Why is my iPad So Slow and Lagging? 11 Ways to Speed Up an iPad

ipad is very slow

“Why is my iPad so slow?” If your iPad is very slow, it’s a sure sign that something isn’t working the way it should. Unfortunately, there are a lot of “somethings” to consider. Your iPad’s performance issues may be caused by your battery, iOS version, storage, and a host of other factors.

But here’s the silver lining – once you know what caused the slowdown, fixing it is straightforward. In this article, we’ll break down all the possible reasons why your iPad is running slow as well as their exact solutions. Read on!

Why is My iPad Running Slow?

As we briefly mentioned earlier, there are many possible reasons why your iPad is slow. It’s important to pinpoint the exact cause because each issue has a specific solution. To help you quickly figure out the problem and jump to the correct solution, we prepared a detailed menu:

Cause Summary & Solution
📲 Background apps are taking up resources The iPad needs enough memory to run optimally. Even if you swiped out of your apps, it’s possible that they are still running in the background and taking up precious memory. Solutions: Method 1, Method 2
🔋 Your battery is overheating Apple devices like the iPad are very careful about temperature. If your device is overheating, it may throttle the processor to avoid further heat generation. Solution: Method 4
🪫 Battery Saving Mode is on Battery Saving mode is a feature on the iPad that tells the device to reduce its power usage. You may notice lower screen brightness, lack of visual effects, and overall reduced performance (among other optimizations). Solution: Method 3
⚙️ Your iPad’s iOS is outdated If your iPad’s iOS is outdated, you aren’t getting an optimized experience. You may also encounter security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues that can further impact your device’s performance. Solution: Method 5
👨‍💻 You are using glitchy apps Glitchy apps can cause performance issues directly and indirectly. The app itself may run awfully, but it may also cause system instability and increase power usage (which also negatively impacts performance). Solution: Method 6
🌐 Internet is slow or unstable If your iPad downloading is slow or your device is slow on WiFi, there’s likely an issue with your network. It may also affect your iPad’s performance indirectly because certain apps (and the device itself) keep trying to reconnect to the internet in the background. Solution: Method 7
🗄️ The iPad’s storage is full If your iPad’s storage is full, it won’t be able to save cache data, which are temporary files that your device uses to launch apps and execute other functions faster. Solutions: Method 8, Method 9
🔄 You just updated your iOS If you recently updated iOS, your iPad may still be adjusting to the new demands of the operating system. Solution: Method 10
📟 iPad touch screen sensitivity is set to low Low touch screen sensitivity may cause the iPad to feel slow and laggy. Solution: Method 11

How to Conduct iPad Performance Test

If you know your way around your device, you can also figure out why your iPad is running slow and freezing by monitoring your device’s different components.

In other words, you will want to check out your battery, memory, network, storage, and processor speed, among other things. While you can do it manually by seeking out their respective menus one by one, we suggest using the following apps from the App Store:

  • AnTuTu Benchmark. AnTuTu Benchmark is a popular and intelligent app that not only collects your iPad’s performance data, it analyzes it for you as well. It will score your device’s performance (against a benchmark), test your iPad storage’s reading and writing speed, measure your network speed, and more.
  • System Status Pro: hw monitor. System Status Pro provides in-depth information about your device. It lacks the “scoring system” of AnTuTu Benchmark, but you will know everything about your iPad’s battery, disk, network, CPU, and hardware information. It also provides resource graphs that can record your iPad’s memory consumption during up to 3 minutes of background activity. Here’s the free version.
  • Battery Testing. Unlike the other 2 suggestions, the Battery Testing app gives you a ton of data about just your iPad battery. Battery Testing can monitor battery health and track its current raw data (like voltages and charge cycles). It can also monitor your device’s runtimes, which tracks how long your iPad’s battery lasts. This is a handy tool to monitor your battery’s performance over time.

How to Speed Up a Slow iPad

In this section, we provide you with step-by-step instructions for 11 different methods to fix a slow iPad. These methods solve specific problems that may have caused the reduced performance. It’s important to use the correct method for your device’s issues.

These methods work for the iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Pro, and iPad Air. They may also make an old iPad faster (except for updating your iOS if your iPad is really old).

Method 1: Force Quit Applications

Even when you exit your apps by returning to the home screen, they are still running to some extent in the background.

To force quit running apps, swipe up from the bottom of your screen and pause for a second until you see snapshots of all previously opened apps. This feature is called the App Switcher.

App Switcher feature on the iPad

You can swipe left and right to browse and swipe up to force quit the app.

Method 2: Reboot Your iPad

Some apps continue running in the background even if you force quit them via the App Switcher. Rebooting your iPad will shut down all running processes and clear out its memory.

To reboot your iPad:

Step 1. Open the Settings app.
Settings app on the iPad

Step 2. On the left sidebar, tap General. Then, scroll down on the right pane and tap Shut Down.
Shut Down option in the iPad's Settings app

Step 3. Drag the slider all the way to the right to confirm shutdown.
Power slider on the iPad

Wait for your iPad screen to go completely black. Then, turn it back on by pressing and holding the power button until you see the Apple logo.

Method 3: Turn Off Battery Saving Mode

As we previously mentioned, Battery Saving Mode is a feature on the iPad that limits certain functions to conserve power. This includes reducing the iPad’s CPU clock speed, which saves power but it’s likely why your iPad is slowing down.

To turn off Battery Saving Mode:

Step 1. Open the Settings app.
Settings app on the iPad

Step 2. On the left sidebar, tap Battery. Then, toggle the switch next to Low Power Mode (it will turn gray).
Low Power Mode in iPad's battery settings

Method 4: Check Battery Temperature

According to Apple, the iPhones and iPads work best between 0° and 35° C. When the device reaches a much higher temperature, it automatically lowers its processing speed to demand less power. You may find that your iPad is lagging or may shut down on its own.

If you are experiencing these issues, we suggest you screen lock your iPad and put it in a dark, cool place for 30 minutes to an hour before using it again.

To check your iPad’s battery temperature:

Step 1. Open the Settings app.

Step 2. On the left sidebar, tap Battery.

Step 3. Tap on Battery Health.

Step 4. Under Peak Performance Capability, you should find the temperature of your battery in Celsius degrees (°C).

If you live in a hot location, try using your iPad in front of a fan and avoid using it while it’s charging.

Method 5: Update Your iPad’s iOS

iOS updates typically come with bug fixes, security patches, and performance optimization features. They can also fix compatibility issues, which may be why your iPad is very slow.

All these improvements can make the device more stable, boost battery life, and better manage CPU resources – which are all major factors in device performance.

To update your iPad’s iOS, open the Settings app > General > Software Update. If your iPad finds an available update, download it and follow the on-screen instructions. Your iPad will repeatedly restart until the update process is complete.

Method 6: Update Your Apps

Problematic apps aren’t just slow to load or running so slow while they’re in use – they may also cause general performance reduction while they run in the background.

This may be caused by a bug in the current app’s version or it may be incompatible with the iOS. Updating the app may resolve the issues. Check the App Store for an available update and install it.

Method 7: Manually Reconnect to Your Network

If your iPad is slow on the internet or its downloads are slow, your network is likely experiencing issues. And as we previously mentioned, an unstable network can affect your device’s performance in many ways – even if you aren’t doing any online activities at the moment.

Using the Forget This Network setting, we might be able to stabilize our connection. Forget This Network will refresh your network settings and remove old passwords that may be causing authentication issues. Then, we can manually reconnect to it for a fresh connection.

To manually reconnect to your network on your iPad:

Step 1. Open the Settings app.
Settings app on the iPad

Step 2. On the left sidebar, tap Wi-Fi. Then, tap on the i icon beside your network.
Network settings icon on the iPad

Step 3. Tap Forget This Network.
Forget Network button in the iPad's settings

Step 4. Tap Forget again to confirm the action.
iPad Forget Network dialogue

If your iPad is getting a poor network signal, this may also affect performance in the same way. Try moving closer to your router and see if your iPad internet is slow afterward.

Method 8: Clean Your iPad’s Caches

Cache data accumulates over time and may even get corrupted. Both issues may impact your iPad’s performance; a full storage will have no room for new cache files, while corrupted cache data can cause your iPad to run slowly or even crash.

Fortunately, we can manually clear cache data ourselves. Below, we’ll show you how to clear your browser and app cache data.

This is a good method to try if your old iPad is slow. Older iPads tend to have a lot more data accumulated in storage.

To clear Safari’s browser cache on your iPad:

Step 1. Open the Settings app.
Settings app on the iPad

Step 2. Tap Safari (you might have to scroll down a bit). Then, tap Clear History and Website Data on the right pane.
iPad Safari history settings

Step 3. Tap Clear to confirm the action.
iPad clear history dialogue

To clear Google Chrome’s browser cache on your iPad:

Step 1. Open the Google Chrome app.
Google Chrome app on iPad

Step 2. Tap the 3 dots on the bottom of the screen.
Settings button in the Google Chrome app on iPad

Step 3. Tap History.
History button in the iPad Chrome app's settings

Step 4. Tap Clear Browsing Data.
Clear browsing data button in the iPad's Google app's settings

Step 5. Adjust the time range to set how far back you want to clear your data. Then, make sure the following options are selected: Cookies, Site Data and Cached Images and Files. Finally, click Clear Browsing Data and confirm when asked.
Clear Data settings on the iPad's Chrome app

To clear app caches on your iPad:

Step 1. Open the Settings app.

Step 2. Tap on the app you want to clean.

Step 3. Tap Clear Cache.

For users running iOS 13 and above, you may not have the option to clear your app caches. With the latest iOS versions, Apple has introduced more resource management functionality and the device should automatically clear cache data on its own.

Method 9: Remove Big Files

As we mentioned in Method 8, a full storage can no longer accommodate new cache files. We need to make room for the cache data in order to improve device performance. In other words, we need to free more storage and clean up the iPad to run faster.

Consider deleting apps, photos, videos, and other data you don’t need anymore. You can also use iCloud to save high-resolution copies of your photos online and keep smaller copies on your iPad.

If you take a lot of pictures and videos or use your iPad for heavy gaming or work, it may be worth looking at iCloud’s paid plans, which can provide up to 2 TB of cloud storage.

Method 10: Wait and Reboot (After Updating)

If you just updated your iPad’s iOS, the device may still be adjusting to the increased power demands of the new features. That doesn’t mean that new iOS versions automatically consume more power overall – updates often come with optimizations to balance it out.

We suggest allowing your iPad to adjust for 30 minutes. Then, reboot it by following the instructions in Method 2.

Method 11: Adjust Touch Screen Sensitivity

Touch screen sensitivity sets the iPad’s user input response time. A higher sensitivity setting may help make the iPad feel snappier and allow for faster navigation.

To adjust touch screen sensitivity on your iPad:

Step 1. Open the Settings app.
Settings app on the iPad

Step 2. On the left sidebar, tap Accessibility (you might have to scroll down a bit). Then, tap Touch on the right pane.
iPad Touch settings

Step 3. Tap Touch Accommodations.
iPad Touch Accommodations

Step 4. The toggle beside Touch Accommodations enables and disables the parameters you set. Make sure the toggle beside Hold Duration is switched ON. Then, tap the + and buttons to increase and decrease the time it takes your iPad to recognize a touch.
iPad Hold Duration settings


iPads (especially the newer ones) are pretty good at self-maintenance. However, they are still vulnerable to performance issues that can be caused by many different factors. Fortunately, almost all scenarios where the iPad is loading slow have exact solutions that we can do ourselves.

To prevent performance issues in the future, keep your iPad’s iOS updated, take care of your battery, maintain your storage, and use a strong internet connection.