Slow iPhone 3G with iOS4? Just restore it!

Since I upgraded my iPhone 3G (not 3GS) to Apple's iOS4 it has been running slow, and that is to put it mildly. It has been so slow I barely wanted to use  the damn phone! 

Reading a thread in the Apple Discussion Forums, I realised, like most things, when you simply upgrade software there is a bunch of detritus left behind, so following the post, I simply reset the phone through iTunes to factory settings, once done, I went and upgraded my carrier info (which it prompts you to do) and then restored it from the backup (that I made earlier) 

Voila, it is now running pretty snappily again. Joy! 



  1. Anuj Gakhar

    #1 by Anuj Gakhar - June 30, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    I am having the same problem with my iPhone 3G. its too damn slow after the upgrade. I will try restoring and see if it fixes the problem.
  2. Mark Drew

    #2 by Mark Drew - July 1, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    Good Luck! My phone is working fine now :)
  3. Brian Panulla

    #3 by Brian Panulla - July 1, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    You having any problems with WiFi connections? Since the upgrade my 3G has failed over to the 3G network after 10-15 seconds of trying to use the Wifi.
  4. Human Baredwan

    #4 by Human Baredwan - July 2, 2010 at 7:04 AM

    my iPhone 3G Having the same problem too :(( .
    then I was download 'system' at iTunes ,

    >when the phone just restarted (there's no application u open after turn on your phone, only 'system' application), it say's :
    Memory (RAM) :116 MB
    Used Memory : 89 MB
    - wired : 26 MB
    - Active : 17 MB
    - Inactive : 12 MB
    - Free : 8 MB

    >then i tried to open iPod then i opened iBooks after i closed it all, i Opened again 'system'
    Memory (RAM) :116 MB
    Used Memory : 89 MB
    - wired : 26 MB
    - Active : 19 MB
    - Inactive : 10 MB
    - Free : 2 MB

    so i looked at Process tab at 'system' , "other running processes : iPod, iBooks" (all program that u closed it's still run)
    that's why it's make our iPhone 3G running slow..... :(

    so it's better back at os 3 again.......
  5. V6Greg

    #5 by V6Greg - July 3, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    Hi Mark - I am having the same problem, so following your factory reset and subsequent backup restore which OS are you now running?
  6. Scott

    #6 by Scott - July 6, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    When you reset you factory settings, will this remove all of your photos, bookmarks, ringtones and etc....on the phone?

  7. Mark Drew

    #7 by Mark Drew - July 7, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    THat is why I backed it up first. remove the photos you have taken, synch them up , and the apps etc, then reset. and yes, it will remove everything it seems.

  8. Anthony orchard

    #8 by Anthony orchard - July 10, 2010 at 2:25 AM

    Thanks mark for your comments. My phone has aso been so slow especially text. When I open text a blank screen looks at me for nearly a minute.

    One thing though. When I upgraded iTunes kept saying could not restore
  9. Jose Galdamez

    #9 by Jose Galdamez - July 12, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    For those that are interested, there is also this solution which essentially just has you do a cold reboot (hold SLEEP and HOME buttons until it powers off). The reboot has been reported to take up to several minutes, but after it is done the OS gets snappy again.

    I had my co-worker run it over the weekend on his iPhone 3G and it worked swell.

    This won't require you to restore to factory settings, and should clear the old dust making the upgrade much cleaner.
  10. JT

    #10 by JT - July 22, 2010 at 4:43 AM

    I just did that cold reboot described above and it seems, in the few minutes I have been trying out the apps and actions that were unbareably slow, it is now firing on all cylinders now with and occasional missfire. I will follow up later if it goes back to the snails pace.
  11. joao

    #11 by joao - July 31, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Sorry but the moment i noticed the lag I turned everything off and when this did not work I did a factory restore. It just improved slightly for a few days and went back to being slowwwwww.

    It probably just cleared some memory temporarily and thats why you noticed the improvement.
    My nearly two year old Iphone 3G is now officially one of the worst phones I have had the displeasure of owning.
  12. Bernie Vine

    #12 by Bernie Vine - August 3, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    A cold reboot only works far a few days then it's back to slow.
  13. Will Attwood

    #13 by Will Attwood - August 11, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    I read on another site that if you disable the spotlight search it is supposed to be fast.
    I did it. A slight increase in speed, but barely noticable.
    I'll try the cold reboot
  14. Ian

    #14 by Ian - August 31, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    Tried everything, restored, cold reboot, turned off spotlight. Still laggy as hell. My girlfriends is the same. Wish I'd not updated both.

    I did manage to cure my phone though. I hurled it really hard at a concrete wall on Friday and the screen smashed to pieces. I took it back to the 02 shop and claimed for a new one, which arrived today. This kind of hard reboot even upgrades it to a 3GS! Funny how they ship with OS 3.1.3. Lol. Speaks volumes to me.
  15. Zhen

    #15 by Zhen - November 7, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    It's all due to iOS 4 , if you've upgraded to $.1 or higher it works fantastic. Hope it was useful !
  16. Kelly

    #16 by Kelly - January 12, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Even with iOS 4.2, my iPhone 3G was ridiculously sluggish. Whenever my boyfriend wanted me to look something up, I told him to look it up himself on his Android to see who would get the answer faster. He would get the answer before my app even loaded, due my phone's sluggishness and constant crashing. The Apple Genius Bar told me the only "solution" was to upgrade to an iPhone 4. I did the reset to factory settings, reboot, and turned off Spotlight. So far it has been much better, at least useable. Re-syncing contacts & MP3s from my Mac went smoothly. I just wish Voicemail and SMS would also sync over.
  17. Carlo

    #17 by Carlo - June 5, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Go settings
    Go general
    Go spotlight search
    Turn them all off
    At least 70-80 percent of menu speeds will return.
  18. Eve-Marie

    #18 by Eve-Marie - July 24, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    My iphone 3GS is no longer useable since updating it with iOS4. I've tried **everything** you have all mentioned except a total factory reset. I reboot every day. A little unconvinced that this factory reset will work. What a pain, and not to mention a total ripoff by Apple. I'm waiting for the iphone 5 to come out so I don't have the same problem with an iphone 4.
  19. Chetan G

    #19 by Chetan G - September 12, 2011 at 5:21 AM

    Are all these options applicable to JAILBROKE iphone 3G ?
    Please advice.
  20. James

    #20 by James - July 15, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    please tell me how i remove ios4 and install ios 3 my iphone 3g is working so slow ..pls tell me
  21. iPod Fan

    #21 by iPod Fan - September 10, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    My iphone works great now. thanks for this tip!
  22. Mark Drew

    #22 by Mark Drew - September 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM


    All your questions regarding how this works with other versions should really be put to Apple's Support forums.

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