It happens every year: Apple releases new iPhones, and then hordes of people groan about their older iPhones slowing to a crawl.
Just look at the recent data. Between September and early November — when Apple made the iPhone 8 available, followed by the iPhone X — Google searches for the keywords “iPhone slow” jumped about 50 percent.
The phenomenon of perceived slowdowns is so widespread that many believe tech companies intentionally cripple smartphones and computers to ensure that people buy new ones every few years. Conspiracy theorists call it planned obsolescence.
That’s a myth. While slowdowns happen, they take place for a far less nefarious reason. That reason is a software upgrade.
Let’s say, for example, you have an iPhone 6 with 100 apps installed, four email accounts and 2,000 photos. It is more likely that a quality-assurance engineer tested installing a new operating system on a blank iPhone 6, rather than an iPhone 6 with the same setup as yours.
So if you want to minimize the chances of something going awry, resist the easy update path and opt for a clean install. For smartphones, I recommend backing up your data to your computer. For computers, you could back up your data to an online service or a portable drive. After the operating system installation is complete, you can then safely restore your data and apps to the device from the backup.
Here’s something many people don’t realize: Just because your iPhone or Samsung phone has 64 gigabytes of storage doesn’t mean you should fill it all the way up. The device will generally run faster if more of its storage is available.
I also recommend freeing up a huge amount of space by managing your photo library in the cloud. You can upload all your albums to a service like Google Photos and periodically purge all the images from the device itself. I did this recently on my iPhone 7 that was nearly full and seemed to be slowing down; purging the photos freed up about 50 gigabytes of data, and the iPhone feels as good as new.
Some great points here. Try it – if you feel like your iPhone is slowing down, make sure you have an up to date iCloud backup, then wipe the iPhone and put a fresh install of the operating system on your iPhone before restoring all your data.