Do iPads Get Slower With Age? How To Fix It

The iPad has gone through significant iterations and changes over its decade-long lifespan. What started as a larger iPhone has now cemented itself in the market by singlehandedly bringing tablets to the mainstream. 

However, with so many releases of the device and multiple upgrades, do iPads slow down with age? Yes, iPads do get slower with age. This is due to the ever-increasing processing power needed by modern applications alongside your battery showing its age.

With that said though, let’s dive into all the reasons why your iPad might slow down alongside finding ways to bring your iPad back to speed!

Why Does Your iPad Slow Down With Age?

As mentioned earlier, there’s no one reason why your iPad slows down with age. In fact, multiple factors ranging from its battery to its CPU can lead to your device slowing down.

iOS Updates

Apple’s known for supporting its devices for extended periods of time. However, while that’s quite exemplary of them, it does come with its own issues. For example, each iOS update occupies a greater amount of space than the previous.

So, you end up losing precious storage space. But, more importantly, newer updates bring in features that aren’t optimized for older devices. And, in fact, aren’t supported in most cases. So, you end up losing a lot of performance while not reaping the benefits.

Therefore, if you have an older device and haven’t updated to the latest iOS, we recommend sticking with whatever version you are running. You’ll end up having a much better time.

Battery Life

Apple likes clinging to the idea of having great battery life on their devices. However, batteries degrade over time. So, you can’t expect to get the same level of battery life as you would on your iPad 4 years ago.

To compensate for that, Apple purposefully bottlenecks your device so it consumes less battery. Therefore, while you do get a relatively better battery life, you end up losing a lot on the performance front. 

Older Hardware

Let’s face it, hardware stagnates over time. And, the iPad is no different on that front. What was once a very capable processor might not be able to handle day-to-day tasks that well. While, once again, Apple does a relatively better job, it still does have its limits.

So, if you are experiencing a slowdown that seems to be of an unprecedented scale, especially on newer applications, chances are that your iPad is simply too old to chug through the latest applications.

How To Fix Your Slow iPad

With the buzzkill that was all the reasons why your iPad slows down, there’s still hope! In fact, there are tons of tips and tricks that you can use on your iPad to help it get back to a reasonable speed.

Restart Your iPad

Let’s start off with the basics, your iPad has a temporary cache that is cleared on its own ever so often. Sometimes, that may not be the case. When your cache isn’t cleared, you might notice slowdowns on your device. A reboot immediately clears your cache. That’ll have a major effect on the overall performance of your device.

Close Apps From The Switcher

Closing applications from the multitasking bar/app switcher shouldn’t be a common trope. However, on older devices, you might end up feeling a lot of lag if you don’t close applications often. This is especially true if you are running applications that constantly pump out push notifications.

Free Up Some Space

Long gone are the days when a fragmented hard drive brought your entire PC to its knees. However, occupied storage in an iPad can still lead to massive slowdowns. So, we recommend deleting all the applications that you don’t use alongside shifting all your photos/videos to iCloud / Google Drive

Turn On Reduced Motion

With the latest version of iOS, Apple has really put on some silky smooth buttery animations that help the device feel fresh. However, for older devices, these can be extremely laggy and choppy. In these instances, turning them off makes the most sense.

Here’s how you can do so:

  • Open the Settings application on your iPad
  • Once there, tap on Accessibility
  • Scroll down till you find Reduce Motion and turn it on

With this setting enabled, a massive strain off your iPad’s GPU in terms of animations will be removed.

Turn Off Background Auto Refresh

If you receive tons of notifications, chances are that a lot of applications are open in the background of your iPad. While that’s fine for newer devices, it can be quite debilitating for ones that are older.

While this will help speed up your device, do note that turning off background auto refresh will also mean that you’ll need to manually open up applications and check whether you have a new notification or not.

  • Open the Settings application on your iPad
  • Now, head to General
  • Scroll down to Background Auto Refresh and turn it off

Reset Your iPad

If you’ve been running your iPad for a while now, chances are that it’s cluttered beyond repair. With tons of applications, photos, and useless files hogging up your storage and affecting your CPU and RAM, a reset might just be in order.

While it isn’t guaranteed to fix everything, it will bring a significant increase in your old iPad’s speed as everything will be reset back to factory default.

Replace Your Battery

If worst comes to worst, a battery replacement might just be your last line of defense. Unlike iPhones, you cannot view your battery health on an iPad. While yes, third-party applications like iMazing do exist, they provide you with a ballpark figure at best.

So, replacing your battery is a relatively risky ordeal. In essence, you can’t really know if your battery is the reason your iPad is slowing down until you replace it. From what we’ve seen, if your iPad is older than 4-5 years – then, a battery replacement is due.


Why Is My iPad So Slow All Of A Sudden?

If your iPad has gotten slow all of a sudden, chances are that you have run out of storage space or have installed a malicious application. In both cases, we recommend checking your storage for anything out of the ordinary and also closing all recent applications from the switcher.

Why Does My Old iPad Charge So Slow?

If your iPad has a faulty battery, chances are that it charges slowly too. Besides that, older iPads do not have features like fast charging built-in. So, there’s a high chance that the charging speed you are experiencing is normal in the first place. 

Can I Check Battery Health On An Old iPad?

No, iPadOS does not allow you to check your battery health. While you can use third-party applications, we do not recommend you to do so. Instead, estimate your health by using the age of your device as a metric.

How Do I Make My iPad Last Longer?

Every electronic device has a certain age. However, here are a few methods to help increase your iPad’s lifespan:

  • Use Optimized Battery Charging on your iPad
  • Do not use it in extreme heat or cold
  • Charge it only with original cables/chargers
  • Do not use it for strenuous tasks for extended periods of time

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