How to Fix a Slow iPad – Some Easy Fixes

Is your iPad running slower than how it used to when you bought it, all brand spanking new? Well, maybe we can help you with that. We have made you a guide on how to get your iPad running the same as it did when you first booted it up (now that’s an exaggeration).

There are many reasons why your iPad is running slow. This guide will specifically focus on the software side of things. If you doubt that the problem might be internal then it is best to take your iPad to a repair store as they will have tools to analyze the problem better. Now that we got that out of the way, here’s the first thing you have to do.

[ Related: How to Fix a Frozen iPad – Everything You Need to Know ]

Why is my iPad slow?

The reason Apple brings out a brand-new iPad and iPhone every year is not just reap huge profits, but due to the growing demand of users for devices which are more powerful than the previous generation. The fact that the iPad Pro 2021 hosts the same M1 chipset that the latest line of MacBooks possess, gives you an idea how demanding some of the modern apps and web services can be.

The process-heavy apps and services can take a toll on the hardware of the iPad, occupying the RAM storage, and the available on-board memory too. However, there are some tried and tested ways that you can bring the iPad up to speed and enjoy the same experience you once did.

1. Slow loading and apps crashing – Reset your iPad

If the software on your iPad is being finicky, or apps aren’t working properly, you might think that it’s your iPad that’s lagging. Well, it is, but it doesn’t classify as a major issue that can be easily fixed with something as simple as a reset.  There are two kinds of resets, A soft reset, and a hard reset. 

Performing a soft reset

  1. Press and hold the Sleep / Wake button (on the top right of your iPad). You will see a red arrow slider appear.
  2. Tap on the slider and drag it to the right.
  3. Your iPad will turn off.
  4. After a few minutes, press the Sleep / Wake button again. Your iPad will turn back on.

The Apple logo will appear for a while and then your iPad’s home screen will appear.  

Performing a hard reset

  1. Press and hold both the Sleep / Wake button and the home button simultaneously for 10-15 seconds.
  2. You will see a red arrow slider appear.
  3. Keep holding the Sleep / Wake and the home button.
  4. The Apple logo will appear.
  5. Release the buttons and your iPad will do a hard reset. It will shut down and restart.
  6. After a while, the home screen will appear.

2. Not on the latest iPadOS? Update the Software

Irrespective of which iPad you have, a software update is very crucial to the longevity of your device. Let’s go through the process of how to update your device to the latest iPadOS, but there are a few things to consider before you update to the latest version.

Before updating you should enable automatic back-up in your device, or back up your data manually.

Remember to back up first!

When it comes to keeping your personal pictures, videos, contacts, and crucial work document safe, you need to make sure everything is securely backed up first. On the Apple iPad, you have the option to keep all of your important files secure by the minute by syncing it to iCloud, or physically back up files to Mac or Windows.

We have extensively covered the process of backing up your iPad, whether it is for a routine factory reset, or any other issue.

[ Read More: The Definitive Guide: How to Back Up Your iPad ]

Finally – update to thelatest iPadOS

Updating iPad automatically

  1. Navigate to Settings – General – Software Updates – Automatic Updates.
  2. Turn on Download iPadOS Updates and install iPadOS Updates

(When an update is available, your iPad will download and install it overnight while charging. You’ll be notified before the update is installed.)

Updating iPad manually

Go to Settings – General – Software Update.

The screen will show the currently installed version of iPadOS and whether an update is available.

Updating iPad using a computer

  1. Connect your iPad to your computer with a cable.
  2. You have two ways of going about doing this
  3.  In the Finder sidebar on your Mac, select your iPad, then click General at the top of the window.
  4. In the iTunes app on your Windows PC, Click the iPad button near the top left of the iTunes window, then click Summary.
  5. Click on Check For Update.
  6. To install an available update, click Update.

[ Related: How to Upgrade to (and Downgrade from) the iPadOS Safely ]

3. Too many junk files – clear cache

Clearing cache is the quickest way to make your iPad way snappier. Cache is basically the data that an app or browser stores in your device for quick access, to make its loading time and processing faster, but this also negatively impacts your iPads general performance. 

Slow web browsing? Clear cache in Safari

Clearing up the cache in Safari will not only make your iPad browsing experience smoother but will also get rid of unnecessary storage held up by the app. 

(Clearing Safari Cache does not delete your browser information or any saved passwords of any kind. There is also no risk of any of your important data getting wiped in the process.)

  1. Navigate to the Settings menu and navigate to the accounts and passwords section.
  2. Tap on the Safari icon.
  3. Tap on the “Clear History and Website Data” setting.
  4. A dialog box will pop up, tap “Clear history and data” to confirm the selection.
  5. All the safari cache that’s been stored in your iPad will be deleted from your device.

There is a way to still keep your browsing history but delete the cookies-

[Cookies are small pieces of information that all websites store on your iPad. They only store a few bits of text, but over time depending on the number of websites you’ve visited, these cookies add up.]

  1. Navigate to the Settings – Safari.
  2. Go to the Advanced tab – Website data.
  3. Tap to remove all the website data.
  4. This way you rid your iPad of the cookies without even touching your browsing history.

Remove useless app data – Clear cache in apps

If you’re someone who has a number of apps installed on your iPad, you’ll probably also have a lot of cache stored on your device, from those before-mentioned apps. Now the process to reset data or to delete the cache is different. Most of the time, the developer will implement the means to do so in the setting. But for some apps, the feature isn’t available. We will have a workaround for those too.

For apps with the setting in-built.

  1. Navigate to Settings – General.
  2. Tap on iPad storage. (Here you’ll see all the apps on your iPad arranged according to the storage they occupy.)
  3. Tap on the apps that are occupying the most space, or apps that shouldn’t occupy that much space that they already are. 
  4. Navigate to Reset Cached Content, and tap it.

For apps with the setting, not built-in.

  1. Navigate to Setting – General.
  2. Tap on iPad storage.
  3. Tap on the apps that are occupying the most space or you know that can’t have its data and cache reset.
  4. Tap on document and data.
  5. Tap on the delete app button to clear its data.

It is understandable that the task of cleaning cache can be cumbersome for most of you and to continue doing it indefinitely until your iPad breaks is a hectic task to take on. 

In this case, you can use a cache cleaner app to do the job for you. Be mindful while choosing which one though, as there is an influx of apps that claim to do it but are not fully capable. Try choosing one with a good rating or even better, a subscription. These will guarantee good performance and also increase the lifespan of your iPad.

4. Low on storage – Delete unnecessary apps

It is common knowledge that if your iPad’s storage is filled, it will start acting strange. It’ll become slow, laggy and in general, would not give a good experience. This is why it is necessary to clean up your iPad’s storage once in a while. To get rid of all the apps that you don’t use anymore and even the ones that now have better alternatives (looking at you WhatsApp). 

If you already have made the decision on which apps you’re going to uninstall then this process has become a lot shorter for you. But if you need some more information to form a better judgment on which apps to remove, then the process will be a bit different for you.

The Easier way 

  1. Go to your home screen and press and hold on the app’s icon which you want to delete, and a menu will pop up.
  2. Tap on Delete App.
  3. A dialog box will appear asking you to confirm, so go ahead and press Delete.
  4. The app will be deleted from your iPad.

The More Informed Way

  1. Navigate to Settings – General.
  2. Tap on iPad Storage. You will be presented with a list of all the apps installed on your devices. The apps will have the amount of storage they occupy stated beside them.
  3. Tap on the app you want to uninstall.
  4. Tap on the Delete App.

The app will be deleted from your iPad.

[ Related: iPad Out of Storage Space? Tips and Apps to Clean iPad Memory ]

5. Multitasking too slow? Turn off background app refresh

This feature was introduced way back in the prehistoric times of iOS 7. It basically refreshes an app keeping the feed fresh right before you use them. For some apps this can come really handy, updating your feed giving you the latest info. This feature, even though it is convenient, but you probably don’t need it for every single app on your iPad.

Apps like your daily news, stocks, these you want to keep updated at all times. But apps like your Smart Home Switch, Or Netflix, Amazon, these are not required as much frequently. Background App Refresh is also a huge culprit in eating up your battery life and clogging the performance of your iPad. Why is it a good idea to manage and regulate its behavior? 

You can choose to either completely turn off Background App Refresh for your iPad (this is only for the earlier generation iPads with less than sub-optimal performance and battery life) or individually turn it off for whichever app necessary.

Completely Turn Off Background App Refresh

  1. Navigate to Setting – General.
  2. Tap on Background App Refresh.
  3. At the top right, turn the toggle to Off.

Turn Off Background App Refresh for Individual Apps

  1. Navigate to Settings – General.
  2. Tap on Background App Refresh.
  3. You will see a list of all the apps installed on your iPad. Scroll through the list and toggle off the features for which app you deem it unnecessary. 

The functionality of some apps might be affected due to this, mainly Facebook because they use the background refresh protocol to “spy on you”. But if you’re a regular user you’ll not do anything different. Other than the fact that you would seem to last longer and apps are opening faster.

[ Related: How to Empty Trash on iPad – An In-Depth Guide ]

6. Use iMyFone Umate – All in one iPad cleaner and optimizer

Developed as a free and premium app made specially to help users clear out the junk from their iOS and iPadOS devices, iMyFone Umate makes easy work of speeding up a slow iPad. Although it uses the built-in features of iOS itself to optimize the system, the simplified user interface and one-click operation is what mainstream users will appreciate, especially those who aren’t tech-savvy.

  1. Download the iMyFone Umate app from the official link.
  2. Run the Umate app and connect your iPad to the computer using a USB cable.
  3. You will be able to see the general storage information, including the used and free storage space.
  4. Start off by using the 1-Click Free Up Space option, which will automatically scan your iPad.
  5. In a few moments, you will be able to view the Photo Cache, Downloaded Temp Files, Crash Logs, and other junk files that can be deleted.
  6. Hit the Clean button and let the app complete the process of cleaning out the files.

Moreover, the iMyFone Umate app lets you Backup & Compress or Export & Delete the Photos stored on your iPad, along with the ability to delete Apps, and even Erase All Data at once. There is even the option to just Erase Private Data if you don’t want to factory reset the iPad, but still get rid of your personal files and media.

A few more things to keep in mind.

  • Do not update your iPad with a beta version of iOS, (unless you know what you’re doing.) These versions are used for testing and have a lot of bugs in them. They are also usually not that optimized, your battery life and performance will take a hit. 
  • If you’re not aware of the risks and use a relatively old generation of iPad, stick to the official releases.
  • Do not remove apps from Recents right after using them. This seems a logical thing to do, why keep an app running if I’m not using it, right? Well, that would be the case with an app that you use, say once a week or so. But for fairly regular use, if you’re constantly removing and adding the app onto your RAM, your iPad won’t be able to optimize its usage and this will lead to that app performing less efficiently. Anyways if you don’t use an app, the software is smart enough to shut it down by itself.


If you’ve done everything mentioned above and your iPad still feels like it’s from 2012, it probably is. The newer iPads come with a better, more efficient, and more powerful chip in them. So, if you are one of those people who are still using a 4-generation old iPad, maybe this Christmas is the time to get a new one. And, you can always exchange your old iPad for the newer ones, and that too for a hefty discount.


Will I lose my data if I reset my iPad?

-No, you will not lose your data if you follow our procedure and reset your iPad. Although it is good practice to keep all your data backed-up, in iCloud or locally.

How do I get good battery life?

-The recipe to a good and battery life is to maintain its charge cycle, not overcharge it and preferably not charge it up to exactly 100%.

Will updating my iPad make it faster?

-This depends on the iPad you are using, some older generation iPads become sluggish after updating to the newest OS. The best thing to do is to check online in forums whether your device can handle the newest update. But updating does add new functionality, so its’s a choice between speed and snappiness or features and functionality.

Why is YouTube buffering so much in my iPad?

-It depends on what resolution you are trying to play the video at? If you have an older iPad, try and stay away from 4k 60fps videos and stick to 1440p. if it is still buffering, try updating the app. Or just stick to 1080p 60fps. That should solve the issue.

Suggested Read: How to Fix Slow YouTube Streaming on iPad

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