How to quickly clear the RAM on a suddenly sluggish iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

“Apps misbehaving? Phone acting sluggish?” David Nield reports for Gizmodo. “If you’re experiencing any kind of problem with your iPhone, then emptying out the device’s RAM can often do wonders.”

“Restarting your iPhone is one way of doing this, but there is a quicker option,” Nield reports.

“Press and hold the Power button as normal until the familiar ‘slide to power off’ option appears,” Nield reports. “Don’t accept the invitation and don’t cancel either: Instead, press and hold the Home button. After a few seconds you should find yourself back on the home screen with a fresh slate as far as RAM goes.”

In the full article, Nield credits @MarcForrest for this useful tip, here.

MacDailyNews Note: Make sure to use this tip after you’ve unlocked your device. If you try it from the lock screen, you’ll just invoke Siri.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


    1. I still prefer using “System Status – activity monitor, by Techet”

      With the “Status” app you can see how your memory is being used, and when you use the app to free up memory, you can observe the result. This app is also providing handy validation that background apps do still use memory. I just checked on my iPad Pro. I have 28 apps in the background, and only 3% free memory. If I use the app to clear memory I get 37% free memory but it gets used up again as you cycle some of those backgrounded apps to the front. If I close all but 3 backgrounded apps it frees up 47% of memory, which remains pretty stable as I use those 3 apps (Safari w/18 tabs, iMessages, and Status). Similar story on my iP6 where I have 38 apps in background and 4% free memory.

      Neither the iPad Pro or iP6 are in the least bit sluggish with free memory this low. My iPad 3rd gen on the other hand would frequently get sluggish, which meant I was making frequent trips to the Status app to find free memory less than 1% and to clear some memory.

    1. It must be true if it is on the internet. Well, let’s think this through. People were constantly trying to turn off apps that they believed ran in the background and Steve Jobs told them to just leave it alone and that the software took care of cleaning up in the background. Do you think that iOS can’t take care of itself? Apple programmers must be incredibly terrible in making iOS take care of its own housekeeping.

      1. I sure do think apple programmers can be just as prone to make mistakes or not write the most efficient code just as much as any programmer. Bugs happen and memory leaks happen and iOS has no magical shield to prevent this. Also based on experience with iOS and how often safari crashes just for example, I believe it even more. Apple make great hardware but they write just as much crappy software as they write good software. They are certainly not consistent in that area.

    1. Same here. Tried 2x. No joy.

      Wait! Hold the phone! (That’s a phone joke…)

      When I unlocked the phone with my fingerprint and went to the screen with all the app icons and tried it, it worked! It didn’t like the trick from the lock screen.

    2. Power Button= the one on then top bezel
      Home Button= the indented bottom one

      “Press and hold the Power button as normal until the familiar ‘slide to power off’ option appears,” Nield reports. “Don’t accept the invitation and don’t cancel either: Instead, press and hold the Home button.

      1. Don’t. It’s dangerous, possibly malevolent garbage. If you want to spend money on utilities, there are a lot of worthy ones, but utilities like this can be replaced by a bit of knowledge.

    1. I use CleanMyMac 3. It’s from a site called MacPaw.
      I bought the life time subscription, which has continual updates.
      It works a bit like Disk Clean up and Defrag on a PC
      I think it’s the best available for Mac users.

    1. Evidence to support that it does not wipe memory: I followed the instructions, and, once back at the home screen, I double-clicked the Home button to see if any Apps were running in the background – they were all there (all those opened since my last flip to close them all out). If RAM was cleared, I would think that all the Apps in the background would be gone. Is this correct? – I don’t profess to be an expert – it just seems logical to me.

      1. Icons shown while double clicked is not an indication of apps currently running background tasks. Those apps may or may not be running in the background.
        The only use for double clicking is to switch apps or delete them from the run history. For those that are running background tasks, this will quit those tasks.
        I say this as an ex-Apple employee, iOS device certified, and a current developer for iOS.

      2. Clearing the RAM may not necessarily cause apps to be removed from the task switcher UI. The real test would be to see if the state if each app is preserved as you return to them. That is, are they displaying the same thing as when you left them.

    2. It actually does work. ET mentioned “System Status – activity monitor, by Techet” up-topic and I tested it. I ran System Status and saw that I had about 90MB free on my 6s, I did the procedure (which needs the phone to be awake) and freed an additional 600 MB.

    1. No, the link you sent to simply shows how to force restart your iPhone. That document does NOT show what this MDN article is about. Do you even READ articles before you post or do you just look at the photos while skimming the article? If so, you just assumed you knew what this article was about. The truth is that you do that, you make an ASS out of U and U, and only u.



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