If Your iPhone Gets Slow During the Day, You Can Clear Its Memory Without Having to Reboot
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If Your iPhone Gets Slow During the Day, You Can Clear Its Memory Without Having to Reboot

If your iPhone's memory management isn't working right, you don't have to resort to rebooting it in order to fix memory-related speed and reliability issues

November 23, 2019

Is your iPhone slowing down, lagging, crashing, or freezing randomly throughout your day? Its Random Access Memory (RAM) might be corrupt or full and not resetting. The iPhone's RAM clears automatically each time you restart it, but restarting isn't always practical. Here's how you can clear your iPhone's RAM without having to reboot if the memory management feature isn't working the way it should.

Why would you need to refresh the memory?

The RAM stores frequently used data that needs to be accessed quickly and on the fly. Apple's memory management usually does a good job of clearing out unneeded stuff, but it's not perfect. If the iPhone has been running for a long time without a reboot or if you've recently installed a brand new iOS with bugs, it may behave unexpectedly. When you clear the RAM, you force the iPhone to reload all the background processes, system processes, and apps while clearing out the cobwebs and temporary files. This makes the phone perform faster and more reliably.

What about my open apps?

When you clear the memory, the apps remain open and the basic data the iPhone needs to run is automatically reloaded. If you have the Background App Refresh feature enable, your apps should refresh automatically. But it's possible that you'll need to open the app in order to refresh it or to reload some processes, such as audio streams. If you know you won't need some of these open apps, you should close them prior to performing these steps to avoid reloading unnecessary information.

It's still slow after clearing the RAM

Sometimes even clearing the RAM doesn't work. If you've performed these steps and the phone is still running slowly or misbehaving, you may need to reboot the device. If that doesn't solve your issues, you may have something else going on. The iOS may be slowing down the phone due to an aging battery or there may be some other hardware issue. While not likely, your iOS may have been corrupted. But you can reload the iOS by making a backup of your device, erasing all content and settings so your phone goes to a 'like-new' state, and then restoring the backup.

Steps for iPhone 4 through iPhone 7

  1. Unlock the iPhone.
  2. Press the Sleep/Wake button until a screen appears telling you to Slide to power off. There will be a Cancel button at the bottom of this screen.
  3. Release the Sleep/Wake button.
  4. Press and hold down the Home button until the phone returns to your Home screen.
  5. Release the Home button.
  6. If it continues to crash, restart it completely by holding down the Sleep/Wake button and sliding to turn it off, then press and hold the Sleep/Wake button to turn it back on.

Steps for iPhone 8 and Later

  1. Unlock the iPhone.
  2. Turn on Assistive Touch. This is located under Settings > General > Accessibility > Assistive Touch. Toggle this feature on.
  3. A small gray Assistive Touch button should now be on the lower right of the screen.
  4. Go back to the "General" screen under "Settings." Scroll to the bottom, and then press "Shut Down."
  5. A shut down screen will appear. Press the Assistive Touch button and you'll be presented with a pop up menu with a variety of options. Press and hold the on-screen "Home" button until the phone prompts you for your passcode or returns to the home screen.