If your iPhone 3G is running really slow after installing iOS 4, you’re not alone. While iOS 4 is a great OS for newer iPhone models, it makes my older iPhone 3G slow down to a crawl, with everything delayed and stuttering to catch up to touch. At times it’s practically unusable. So what can you do to speed it up?
Update: The first thing you should do is grab the iOS 4.1 download since it resolves some of the speed problems. After you install iOS 4.1, combine the update with the following tips to regain your iPhone 3G speed:
Disable Spotlight on iPhone 3G
If iOS 4 has your iPhone 3G crawling, disable Spotlight search:
- Tap on “Settings”
- Tap on “General”
- Navigate to and select “Home Button”
- Scroll down to “Spotlight Search”
- Disable everything by tapping the check box next to each item
- Exit settings
You can leave some of the Spotlight search items enabled but I find that the best speed improvement comes from disabling everything.
I don’t even use Spotlight on my iPhone so I’m not missing this feature at all, but it does seem to improve the speed of the iPhone 3G in common tasks like flipping between screens, scrolling through text messages and emails, and even launching some apps.
Bottom line: if you don’t use Spotlight in iOS, disable it!
Hard reset iPhone 3G
Hard resetting your iPhone can speed it up for a while. Here’s how to do it:
- Press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time, hold both for about 5 seconds
- Ignore the typical ‘Slide to power off message’ and continue holding both buttons until the iPhone shuts itself off
- When your iPhone 3G resets itself you can stop holding the buttons, it takes about 10 seconds to hard reset the iPhone
- Let iOS boot as usual, your phone should be temporarily sped up
This works because it clears your iPhone’s memory completely, but this is less of a permanent solution than disabling Spotlight since caches and memory will inevitably be full again.
Restore factory settings and do not restore from backup
I don’t like this solution much because you lose your backups, but it does seem to help iOS 4 run a bit better on the iPhone 3G. Basically you’re just doing a clean iOS 4 install on the iPhone, but then you are left with an empty phone. You can obviously easily resync your music but you’ll lose all your iPhone text message backups, contacts, apps, and pretty much anything else that made it your phone.
Downgrade from iOS 4 to iOS 3.1.3
If you’re totally fed up with iPhone 3G and iOS 4, you can always just downgrade to the prior OS version, but it’s not a particularly fun process and you obviously lose out on all the iOS 4 features.
Thoughts on iPhone 3G and iOS 4
I know I would have been annoyed if Apple had left out the iPhone 3G from being able to upgrade to iOS 4, but I feel like the performance is just terrible. It’s no wonder they left out multitasking and background pictures, but even without those features it just doesn’t run well on the older and slower hardware of the 3G. There are some rumors (ie: wishful thinking) swirling that when iOS 4 for iPad is released and the iOS 4 versions are bridged in iOS 4.1 (or whatever the version ends up being), that the performance will improve on iPhone 3G. I’m not counting on that and here’s why: the iOS 4.1 beta is already available for download and people have put it on their iPhone 3G to practically no avail. Perhaps future versions will change and we just don’t know that yet, but for now I am not a fan of iOS4 my older iPhone 3G.
Update: the final release of iOS 4.1 make the iPhone 3G run a lot better than iOS 4, but iPhone OS 3.1.3 is still faster. It’s up to you whether or not the iOS 4 features are worth the performance hit.
Oh, and if you have an iPhone 3G, do yourself a favor and do not upgrade to iOS 4! Folders and editing playlists are not worth the huge slowdown!