Does your 2 years old iPhone 4 getting slower and slower? Does your iPhone 4 take a long time to open Facebook iOS app? Does your iPhone 4 start getting slow response with the virtual on-screen keyboard? Does your iPhone 4 even stop responding and hang? If your iPhone 4 falls into any of these symptoms, the following hacks may be able to help you.
My 32GB iPhone 4 is 2 years old and it was snapping fast when it was brand new. After upgraded to iOS 5 last year, I didn’t notice any slowness problem with the phone although a lot of people have complained about it. However, it was getting very slow recently: For example, nothing appears on the screen even after I finished typing the whole paragraph of email. After several seconds, everything appears or the email iOS app closed by itself. I was thinking may be the new apps that support the new iPad consume more memory so I always make sure I only have a couple important apps running in the “background” only.
A couple days ago, my wife had told me she has the same problem with her 16GB iPhone 4. I quickly browsed through the content on her iPhone and I found out her phone has only 27MB storage left (WTH?!?!?!). I did some investigation on her usage and found out the following:
- She has over 1500 photos in her photo stream. Most of the photos are saved by a game called Modern Girl on her iPad 2. In other words, her iPad 2 has 1500 photos in the camera roll and the other 1500 photos in the photo stream. This also explains why her free iCloud storage was full the other day.
- She has a lot of video podcasts.
- She has a lot of SMS text messages and the oldest one was back to year 2010.
- She had installed a lot of apps that she does never use. For example, I asked her what is “gSearch” and she has no idea. However, she said she “may use” the app someday.
I did the same investigation with my 32GB iPhone 4:
- I has only 150 photos in my camera roll and about the same amount in my photo stream. I did a great job to clean up my photos. I backup all my photos by using the latest version of Dropbox, which can import photos and videos onto the cloud. If you have turned on auto image/video upload with your Dropbox iOS app, Dropbox will give you up to 3GB free storage.
- I have over 10GB of video podcasts that I never have time to watch them.
- I has a lot of SMS text messages as well. The oldest one was back to the year of original iPhone.
- I have a lot of apps as well but I really use them at least once a week
After researching on the web and asked a couple friends, I have 3 options to try to fix my iPhone 4 slowness problem.
This steps work very well for me and my wife’s iPhone 4 so I would like to share with everyone. I have performed the following steps:
- Backup all the photos and delete them as much as you can from the iPhone. As for the photo stream, I did completely remove them all. I have disabled photo stream on my wife’s photo because she doesn’t know how to house keeping her photos.
- Removed all the videos from the phone and keeping only the one you may watch in the next few days.
- Deleted the unless SMS text message. This step is very important because I can see big improvement of my iPhone performance after I finished this step!!!!
- Delete the apps that you won’t be using more than once a month. Next, disable Notification of the rest of the apps that do not need notification. 90% of the apps today has notification enabled but they never use it. Some of them only use notification for advertising. After this step, my iPhone is faster and the battery life is improved as well.
Backup and Restore
If the above solution doesn’t work, the next attempt is backup your iPhone 4 settings and contents to either iCloud or iTunes. Then restore the backup to your iPhone 4. By doing this, it will cleanup a lot of useless files within the iPhone flash storage. I try to avoid this option as much as possible because the full restore will take me 4-6 hours (based on the time I upgrade from iPad 2 to the new iPad a couple months ago).
Start All Over Again
If none of the above solutions work, the last attempt will be completely whipped the iDevice and manually install the apps, contents, and settings (do no restore from backup). This will be a 2 days weekend project. Honestly, I will rather to have a slow phone instead of doing this step.
Still NOT WORKING!!!!
If none of the 3 solutions works, iPhone 5 should be coming out later this year. It will be just a couple months of waiting. Good luck!!!!
Filed Under: Tutorial
About the Author: Andy H. Chan has years of enterprise software development and architecture experience. He is also the co-author of the book Pro Spring Integration. He can be reached Twitter @iceycake.