaps one of the biggest iPhone conspiracies. If you are thinking about installing the iOS 11 update or already on iOS 11, you may start to feel like your iPhone is slower than it use to be.

Every year when the new iOS update arrives we see a spike in searches for iPhone slow and complaints on social media from users who think their iPhone is slower. It’s already one of the most common iOS 11 update questions we are seeing online.

Many users think Apple is intentionally slowing down the iPhone with iOS 11 to convince users to buy the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X. Apple’s iOS 11 update is coming to older devices, which is part of this issue, but it is even a concern for iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 owners.

Here’s what people are saying about iOS 11 slowing down their iPhone while using the iOS 11 GM. This is the same version of the software that Apple releases this week. We’ll also show you how you can fix some iOS 11 and slow iPhone problems.

What you need to know about iOS 11 performance and whether or not it will leave you with a slow iPhone.
What you need to know about iOS 11 performance and whether or not it will leave you with a slow iPhone.

Often your iPhone will be slow for a day or so after installing a major iOS update while it works behind the scenes on tasks, but this should clear up within 24 hours. You may also see a slow iPhone due to out of date apps, bad network connectivity and other issues. We’re starting to see iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 users complain that iOS 11 slowed their iPhone down.

Slow iPhone Conspiracy

We used to see major search spikes for Slow iPhone and iPhone Slow in September around the time Apple released the new iPhone and a major iOS update. There are still many users who think that Apple is intentionally slowing down the iPhone to convince them to upgrade to a new phone.

Most often this is referred to as planned obsolescence, which is a real thing, but it’s not clear that’s what Apple is engaging in. From a physical standpoint the iPhone battery will not last as long after a year as it did on day one because batteries degrade over time. Specifically the iPhone battery will lose about 20% of the capacity after 400 charges.

It’s not likely that Apple is purposefully slowing the iPhone down each fall. Hardware simply isn’t able to deliver the same speed on newer software and when dealing with apps that require more power. Instead of making your iPhone slow, Apple limits the features that come to older phones, which drives the upgrade process.

iOS 11 Performance

We’ve seen good iOS 11 performance overall on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s, as well as some older devices. We’re testing the iOS 11 GM on a range of other iPhones and iPads to see what we find. While there are iOS 11 problems, slow performance isn’t the biggest complaint we are hearing this year.

Watch this iOS 9.3.5 vs iOS 11 speed test to see how the iPhone 6S handles iOS 11 compared to the older software. The iOS 11 powered iPhone 6s boots up much slower, but overall it’s pretty snappy.

You can also see how well iOS 11 performs on the iPhone 5s compared to iOS 9.3.5. Once again it takes longer to boot up into iOS 11. The upside is that most of us are not restarting the phone multiple times a day.

The iPhone 5s iOS 11 update is where we start to see a slower iPhone. The animations are sometimes slower and apps load slower overall. This includes Maps, News and other stock Apple apps that you will use every day. While scrolling appears smoother on iOS 11 on the iPhone 5s, the app launched slower and loaded slower. We also see slower iOS 11 performance in Mail on iOS 11.

How to Fix Slow iOS 11 Performance

Thankfully there are some solutions to a slow iPhone on iOS 11, and several are very easy to do. You don’t need to wipe your iPhone for all of them, but that is a worst case solution to getting better iOS 11 performance.

Reset All Settings

The first thing you need to try is resetting all of your phone settings. This will mean changing some of your settings back and reconnecting to WiFi and Bluetooth, but it will not delete your apps, data, music or photos. This takes about 3-5 minutes, and while it is happening you cannot use your iPhone.

Go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings -> Enter Your Passcode.

Once your phone restarts login, reconnect to WiFi and Bluetooth devices and start using your iPhone. This should fix many slow iPhone problems without more drastic steps.

Fix slow iPhone performance on iOS 11.
Fix slow iPhone performance on iOS 11.

Completely Reset Your iPhone

Sometimes you need to reset your iPhone and start over from scratch. This option will reset your iPhone to factory settings on iOS 11. You can choose to restore a backup, which may or may not bring any problems back over, or you can start from scratch and re-install the apps you want and need. Make sure you have a good backup before you proceed with these options.

Go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings and Content -> Enter a Passcode. 

When your iPhone restarts it will prompt you to go through setup and you will be able to restore from a backup or start as a new iPhone. This process takes at least 5-10 minutes, and may take longer. If you choose to restore from a backup that will take much longer. You cannot use your iPhone while it is in the process of resetting.

Downgrade to iOS 10.3.3

If all else fails, you can downgrade to iOS 10.3.3 for a limited time. This is normally open for a week or two after the iOS 11 release date, so you will need to act fast if you are concerned.

You can only downgrade to the latest version of iOS 10, so there is no bouncing back to iOS 9.3.5 or to a version of iOS 10 that you can jailbreak. If you think you want to do this, do not hesitate. You can always try iOS 11 again when iOS 11.0.1 or iOS 11.1 come out later this year, but when that happens you won’t be able to go back to iOS 10.

iOS 11 vs iOS 10: What’s New in iOS 11.2 & iOS 11.2.1

What's New in iOS 11.2 & iOS 11.2.1

What's New in iOS 11.2 & iOS 11.2.1

The iOS 11.2.1 update is small and it focuses on fixes for HomeKit that Apple already fixed on the server side. This is an important update to install if you use HomeKit. 

The iOS 11.2 update delivers a major fix for the crashing iPhone, dozens of other fixes and includes Apple Pay Cash. The update is about 480MB for most users and should install pretty quickly if you are already on iOS 11.1.2.

Apple Pay Cash - This new service lets you send, request and receive money from other iPhone users.

 

 


  • Adds support for faster wireless charging on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X with compatible third-party accessories
  • Introduces three new Live wallpapers for iPhone X
  • Improves video camera stabilization
  • Adds support in Podcasts to automatically advance to the next episode from the same show
  • Adds support in HealthKit for downhill snow sports distance as a data type
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Mail to appear to be checking for new messages even when a download is complete
  • Fixes an issue that could cause cleared Mail notifications from Exchange accounts to reappear
  • Improves stability in Calendar
  • Resolves an issue where Settings could open to a blank screen
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent swiping to Today View or Camera from the Lock Screen
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent Music controls from displaying on the Lock Screen
  • Fixes an issue that could cause app icons to be arranged incorrectly on the Home Screen
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent users from deleting recent photos when iCloud storage is exceeded
  • Addresses an issue where Find My iPhone sometimes wouldn’t display a map
  • Fixes an issue in Messages where the keyboard could overlap the most recent message
  • Fixes an issue in Calculator where typing numbers rapidly could lead to incorrect results
  • Addressed an issue where the keyboard could respond slowly
  • Adds support for real-time text (RTT) phone calls for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Improves VoiceOver stability in Messages, Settings, App Store, and Music
  • Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from announcing incoming Notifications

The iOS 11.1.2 update fixed the following items, which are also rolled into the iOS 11.2 update. 

  • Fixes and issue where the iPhone X screen becomes temporarily unresponsive to touch after a rapid temperature drop. 
  • Addresses an issue that could cause distortion in Live Photos and videos captured with the iPhone X. 

If you are on a much older version the update will be larger and it will include the other fixes listed below. 

The iOS 11.1.1 update is out now for the iPhone and iPad. This update includes all of the changes from iOS 11.1 and two very important fixes. This small update is just over 50MB in size on most iPhones that are on iOS 11.1 already. 

  • Fixes autocorrect problem that replaced "I" with a question mark box and other symbols. 
  • Fixes Hey Siri not responding. 

The iOS 11.1.1 update includes all of the same security fixes as iOS 11.1, and the new features outlined below. After a lot of iOS 11 problems, the iOS 11.1 update is about delivering a lot of fixes that will help you use the iPhone better. This is a free update that is about 200 to 300 MB in size and it is one that most users will want to install on their iPhone. Here's a full list of the changes in iOS 11.1 including many fixes for the Photos app and for Accessibility. 

  • Over 70 new emoji characters including new food types, animals, mythical creatures, clothing options, more expressive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters and more
  • Resolves an issue that could cause some photos to appear blurry
  • Addresses an issue that could cause Live Photo effects to playback slowly
  • Fixes an issue that could cause some photos to not display in the People album when restoring from an iCloud Backup
  • Fixes an issue that could impact performance when swiping between screenshots
  • Improves braille support for Grade 2 input
  • Improves VoiceOver access to multi-page PDFs
  • Improves VoiceOver rotor actions for announcing incoming notifications
  • Improves VoiceOver rotor actions menu when removing an app from the App Switcher
  • Fixes an issue for some users where alternative keys would not display when using VoiceOver with Touch Typing
  • Fixes an issue where VoiceOver rotor would always return to default action in Mail
  • Fixes an issue where VoiceOver rotor would not delete messages
  • Adds back support for accessing the app switcher by pressing on edge of display with 3D Touch
  • Fixes an issue that caused cleared Mail notifications to reappear on Lock screen
  • Fixes an issue in enterprise environments that prevented data from being moved between managed apps
  • Fixes an issue with some 3rd-party GPS accessories that caused inaccuracies in location data
  • Resolves an issue where settings for Heart Rate notifications were appearing in Apple Watch app (1st generation)
  • Fixes an issue where app icons were not appearing in notifications on Apple Watch

Apple also includes a number of important security fixes, including one for a major WiFi flaw in this update. Most users will want to install iOS 11.1 for the security updates as much as for the new emoji. 

One Comment

  1. […] can downgrade to iOS 10 if you don’t like the annoying new iOS 11 features or if your iPhone is slow, but only for a limited […]

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