Your iPad and your iPhone are computers, they run multiple programs simultaneously and can switch between apps pretty quickly. Occasionally, you’ll get a sense that your device is feeling sluggish and isn’t acting properly. Fortunately, there are some safe, easy things you can do to make your iPad and iPhone fast again.
In this article, I will use the word iPad and iPhone interchangeably. Both devices run on the same iOS operating system and, for the most part, they both work the same.
And be sure to read to the end for a bonus tip!
You know you can run a bunch of apps at the same time on your iPad. When you switch between apps, those that you had used before don’t close; they remain open, taking up valuable system resources and, on occasion, still operate using up your precious battery life. For example, your map can be using the GPS function to keep track of where you are and that game you were playing could still be running in the background. The iPad is fast but open apps use memory and closing the ones you’re not using helps keep it fast. Here’s how to close those apps after you’re done using them.
Double press the Home button and the tray opens at the bottom of the screen: that is the multitasking tray where you can click one of the icons and switch back to that open app. That’s also the place where you can close the apps that are running in the background. Here’s how to do it: hold your finger on one of the icons in the multitasking tray until they all start wiggling with a little red ‘-’ in the upper left corner. Tap the ‘-’ on the apps you want to close and *poof* they’re gone! When you’re done closing the open apps, press the Home button to stop the icons from wiggling and press Home again to return to the main screen. Remember, you’re not deleting the apps, you’re just closing them (by the way, to cancel the wiggling/delete mode, just press the Home button).
How often should you delete the apps running in the background? I do it at least once a day; doing it at least once a week will make your device happier.
I told you in the beginning of the article that your iPad and iPhone are computers. Like all computers, they benefit from a system restart. For these devices, it’s more than just turning them off and on again – you can reboot your iPhone and iPad! Here’s how: press and hold the Home button and, at the same time, press and hold the power button until you see the white Apple logo. First, the screen will let you know your iPad is shutting down. Keep pressing the two buttons. Then the screen will go black. Keep pressing the buttons. Finally, you’ll see a white Apple logo. Now you can let go…you’ve just restarted your device! You can do a restart whenever your iPhone is acting a little flaky. Nothing is deleted from your device, it just restarts.
Here’s the bonus tip I promised: it’s easy to take a screen shot with your iPad and iPhone. That means whatever is showing on your iPad can be captured as a photo and saved, emailed and printed. To take a screen shot, hold the power button and then press the Home button quickly – think of the Home button as the shutter release for the screen shot photo. Your screen will flash and the image will be saved in the Photos album on your iPhone (or, if you have the iCloud turned on, in your PhotoStream). Give it a try!