How to tell if Apple is slowing down your old iPhone

Apple recently made news when it admitted that it was deliberating slowing down older models of its iconic iPhone. So if you have noticed a slowdown in the performance of your older iPhone, it may not be your imagination.

Apple claimed that the slowdown in older iPhone models was an attempt to preserve precious battery life, and that the changes were being made for the benefit of users. Some users, on the other hand, saw a more nefarious reason for the slowdown in older iPhone performance.

It does not take a conspiracy theorist to see a connection between slower old iPhones and sales of brand new ones, and many users believe that boosting sales is the real impetus for the slowdown. But no matter what the reason, what owners of existing iPhones want to know is if their devices are being slowed down.

So how can you tell if your recent decline in performance is the result of deliberate action by Apple or something else? There are key things to consider, especially if you are thinking about switching to a different type of device.

First of all, it is important to understand why Apple is tweaking performance on older devices. Theories about boosting sales aside, Apple does have a valid reason for slowing down many of its older model phones. It all traces back to a rash of unexpected shutdowns and other problems, caused by too much strain on the battery.

In response, Apple released updated software designed to regulate battery life and slow down performance when the strain got too great. So far, this update has impacted the Apple iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7 and 7 Plus. If you have one of these phones, there is a good chance your device has been impacted.

If your Apple iPhone is older than the 6, any slowdown in performance is probably normal wear and tear. Even the best smartphone does not last forever, and over time degradations in performance tend to accumulate.

If, on the other hand, you have a newer model phone, something like an iPhone 8, 8 Plus or top-of-the-line iPhone X, any slowdown of performance is probably not related to anything Apple is doing. If you are having a problem with your newer model iPhone, you may want to visit your nearby Apple store.

Even if you think your iPhone slowdown is deliberate, there are some things you can try to speed it up. Whether the deliberate slowdown is part of a larger conspiracy or just a tactic to extend battery life, there are things you can do to speed performance and hang on to your old iPhone a little longer.

Upgrading to the latest iOS and updating all your apps may speed your performance, even if your iPhone is being deliberately slowed to preserve battery life. These updates often contain important bug fixes, security patches and upgrades, and applying them can improve performance as well as safety.

Freeing up space on your older iPhone could also speed performance and make up for any deliberate slowdown. It is important to free up space from time to time, even if your iPhone is far from full. Clearing the cache and deleting unneeded data is one of the best ways to boost performance on an old phone, regardless of manufacturer.

The news that Apple was deliberately slowing performance on older iPhones confirmed what many users had already suspected. That news may be troubling, but short of changing devices, there is not a lot users can do to stop the company from doing what it wants. If your old iPhone is slower than normal, a few tweaks may be all you need to speed it up and preserve its usefulness for another upgrade season.

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