How To Make iPhone 3G On iOS 4 Faster

Downgrade from iOS 4 to iOS 3.1.3

While a vast majority of iPhone users are enjoying the new features and performance improvement in the latest iOS, some iPhone 3G users have reported that iOS 4 has slowed down their iPhone, which has forced some of them to downgrade to iPhone OS 3.1.3.

It has also motivated someone to create a spoof Apple ad demonstrating iPhone 3G running iOS 4.

Comex, the iPhone hacking expert who has brought popular jailbreaking tools like Spirit found a post on ModMyI forums, which is recommending iPhone 3G users to disable Spotlight for iPhone to make it faster.

According to ModMyI forum user:

iPhone 3G apparently has trouble keeping up with indexing, ever since 3.x. Two days ago, I turned off Spotlight search (Settings-General-Home Button-Spotlight search-switch off all you don't use) because I rarely, if ever, used it.

Up to this day, my poor old 3G with iOS is way snappier than it was before, and I wouldn't hesitate to say it's as snappy as with 3.1.3.

You can checkout the video where he has compared an iPhone 3G running iOS 4 with an iPhone 3G running iOS 4:

To disable Spotlight for iPhone, follow these simple steps:

    • Launch Settings app

    • Go to General –> Spotlight Search

    • Deselect indexing for all or as many items as possible

We haven’t tried it out but if you’re observing a performance issue on your iPhone 3G after upgrading to iOS 4 then there is no harm in trying this tip before you decide to downgrade to iPhone OS 3.1.3.

In case you haven’t seen the spoof ad then check it out below:

We wonder if similar improvements will be seen if Spotlight for iPhone is disable on iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.

As always, let us know how it goes and if you’ve observed any improvements.

[ModMyI forums via Comex]

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  • jeet 101

    3.1.3 is better

  • asdf

    iphone 3g on ios4 is driving me crazy for this reason. With sbsettings installed, it gets worse due to memory and I had to get rid of it. Is it safe to go back to 3.1.3 from ios4 while preserving all the backups?

  • DayvG

    You can downgrade with ease, but you will lose your back up as itunes won't let a ios 4 back up on 3.1.3.

  • wolverinemarky

    ok turned off the spotlight it doesnt seem to be moving that much more faster to me

  • FredMc

    I had to downgrade back to 3.1.3 because my 3G was running so slow. It is jailbroken but still runs much slower than it used to. I didn't "restore to new" though, might have something to do with it.

  • DrunkMunki

    also check the below out, works i have used it on several iphones and have noticed a difference.

  • Greg

    Please correct post: iPhone 3G on iOS4 vs. iphone 3G on 3.1.3 (not iOS4)! =)

  • Jose

    good stuff, just as a heads up to IPHONE HACKS, have you heard of what happened on monday as far as jailbreak and unlock goes? it has been decided in court that it is ok to jailbreak and unlock your iphone. but it will still void the warranty. Dont know if you knew or not

  • Your simple steps are missing Home Button:

    Settings -> General -> Home Button -> Spotlight Search.

    I disabled all but apps. We shall see.

  • KGB

    Thank you Jason. Was wondering what I was doing wrong.

  • Funnily enough mine didn't have the home button option, just Settings->General->Spotlight Search????

  • mydan99

    I did this a long time ago and even removed the launch daemon for spotlight search and it has made the phone incredibly more stable using iPhone 3G iOS4 JB with redsnow and all features enabled. I've installed SbSettings but i have noticed some times when it slows with sbs. but i find it faster than previous iOS's

  • Wondering how to disable the spotlight launch daemon.

  • The new IOS4 is draining current Iphone 3G and the 3GS.

  • Thanks guys my phone is much more crisp. I also turned of location services for things I really don't need like the camera app. Because I don't have iPhoto.

  • SkrOs

    Just go buy an iPhone 4…

  • disabling spotlight on iphone 4 doesn't change anything …. well nothing i can see . but i am sure it will drain less battery .

  • Andy

    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 and have been recurring time and time again now for several years. No soon as you have wasted weeks sorting them out, along comes another Firmare 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 hassles 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 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.

  • bunc

    using this "hack" on my 3g for a while and I am very satisfied…like someone said it is running like on 3.1.3

  • DamirL

    Does a big difference on a iPhone 3G, and tap tap revenge 3 doesn't lag any more :))

  • Alex

    My 3G running on 4.0.1 is faster then the 3.1.3 in the video. I did a comparison test in sync with the guy doing all of those tests and in every single one, my phone loaded everything faster. When I jailbroke my phone with redsn0w, the only thing I enabled was Cydia. No MT, battery percentage, or background wallpapers. Also, I set up as a new phone rather then restore from backup. I just pulled my contacts from outlook. And lastly I turned off spotlight and location services. Hope this helps

  • just sayin'

    i mentioned this issue awhile back..i really hope this is a REAL SOLUTION to this issue..
    i wonder if we had enough people having this issue, someone can actually make a fix for this…aside from having to deselect spotlight features.

  • just sayin'

    i mentioned this issue awhile back..i really hope this is a REAL SOLUTION to this issue..
    i wonder if we had enough people having this issue, someone can actually make a fix for this…aside from having to deselect spotlight features.

  • Wow, you really are stupid

  • I want to get rid of the search thing altogether – I think I've used it twice in the whole time it's been released.


    i have unlocken my iphone 3g with latest redsnow and upgraded to ios 4. it has worked for one day and then it got strucked. the only apple symbol is only showing.then i have hard restore and continued the same process.But the result is same.So,please advice me what to do.
    Thanking you sir.
    Anil Goud

  • MiStO

    Off these Things When u Dun need them Openssh Spotlite location services Edge if u dun use bluetooth when not in use iam using 4.0.1 on m 3g n i tried these things now my 3g is better then before
    Try these may be Work For u to.
    use Apps without Advertisements if u use specially App like Bitesms Try These Things

  • MiStO

    Anil Try Putting ur Iphone in Dfu mode n Restore it then jailbreak it wid redssnow 5 b 5 ..


    This really works!! I did this then restarted and it's back to normal! Thanks for the tip.

  • PeterDOS

    at last, neat trick!! it's easy to do and works!

  • Mohammad

    you can make your 3g 4.0/4.0.1 faster by adding the pushfix from iphone modding through cydia . i tried it and its working fine on two 3g phones i had.

  • long

    Can i downgrade my iphone 3g from 4.01 to 3.13
    IF i do not have the SHSH backup?


  • Roy

    with iFile it's possible to turn off multitasking and background on the springboard,
    with them turned off, the phone is a lot faster

  • 3G_guy

    Us 3G users are used to holding our phone any way we want when we talk. 🙂

  • I don’t think it’s anything to do with jailbreak… mine’s (3G) is super slow as well after iOS4 update and I haven’t jailbroke it.

    Will try restoring now… seems like everyone is recommending that across the board.

  • Well I have found out that the major problem of an ios 4.0 on iPhone 3G is that its not being able to support multitasking and backgrounding. The system capacity in iPhone 3G is not designed to support those high-end firmware version. So identifying that two major issues I have one good solution for that and I have tried it in my iphone 3G as well. After that it’s like way back to my past …my iPhone 3g is now performing like a supersonic…. First step you need to download zToggle from Cydia… Then you run that app and u disable multitasking and backgrounding… Then re-spring it… Now u see how ur iPhone 3G gonna breadth fresh air outta that suffocative killing one which came with ios 4… Addionally if u can disable spotlight search too then it will do much more pleasure…. Enjoy!
    Additionally if u want ur iPhone to perform multitasking as well then there’s an application called Backgrounder which u can download it through cydia… And for desktop background, Winterboard apps. is always there…. Anyways your iPhone needs to be jailbroken to perform any of the tips I gave u to make faster iPhone 3G with ios 4.0.. Voila!!!

  • Arby45

    I agree compeletly, maybe a split second faster otherwise its the same.

  • Bonden3000


    Work perfectly!!!thanks dude

  • Iphone3guser

    Lol the ad is hella funny!!!

  • HackAttack

    And you are obviously a brainwashed fanboy. By the way, "funnily" is not a word moron.

  • Jaxsen

    I don't know if this is just me "thinking" that my iphone and ipod are faster, but i turned off all the search options on a non MC model 2nd generation ipod touch, and a two day old iPhone 4, and they both "seem" to be just a pinch faster. IDK, I am just so happy with both, neither off them have ever been extremely slow.

  • Johnny Boy

    the fun surely is gone. just like apple will be gone. no more new ipod with a phone for me…

  • julius samson

    i don’t have a spotligh search in my iphone 3g 4.1. what sould i do? 🙁