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How to make your iPhone or iPad run faster

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March 24, 2012, 12:04 IST

Jill Duffy

How to make your iPhone or iPad run faster

My iPhone (3GS), now nearing its second birthday, has seemed sluggish for a few months. It started around the same time that I installed iOS 5, that latest major update to the mobile operating system. When iOS 5.1 came out a few weeks ago, I wondered whether it would only exacerbate the problem when I installed it. Would the OS update take up even more space on my little phone, making it run even slower? 

You don't need to know much at all about how your iPhone or iPad works, or even how much a gigabyte is, to make your Apple mobile device run faster. Follow these few simple steps, and you'll be on your way to a cleaner and quicker iPhone or iPad.

5 Tips for Making Your iPhone or iPad Run Faster
 
1. Check your usage.
Click on the Settings icon. Select General. Select Usage.
At the very top, you'll see two numbers: GB available and GB used.

You don't need to understand these numbers deeply. All you need to know for the purpose of making your phone run faster is the percent of free space you have. There are no hard and fast rules, but you probably want your available space to be at least 10 percent, but perhaps as much as 15 or 20 percent. Obviously, if the available space is larger than the used space, you're in good shape.

Note that when you add the available space and the used space, it won't add up to the total size of your phone (e.g., a 16GB iPhone will appear to have only about 13.6GB total space) because it doesn't include the space being used by the operating system.


Select any app, and a new page will break down the usage into two parts: the app and the data and documents stored in the app. For example, my Instapaper app takes up 30.7MB total: 22.9MB for the app (see where it says "app size" on the image) and 7.8MB for documents and data. Sometimes, this information helps you see that it's not the app but what you store in it that's eating up space. In the case of my Instapaper app, I'm in the clear. Neither the app nor the data are taking up much space. To delete documents and data when they are taking up too much space, open the app where they're contained and remove them there, because you can't delete them from the iPhone or iPad Settings area.

2. Delete apps.
To create more available or free space, you'll need to delete apps, music, videos, or other data. Here's how to figure out which ones are worth nixing.

Staying right on the same screen from step no. 1, look through the next section, which shows the apps you have installed and how much space they use. This list automatically sorts by space used, from greatest to least. The apps appear at the top are using the most space. Most of your apps are probably measured in MB rather than GB (1GB=1,024MB).

The app highest on your list is probably either Music or Video. You can't actually delete those apps, but you can remove some of the music or video files, explained next in step no. 3. But first, take a look at the other apps in the list and decide which ones you'll delete. Judging them by the amount of space they consume could be more effective than simply thinking about whether you want to keep them.

To delete apps, go to your iPhone or iPad's homescreen and press and hold any app. All the apps will quiver on screen, and a small black X will appear on the top right corner of the icons for any app that can be deleted. Press the X, and you'll see a screen asking for confirmation to delete the app. For some apps, you may see a second confirmation screen, warning you that you'll lose additional information associated with the app, such as data in Game Center. To kiss those apps goodbye, confirm.

When you're done, just press the home button. Click Next below to continue to the next page.

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