How to Speed up Your Slow iPad

by James Wright

When your iPad starts to slow down you can try fixing it by performing many of the same maintenance steps you might on a normal computer, such as closing apps, cutting back on special effects and restarting it completely. If need be, you can even reset your iPad to factory settings without losing any of your data. Basic maintenance performed consistently can keep your tablet running smoothly and quickly no matter what you're using it for.

Use Default Effects

Custom transition effects, unlock screens and live wallpapers may look fancy, but they can use up a lot of memory. The more graphically impressive they are, the more processor intensive they are. Switch from using live wallpapers to static backgrounds and use simpler screen transitions. If you have any apps that modify your home screen, icons and use other special effects, remove those to see if that speeds up your iPad.

Remove Unused Apps

A good way to help speed up your iPad and simultaneously clear up some memory for other apps and data is to remove apps you no longer use. There are two ways to delete an app from your iPad. Press and hold your finger over the icon of any app until the icons start moving. Tap the "x" on top of the icon you want to delete, then tap "Delete" to complete the uninstallation. You may be warned that this process will delete all information from your tablet. When you are finished, press the Home button. The alternative method is to delete the app(s) from iTunes, then sync your iPad to remove the apps from your iPad.

Close Running Apps

When you close an app, it doesn't actually stop running completely; rather, it's put into a "sleep" mode so it can be quickly started again next time. If you have too many apps running in the background at once, your tablet can start to slow down. To view what apps are currently running in the background, press your home button twice to display a shelf of your previously-running apps. Press and hold on any icon until the icons start moving, then tap the "x" to close it. This method is also useful for if an app is experiencing issues and you need to force restart it.

Restart iPad

Restarting your iPad every so often achieves an effect similar to that described in the preceding section in that in closes all your background apps and starts fresh, but it has the added effect of helping get rid of any temporary errors or bugs your tablet might be experiencing. If an app is buggy or an important process isn't working right, restarting your iPad can help correct it. You don't need to restart your iPad often, but for the sake of basic maintenance, do so about once a week.

Factory Reset

If nothing else works, you can try resetting your iPad to factory settings. While this process won't result in any data loss -- iTunes backs up all your data before performing the restoration -- it does take a while to complete. To do this, plug your iPad into your computer, then open iTunes. In the Summary tab, click "Restore." iTunes will back up your data, wipe your iPad clean, then reinstall its software. After that you can reinstall any apps, restore your backup and install any iOS updates you need.

About the Author

Based in California, James Wright has been writing since 1998. Wright's articles have been published on various websites with a focus on technical fields such as computers and the Internet, and were also featured in a now-retired publication for an online artistic community. Wright studied English, journalism, politics and psychology at Riverside Community College.

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