How to make your iPhone 5S faster

Well, you are probably reading this on an iPhone 5S but before we begin the same steps would apply to any slightly older iOS device running updated versions of iOS like the iPad Mini 3/4 etc. Remember though your device is still a bit old by today’s standards and it won’t be blazing fast but hopefully situations would improve. Do not forget to share this article with others if this helped you in anyway.

Okay, so first things first, if you own an iPhone I shall assume you have some computer somewhere in your house with iTunes installed. Connect your iPhone and back up your device. This is important, kindly do not skip this.

You probably skipped, anyway, moving on, first let’s look at the small steps you can take that might not seem much but does help a lot.

Step 1 : Disabling all widgets from the widget screen.

This is optional as you might use these, but in case you do not remove all widgets, the widgets keep refreshing every time with new and updated data and these takes up resources that are already scarce because your home-screen is always on! Keep only the widgets you really use, in case you use none, kindly remove all of them and do yourself a favour.

Step 2 : Take a trip to Settings > General > Accessibility

Because your phone is differently abled, go to Settings > General > Accessibility and find Reduce Motion. Tap on it and turn it ON. Fancy animations are nice but not everything is for everyone.

You probably guessed this single page of settings can solve a lot of your life’s problems and you are right. Within the same Accessibility page look for Increase Contrast > Reduce Transparency and turn it on because again, not everything is for everyone. Transparency just like Windows Vista takes up resources which you better use for other more useful things. After-all your iPhone is still fancy enough for a phone with or without on screen transparency.

Step 3 : Restrict Siri

You probably never use Siri besides setting reminders / alarms, but it tries to index your entire iPhone just so it can show something useful in case you decide to ask Siri to search for something. Restricting Siri from doing that might save your precious resources, because like your home-screen, dear Siri is always around. Go to Settings > Siri and Search. Here try turning off Listen for “Hey Siri” , Allow Siri When Locked, Suggestions in Search, Suggestions in Look up. Trust me this will help.

Step 4 : Restrict / Completely turn of Background App Refresh

A lot of apps try refreshing data in the background loading new content or looking for new information and most often you do not even need it. Like do you really need your Snapseed and Amazon app to fetch new information in the background? Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and either completely turn off Background App Refresh or only keep the ones you really need.

A small side note here :  Switching off Background App Refresh for messaging apps doesn’t kill / delay notifications. Well as long as you do not force close those apps.

Step 5 : Develop a good habit

Your iPhone is old and giving it a soft reset once in while will make the phone feel faster. Press and hold the Power Button+Home Button simultaneously until your phone restarts. What this does is not only does it kill all background apps and starts your phone afresh, it also clears your phone cache. Doing this once every 3-4 days before going to bed (because the restart will a few extra seconds) shall keep your phone reasonably snappy.

Step 6 : Force re-install iOS 11 on your device. 

This is where taking a full backup of your phone is important. Specially the media files, because Apple will restore your Messages and contacts anyway. A fresh install should clear your phone of all junk and let it start completely fresh. It might sound daunting but it is relatively easy. I would recommend not to restore your back up after a fresh install and rather manually re-install all your apps. Do this once and it shall be good until you upgrade to a new phone. Okay now here is how you do it :

  1. Check that you have the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your device to your computer, then put your device in recovery mode with these instructions:
    • For iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery-mode screen.
    • For iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Don’t release the buttons when you see the Apple logo. Continue to hold both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.
    • For iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time. Don’t release the buttons when you see the Apple logo. Continue to hold both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.
  3. Click the Restore option when it appears. This erases your device and installs the current version of iOS.
  4. Wait for the restore to finish. If asked, enter your Apple ID and password.

I hope you will be able to feel a significant difference after completing all steps. If you had done everything listed above already, send me a virtual hi5 at

If you have any further questions kindly leave a comment down below. You can also e-mail us the same to [email protected] in case you feel you need to write a lot and need detailed support.



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Ayan Sarkar

I make YouTube videos and write here on Windroidica to help you improve your digital life. I post three videos every week and they contain mainly of Video Podcasts, Tutorials and much more. I am very happy to help. Say Hi!

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