iPhone or iPad slow after updating to iOS 9 – iOS 9.3.2? Here are some tips to fix it

BY Gautam Prabhu

Published 19 Sep 2015

As we reported earlier, a number of users are reporting that their iPhone or iPad feels slow or sluggish after upgrading to iOS 9.

If you’ve just upgraded to iOS 9iOS 9.3.2, then you should ideally give it a few hours or a day for indexing and to complete other background activities. 

But if the sluggishness or lag issues persist after a day or two then here are some tips that you can try to make your device snappier.

7 Tips to Speed Up iPhone and iPad

1. Force Restart

Like all tech problems, there is not harm in starting off by force restarting your iPhone or iPad to see it helps.

Hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time for at least ten seconds, until the screen goes blank and Apple logo appears.

Reset iPhone

2. Reduce Motion

iOS includes a number of animations and motion related effects like parallax that aren’t very important, especially if you’re facing performance issues or noticing lag on your device.

You can disable these motion effects by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion and turn on the toggle.

iOS 9 - Reduce Motion

3. Reduce Transparency

The transparency and blur are useful to convey depth, but can consume battery and CPU cycles, so here’s how to reduce the transparency in Notification Center, the Dock, Keyboard and a number of other places:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, and navigate to General > Accessibility.
  • Scroll down and tap on Increase Contrast.
  • Tap on the Reduce Transparency toggle to enable it.

iOS 9 - Reduce Transparency

Reduce Transparency makes the text on iOS a little more legible but takes away blur, one of the signature additions of iOS 7.

4. Background App Refresh

One of the multitasking features in iOS lets apps fetch content in the background. However, it can have an impact on performance as it is spawning threads to fetch the latest content for several apps.

To disable Background App Refresh, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh > and turn it off for apps like Facebook or other apps that don’t absolutely need to be updated all the time. Background App Refresh is a great feature, but you don’t need it for every app.

iOS 9 - Background App Refresh

5. Spotlight Search

Spotlight allows you to search a lot of types of content like Applications, Contacts, Music, Podcasts, Mails, Events etc., when you might use it only for contacts, applications, and music. It means that there would be overheads to index content on your device.

So uncheck the apps you don’t want to search by going to Settings > General > Spotlight Search.

iOS 9 - Spotlight Search

6. Siri Suggestions

You may have noticed that iOS 9 suggests apps, people, locations, and more when you do search, even before you type. This new feature is called Siri Suggestions. If you’re facing the performance problem after upgrading to iOS 9 then this could be one of the features that could be contributing to the problem.

You can disable it and see if it helps by going to Settings > General > Spotlight Search and tapping on the Siri Suggestions toggle to disable it.

7. Restore iPhone or iPad as New

This is not ideal but the last resort. If you’ve setup your iPhone by restoring from backup then the battery life problems could be due to some issue with the backup. Try to restore your iPhone (Settings -> General -> Reset -> Erase All Content And Settings) and set it up as a new iPhone (not from the backup). But before you erase all the contents and settings, take a backup of your iPhone using iTunes or iCloud, or selectively take a backup of your photos and videos using Dropbox or Google+.

Let us know how it goes in the comments below.