How to speed up your iPhone 3G running iOS4
July 7th, 2010
Daniel Eran Dilger
Many users with an iPhone 3G have found their phone almost unusably slow after upgrading to the latest iOS 4. If you’re suffering with a slow phone, here’s something that’s worked for a lot of people: a cold hard reboot. And turn off Spotlight search.
Simply doing a normal shutdown and restart of the iPhone doesn’t seem to have any real effect, as the iPhone shuts down to a disk image. In other words, a normal restart (pressing and holding the top sleep/wake button until you get the red slider, then sliding it to turn the phone off, and then turning it back on again) just puts you right back to where you were.
In order to force the iOS to rebuild (a step that seems to optimize a variety of things), you have to press and hold the Sleep/Wake button along with the Home button for about ten seconds, which will kill the phone and initiate a reboot.
When it turns back on, it will take a while to boot. My iPhone 4 boots from a cold death in about 30 seconds, but when I did the same to an iPhone 3G, it spent more than four minutes on the Apple logo startup screen before I was returned to the Home screen.
One this happens however, you should notice that things are better optimized and far more usable. Of course, the iPhone 3G hardware is a lot more limited in terms of processing power and available memory, but doing a cold boot after upgrading to iOS 4 at least seems to make it a lot more functionally usable.
Turn off Spotlight Search for a bigger, long term boost
Another tip submitted by readers: turn off Spotlight search indexing. From Settings/ General/ Home Button/ Spotlight search, turn search indexing off for as many items as possible. This reduces the overall workload of the system, so it appears to give an overall performance boost that is significant.
Let me know what you experience in the comments below.