Speed up your old iPad's performance on iOS 7

by Doug Drinkwater

October 4 2013

If the transition from iOS 6 to 7 on your old iPad 2 has been far from smooth, never fear, here are some quick tips for getting your tablet back to its best.

Reduce space to speed things up

This is an obvious one, but if your iPad is sluggish you may want to look at your available storage. To do so, head to Settings, General and Usage where you should be able to see a breakdown of available and used storage. There will also be a list of how much storage each app occupies.

Delete unwanted apps in the usual fashion but it’s also worth looking at other avenues to get more storage. One very useful solution is the free software PhoneClean, which wipes temporary files from your iPad. When I tested it in February, it saved me over 2GB of data.

(Haven't updated to iOS 7 yet? Read our Top 5 tips for a painless upgrade to iOS 7)

Don’t let apps refresh content

The introduction of iOS 7 saw many new features, and one of the less-heralded additions was that apps can now automatically refresh their content via Wi-Fi or broadband when running in the background.

That’s pretty great, right? Yes and no. The change means that your iPad is constantly whirring away on processes and so turning this option off will certainly preserve your battery life. To do this, head to Settings, General and then tap the slider for Background App Refresh to off. Alternatively, you can personalize this for individual apps in the field below.

(Want to get more out of iOS 7? Check out The 7 best productivity features of iOS 7 for iPad users)

Turn off automatic app updates

Updating apps has been something of a pain on iOS in the past. With iOS 5 you had to constantly re-enter your Apple ID and update apps one by one, while improvements in iOS 6 allowed users to update multiple apps at the same time.

iOS 7 has taken things a step further and now let apps update in the background. This saves app updates from piling up but does put unnecessary strain on the iPad’s CPU.

To change this, go to Settings, App Store and Automatic Downloads and the toggle the switch to off for Apps and Updates.

Reduce motion

One thing I’ve noted with my iPad 2 is that there is a little bit of lag owing to the parallax effect. When unlocking the device, the zooming into the apps takes a little longer than expected.

If this problem is affecting you – and maybe even making you feel ill – you’ll want to reduce the motion effects in iOS 7.

That’s pretty easy to do. If you head to Settings, General and Accessibility, you’ll be able to tap on the Reduce Motion option. That’ll take you to another screen where you can touch the slider to “reduce the motion of the user interface

(For iPad news, trends, apps and reviews, sign up for the free TabTimes for iPad newsletter)

Doug Drinkwater is the International Editor of TabTimes and is based in London, England.
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