Is your iPhone running slower than it used to?
You're not alone. With so much data flooding into Apple's smartphones all the time, they can quickly fill up with hidden junk files that can make it feel like your phone is running on gravy.
What's more, smartphones notoriously malfunction in cold weather, and Apple was even fined £21 million in 2017 for 'deliberately' slowing down older models of the iPhone.
Luckily, there are a number of tricks you can use to keep your iPhone running at optimal performance. All it takes is a few tweaks to some settings and, if you're feeling really ambitious, a couple of app installs.
How to clear your browser cache on Safari or Google Chrome
If you want to speed up your iPhone, your first stop should always be your Internet browser of choice.
A typical browser can end up storing hundreds of megabytes of cached images, trackers, cookies, and webpages.
Clearing your browser data may require you to re-enter a couple of passwords, but it will have a tangible impact on your iPhone's speed.
While instructions vary slightly by browser, here's how you can clear your browser data on iPhone.
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To clear your browser data on Safari, go to your iPhone settings app. Then, select Safari on your apps list and tap 'Clear history and website data'.
If you're using Google Chrome, open the app and tap the three dots in the lower right of the screen. Then go to Settings > Privacy > Clear browsing data. Ensure you have selected cookies, site data, and cached files and images before tapping 'Clear Browsing Data'.
Also, don't forget to close your tabs! If you have dozens of tabs open, it's only going to slow down your phone's performance.
How to delete junk files and viruses from your iPhone
If you've followed the above steps to delete your browser cache and restarted your iPhone, but are still experiencing problems, it's time to bring out the big guns.
First of all, install a reliable antivirus on your iPhone. Avast, Malwarebytes or Kaspersky are all free to use and will scan your phone for infected files.
Even if you don't want to speed your phone up, a reliable security app will keep you safe from hackers and fraudsters.
If one of these apps finds any viruses, you can use them to safely delete the infected files.
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Just like your browser, your actual phone also has a cache of files that can eat into precious storage space.
Smart Cleaner is a popular app that will get rid of duplicate files, and help you organise all the storage on your phone more effectively.
There's also Boost Cleaner, which doubles as an ad blocker for Safari.
If you've done all of the above, as well as shut down unused background apps and closed your tabs, then your phone should start to perform better. If it doesn't, maybe it's time for a system refresh – or a new iPhone.
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