11 tips to speed up a slow iPad

Here's how to speed up a slow iPad - perhaps an older model, such as the iPad 1, 2 or 3 or the iPad mini 1, or just an iPad that isn't as fast as it used to be. These tips speed up an iPad and get it to run much more quickly

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  • Speed up an iPad 1
  • Delete apps 2
  • Delete files 3
  • Restart 4
  • App refresh 5
  • Update iOS 6
  • Clear cache 7
  • Notifications 8
  • Location Services 9
  • Spotlight 10
  • Reduce Motion 11
  • Clear RAM 12
  • More stories
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Tip 1 of 12: How to speed up an iPad

If you own an older model of iPad - perhaps an iPad 1, 2 or 3, or the iPad mini 1 - then the chances are that it isn't running as quickly as you like. Even though iOS is a modern operating system that requires minimal maintenance, it still gets full and slows down over time.

Sometimes even relatively new models feel sluggish compared to the way they soared when brand-new.

There are many different techniques for speeding up an old or slowed-down iPad, and here are some of the ones that we've found to be most effective.

This article is a slideshow, so turn to the next slide to read the first of our 10 great iPad speed tips. Alternatively, take a look at the other tips, tutorials and general advice for iPad owners in the articles linked below.

See also:

69 great iPad tutorials: Get more out of your iPad

How to use Settings in iOS to configure your iPad

40 awesome tips & tricks for iPad users

Next Tip »

Next Prev slideshow image

If you own an older model of iPad - perhaps an iPad 1, 2 or 3, or the iPad mini 1 - then the chances are that it isn't running as quickly as you like. Even though iOS is a modern operating system that requires minimal maintenance, it still gets full and slows down over time.

Sometimes even relatively new models feel sluggish compared to the way they soared when brand-new.

There are many different techniques for speeding up an old or slowed-down iPad, and here are some of the ones that we've found to be most effective.

This article is a slideshow, so turn to the next slide to read the first of our 10 great iPad speed tips. Alternatively, take a look at the other tips, tutorials and general advice for iPad owners in the articles linked below.

See also:

69 great iPad tutorials: Get more out of your iPad

How to use Settings in iOS to configure your iPad

40 awesome tips & tricks for iPad users

 

Step 2 of 12: Speed up an iPad by removing apps

The first trick is to have a good software clear-out. Remove any apps that you no longer use. Apps take up storage space, and freeing up space makes it easier for iOS to operate.

Note that we're talking about deleting the apps from the device entirely, not just closing them down (by double-tapping to open the multitasking bar, then swiping up on the app you want to close). That won't make any difference. The theory that closing down a few apps will free up memory and speed up an iOS device is a myth, and anybody who understands how iOS manages memory knows that it won't work.

But deleting apps that you no longer use has a notable effect on iOS. That one isn't a myth.

Read more: How to delete iPad apps

 

Step 3 of 12: Speed up an iPad by removing large files

After you've got rid of the apps you don't need, it's time to slim down the apps you do want to keep, by getting rid of files inside them.

Click Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage. Now tap Manage Storage (under Storage, not iCloud) and look for items that are taking up lots of space. Podcasts, GarageBand and Movies are likely suspects. Tap an app to view its contents, and then swipe left across any item you don't want and tap Delete.

 

Step 4 of 12: Speed up an iPad by restarting

Once you've cleared out the iPad, you should restart it. The restart refreshes the memory and enables it to start from scratch.

Hold down the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Slide To Power Off control slide and power down your iPad, then press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again to wake it back up.

 

Step 5 of 12: Speed up an iPad by turning off app refresh

Now that you've cleared out the junk, your iPad should already be working much faster. But if you're using an older iPad, such as an iPad mini or iPad 2, then you'll get better results by turning off features you can manage without.

Start by removing Background App Refresh. Tap Settings > General > Background App Refresh and set Background App Refresh to Off.

 

Step 6 of 12: Speed up an iPad by updating iOS

Be warned: updating the iOS can be a mixed bag in terms of speed, as sometimes it introduces new features that actually slow down an older iOS device. But these tend to be fixed by Apple over time, and newer versions of iOS introduce new, and more efficient code. In any case, if your iPad is unusably slow after trying all the other tips here, it's worth a go.

Tap Settings > General > Software Update and check if there's a new version of iOS available. Updating iOS is almost always a one-way process, so only do this if you're sure... or desperate.

See: What's new in the iOS 9.2 update plus iOS 9 bugs

 

Step 7 of 12: Speed up an iPad by clearing the Safari cache

Safari is one app where you might notice slowdown more than most. This can be caused by a full cache, which Safari has to search through. Tap Settings > General > Clear History and Website Data to remove all of the Safari cache information.

This should speed up the Safari interface, although web pages may take slightly longer to load in the short term (as the cache fills back up).

 

Step 8 of 12: Speed up an iPad by turning off notifications

Scanning for and providing notifications can slow down an iOS device. Tap Settings > Notifications and, for each app, set Notifications to Off.

 

Step 9 of 12: Speed up an iPad by turning off Location Services

Location Services sits in the background sucking up battery life and reducing performance. While it can be handy to have apps like Maps and Facebook accessing your location, you'll notice the difference if you turn it off.

Tap Settings > Privacy > Location Services and set Location Services to Off. Tap Turn Off.

 

Step 10 of 12: Speed up an iPad by turning off Spotlight

Spotlight is a handy way to find something on your iPad, but it has to index each item on your iPad that can occasionally slow things down. Tap Settings > General > Spotlight Search and set all the Search Results items to Off.

 

Step 11 of 12: Speed up an iPad by enabling Reduce Motion

If you've turned off everything else and want a little bit more speed, turning off some of the visual effects can provide a slight speed boost. Tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and set Reduce Motion to On.

 

Step 12 of 12: Speed up a slow iPad by clearing RAM

This is a bit of a workaround as the app we use for this isn't available for the iPad - only the iPhone. However, search the iOS App Store For Battery Doctor (ignore the name) and change to iPhone Only (Click where it says iPhone only). We have downloaded the KS Mobile Battery Doctor app.

Open the app on your iPad - because it's an iPhone app the interface isn't great on the iPad.

Note the Memory Use (it's probably on the high side) and click Boost. The iPad will tell you how much memory is being used, and how much is left. Tap boost and it will wipe out all that junk in the RAM and free up space. In our experience this really speeds up our iPad mini 1 but can be used to speed up any iPad.

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