iPhone 3G Slow After iOS 4.0 Update

A number of iPhone 3G users have experienced a significant degradation in performance after the iOS 4.0 update. iPhone 3GS users generally report across-the-board performance improvements with the new update, but original iPhone 3G users have reported slow app launching, delayed reactions to taps, and generally poor interface responsiveness.


Perform a “hard reset.” Hold down the sleep/wake and home buttons simultaneously for roughly 15-20 seconds, until the screen powers off then an Apple logo appears, which signifies a reboot. Some users have (oddly enough) reported that performing two hard resets resolves the slowness issue.

Restore, but not from backup. It appears that bad holdover data from iPhone backups can cause performance problems. Restoring as a new phone will delete contacts and other data, but may resolve this issue.

To do so, connect your iPhone or iPod touch to your computer, click “Restore” in iTunes, then choose “setup as new phone.”

Free up space. Make sure that your iPhone has at least 10% of its available memory free. OS X-based systems, such as iOS 4.0, may require some free space to operate properly.

Close open Safari windows. One iOS application that consumes memory in the background is Safari. Close all unused windows in the application by pressing the page switch button in the lower right portion of the screen then clicking the X at the top left of each page. See this page for screenshots.

Turn off Spotlight. Navigate to Settings -> General -> Home Button -> Spotlight Search and turn off all the options by tapping each one. Next, perform a hard reset by holding down the sleep/wake and home buttons simultaneously for roughly 15-20 seconds, until the screen powers off then an Apple logo appears, which signifies a reboot.

You can experiment with turning off only some options, but most users only report a meaningful speed boost if all options are turned off.

Turn off MMS. Navigate to Settings > Messages > MMS messaging and slide MMS Messaging to “Off,” then perform a hard reset as described above.

DFU Restore. A tedious process, but one that has yielded dramatic performance improvements for some users.

To perform a DFU restore, follow these steps:

1. Backup your phone and preserve data. Follow the steps in this Apple Knowledge Base article to transfer your purchases and backup your iPhone.

2. Put iPhone into DFU mode. Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes (if it doesn’t open automatically). Hold down both the top (sleep/wake) and home buttons for exactly 10 seconds, then release the top (sleep/wake) button but keep holding the home button until  iTunes displays a message stating that a phone in recovery mode has been discovered.

3. Restore. Press the restore button and allow the phone to complete the restoration data. After it is done, select setup as a new phone.

4. Restore your backup (optional). Next, you can restore the phone again in the normal fashion (not DFU mode) using the most recent backup rather than setting up as a new phone. However, this may cause the original problem to return in some cases. If the problem returns, follow steps 1-3 again and do not restore your backup.

Feedback? info@appletoolbox.com.


  1. says

    Regarding “free up space”. On my iPhone 3G, the culprit was Mobile Safari. Because it’s an Apple app it doesn’t unload from memory when you close it – it’s left running in the background. This left me with only 12Mb free memory (instead of about 40Mb).

    The solution is to close all web pages before exiting Safari – this will actually make it unload and free the memory.

    For people that don’t quite know what I mean, I’ve put a screen grab here – http://www.andrewstechnology.co.uk/reference/tips/38-iphone-3g-lag-fix.html

    This lets my phone run normally, although the keyboard still lags for a short while when I re-open Safari.

    Hope that helps someone!

  2. says

    Will a hard reset erase everything off my iPhone? I’m getting frustrated with how slow my iPhone is since I did that 4.0 upgrade.

  3. says

    I upgraded from from the upgrade previous of the ios4 and i got a slower iphone 3g, it took like 20 seconds for the messageing app to load and when it used to take around a sec or 2 before my upgrade its really fustrateing with the laggyness of the keyboard and i have noticed that i have gotten less signal in my house with the new upgrade… not good apple!

  4. says

    I brought my husband’s 3G into Apple today (it is still under AppleCare) and they replaced with a 3G that had not been upgraded to 4.0 yet. The tech told me that it was important to not upgrade it until we heard if there had been a fix. Just FYI…

  5. says

    Yes I did the update when it came out very excited an my 3G has never been so slow it’s very frustrating to pay all this money an it not even work like a iPhone should I can type out a whole word before it will pop up. Tried the hardest twice still didn’t work! :( very frustrating!!

  6. says

    A hard reset fixed my slowness problems and was much easier than restoring to a new phone and then restoring a backup. Dissappointed to see that os4.0 didnt give us iPhone 3g users many improvements.

  7. says

    My iPhone became ungodly slow. I tried restoring but I get sick of trying to find all my apps over again because I have a bunch. I have a lot of contacts that don’t save to my sim for whatever reason and it’s just a hassle. This “new improved” mail app wont even alert me of mail messages!

  8. says

    I did this hard reset trick and yes, the phone went more responsive, but not as good as it was before the update. But of course, if the OS is offering more functionality in the background scene then it is not so strange the old 3G phone is getting slower, what do you expect people? Keep always in mind that a major update might use a little more resources than your hardware really have to give because it is too old. It is as with computers. Why should you expect Apple doing magic in this field? They are bound to the same laws as all other software/hardware manufacturers, a more advanced software need more from the hardware. Easy, right?

  9. says

    The main reason is because the process keeps all of the recent used applications running in the back ground. you can see instent increase in speed when you kill those running apps.. if your iphone is jailbroken u can download sbsetting from cydia, u can track all of the running apps there..

  10. says

    Every since I upgraded to os 4.0, my Iphone 3G is extremely slow! It’s so disappointing! I was so excited to get the 4.0 upgrade and to find out all it did was make my phone slow! It takes so long for my text app to load, camera, and keyboard keeps lagging. I want to purchase the new Iphone 4 but, I think I am going to wait! I see so many problems… Plus, I wanted the white phone and guess what, no white phone yet?! What is going on?!

  11. says

    After installing the iOS 4.0 update on an iphone 3G that was brought to me, none of the third party applications would function. I don’t know if this has been a common problem for others, but it was fixed by a hard reboot and waiting a few minutes. Just wanted to report the fix in case anyone else had that problem.

  12. says

    Okay, we all understand that with major updates to software, you’ll experience some lag with older devices… But, apple should have warned us that our 3G phones would NO longer work properly, and that most of our apps will sloooow waaay down in performance. I’m going back to 3.1

  13. says

    I’m quite certain this is a means to force 3G users to upgrade their phones. It’s a corporate thing, we just dont understand.

  14. says

    As with other 3G owners, mine has become disappoingly and frustratingly slow since the latest software upgrade.
    As the hard reboot hasn’t improved the slowness of my iphone, could someone please explain how to go back to 3.1 or the previous version before 4.0 update?

  15. says

    i have only just bought an iphone 3g about 6 week’s ago, it first updated to 3.1, then updated to 4.0, and i hate it, my phone has not been the same since i put the update on it and i have considered taking it back to an apple shop, why the hell should i restore it, when i make a call my screen goes black (no icons at all) and my signal drops off for no reason, the app’s are slow and it just feels like i have gone back to an old nokia from the late 1990’s, this is rubbish.!

  16. says

    Yeah my phone is acting the same way. I have a 3G phone and it’s definitely slower, however the Safari trick did help it speed up a little. Wished I’d known before hand that it slowed the phone down.

    Oh well, maybe it’s time to look at a different phone???

  17. says

    ive been having problems since day one of the iphone 3 software and although they arent all fixed i did do the hard reset about 6 times in total, the last two times were consecutively after each other and now it seems great; although i cannot get a couple apps to work. IE MSN is not loading (news app)

  18. says

    I updated today and everything seemed real good. Everything but the keyboard works the same. I have a 3G and I’ve seen another 3G working perfectly. Only problem with mine is I can’t set up a background to my screen like others I’ve seen and I can’t multi task. Anyone else with this or just me.

  19. says

    It added nothing, made it super slow and seems its just to get us to buy the new phone. Couldn’t even get a background, because they weren’t happy with the performance? Morons. Good job apple I’ll be getting a droid, and sending my 3g with os4 to that guy on youtube with the blender.

  20. says

    Tried hard reset = no improvement, safari crashes, slowdowns continue
    setup as new phone = perfect operation
    sync my saved files = 3d party aps don’t work, dozens of error messages stating which files can’t be synced
    second hard reset = no improvement
    update some aps through app store = aps work again
    second sync mandatory through itunes, all works well
    three hours total work

  21. says

    With all respect, I don’t think downgrading is the answer. Upgraded to from 3.xx to 4.0 due to application slowdowns and crashes, specifically safari, google and weatherbug. I knew from upgrading to 3.0 (bricked my phone by turning itself off) there could be problems.
    Now after following the above instructions from appletoolbox.com, those aps work perfectly and much faster than under 3.xx.
    3g iphone os 4.0 22.5 months into contract going strong again.

  22. says

    After the update my phone is significantly slower. It types slower, apps open slower, and when I’m on a phone call, I can’t go on the Internet anymore! Unbelievable!

  23. says

    yep, my beloved 3g is markedly slower after the 4.0 ‘up’grade. what are the chances apple will fix this? do they care? i feel like a moron for upgrading, frankly.

  24. says

    My 3g is now so slow I despise it. Very disappointed. I no longer look forward to the iPhone on Verizon (if it ever happens), I’m so ready to go Droid!

  25. says

    Like everyone else I was excited about the new 4.0 upgrade. Unfortunately like everyone else with a 3G model it has been nothing but a headache. As I type this on my phone I am literally 2 words ahead of what’s being typed on the screen. Safari has crashed twice today. Once it crashed while I was reading a text based news site that’s completely devoid of anything but text and the without touching the screen while reading safari decided to crash. Also, I’ve Jailbroken a 3G (not the one I’m currently using) which allows you to change the background pic. no problem with absolutely zero effect on performance. As some have suggested I really think this is all about trying to get old users to upgrade which is absolutely ridiculous. They are intentionally slowing our devices so we will upgrade. I will NEVER buy another apple product and will be paying the 150$ termination fee with AT&T tomorrow so I can get myself the new EVO. I plan on keeping the iPhone to use as an iPod but not before I jailbreak it and start stealing all the apps I can get through Applous. Something I was ethically opposed to before, but fuck them for trying to pull this shit.

    Btw… On the 4.0 info page it says it adds 100+ new features which is a total lie. It added maybe 5 useless features for the 3G and nowhere near 100 for the IP4. FALSE ADVERTISING!

  26. says

    The trick witht he Spotlight seems to have fixed the sluggishness of my phone in the main menus. However, my internet experience is extremely disappointing after the upgrade. Strangely, the performance is the same whether I am on WiFi, 3G, or EDGE. What a pain…

    Not to be touting Windows on a Apple forum, but I miss the Task Manager. Being able to go in and kill processes that were not needed and hadn’t unloaded properly would be a true upgrade in my opinion…

  27. says

    yes as like everyone else, my phone is now slower since the update. I agree with the fact that it will be slower bc your phone is meant to work at the capacity it was made for, so anything too much will slow it down, just like a computer. And yes my messaging app takes a while for the screen to show up. And my wwf app is the worst, slow as shit, don’t even want to play anymore, but does any body have a solution rather than sit here and bitch about it or how apple sucks. I did try the restore and the reset and deleting old stuff and closing safari, nothing works…what is the solution?

  28. says

    my phone was much slower after the upgrade. doing a hard reset helped A LOT, and i did a second one for good measure. now it’s actually faster than it was before….i had been noticing lag in typing and taping before, so maybe i just needed to hard reset awhile ago

  29. says

    It is just a software problem, iOS 4 has some bugs in it, and that’s why iPhone 4 had the signal problem. Just find iPhone 3G 3.1.3 firmware and downgrade until iOS 4.0.1 comes out with a fix.

  30. says

    I was having the same problems as most people. I restored my phone as a new iPhone and it worked. Yeah, it was kind of a pain, but I had contacts and notes synced with outlook. I use CalenGoo (awesome app for non Mac users who moved from Palm) for my calendar which syncs with Google Calendar.

    It forced me to clean up my apps and my phone is working better than ever!

    Thanks for the info!

  31. says

    iphone 3g with version 4 software painfully slow. Has anyone thought this might be a cunning ploy by apple to make people upgrade to the new 4G phone.

    I hate my iphone 3g at the moment, its only real use at the moment is as a paper weight.!!!!

  32. says

    I am a Windows user and lover. The iPhone made me change my mind and I was considering a move to Apple Computers.
    The iPhone upgrade to OS4, made my wonderful 3G OS 3.13, so so slow that it is almost useless. When my contract runs out I will by anything but Apple products.
    To restore confidence in so many unhappy 3G owners Apple should make upgrading foorm OS 4 to OS 3.13 a simple process. But I know I am day dreaming, Apple does not care

  33. says

    Hey Guys!!

    I faced the same problem.

    I tried two things and its much much much better now.

    1. Hard reset
    2. Spotlight search cut down to contacts and music only.

    Its pretty quick now.

    – Abhi

  34. says

    when i upgraded to OS 4, i couldn’t get service back to my phone.
    so i did a hard reset, then turned airplane mode on & off a couple times, & service came back on.

  35. says

    Same problem here. However, Apple surprised me and stepped up to the plate. One phone call had an appointment for me and my girlfriend to go exchange our iPhone 3G phones for new 3GS phones. Apparently, Apple is very aware of the problem and is handling it better than the new iPhone 4 reception issue. I don’t see why Apple just doesn’t give cheap silicone cases to it’s new iPhone 4 users. Anyways, the 3G update problems are being remedied on my end. Thanks Apple.

  36. says

    i am amazed to see apple turning into microsoft. this ios4 “upgrade” pissed me off so much (my phone became unusable, imagine vista running on pc with intel 8080) so i went to get an android phone (acer liquid) today. sadly, i returned it the same day – it was overheating 10 min after i started configuring it. do i have to go back to blackberry buttons??

  37. says

    I have the same issue, apps are slow to load, slow response times, everything sucks since I upgraded my 3G to 4.0. Seems like Apple wants us 3G users to pay for upgraded phones.

    I called Apple and they wont tell you how to restore back to the previous version.

  38. says

    “Kai said at 1:41 AM on July 2nd, 2010:

    I did this hard reset trick and yes, the phone went more responsive, but not as good as it was before the update. But of course, if the OS is offering more functionality in the background scene then it is not so strange the old 3G phone is getting slower, what do you expect people? Keep always in mind that a major update might use a little more resources than your hardware really have to give because it is too old. It is as with computers. Why should you expect Apple doing magic in this field? They are bound to the same laws as all other software/hardware manufacturers, a more advanced software need more from the hardware. Easy, right?”


    No, and it’s because Apple is NOT bound to the same laws as all other software/hardware manufacturers… The difference is they are the hardware AND the software manufacturer and therefore has NO excuse to have the same problems that the other desktop developers have. They have a proprietary testing bed and can design their software specifically for their chip sets which sets them apart in the ability to create a much more stable and usable environments on their devices.

    What do we expect, you ask? Simple. If the overhead on the software is too much for the hardware to handle, DON’T RELEASE IT AS AN UPDATE. That is not asking too much, and if you think it is, you’ve been watching too much tv.

  39. says

    I read some reviewer refer to the iPhone 4’s interface as “hot butter” well my iPhone 3G after the 4.0 update is more like cold peanut butter. Even though 3G users were given the crumbs of OS4 (no wallpaper, no rotate lock) I already had this functionality before the upgrade and it didn’t turn my photo into a laggy piece of shit. Apple has bigger problems on their hands than to care for customers with three generation old hardware. Jailbreaking is the best thing you can do for an iPhone.

  40. says

    I have the same sloness problem on my 3G after installing iOS 4.0. I have tried all the tricks to no avail. My main issues are MMS (long delay at start-up); camera (delays and failure to store data); third party apps broken; can’t seem to reboot individual apps; and long delays in typing and tapping. Also, lost all my contacts during the 4.0 install. Apple, are you listening? You should at leas let us go back to OS 3.1.3.

  41. says

    I had exactly the same problem but after turning off all the Spotlight Search buttons it’s back to normal. It would be nice of Apple to let you know though.

  42. says

    I updated my iPhone 3G to the latest iOS4.0. Now my iPhone resembles a virus ridden 10 year old PC. It’s slow, non responsive and often crashes. As suggested by many bloggers and chat room users on internet to manually downgrade back to iOS3, I have no interest spending any time to fix my phone. I demand that Apple gets the update as soon as possible or make it possible to downgrade back to iOS 3. This is ridiculous. Apple is deliberately misleading consumers by suggesting to upgrade to iOS 4 thus infecting our phones with virus and forcing us to buy the latest iPhone 4.

    I visited the store I bought my phone – they don’t give a shit. I visited the local Apple Service Centre, they pretend nothing is wrong with my phone and recommended “restore”. Everyone I know with iPhone 3 has the same problem, but Apple is in a state of denial. It’s like we have imaginary problem and we are just shit stirrers. Has anyone noticed any official response from Apple in regards to iPhone 3G pathetic performance after iOS4 update? This is not one off thing. Apple!!!! Get your act together.

  43. says

    Apple dropped the ball.
    So sad and frustrating.
    Goes to show- we can’t count on technology.
    My 3g is as slow as the rest of yours after the os upgrade.
    I feel like smashing my apple computers & phone. I think I’ll move to the country and start a garden…. after I go buy another crappy phone from another crappy company (not apple).
    okay, i’m being dramatic, but really- whay does apple feel like they have to put out new products every year? why can’t they put out some amazing/ quality products that will last a lifetime, then, every 5 years or so (or however long it takes) put out another amazing product that blows our minds and enhances the functionality of the former products instead of making them obsolete?
    why?? why put out a mediocre product just to put out a product?
    lame! F U Apple.

  44. says

    Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I have the iPhone 3G 8gig and after updating to os4.0, I experienced lag with just about every function. However, after performing 2 hard resets (as outlined above), my phone is back to normal as it was when it had os3.1. I also had 4 safari pages opened in the “background” which was using up valuable memory, so it’s best to close out of safari after viewing. I have tested several of my free apps, including purchased ones, and all seems to be smooth again. Texting, calling and emails are running normal again too. Hope this helps!

  45. says

    Well, I just gotta put my 2 cents in on this Iphone 3g upgrade. I upgraded and was pissed off after I learned that my phone ran like a mouse was in side turning the inside system. Did two hard resets and its running better, but upset that Apple has not acknowledged the issue. The could have done something to warn us. They better stop messing around before DROID takes over!!!!!

  46. says

    Just wanted to thank you apple for the new update…NOT. After downloading the new software for my 3G, I have experienced nothing but problems. It is SO slow and apps always shut down. After TWO times of restoring my phone to factory, I have seen no change. Nice try on making me want to spend a “discounted” $400 dollars on the new phone. I used to love your product, lately however, not so much.

  47. says

    Apple is deliberately misleading consumers by suggesting to upgrade to iOS 4 thus infecting our phones with virus and forcing us to buy the latest iPhone 4.

    JK you said it best…

  48. says

    Hi ! my iphone 3G is dead slow in starting Applications after I upgraded to IOS4.0!. I shud have waited and read these blogs and comments. I also think Apple did this for us to upgrade to iphone 4.0 ! or else they shud have informed about slow performance in 3G on upgrade! HARD RESETS dont help much.

    Is there any who could help me in backing up contacts from Iphone to PC? i want to try RESTORE.
    Thank you !

  49. says

    I have the same problem with my 3GS iPhone, the apps are extremely slow, and even without using my phone at all the battery will drain too quickly. If i listen to music for about 30 minutes, my battery goes down about 10% which in my opinion is a bit to dramatic. Anyone have any solutions?

  50. says

    iOS4 update on iPhone 3G is pathetic. Just don’t do it if you are happy with your phone. Keep the 3G and wait for the next hardware update, sadly.

    Apple has released it’s “vista” AND “bob” all at once. I am waiting for next year. It’s not worth it.

  51. says

    Here’s what I did, which seemed to speed it up alot. 1.) turned off all spotlight searching 2.) deleted as many apps as I could that I didnt need anymore 3) Deleted/closed all open Safari pages 4.) turned off multimedia mms messaging 5.) performed 2 hard resets . It’s much more responsive when entering text, moving through screens, etc. So far so good.

  52. says

    Same problem here. Very slow 3G after 4.0 ‘update’. Total crap from Apple; Personally I’ve still got 6 months on the 2 year contract. And there is now way the 3G hardware is “getting old” as suggested by one poster; so as to have performance slow downs.
    Feels exactly like deliberate software tampering to prompt new phone purchases. Bullshit.

  53. says

    I’m one of those iphone users who bought a 3g about 2 months out from 3gs. Yes, could have waited but I needed a phone and this looked good. Loved my 3g for the past year but then the OS4.0 release has slowed it down…embarrassingly so.
    Since I’m on a 24 month contract it looks like I’m a sucker for the last 12. Sigh.
    BTW, 3gs and 4.0 owners shouldn’t laugh. If this is how Apple are going to operate, wait a year and the same thing will probably happen to you.

  54. says

    It’s a good thing that I have a work-issued BlackBerry. I’ve set my crippled iPhone 3G with the OS 4 update on “Unconditional Forwarding” to my other phone. I have not missed my iPhone in weeks. Sad but true…

  55. says

    I think we have a WINNER!
    I found a thread to fix slow os4 for 3g… It said to turn off MMS and restart. (that’s it)
    I have opened and closed multiple apps since doing this and it’s been about a half hour of normal phone use, so far, (crossing fingers) no problems! I’ve gotten a notable increase in running speed. Go under: >settings>messages>mms messaging> (turn off) Reset phone. (I did two hard resets previous to this, so for me it was just a regular reset.
    I have read so many posts and didn’t want to downgrade so finding this was a great relief. Please let everyone know if this works for you too…

  56. says

    Solution for slow iPhone 3G with iOS 4

    The performance of the 3G can be improved significantly by disabling most Spotlight-searches / indexing. To deactivate specific Spotlight indexing:

    1. Settings -> General -> Home-Button -> Spotlight Search
    2. deactivate almost all Spotlight searches (except e.g. Contacts)

    Works perfect for me since a few days and my 3G is running as fast as before with iOS 3.x.

  57. says

    Hoera, my 3G is fast again.
    Thanks for all the suggestions.
    I have switched off spotlight search (Settings-General-Home Button-Spotlight search-switch off all you don’t use). And I performed a hard reset.

  58. says

    This is the sort of destructive update crap that made me leave using Microsoft products for Apple ones altogether. What are Apple doing?? Did they not test the software on a 3g phone??? Come on Apple you can do better than this!!!!

  59. says

    I don’t understand.
    Apple owns the OS
    Apple owns the apps
    Apple ons the h/w specs

    If Apple delivers POS all of you should NOT try to get it fixed but go to Apple store and say
    “Hey, you! Your last update screwed my phone! Fix it for free and give me a replacement phone until you figure it out!”

    Why do you spend your OWN time for the obvious flops of this company?!
    Don’t you know that the ONLY resource that cannot be replenished is TIME? It is priceless! You spend part of your life instead of making fun things solving problems of a company that charged you a huge fee in the first place!

    This is ridiculous!

  60. says

    I have to agree with many of the posters here… It really feels that Apple is forcing people (or at least motivating them) to buy new hardware to support the software changes. The new features are not that intensive. I always get a kick out of how people say they don’t use Microsoft products due to stability issues (just look at Apples recent marketing campaigns). Having used extensively OS X, Windows 7, and iPhone OS 4…. Apple has fallen way behind the curve. Google and Microsoft are going to eat them alive if they don’t shape up.

    Oh.. and has anyone else noticed since the 4.0.1 iPhone update that your signal strength is lower EVERYWHERE? Wonder if that was done on purpose. My house used to have full bars all the time, now it never gets above 2. Talk about misrepresentation. I hope Apple and AT&T get the asses sued off in this class action lawsuit.

  61. says

    Slow performance, battery draining prematurely. Upgrade, Restore, Setup as new phone, Hard Resets, disable this, disable that etc etc etc

    This is all beginning to sound like the plot of a very bad movie. These problems with Iphone have been recurring time and time again now for several years. No soon as you have wasted weeks sorting them out, along comes another Firmware update and you are back to square one again with the same problems.

    There are some fundamental design issues with the Iphone and its Upgrade/Restore process and its about time that Apple finally addressed this once and for all.

    It should not be Rocket Science for a user to connect his Iphone to his or her computer, start Itunes, be prompted that there is a new Firmware Version, follow the steps and not end up with these bloody issues everytime.

    For christ sakes Apple… sort this bloody thing out once and for all.

    I love the concept of the Iphone, but the last 2 years of owning a 3G has been one recurring problem after the other and makes the product next to useless for day to day real time usage.

    As it currently stands, after trying all the suggestions, I have a 3G that is as slow as a wet weekend and I am lucky if I get 12 hours battery life out of it.

  62. says

    Everything was slow for me on IOS4 on my 3G. GPS was pretty much non functional. My kids even said the phone was too slow. So, I “downgraged” my 3G iphone to 3.1.3 last night. I had to restore to the last back up prior to IOS4.0 upgrade. I did loose a few text messages because it had been a month since I upgraded the software. It is well worth the “downgrade” I followed the directions on lifehacker website.

  63. says

    Long story short…I too had the issue of a very slow 3G after updating to iOS4 & I went back to the last version of iOS3 using the DFU Restore method listed above…worked great but I really wanted iOS4. Decided to do a DFU Restore to iOS4 and I’m happy with the results. I read a post above stating that Apple shouldn’t have made the newest iOS available for the 3G but lets look at it this way people…iOS4 on a 3G is like installing Windows Vista on a PC designed for Windows 98…it may work but it’s not gonna be as zippy as a brand new PC.

  64. says

    yes I upgraded too and yes my phone is also brain jarringly slow. it seems to me its got slower everytime theres a major update since the days of 2.X. apple you have really disappointed me, i wont be buying another iphone what with the signal issues with the 4.

  65. says

    I had horrible performance issues with my 3G after upgrading to 4.0 and then to 4.0.1. I found a tip which worked wonders for me:

    1. Turn off Spotlight Search: Go to Settings | General | Home Button | Spotlight Search, and uncheck everything
    2. Reboot your iPhone 3G: Just a normal power down and restart
    3. Turn Spotlight Search back on: Go back to same screen as step 1, and re-check everything you unchecked in Step 1

    You can more read about it on my blog:

  66. says

    I have had enough. I was was with Cingular and was pissed when it switched to AT&T but gave them a chance started getting used to them and right after renewing with a new phone started having problems. iPhone has had issues all along and just when they get the bugs worked out I forget and move on then crap like this happens. No more times up soon and I think it is time for a new phone with Verizon…. Droid…….X

  67. says

    I have experienced the exact same problem.

    I have a 3G iPhone that I upgraded when iOS 4.0 came out.

    Text messaging, Maps, Safari, even the Phone application are all basically unusably slow now. It takes 8 seconds to launch the text message app. The lag when I type is so bad that its unbearable. I clean installed the system with no apps, no music, nothing and it was still unusable. When I went to the apple store they helped me clean install everything, and after it didn’t work they basically said this was a common issue and there wasn’t anything I could do except upgrade or go online and figure out how to downgrade the software. But apple doesn’t officially support the downgrade so I’m on my own with that. So just to be clear – the phone broke because of an official software upgrade and the solution is I have to buy a new phone.

    What I keep hearing is the iPhone 4 is blazing fast and works great. Up until now I’ve been a big supporter of Apple but this is just too far. No way am I going to spend my money to fix a problem apple created. Not sure if it was intentional or not – but by screwing my phone up Apple isn’t driving me to upgrade to the iPhone 4 – they’ve pushed me to get an Evo. To wait out the next 4 months of my contract and them move over to Sprint. I’ve been with Cingular/At&t for 8 years. Good bye iPhone and getting over charged and hello Sprint Evo on a 4G network with the 69.99 simply everything plan.


  68. says

    UNUSABLY slow after 4.0. Its ridiculous. I want to crush it under my cars wheels! I hear clicking when typing and the letters dont show up for a minute…all applications crash…keys get stuck…minutes go by after clicking a button…blank screens for minutes…I can’t have a phone that doesn’t work.

    If this is apple’s way of getting people to upgrade to another phone, forget it! My phone worked just fine under 3.0, THEY f***ked it up with 4.0. THEY need to fix it. Or I’ll get a phone that works, like an android.

  69. says

    This was Apple’s way of having everyone buy the iPhone4 and put more money in their own pocket!! Well, I for one am not, I will NEVER own another Apple product! They are nothing but crooks and care nothing about their customers!! I’m going to Verizon and getting a Droid!!! Screw you Apple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. says

    The majority of 3G and 3Gs owners don’t realize that you now have to double tap the home button and shut down most apps manually.

    If you’re rig is slow manually close down all apps and it’ll bring you’re performance back to normal (as long as you have at least 10% of your space free).

  71. says

    people saying apple doesn’t care and they are some evil corporation, do your research and go back to your windows machine that gets slower and slower everyday, talk about a HORRIBLE company then you should be talking about microsoft. Vista was a JOKE, windows 7 should be called VistaFixed… Win7 is better, but once again it is a polished version of OSX. Tell me why companies who are still enslaved with Windows still use XP??? That is because Microsoft doesnt care before they release software… and I work at a huge drug company, and can confess the IT people are terrified to roll out ANYTHING new by Microsoft… so lets be fair here. BTW I have had every model of iPhone since they came out, and they ALWAYS fix the issues… if you are comfortable with the previous OS, then downgrade.

  72. says

    It’s kind of nice to know I’m in good company (i.e. it’s the OS and not a virus). Combined effect of shutting down Safari windows, turning off MMS and turning off Spotlight (with multiple hard resets) seems to have restored the 3G to its formerly perky self. I suspect, however, that it is feeling its age. After all, it is about 77 in cool gadget years. I get the message, Mr. Jobs. Time to get the iPhone 4.

  73. says

    people who don’t know why they can’t get the homescreen working, and the multitasking: these features arent supposed to work on the iphone 3g. they only work if you have your device jailbroken. even then, it will decrease your speed. I installed something that disabled the multitasking (which is seriously useless), and kept the homescreen. works pretty good, it’s slow, but my device was slow to begin with, it was used by a reckless douchebag previously.
    hope this helps!

  74. says

    After upgrading to 4 my phone substantially slowed down.  Turning off Bluetooth (when not needed) performance returned to normal.

  75. says

    To Derrick – I’ve used Vista for years and love it – never had a problem. Not a one. Also I refused to buy virus protection because I’m convinced the security companies invent the viruses so we have to buy virus-protection. Guess what? With my Vista OS I’ve never had a virus. Not a one. Most of us can’t just “hang in there” till apple fixes our phones. I’ve already had to purchase a new phone because of the 3G myth, (says I have a full signal but can’t make a call,) and AT&T complete crap service. It’s really stupid on Apple’s part to slow down my phone thinking I’ll drop a few hunny on an iPhone4. They’ve got too much competition out there – not all of us blindly buy products because there is a piece of fruit on it.

  76. says

    Hey all, I’ve been thinking about upgrading the FW on my iphone 3G but havent as of yet. Its currently running FW 2.2.1 and is jailbroken. I feel like an upgrade is neccessary, but not sure which version to upgrade to after reading this thread… any suggestions?

  77. says

    Eve – I completely agree with you. Those are the exact words I would have written. I have since updated Vista to Win 7 and there is a night and day difference. Once my contract on my iPhone runs out I will never purchase another Apple product; even the iPod sucks. Try a Zune people.

  78. says

    SOLUTION: I worked out how to speed up the 3GS

    Step 1 – Submerge the iPhone in a bucket of Water
    Step 2 – Purchase the HTC Desire – Android OS

    Following these steps will dramatically improve your phone experience and will ensure your comments are inserted in Apples core!!

    • Wendi says

      What’s the Spotlight? My phone has gotten worse and worse!! Today I almost threw it against the wall at school just to see if it would work better after.
      Also Two Resets? Please explain

  79. says

    I had the same problems, did the reboot twice (holding the home and sleep/wake buttons) deleted the spotlight thingys, getting rid of unused apps ( i now currently have about 5) deleting all the safari windows open, turning mms off and phone is STILL slow. slightly better (very, very slightly) but the big thing is still the messages taking ages to open and keyboard taking ages to catch up. so not happy :(

  80. says

    I hate this upgrade! Sometimes, I can’t even answer the phone! (The response to my attempt to slide the lever over is so delayed that the phone call has gone to voice mail before I can get it to answer.) ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!

    I will definitely try your suggestions, though, and truly appreciate your efforts!!!

  81. says

    iPod Touch 3G’s Calendar slow down terribly after
    installing iTunes 10 and iOs 4. This problem was resolved in my
    case by itself after upgrading by iOS 4.2.1 and synchronizing with
    MS Outlook and back up 2 times right each other. After 1st time
    sync. and back up the slow downs remained and after the 2nd
    synchronization and back up slow down has gone. During the
    synchronization there was time conflict between iPod and outlook
    which resolved by selecting iPod as reference source. My impression
    was that the slow dawn might come up when the synchronization is
    not fully done (e.g. when timing conflict remained, not resolved
    between outlook and iPod) between outlook and iPod.

  82. says

    Do not update.
    The best free tip I can give.
    The phone and the update will not work completely and it will not do so in the future. It´s planned obsolescence and part of Apple´s plan to sell new models.
    Until you read it as a scoop in the papers or find a document on Wikileaks it will be the dark secret of the staff at Apple.

  83. says

    Don’t buy an iphone I did my update 2 weeks after warranty period was up, as soon as the update was installed my touch screen didn’t work, texting was very slow or not at all, the screen was unresponsive or magnified and the slider did not work so I couldn’t answer calls, I tried to restore settings, did numerous back ups, even factory restore, about 15 times in total, held buttons down for resets everything, lost all my contacts, apps, photos, the lot! Apple are denying there is a problem with the update but i can see here there is, they don’t care. I have another year on this contract with a phone that doesn’t work my only option is to pay $249 for a 2nd hand replacement phone that only has 3 months warranty – i’ve been JIPPED! Very unhappy.

  84. Md.moinul kabir says

    phone 3G setting option open slowly its terrible…it takes 10 sec to open. what to do..can i back to previous version and how? pls help me out…i already did the spotlight matter and hard reset…bt it looks same.

  85. Md.moinul kabir says

    its i phone 3G version 4. setting option open slowly its terrible…it takes 10 sec to open. what to do..can i back to previous version and how? pls help me out…i already did the spotlight matter and hard reset…bt it looks same.

  86. i(NOT)Phone says

    I know what you can do as well as apple knows…since they have discontinued the updates for 3g rendering a 2 year smart dumbphone as usefull as a brick, you can spend another 700 euros (for us – the rich europeans) to buy an iphone4…and probably after an other 1,5 year that will be absolete as well so can get an iphone5 or 6 or 7…and so on…

    Thank you cr-apple

  87. DestreyDavis says

    ummm what if you’re FOURTEEN and your a textaholic? wait wait… MMS? how do you even turn that off?>

  88. DR GANDHI says

    I stay in India and had bought a iphone 3 g a year ago

    Love your article that i have pasted below and was very useful

    I HAD AFEW BASIC questions

    1 what software version can doTHE copy and paste function?

    2 also which is the ideal higest perfomance version for a iphone 3g?

    3 if i downgrade from version 4 to version 3.1.3 on my iphone 3g can i restore back my contacts , messages and emails




  89. WatcherDearie says

    Okay wow, I get some features need to be turned off for overall performance, but I’ve already turned off everything possible. Why is it that my iPhone 3G has to suffer such a slow response time and experience with almost everything off, while my sister’s iTouch is completely fast with over 100 apps, wifi on, and several other features on?

    I already tried everything above and it just turned out to be a waste of time trying.

  90. Jacob says

    Hi I bought a iphone 3gs a month back, I would say . its one of the best phone
    HTC and Android is just a trash. every game in Adroid runs very slow. Iphone gives the best experiance. I dont know why you all have a poor experiance

  91. pervertt says

    Thank goodness for your advice. I have a 3G phone. Turning off spotlight did nothing to help. Only the hard reset did the trick – it is now back to its usual quick speed.

  92. says

    An interesting dialogue is worth comment. I believe that you should write extra on this matter, it may not be a taboo topic however typically people are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

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