Why is my iPad so slow?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015  |  Admin

It happens to most iPad users over time - The shiny, exciting new iPad that you've treated yourself to becomes slower and slower and slower.... until it's no longer the lightning quick iPad that you used to know and love and you're left there thinking "Why is my iPad so slow?". But why is your iPad so slow?

We take a look at the most common reasons for a slow iPad and offer suggestions on how you can speed it up so it's as good as new again!

The top 5 reasons for a slow iPad:

5. Make sure you are running the latest iOS (iPad Operating System)

If your version of iOS is outdated then your iPad isn't performing as well as it could be. Some people might tell you that Apple make older iPads "run slower" under new iOS versions to encourage you to upgrade, but this simply isn't true. When releasing a new version of iOS Apple will always optimize for both older and newer iPads so be sure to upgrade to the latest version!

It's easy to update to the latest iOS on your iPad. Just go to Settings > General > Software Update and download and install the latest update. 

If there's nothing there then you're already on the latest version of iOS so there must be another reason your iPad is slow.....


4. Stop any apps that are slowing down your iPad

When you exit an app on your iPad by pressing the home button it usually stays open in the background. This is great for apps such as chat software or emails as it allows you to keep receiving messages, but some apps will really slow down your iPad. 

To close apps that are slowing down your iPad, double click the home button (the button at the bottom of your iPad) and you'll see a list of your most recent apps. To close these apps is simple - just touch and hold your finger on the app window, then "flick" it towards the top of the screen. The app window will fly off in to the distance and the app will now be closed.


3. Free up some storage space

Over time we collect lots of files, photos, videos and apps on our iPads - many of which we don't need any more. To free up storage space on your iPad we recommend doing the following:

  • Uninstall apps that you no longer use (especially games as these take up a lot of storage)
  • Back up any old images or videos to iCloud or your PC/MAC using the transfer cable, then delete those old files
  • Clear your cookies and web history on the Safari browser (NOTE: This will log you out of any websites you are logged in to - don't do this if you can't remember the passwords!)

Once you've freed up some storage space you should find your iPad to be more responsive and not as slow and sluggish as it was.


2. Do a hard reset on your slow iPad

A hard reset will shut down your iPad, stop all apps and then boot it up again. Think of it like restarting your PC/MAC or laptop. Although modern devices are very stable and can run for days without being rebooted (or even months!), it's a good idea to hard reset your tablet every week or so if you're suffering from a slow iPad. Performing a hard reset is really simple and nowhere near as scary as the name sounds:

  • Hold down the home (main button on the front) and sleep (small button on the top) at the same time
  • Keep holding them until your iPad turns off and then turns back on, displaying the Apple logo
  • Now you can let go of the buttons and wait for your iPad to finish booting.
  • Your slow iPad should now be much more responsive


1. Restore your slow iPad to factory settings

If your iPad is still very slow after completing all of the steps above, it might be time to restore it to its factory settings. Restoring to factory settings is essentially putting your iPad back in to the same state it was when you first bought it. If doing this then be careful as you will lose everything on your iPad (photos, videos, apps and so on) so make sure you back it all up first! You can then restore those files from a backup later if you need them.

Restoring your iPad to factory settings is the nuclear option if nothing else works. It's the most drastic measures we can take to try and speed up our slow iPads, but as with performing a hard reset it's not as scary as it sounds. Apple have a fantastic guide on how to restore an iPad to factory settings which breaks it down in to step by step stages. 


If you've followed all of the above then congratulations, your iPad should now be as quick and responsive as the day you got it! If your iPad is still slow then it's likely that a hardware issue has developed so it's probably worth taking it in to your local Apple store and seeing what they suggest to do. 

Do you have any tips about how to speed up an iPad? Leave them in the comments below and we'll feature the best here on our blog and on our social media channels.

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