How to Speed Up Your iPad and Improve the Performance

What to do if your device is feeling sluggish

Speed and motion in tunnel
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In the PC world, there's a process called "overclocking" that's used to make a computer run faster. Unfortunately, there's no similar process to speed up an iPad. But, you can make sure your tablet is running at optimal performance thanks to a few tricks.

This guide applies to iOS version 11 and higher.

Shut Down Apps Running in the Background

Screenshot depicting apps running in the background on iOS 11

If your iPad is sluggish, try closing some of the apps running in the background. While iOS usually does a good job of automatically closing apps when resources get sparse, it isn't perfect. You can close apps by double-pressing the Home Button to bring up the multitasking screen, and then swiping up on the apps you want to close. This trick works best with an iPad that normally runs fast, but has seemed slow lately or slows down after running certain apps.

Boosting Your WiFi or Fixing a Weak WiFi Signal

Latinx mother watching kids using digital tablets on sofa
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Your internet signal's speed is directly related to the speed of your iPad. Most apps download from the internet to fill out the content. This is especially true with apps that stream music or the apps related to movies or TV, but it's also true for many other apps. And, of course, the Safari browser relies on a good connection to download web pages. 

Check your WiFi speed by downloading an app like Ookla's Speed Test. This app tests fast you can upload and download across your network.

What's a slow speed and what's a fast speed? That depends on your Internet Service Provider (ISP), but generally speaking, anything under 5 Mbs is slow. You will want around 8-10 Mbs to stream HD video, though 15+ is preferable.

If your WiFi signal is fast near the router and slow in other parts of the house, you may need to boost your signal with an additional router or simply a newer router. But before you open your wallet, try repositioning your router to see if the signal clears up. You should also reboot it. Some routers tend to slow down over time.

Turn off Background App Refresh

Screenshot depicting the background app refresh setting in iOS 11

Background app refresh occasionally checks different apps on your iPad and downloads content to keep them updated with content. This can speed up the app when you launch it, but it can also slow your iPad down when you're using other apps. To turn off background app refresh, go to Settings>General>Background App Refresh. Then, tap the slider to turn it off for all apps.

Reduce Motion and Parallax

Screenshot depicting the Reduce Motion setting in iOS 11

This tweak reduces some of the graphics and motion in the user interface, including the parallax effect that makes the background image move behind still icons when you rotate the iPad. Go to Settings>General>Accessibility and tap on the Reduce Motion slider to turn it on. This should scale back some of the processing time when using the iPad, which can help a little with performance issues.

Install an Ad Blocker

A no popup ads image on a laptop.
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If your iPad is slow while browsing the web, installing an ad blocker can speed it up. Many websites are now inundated with advertisements, and most ads require the website load information from a data center. Any one of these websites can lengthen the time it takes to load the page.

Keep iOS Updated

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Apple Inc.

It's always a good idea to make sure you are on the most updated version of your operating system. While in some ways this can actually slow down the iPad, as the newest version may use more resources, it can also solve bugs that can end up slowing down your iPad's performance. You can check to see if iOS is up-to-date by going into Settings>General>Software Update.