How to Fix a Slow iPad

Young woman using digital tablet at table - Izabela Habur/E+/Getty Images

Izabela Habur/E+/Getty Images

Is your iPad running slow? Does it seem to get bogged down after a few hours? This is not an uncommon problem.  It is usually caused by an app that is running in the background, which can lead to the app taking up too much memory or processing power. Luckily, this is also relatively easy to fix.

  1. The first thing to try is to purge your most recent apps from memory. The iPad multitasks by suspending applications that are no longer active, but allowing a portion of the application to keep running. In this way, Pandora can still send music to your speakers even after you’ve closed it.

    To close the application, we need to bring up a list of all running applications. You can do this by double clicking the home button at the bottom of your iPad. (It’s the circular button you use to close iPad apps.) When you press it twice in quick succession,  your most recent apps are shown as small windows with their associated icon below it. 

    To close an app, touch the window and swipe toward the top of the screen, a gesture that resembles sliding the app off the iPad.   Remember, you touch the app window, not the app icon.

    Go ahead and close the first four or five apps and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, proceed to step two.

    Note: If you have not upgraded to iOS 7, you will get a different screen when double-clicking the home button. This screen has all of the application icons lined up across the bottom of the screen with no associated windows. Simply touch an application and hold your finger down until the icons begin shimmering. Small red circles with a minus sign in the middle will appear on the top of the icons.  At this point, you can simple touch the red circle to close an app. Learn How to Upgrade iOS to the Latest Version.

  2. Sometimes closing down apps simply won’t do the trick. In this case, rebooting the iPad is the best recourse. To reboot the iPad, hold down the sleep/wake button button until instructions appear telling you to slide a button to power off the iPad. After the iPad’s screen goes completely dark, it is powered down and you can start it back up again by holding down the sleep/wake button again. Your iPad should boot up shortly and be responding much better. If you continually find that your iPad slows down after use, try to keep in mind the apps that are running at the time. Sometimes, a single app can cause the iPad to begin performing poorly.
  3. If you are running desperately low on storage space, clearing up a little extra elbow room for the iPad can sometimes improve performance. This can be accomplished by deleting apps that you no longer use, especially games that you don’t play anymore. You can also speed up Safari by deleting your cookies and web history, though this will cause you to log back into any websites that have saved your login information. How to Clear Cookies and Web History in the iPad’s Safari Browser.

Still have problems? Maybe it’s your Wi-Fi connection.

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