Why is my iPhone slow after installing iOS 9? Is it a conspiracy by Apple to convince users to buy the new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus?
Soon after the iOS 9 update arrived we started to see users wondering if slow iOS 9 performance is something Apple does to convince users to upgrade to a new iPhone. We hear this every year with a major iOS update, and perhaps more so this year with Apple’s decision to offer the iOS 9 update on aging devices like the iPhone 4s and iPad 2.
Join us for a look at the complaints about a slow iPhone and how you can try to fix slow iOS 9 performance without buying a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus.
What you need to know about slow iPhone performance on iOS 9.
Slow iPhone issues appear frequently after updates, and we even ran into really poor iOS 9 performance on the iPhone 6 right after installing the near final build, but that soon went away.
We are also hearing about complaints from iPhone 4s, iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 owners who feel that iOS 9 slowed down their iPhone and trends show an increase in search for “iPhone is slow” near each major release of new Apple software.
iPhone Slow: Is it a Conspiracy?
When you start using a new version of iOS on your older iPhone it may suddenly seem much slower. In fast, it may be slower in some areas due to the challenge of running new software on an older device.
Is Apple intentionally slowing down your old iPhone to make you upgrade to a new iPhone? There is no proof that the company is doing this, and it seems unlikely considering that users can simply choose not to install iOS 9.
Another important thing to consider is that Apple doesn’t need to use slow performance to get users to upgrade, when they purposely keep features limited to the new iPhone. Some times we see new features that should in theory work on older iPhones only show up on the newest model.
Conspiracy alert, but I'm sure whatever model of iPhone I have starts to slow down whenever a new version is imminent. Convinced of it.
One example is the new Retina Flash that delivers a front-facing flash on the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus. There are third-party apps that offer a rudimentary version of this on the iPhone and iPad, but Apple only includes support for the iPhone 6s and newer.
This year a major new feature is the 3D Touch display on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. A feature like this requires new hardware, and offers an incentive to upgrade to the new iPhone without purposefully slowing down old iPhones with the iOS 9 update.
iOS 9 Performance
In our iOS 9 review on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2, the overall performance was great, despite an initial slow down after installing iOS 9. That isn’t to say that there are no iOS 9 problems, but a purposeful slowdown isn’t something that evidence suggests Apple is doing.
On an older device like the iPhone 4s or iPhone 5, there is often a greater chance of experiencing slow iPhone problems. In our first impressions of iOS 9 on the iPhone 5 Adam Mills shared his experience with iOS 9 performance.
“I was hoping for an iOS 9 miracle but thus far, it’s more of the same. It still lags a bit when I open a folder, open an app or scroll through the home screen. The lag is also apparent when using the phone’s multitasking feature.”
After almost a week this is still there, so a slow iPhone isn’t completely in your head. In the next section we’ll share how to fix some slow iPhone problems.
How to fix Slow iPhone iOS 9 Performance
What to do if your iPhone is slow after iOS 9.
Learn how to fix slow iPhone performance on iOS 9. This will work on your iPhone 4s or your iPhone 6, it doesn’t matter which iPhone you have, these three options allow you to improve slow iPhone performance after installing iOS 9.
The easy solution to slow iPhone performance is to reset all settings on your iPhone. This will not delete your apps, data or music, but you will likely need to re-setup WiFi connections and you will need to customize your iPhone settings again.
To start, go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings -> Enter Your Passcode. Now, wait for the iPhone to restart.
Reset Your iPhone
The next level solution to completely reset your iPhone. If you are using an older iPhone and you have not ever started over from scratch since you bought it, this is a good time to try starting over. This will wipe all of your data from your iPhone and you will need to sync it back or to restore from a backup.
Use these options to fix slow iPhone problems on iOS 9.
If you restore from a backup you may bring some problems back, but it is the easiest way to get all of your data on to your iPhone again after a reset.
Once you are done backing up, you can go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings and Content -> Enter a Passcode.
This will restart your iPhone and wipe it clean. This will take some time and you cannot use your iPhone while it happens.
The image above shows that the iOS 9 home screen looks very much like the one on iOS 8. This is not surprising, but you will notice one major change to this screen.
The new iOS 9 font on the home page carries over through settings and apps. It's surprising how much the look of the system can change with a small tweak to a new font.
From the home screen you can now swipe left to a new search screen, and you can still swipe down to Spotlight from any of the home screen pages.
When you upgrade you will also see options to add iCloud Drive to your home screen.
Apple adds two new default iOS 9 apps that you cannot delete. Find iPhone and Find Friends apps now come with the iPhone by default. You can hide them in a folder, but you cannot delete the apps. The Find My iPhone app is a very good addition, while Find My Friends is still not as widely used.