Before you do anything at all you should upgrade to the latest iOS version.
Reboot the iPad
Flush your iPad memory with a happy, healthy, and invogorating reboot. This gets rid of stray cache files that may be causing trouble, quits all the apps (including the one poorly-designed app that’s quietly sucking out your battery and processor power), and is generally a good thing.
This is easy to do: Hold the Sleep/Wake button until an instruction appears telling you to slide to power off the iPad….slide to power off, wait a few seconds, then start it up again.
Alternatively, I often hold down the Sleep/Wake button at the same time as the Home button to Force Restart my iPad. Hold both buttons down simultaneously until the screen goes dark and the Apple logo appears. This step cures many iPad ills.
The Super Secret RAM Clearance Tip
This is one of those user-tips people share from time to time. To clear the RAM on your iOS device just:
- Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ message appears.
- Release the button and immediately press and hold the Home button until your iPad’s (or iPhone’s) screen flickers a little. This tip can be amazingly effective.
Check the Wi-Fi
It’s possible your iPad is running as well as it is able, but your Wi-Fi network isn’t. To check if that’s the case you can use an app, such as Ookla’s Speedtest to see how well your network is performing.
Open Settings>General>Storage & iCloud Usage, and in the Storage section you will see how much available storage you have. If it seems low (I like to have at least 1GB available), then you should clear a little space, as this will improve iPad performance. To achieve this just tap Manage Storage in the Storage section and you’ll see which apps are using huge quantities of space. If there are any apps you don’t need/use, delete them by tapping their name ion the list and choosing Delete App. You may also want to delete unwanted video assets inside of the Photos app. Oh, and delete any apps you don’t use as well as those consuming huge amounts of space.
Turn Background App Refresh Off
Your iPad should already be a little more responsive, but to get a little more out of it try turning off Background App Refresh. This prevents apps refreshing their content when on Wi-Fi or in the background when on a mobile network. Turning this off can sometimes help extend battery life. Just turn it off in Settings>General>Background App Refresh, set to Off.
Clear Safari Cache
Safari’s cache grows over time. The cache tries to accelerate your Web browsing by storing frequent and recently viewed files and sites on your device. However, the cache can grow to the extent that it actually slows performance. On an iPad, you can clear Safari’s cache in Settings>Safari>Clear History and Website Data. Safari will speed up and slow down (WHAT!!) — Basically, it will perform better, but you’ll be required to re-enter some passwords on some sites and downloading sites for the first time may take a little longer — but you will experience better performance overall.
Those iPad motion effects look nice, but they can impact system performance, particularly on an older device. To see if it makes a difference, try switching them off in Settings>General>Accessibility>Reduce Motion and tick that setting to On (Green).
Disable other stuff
Some swear that disabling Notifications, Location Services and Spotlight can speed up your iPad. These aren’t my favorite features to disable as I think they reduce device functionality, but if you really need a performance boost for whatever reason some people suggest you might see improvement if you turn these off:
- Turn off Notifications: Settings>Notifications> Switch Allow Notifications to off
- Location Services: Settings>Privacy>Location Services, set to off, you’ll be asked to confirm this.
- Spotlight: Settings>General>Spotlight Search and set the Search Results items to off.
I do hope these simple steps help you get better performance out of your iPad.